Virginia’s attorney general is defending the right of 11 conservative Anglican parishes to use the state’s Civil War-era “division statute” to leave the Episcopal Church while retaining millions of dollars in assets and property.
Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s motion to intervene is a significant setback to the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia, which have said secular courts have no place in resolving the property dispute – the largest in the church’s history.
Mr. McDonnell, a Roman Catholic who is planning a run for governor in 2009, said state law is on the side of the 11 churches, now with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).

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