Handouts Available on St. James the Less Case

December 12, 2008. The property dispute between the Philadelphia parish of St. James the Less and the Diocese of Pennsylvania was resolved nearly three years ago by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Parishioners had tried to leave The Episcopal Church with the parish property. Not only did they fail to prevail in the resulting litigation, but the financial resources of the parish were exhausted and the church closed.

PEP board member and attorney Kenneth Stiles has written two articles about the St. James the Less case, one that should be of great concern to parishes that have now “realigned” with Bishop Robert Duncan. Their parishes could share a fate similar to the Philadelphia church’s. Stiles’ “The Saga of St. James the Less: A Cautionary Tale” first appeared in PEPtalk, the PEP newsletter. It has now been reprinted for distribution at the special diocesan convention that begins today. Stiles has also written another essay titled “St. James the Less Revisited,” which explains the legal reasoning of the St. James the Less opinion. The original essay can be read here, and the latest can be read here.