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Episcopal Church property dispute back in court

A years-long fight between The Episcopal Church and several conservative congregations has landed back in a courtroom in Virginia.

A years-long fight between The Episcopal Church and several conservative congregations has landed back in a courtroom in Virginia.

Several prominent congregations with roots dating to Colonial times, including Truro Church in Fairfax and The Falls Church, voted in 2006 to split from The Episcopal Church and align with a group of conservative Anglican churches. The congregations disagreed with what their members felt was liberal Episcopal doctrine on homosexuality and other issues.

In 2008, Judge Randy Bellows ruled the breakaway congregations were entitled to the church property under a Virginia law from the Civil War era. But the Virginia Supreme Court overturned that ruling and sent the case back to Bellows.

In opening statements Monday, the two sides said they expect to introduce roughly 8,000 exhibits during a six-week trial.

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