St. Andrew’s Church today filed an application requesting the Tennessee Supreme Court consider hearing the church’s long-running case with the Diocese of Tennessee.
St. Andrew’s and the diocese have been locked in a legal battle for almost three years. The church contends it owns the Woodmont Boulevard land and building from which it operates, but trial and appellate court rulings have favored the diocese.
Specifically, the church is appealing a recent Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the diocese. The appeal will be based, in part, on diocese Bishop John Bauerschmidt’s involvement in a group whose members, St. Andrew’s contends, hold differing views about church hierarchy compared to those views of state and national Episcopal Church leadership.
“There is a strong need for this Court to address and settle these important questions of law which are related to the public interest,” the application document reads. “This is especially true with regard to the unique issues in this case which constitute matters of first impression. No other Episcopal Church case has involved an Anglo-Catholic parish like St. Andrew's, nor have any of the cases involved a Communion Partner Bishop like Bishop Bauerschmidt.”
Bauerschmidt could not be reached for comment.