Episcopal diocese: Suit undermines SC court

By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - An official with the South Carolina diocese that left the national Episcopal church says a lawsuit against it seeks to undermine the state's courts.

The Rev. Jim Lewis of the Diocese of South Carolina says a federal suit filed last week appears to be an attempt to move a property rights suit from state court to federal court. The statement released by the diocese on Wednesday is its first response to the federal suit.

Last week, Bishop Charles vonRosenberg of the parishes staying with the national church asked a federal judge to block the diocese that left from using the names and seal of the Diocese of South Carolina.

But a state judge earlier this year granted a temporary injunction giving those churches the right to do so.

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