The Georgia Court of Appeals in Atlanta had unanimously affirmed Judge Michael L. Karpf's October 27, 2009 ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
Both the superior and appeals court ruled that when Christ Church
joined The Episcopal Church
, it accepted the existence of an implied trust over the church buildings.
re-affirmed its amendment to become a member of the Diocese of Georgia
in 1918 and 1981 - two years after the national church put the implied trust over parish real estate into writing with a special church law canon.
"How can the defendants dispute the existence and efficacy of the (Trust Canon) when they publicly acknowledged their adherence to all canons of the national church after the (Trust Canon) was enacted?
wrote Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf
21 page ruling in favor of the Episcopal Church
held that Christ Church Episcopal
was entitled to immediate posession of of all church property.
The breakaway congregation subsequently appealed that decision.
In affirming Judge Karpf's decision on all counts, the Court of Appeals noted Christ Church's longstanding affiliation with the Episcopal Church, including its leadership in forming the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia in 1823.