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Lower court ruling in SC Episcopal split being appealed to South Carolina's highest court

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A state judge's ruling that churches in eastern South Carolina that broke with the national Episcopal Church own the diocesan name, symbols and a half billion dollars in property is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein ruled in January in favor of the Diocese of South Carolina. The conservative diocese and many of its congregations split with the national church in 2012 over theological differences.

The national church and about 30 congregations remaining with it announced in a release that on Tuesday they have asked the state Supreme Court to hear their appeal of the judge's ruling.

Attorneys are asking the Supreme Court to consider the case immediately, without the matter first going to the state Court of Appeals.

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