Calvin Massey

Document Type




Part I describes the varied nature of church organizations and the development of the constitutional doctrine that limits civil court involvement in the resolution of church property disputes. Part II explores the religious freedom interests of individuals and local congregations under conditions of religious division, using a Virginia statute that deals with this issue as the lens by which to examine the question. Part III assesses the circumstances under which reliance on internal church governance rules as the criterion for deciding church property may constitute a violation of either of the religion clauses. Part IV states the constitutional principles that should be applied to church property disputes when churches divide into discrete factions as a result of doctrinal disagreement.



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