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Clergy - Part 5

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• An Illinois appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Methodist minister against a Methodist conference for breach of contract and wrongful interference with contractual relations. The minister claimed that despite his "good and satisfactory work" as pastor of a local church, he was assigned by the conference to another church which constituted "a severe demotion in terms of the number of church members, compensation, and opportunity for service." He further claimed that the conference ordered his transfer without a "consultation" with the churches involved (as required by the Methodist "Book of Discipline") and therefore amounted to a breach of contract. The conference claimed that the dispute was a purely ecclesiastical matter over which the civil courts had no jurisdiction, and accordingly asked the trial court to dismiss the lawsuit. The trial court agreed with the conference, ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1989

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