Article Title:Anti-gay Methodist faction lose church
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:25th July 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1949
Text:A row between two factions of Tongan Methodists over who has the right to use their South Auckland church has been settled – the anti-gay faction have been left out in the cold. The battle started in 1997 when some of the congregation disapproved of the appointment of a gay minister, formed a breakaway group, and went to court seeking ownership of the church. A judge at the High Court in Auckland yesterday chastised both factions for behaving in a manner "quite inconsistent with the Christian beliefs they profess". Justice Mark O'Regan ruled the church was the property of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, and called for the two factions to reconcile their differences, adding that the money spent on the court battle would have been better spent enhancing the lives of the church members, many of whom are people and families of limited means.    
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