CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- A state judge has made permanent her order allowing only Episcopal congregations that split with the national church last year to use the name the Diocese of South Carolina.
The diocese in the lower part of the state split in a dispute over the ordination of gays. Nineteen parishes and six worship groups are remaining with The Episcopal Church.
The diocese sued seeking to protect its name and a half-billion dollars in church property.
Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein issued a temporary restraining order last week saying the name Diocese of South Carolina belongs to the churches that left. Thursday she made it a permanent injunction.
Those staying with the national Episcopal Church did not contest the move. A court hearing to argue the matter had been set for Friday.