SCHISM

SCHISM

schism (siz-[schwa]m orskiz-[schwa]m).

1. A breach or rupture; a division, esp. among members of a group, as of a union.

2. A separation of beliefs and doctrines by persons of the same organized religion, religious denomination, or sect. [Cases: Religious Societies 23, 35. C.J.S. Religious Societies ¡ì¡ì 70, 98¨C100.]

¡°It has been held that the civil courts are not concerned with mere schisms stemming from disputations over matters of religious doctrine, not only because such questions are essentially ecclesiastical rather than judicial, but also because of the separation between the church and the state …. However, it has also been held that the situation is different in the case of self-governing congressional churches, for here the courts do not hesitate to assume jurisdiction when a schism affects property rights, for in this form … each local congregation is independent and autonomous and there is no recourse within the denomination.¡± 66 Am. Jur. 2d Religious Societies ¡ì 51, at 804 (1973).


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