British judge hears arguments in case LDS Church calls 'mischief'

By Tad Walch, Deseret News

Published: Fri, March 14, 2014, 3:20 p.m. MDT

 A British judge heard arguments Friday in the case of a disaffected Mormon who brought a case against LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson in a court in London.

A British judge heard arguments Friday in the case of a disaffected Mormon who brought a case against LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson in a court in London.

(Kuzma, Getty Images)

LONDON — A British judge heard arguments Friday but did not make any decisions in the case of a disaffected Mormon who launched what has been characterized as a "bizarre" private prosecution against LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson.

The case was scheduled to be heard before Westminster Magistrates Court Senior District Judge Howard Riddle, with arguments presented by attorneys on both sides.

President Monson did not appear at the hearing in London.

“There was absolutely no requirement for President Monson to appear today," LDS Church spokesman Cody Craynor said. "The church was represented by legal counsel to contest the appropriateness of the summons.”

The church released a statement Friday afternoon after the hearing had ended.

"Unfortunately there is nothing to stop a member of the public with a personal grievance playing this kind of mischief with the legal system," Craynor said. "The church respects the judicial system and the law, and we are well prepared to see the process through. A court case which seeks to put a religion on trial for its theology has no precedent and we are ultimately confident that it will be dismissed."

The disaffected church member who initiated the proceedings is Thomas Phillips.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

Related Stories
1. Just trying
Webster, UT,
March 14, 2014

I can't wait to read the transcripts. Six and a half hours is a long time.

2. Average Human Being
west jordan, UT,
March 14, 2014

Who is calling this case "bizarre"? This is actually a very serious case. If the church is found guilty, it could have a huge impact on the church financially and regionally on how they operate in England. If I was the church, I would certainly put forth my best efforts to try and defend this case instead of just writing it off as "bizarre" and "mischief".

3. tommy1
slc, UT,
March 14, 2014

Is this the fraud case?

4. slcdenizen
t-ville, UT,
March 14, 2014

This case should be dismissed forthwith. To require the head of an organization to confront the public legal system regarding the sale of an alleged non-existent product is absurd. If there is anything society should protect and cherish, it's an individual's right and obligation to part with their possessions in the noble cause of furnishing a palace in the afterlife and pleasing a jealous deity. For our courts to deny an individual of that right, whether it be directed at the FSM, yahweh, or Thor, is simply unbecoming of a pluralistic society in which all of us want to live.

5. SamL
Stansbury Park, UT,
March 14, 2014

Seems to me, if this case were to prevail, the Queen of England would be subject to the same guilt as well. After all the Anglican Church collects funds from its parishioners based on its theological doctrine. And the Queen is the current head of the Anglican Church. 'Tis truly bizarre mischief.