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Holy Transfiguration v. Archbishop Gregory

Holy Transfiguration v. Archbishop Gregory

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Published by: gesmer on Aug 03, 2012
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12/09/2013

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United States Court of Appeals
For the First Circuit
No. 11-1262SOCIETY OF THE HOLY TRANSFIGURATION MONASTERY, INC.,Plaintiff, Appellee,v.ARCHBISHOP GREGORY OF DENVER, COLORADO,Defendant, Appellant.APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS[Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Judge]BeforeTorruella, Circuit Judge,Souter, Associate Justice,
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and Boudin, Circuit Judge.Chris L. Ingold, with whom Ingold Law, LLC, Harold R. Bruno,III, and Robinson Waters & O'Dorisio, P.C., were on brief forappellant.Kristen McCallion, with whom Lawrence K. Kolodney, Eric J.Keller, Fish & Richardson P.C., Mark A. Fisher, and Duane MorrisLLP, were on brief for appellee.August 2, 2012The Hon. David H. Souter, Associate Justice (Ret.) of the
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Supreme Court of the United States, sitting by designation.
 
TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge.
Interpretations and studies oftheological texts have led to countless disputes throughout theages. This appeal concerns a different form of conflict arisingfrom one monastery's translation of certain ancient religioustexts, and another monastery's unauthorized use of verbatim ornear-verbatim copies of such texts on its Orthodox faith-devotedwebsite. Seven, a number both religiously and factuallysignificant, is the quantity of works the former monastery contendsthe latter infringed. The parties here let fly a legion ofarguments and defenses as to why ultimate judgment should rest intheir favor. We have pored over the voluminous record before usand the district court's orders granting summary judgment to theformer monastery. See Holy Transfig. Monas. v. Archbishop Gregory,754 F. Supp. 2d 219 (D. Mass. 2010) ("Holy Transfiguration II");Holy Transfig. Monas. v. Archbishop Gregory, 685 F. Supp. 2d 217(D. Mass. 2010) ("Holy Transfiguration I"). We arrive at the sameconclusion as the district court and hold that summary judgment wasproperly granted as to each of the former monastery's claims. Weaccordingly affirm the decision of the district court.
I. Background 
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 A. A Tale of Two Monasteries
We construe "the record in the light most favorable to the
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nonmovant and resolv[e] all reasonable inferences in the party'sfavor." Meuser v. Fed. Express Corp., 564 F.3d 507, 515 (1st Cir.2009) (quoting Rochester Ford Sales, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 287F.3d 32, 38 (1st Cir. 2002)) (internal quotation mark omitted).-2-
 
Plaintiff-Appellee Society of the Holy TransfigurationMonastery, Inc. (the "Monastery") is an Eastern Orthodox monasticorder located in Brookline, Massachusetts. It was founded in theearly 1960s and incorporated as a non-profit organization. In1965, the Monastery began a spiritual affiliation with the bishops
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of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia ("ROCOR").Although the Monastery concedes it commemorated the bishops ofROCOR for a time (until 1986 to be precise), it considers itself anindependent entity in both its organization and governance. Stateddifferently, the Monastery was not formed at the order or directionof ROCOR or any bishop a part thereof; instead, its formationoccurred prior to its spiritual affiliation with ROCOR. OnDecember 8, 1986, the Monastery ceased its commemoration of theROCOR bishops, thus ending its spiritual affiliation with ROCOR.Since the Monastery's formation, its members, consistingof approximately thirty-five monks, have worked on translatingreligious texts, including services, psalms, and prayers, fromtheir original Greek into English. The cardinal works at issue(the "Works") consist of (1) the St. Isaac Work, (2) the Psalter,
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The record reflects that "spiritual affiliation," often used
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interchangeably with the terms "ecclesiastical jurisdiction" or "incommunion," is a term used when a monastery agrees with theparticular confession of faith of a bishop or group of bishops andenjoys their blessing during that time.The full title of the St. Isaac work is "The Ascetical Homilies
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of St. Isaac the Syrian."-3-

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