Sunday, 19 April 2009

Pittsburgh: legal developments

Updated Monday morning

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh reports that:

A judge has ruled in the Diocese’s favor on several points in its legal dispute with former leaders over the control of diocesan assets.

In a hearing today, April 17, 2009, Judge Joseph James of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, allowed Diocesan Chancellor Andy Roman’s appearance as the attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church. The judge also granted a motion by The Episcopal Church to intervene in the case.

Both matters had been challenged in earlier court filing by attorneys representing former Bishop Robert Duncan and others who left the Episcopal Church last October.

The judge proceeded to order a hearing on the central issue before him, namely, whether a 2005 Court Order and Stipulation agreed to by Duncan and Calvary Episcopal Church requires that diocesan property must remain under the control of a diocese that is part of The Episcopal Church. Attorneys on both sides agreed the question of whether a diocese may leave the Episcopal Church will be reserved for a later hearing and decision, if necessary…

Read the full report at Judge Allows Chancellor’s Role, Episcopal Church Intervention.

Compare this account with the press release found on the website of the “Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican)” emphasis added:

On April 17, lawyers for the diocese attended a hearing before Judge James in Pittsburgh, together with lawyers for Calvary Church, lawyers representing The Episcopal Church (TEC) diocese, and lawyers representing the leadership of the national Episcopal Church.

All parties, including the lawyers for the leadership of national Episcopal Church, agreed that there will be hearing based on the assumption that the diocese’s withdrawal from The Episcopal Church was valid. At that hearing, the court will address whether the October 2004 stipulation in the Calvary Church lawsuit was violated by a valid withdrawal of the diocese from The Episcopal Church. No date for the hearing has yet been set…

Lionel Deimel has additional commentary at A Hearing at Last.

The Living Church reported it this way: Flurry of Motions in Pittsburgh Case.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 19 April 2009 at 11:01pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

"In short, the plaintiffs (TEC) got everything they could have expected from the judge at this point in the litigation, and the defendants (ex-Bp. Duncan & Co.) got nothing. Duncan's prospects for hanging on to the Episcopal Church assets he has removed from the church are looking poor indeed, - (web-log, Lionel Deimel)

Things are not looking too promising for prospective 'ACNA Primate' Robert Duncan and the GAFCON Primates' who are supporting his takeover of the property of TEC in Virginia. Acts of piracy in the Church ought never to be condoned by any legal system looking for justice to prevail

Perhaps, with the way things are going for the GAFCON sodality, they should think again about the disruption their actions are causing in the life of the Anglican Communion. Their insistence on religious 'purity' is tantamount to a declaration that their part of the Church is already without sin, and therefore without the need of continuing redemption. This surely is a dangerous theory, given the evidence of religious fundamentalism and its aftermath in our own and other religious systems in today's world?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 1:41am BST

As usual Lionel Diemel overstates the case. The fact that Judge James allowed Andy Roman to represent the interests of the TEC Diocese in no way signals that the case is lost for Bishop Duncan and the Pittsburgh Anglican Diocese further the Judge in no way ruled or inferred that the TEC diocese is in anyway the "real or only" Diocese of Pittsburgh. Lionel is the commensurate TEC Spinmaster.

Posted by: David Wilson on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 2:54am BST

@Father Ron Smith:

Be careful with the "acts of piracy" thing. That could actually make ACNA more attractive.

"Ahoy! The Lord be with ye!"
"Yar! And also with thee, matey!"

Posted by: Walsingham on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 10:28am BST

"Ahoy! The Lord be with ye!"
"Yar! And also with thee, matey!"

Last year somebody sent me a link to a Talk Like A Pirate Day Eucharist ... wish I'd kept it.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 2:30pm BST


AH HA HA HA HA HA! That just made my Monday morning.

Posted by: Jared Cramer on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 2:31pm BST

Hm. Whether 'splice the mainbrace' will ever function as a completely theologically adequate replacement for 'Let us proclaim the mystery of faith' remains to be seen....

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 6:34pm BST

"'splice the mainbrace'"

A clergy friend is not all that fond of Westward facing celebrations, calls it "Spiritual bartending". The temptation after the consecration is to say "Belly up to the bar, boys!"

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 8:19pm BST

Here's the web page citation that Cynthia lost:

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Monday, 20 April 2009 at 8:20pm BST

Well blow me down and with thy eg eg eg!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 at 12:43am BST

"Belly up to the bar, boys!"

Complementary W(h)ine and crackers. Live entertainment.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 at 3:54pm BST
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