Thursday, 29 October 2009

Pittsburgh: a name change and an appeal

Updated again Friday evening

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Anglicans appeal ruling on property division.

A group of 55 congregations that split last year from the Episcopal Church announced today that they will appeal a court ruling that awarded all centrally held diocesan assets to the 27 congregations that remained in the Episcopal Church.

“We believe we have to make this stand,” said the Rev. Jonathan Millard, rector of Church of the Ascension in Oakland and chair of the Alliance for an Anglican Future.

The group also announced that it was changing its name to The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. It was formally known as the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican). The group they split from is known as the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States…

The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh published a press release ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH RESPONDS TO COURT RULING at a new website, http://pittsburghanglican.org although the group’s website at http://www.pitanglican.org remains.

Today, we are pleased to introduce ourselves as The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Previously known as The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, our diocese is comprised of fifty-five congregations; 51 local congregations with a very long record of service to Pittsburgh area communities (in eleven southwestern Pennsylvania counties), and 4 congregations beyond the immediate region. We were the majority (67%) on the vote to withdraw from the Episcopal Church and are the majority now: 55 Anglican Church congregations as compared to 27 Episcopal Church congregations.

Our purpose in asking you here today is to announce our intention to appeal the recent ruling of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. The court ruled that a minority of our former parishes, which now claim to be a diocese affiliated with the Episcopal Church, shall hold and administer all diocesan assets. The appeal will be filed once the court issues a final directing the transfer of all diocesan property to this minority group…

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued a press release, Statement Concerning Announced Intent to Appeal Ruling in Diocesan Assets Case.

We are disappointed that the former leaders of this diocese, who now call themselves the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, have decided to appeal Judge Joseph James’ October 6, 2009, ruling that a 2005 settlement agreement prevents those former leaders from continuing to hold and administer the diocesan assets.

Judge James found that the 2005 Stipulation and Order – that both sides agreed to before those former leaders left the Episcopal Church – clearly and unambiguously requires that the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States be the rightful trustee of those assets.

We stand ready to defend our position and the Court’s ruling on appeal. At the same time, we will continue to cooperate in the orderly transition of diocesan property, and when the time is right, to engage in a dialogue on other issues between us that still need to be resolved.

Updates

ENS has a lengthy report, reviewing the background, see PITTSBURGH: Group plans to appeal diocesan property ruling by Mary Frances Schjonberg.

The Living Church has a report by Doug LeBlanc Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh to Leave Longtime Office.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 29 October 2009 at 10:21pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Hurrah for this determination on the part of the truly Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to defend the property of the Episcopal Church - as defined by His Honour Judge Joseph James on October 6, 2009. To take any other course would be to give in to the hubris of ACNA and others who deny the theological integrity of TEC, in its prophetic movement to Ordain and offer Blessings to LGBT members of the Episcopal Church in the USA.

Perhaps the culture of legislation may yet persuade the dissenters not to attempt any further misappropriation of the dignity and property of mainline Episcopalian Communities.
Legal proceedings are mightily expensive, as both TEC and the Dissenters will by now be aware. This money could well have been spent on the Mission of The Gospel. Let's hope the New Puritans learn from all of this.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 12:11am GMT

Amazing. I hope all will recall Bishop Duncan's performance at Dar-es-Salaam condemning the lawsuits. The message then was Christians don't sue Christians. So what is the message now? Will the argument be that Bishop Duncan can sue TEC because TEC isn't Christian? When will the primates wake up and realize they've been had. Is it time for them to read the Secret Global South Memo and learn the real agenda. It is about the property. It was always about the property. The hands of innocent and suffering Reverend Mr. Duncan are just as dirty, when it comes to holding onto the cash as any one in TEC, and maybe even dirtier. Unlike Duncan, TEC never claimed to be pure.

Posted by: EmilyH on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 12:51am GMT

xDuncan's mouthpiece, Millard: "a minority of our former parishes, which now claim to be a diocese affiliated with the Episcopal Church"

Give me a break: "claim to be"?!

An *unconstitutional* vote, even if by a "majority", remains unconstitutional. God bless TEC!

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 1:52am GMT

"An *unconstitutional* vote, even if by a 'majority', remains unconstitutional."

Here's what bothers me: aren't these the same good, "orthodox" folks who keep telling us you can't discern truth by majority vote?

And yet . . .

Well, why go on. Only a fool wouldn't see it.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 8:01am GMT

I thought that the definition of what constitutes Anglican is that one is recognised by and in communion with the Archbishop (See) of Canterbury. The name change seems somewhat premature, even presumptuous.

Posted by: Roger Antell on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 10:10am GMT

"I thought that the definition of what constitutes Anglican is that one is recognised by and in communion with the Archbishop (See) of Canterbury."

Oh, not here in the States! We have all sorts of erstwhile and would-be "Anglican" groups who wouldn't touch Canterbury with a ten foot virge.

Posted by: BillyD on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 11:50am GMT

"Will the argument be that Bishop Duncan can sue TEC because TEC isn't Christian?"

Well, given that the Jerusalem Declaration reiterates their often stated belief that TEC is apostate, preaching a "different Gospel", and selling out to the world, I'd say the answer to this is "yes".

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 1:11pm GMT

Gives a whole new meaning to the local (American) football team....The Pittsburgh Stealers.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 1:31pm GMT

"I thought that the definition of what constitutes Anglican is that one is recognised by and in communion with the Archbishop (See) of Canterbury. The name change seems somewhat premature, even presumptuous."

Sorry, but this is classic C of E thinking.

In the U.S., the brand "Anglican" fell somewhat out of use in the 1780s. That's when the American church that broke from C of E began to call itself "Episcopal" instead. At that time, anything that smacked too much of England was not helpful to the marketing effort.

As a result, in the U.S., pretty much anyone who wants to can call themselves "Anglican." And lots of splinter groups have done so, for decades. Who or what is going to stop them? Certainly not the fact that they don't get once-a-decade invitations.

What the Pittsburgh schismatics could not do, legally, was go by the name of another organization ("Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh"). So they have now abandoned that name in order to avoid further liability.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 1:57pm GMT

From the newspaper link:

Rev. Millard said the Anglican diocese thought an equitable split would involve "sharing assets, not winner-takes-all."

"That just seems manifestly unfair," he said.

****************************

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! They really have no self-awareness, do they?

My mother always told me that life wasn't fair---but it's good to see that, on occasion, people really DO get what they deserve. ;-)

Posted by: Doxy on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 5:43pm GMT

So - in some folk theology sort of way - do flat earth beliefs lead to thieving? Insofar as flat earth beliefs rely on egregiously Ends-Justify-Means ethics?

Only xDuncan and his companions know; and even then the only sure thing is that God is antigay, period. Which means you can do anything you like to queer folks, including hostile takeover bids and outright stealing of assets or resources.

It is transparently self-serving, all this conservative Duncan-esque Anglican realignment. His god comes across way too small, too mean, too shifty-eyed when it comes to other peoples' family silver and gold. This deity may indeed be an all too sadly familiar sort of ancient near eastern divinity; but not just the one that we believe was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth. xDuncan cannot actually tell between YHWH and the Ba'alim. Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 30 October 2009 at 6:39pm GMT
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