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.
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.