Updated Wednesday evening
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has rejected the last appeal made by the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh (ACNA).
From the court document (PDF):
ORDERPER CURIAMAnd now, this 17th day of October, 2011 the Petition for Allowance of Appeal is hereby DENIED.
From the diocesan website:
On October 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied the request of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh to appeal the ruling of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
18th October, A.D. 2011
Feast of St. Luke
TO ALL CLERGY AND LAY LEADERS OF THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE:
Dearest Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
I write to you today to inform you that our appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has been rejected. We accept that the courts have not found in our favor and will, of course, comply with all court orders.
We remain committed to reaching a negotiated settlement with the Episcopal Church diocese. In light of this judgment by the courts, we will redouble that commitment to reaching a final resolution of all issues between the Episcopal Church diocese and the Anglican diocese through negotiation.
We intend to persevere in our mission, which is to be Anglican Christians transforming our world with Jesus Christ. We do this chiefly by planting congregations. As at every annual Convention since realignment, congregations are being added to our diocese both locally and across the country, for which we give thanks to God. We pray God’s continued favor on our mission, his grace towards those who remain within the Episcopal Church, and his help for our beloved Communion as we move into the challenges and opportunities of this new millennium. May the Gospel of our Lord Christ find a fresh hearing all across his Church and his world!
Faithfully your Bishop and Archbishop,
The Most Rev. Robert Duncan
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh
Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America
The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued this statement: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal of Property Rulings.
n an order issued October 17, 2011, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania rejected an appeal seeking to challenge lower court rulings holding that, under the terms of the 2005 settlement of the Calvary suit, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church was the rightful trustee of diocesan-held property.
The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision. The issues presented to the court had been adequately reviewed and ruled on, first by the Common Pleas Court of Allegheny County, then on appeal by Commonwealth Court. Each ruling consistently supported the position of the Episcopal Diocese. We hope that all litigation over these issues will now cease.
The Court’s ruling also affirms that the Episcopal Diocese holds the title to the property of a number of parishes where congregations had ceased to actively participate in the Diocese. We will continue to encourage them to return to active participation in the Diocese, and in the meantime to be good stewards of the property. This Diocese remains committed to working through these issues with each of the affected congregations.
A previous diocesan statement, which includes a link to the Commonwealth Court decision, is available here.