Monday, February 7, 2011

Anglican diocese asks court to rehear case

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Feb. 5-

The breakaway Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh is asking Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court to rehear arguments over whether it or the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh holds the title to 24 churches and more than $20 million in endowment assets.

Both the Anglican Diocese and the Episcopal Diocese claim to be the rightful heirs to the old Episcopal diocese, which essentially split in a dispute over church doctrine, a dispute that came to a head after the ordination of an openly gay Episcopal bishop in New England.

The filing, which must be made within 14 days, is not an appeal but an outright request for the same court to hear the case over, citing errors of fact in the ruling which was authored by Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer.

"There are some points of fact that are incorrect in the ruling," said David Trautman, a spokesman for the Anglican diocese. "We are giving the court a chance to correct those errors."

He did not specify the errors the Anglicans contend are in the ruling.

The court on Thursday ruled that the Episcopal diocese held proper title to the $20 million endowment funds. Both sides had earlier agreed to negotiate ownership of the individual parish properties.

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