Monday, February 14, 2011

Episcopal diocese settles with Anglican parish

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has reached a property settlement with a second parish of the rival Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Somerset Anglican Fellowship, which broke off from nearby St. Francis-in-the Fields Episcopal Church before the majority at the 2008 Episcopal diocesan convention voted to leave the Episcopal Church, will remain part of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. An agreement announced two weeks ago with St. Philip's Church in Moon required that parish to break all ties with the Anglican diocese for at least five years.

Somerset Anglican Fellowship currently meets in a rented storefront at the Georgian Place development, but is planning to buy a former Presbyterian church. The settlement requires the congregation to give back everything it received from the Episcopal diocese, mostly liturgical items used in worship.

The agreement also "acknowledges the existence" of the so-called Dennis canon, which says that all property of an Episcopal congregation is held in trust for the denomination. The congregation promised not to support any litigation that other parties might bring against the Episcopal diocese. In return the Episcopal diocese promised not to stake any claims against the purchase of the Presbyterian church.

"By resolving these issues of ownership and use of church property, our agreement allows the parish and the Episcopal diocese to continue in their ministry without supporting or engaging in lawsuits involving the other. The gospels and all of scripture teach us that when differences arise among believers, our first duty is o seek peace and reconciliation with each other," said a statement signed by Bishop Kenneth Price Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Rev. J. Mark Zimmerman, rector of Somerset Anglican Fellowship.

Read more:

No comments: