Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Property litigation involving Episcopal Diocese is over

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-

Eight years of property litigation involving the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has ended, but most parishes that broke from the Episcopal Church still face negotiations over their buildings.

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week denied an appeal from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which had argued that it owned the property, the Anglican decided diocese it will not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, spokesman David Trautman said.

"This whole string of litigation is ended, is done," he said.

The lawsuit was filed in 2003 by Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside, whose leaders believed that Bishop Robert Duncan and many others might leave the denomination and try to take property. According to the Episcopal canons, all property -- including parish buildings -- is held in trust for the denomination.

The split occurred in 2008, when the majority at the diocesan convention voted to leave the Episcopal Church. Those who wished to remain Episcopalians immediately chose new leaders and continued that diocese. The Anglican diocese argued that it was the legitimate heir to the Episcopal Church property.

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