News for Week Ending 1/12/2009
Central New York diocese wins property caseThe New York Supreme Court has ruled that Good Shepherd, Binghamton, whose congregation withdrew from the Diocese of Central New York in November 2007, must vacate its building. The Binghamtom Press reported the story January 12, 2009. The court ruled that parish property is held in trust for The Episcopal Church. The parish is headed by the Rev. Matthew Kennedy, a long-time critic of The Episcopal Church on the World Wide Web. Additional information is contained in an Episcopal News Service story here.
Pittsburgh diocese growsThe Diocese of Pittsburgh in The Episcopal Church has grown by two parishes. St. Mark’s, Johnston, and St. Thomas’ Memorial, Oakmont, have voted to remain with The Episcopal Church. Details can be found on the diocesan Web site here.
Assisting Bishop Robert H. Johnson in now in Pittsburgh and met with diocesan leaders in planning meetings January 10, 2009, at Calvary Church. (See diocesan announcement here.) The various diocesan bodies (Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, etc.) are beginning to function with full or nearly full complement of members.
Calvary/Diocese ask for resourcesCalvary Church and the Diocese of Pittsburgh went to court January 8, 2009, to make requests of the special master overseeing the stewardship of assets currently controlled by former Pittsburgh bishop Robert Duncan and his supporters. In a brief filed with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Calvary lawsuit, joined by diocesan chancellor Andy Roman, requested the special master to report to Judge Joseph James that the group headed by Duncan has violated the terms of the stipulation of October 2005. That agreement between the plaintiffs and the then diocesan leaders declared that diocesan property, even in the event of defections in Pittsburgh from The Episcopal Church, would stay with the Episcopal Church diocese.
The special master was asked to recommend “immediate termination” of the use of diocesan property by the group that purports to be part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The filing also asked the special master to request “immediate access to and control by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America of the endowments, checking accounts, and other Property” covered by the stipulation.
The court filing can be read here. The defendants issued a public statement calling the reorganized diocese “new” and calling for “equitable division of the assets” of the diocese. News stories are available from the Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review, and Episcopal News Service.