Pittsburgh Update

Pittsburgh Update publishes weekly summaries of recent developments in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion that affect or could affect Pittsburgh Episcopalians. Emphasis is on reporting, not interpretation. This is a service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. This site is in no way affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

News for Week Ending 12/27/2010

N.J. diocese cuts deal with departing congregation

The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey has negotiated an amicable property settlement with the congregation of what is now St. George’s Anglican Church of Helmetta, New Jersey. The former Episcopal congregation disaffiliated from The Episcopal Church in early 2008 and began negotiating with the diocese a year later to retain parish property.

According to myCentralJersey.com, the parish property was sold to the congregation on November 23, 2010. In an explanation of the sale on the Diocese of New Jersey’s Web site, Bishop George Councell is quoted as saying, “In the matter of St. George’s, Helmetta, the Standing Committee and I are clear that we acted in the best interests of the Diocese of New Jersey. We are satisfied that this agreement is the right settlement for this particular circumstance and we wish our brothers and sisters well.”

According to VirtueOnline, St. George’s has made a $30,000 down payment and will make additional payments over several years. VirtueOnline describes the chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey and “Episcopal leaders at church headquarters in New York City” as being “not supportive” of the settlement reached with the breakaway congregation.

St. George’s Anglican Church is now affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).

Court rules against El Paso congregation in property dispute

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth reported December 23, 2010, that, on December 16, the District Court of El Paso County, Texas, issued a final summary judgment in favor of The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande and against members of the congregation of the former St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church of El Paso, Texas. The plaintiffs left The Episcopal Church in October 2008 with the intention of taking parish property with them. The court argued that, as a hierarchical church, the property could not be so taken and that, even under the neutral principles of law standard, judgment would be entered for the defendants.

Iker granted delay in trademark case

A U.S. District Court granted former Bishop of Fort Worth Jack Iker the stay he requested in the trademark infringement suit brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The action temporarily halts all actions in the case except petitions to intervene. Iker claimed that such petitions will have substantive bearing on the case. The action was reported by the Diocese of Fort Worth. The court order can be found here.

N.B. This post was updated 12/28/2010 to include information overlooked in the original 12/27/2010 post.