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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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, April 25, 2011

News for Week Ending 4/25/2011

Kansas objects to Section 4 of Covenant

The 2012 General Convention deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas wrote to the Executive Council Task Force on the Anglican Covenant April 24, 2011. In their letter, members of the House of Deputies expressed no concerns about Sections 1–3 of the Anglican Covenant, but they declared that they do not support Section 4, with its penalties of “relational consequences.” According to the letter, “The deputation believes that the inclusion of such penalties would be antithetical to any covenantal relationship. The inclusion of penalties is consistent with a contractual or legal relationship in the secular world, not a covenantal relationship.”

Virginia diocese settles with another church on eve of return to court

On April 19, 2011, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia announced an agreement with another of the churches that attempted to leave the diocese in 2006 while retaining parish property. The agreement comes two months after the diocese settled with Church of Our Saviour, Oatlands, and only days before the remaining parties in the property litigation in Virginia returned to court. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Church of the Word, Gainsville, reached an agreement with the diocese April 18 that reflects “a set of unique circumstances” regarding the Gainsville church building. A road construction project near the church negatively impacts the viability of the church at its present location. The church is being allowed to keep most of its real and personal property, but the diocese will retain a $1.95 million compensatory payment from the Virginia Department of Transportation. In addition, Church of the Word will disaffiliate from the Anglican Church in North America, the Anglican District of Virginia, and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America for a period of five years, although the intention is to re-affiliate after that period.

Episcopal News Service has additional details here. Church of the Word issued a press release and offers background information.

On April 25, the diocese, Episcopal Church, and the seven churches that have not yet settled, began another trial in the court of Fairfax County Circuit Judge Randy Bellows. Associated Press reported on the beginning of the trial here.

Ohio court rules for Diocese of Ohio

Episcopal News Service reported April 20, 2011, that an Ohio judge ruled April 15 that five parishes that sought to break away from the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio do not have the right to retain their property. Judge Deena Calabrese based his decision largely on the Episcopal Church’s Dennis Canon. The litigation dates from 2008. Additional details can be read in the ENS story and this post from The Lead.

Legal maneuverings continue in Fort Worth case

The litigation over the split of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth continues on several fronts. No definitive judgments were handed down in the past week, but the Episcopal Church diocese reported on a numbers of moves by the parties, along with links to court filings. That report can be found here.

Presiding Bishop visits Pittsburgh

As announced here two weeks ago, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visited the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh April 19, 2011. Details of her visit can be read in stories and a blog post from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here and here.