- We are a fellowship of communities alive in the love of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, seeking and serving Jesus Christ in all persons and in all of God’s creation.
- Our actions and beliefs are guided by Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.
- United by our common prayer and the Anglican tradition of the Episcopal Church, we do all in our power to support our member parishes and faith communities. We minister to one another, bearing with each other, forgiving as the Lord forgives, and loving as Christ loves us.
- Together, we lead others to know and love God as we strive for justice and peace among all people, respect the dignity of every human being, and proclaim by word and example that Jesus Christ is Lord.
After the October 2008 withdrawal vote, former leaders of the diocese who chose to leave the Episcopal Church retained control over diocesan assets, requiring the diocese to ask the civil courts to rule on the matter. The courts have ruled in favor of the diocese and held that the property of the diocese must be held by the diocese of the Episcopal Church. These court rulings cover the endowments and other permanent funds of the diocese as well as the real estate used by over 20 congregations that ceased active participation in the diocese after the 2008 vote. The new “Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)” diocese claims these congregations as member parishes, but the legal status of the withdrawal vote remains in dispute. The courts have been able to award control of the property to the diocese of the Episcopal Church without deciding that issue.In addition to the parish property covered by the court rulings, there are approximately 15 other situations where the status of the parish and the property remains in dispute. The diocese has reached formal property agreements with two departing congregations and has openly invited others into negotiations. The Bishop’s letter of May 11, 2011, and its enclosed “Questions and Answers about the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Realignment” provides additional information and is available here [PDF].
Ongoing distraction of property disputes with the “realigned” congregations . . .
This is the state of the Pittsburgh DioceseIn February of the Year Two Thousand and Eleven.On October 4, 2008, our only property in hand was a cell phone bought the day before . . .A year ago the court confirmed us proprietors of forty-five properties.These include a camp, a playground, a retreat house, churches, rectories, cemeteries, and management of a $22 million endowment.. . . We are, in short, nothing less than E-pis-co-pa-li-ans.
6:1 When any of you has a legal dispute with another, does he dare go to court before the unrighteous rather than before the saints? 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits? 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters! 6:4 So if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? 6:5 I say this to your shame! Is there no one among you wise enough to settle disputes between fellow Christians? 6:6 Instead, does a Christian sue a Christian, and do this before unbelievers? 6:7 The fact that you have lawsuits among yourselves demonstrates that you have already been defeated. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 6:8 But you yourselves wrong and cheat, and you do this to your brothers and sisters!
6:29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. 6:31 Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.
3:34 To crush underfoot
all the earth’s prisoners,
3:35 to deprive a person of his rights
in the presence of the Most High,
3:36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –
the Lord does not approve of such things!
10:4 They utter empty words,
taking false oaths and making empty agreements.
Therefore legal disputes sprout up
like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a plowed field.