Episcopal Life OnLine reports that Allegheny (PA) County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph M. James has ordered a breakaway group of former Episcopalians to return all property and assets to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The inventory includes $22 million in cash, cash equivalents, receivables, and investments including about $2.5 million in pooled parish investments and real estate and other real property.
"The diocese plans to quickly make arrangements so that all parishes may again have access to their investment funds that were frozen by financial institutions during the legal proceedings," according to a news release from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
On Oct. 4, 2008 a majority of the delegates to the diocese's 143rd annual convention approved a resolution by which the diocese purported to leave the Episcopal Church. The leaders who departed have said that they remain in charge of an entity they have been calling the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh that is now part of the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. And they say that in that capacity they control all the assets that were held by the diocese when they left....
The group led by Duncan said Oct. 29 that it would appeal the ruling once the court issues a final order directing it to transfer the property to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.
--posted by Andrew Gerns