"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reposted from the bowels of the internet... for the morbidly curious

Executive Summary of the Agreement between The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and

St. Philip's Church, Moon Township


February 2, 2011

St. Philip's intends to operate as an independent Christian congregation holding services in the Anglican tradition. The Agreement permits St. Philip's to continue to operate independently in its current facilities.

The Agreement acknowledges the existence of the provisions of Canon I.7.4 of The Episcopal Church, also known as the "Dennis Canon" and adopted in 1979, which provides that all real and personal property held by or for the benefit of a parish church is held in trust for The Episcopal Church and the Diocese thereof in which the parish is located.

Because St. Philip's will be operating as an independent Christian congregation, the parish has agreed that it will no longer be affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh or any similar group outside The Episcopal Church for a minimum period of five years.

The financial terms of the Agreement require St. Philip's to pay off its existing mortgage; repay the Diocese the amount of a 2007 distribution from a Diocesan endowment fund; and, pay the Diocese an additional cash amount. The Diocese agrees to finance this sum, with interest, over a term of up to 15 years, and to do so in a manner that will not be an unreasonable burden to St. Philip's . The Diocese will continue to hold the deed for the property until these payments have all been made . [Holy mortgage batman! Fifteen years?!? They're planning to be paying into TEC's bankroll, having their property held hostage, for fifteen years??? better you than me, bro.]

The Agreement expressly states that the parties have entered into it for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary controversy and litigation, and that they commit themselves to that mutual purpose in their implementation of the Agreement. They pledge to work cooperatively to resolve any dispute that might arise under the Agreement before resorting to legal remedies. Additionally, St. Philip's agrees not to support any litigation brought by another against the Diocese involving property.. [I note, however, that no such promises are made to St. Philips if TEC should, ho hum, decide to sue anyway.]

The Agreement provides for the maintenance of, and ongoing access to, parish records and files. Provisions also cover memorials, dedications and similar parish assets.

Because of the nature of the Agreement, Court approval is required. Under an October 14, 2005 Stipulation and Order of Court in the case Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania v. The Rt. Rev. Robert William Duncan, et al., No. GD-03-020941 (C.P. Allegheny County) (the "Calvary Suit"), any person seeking to raise an objection to the Agreement has a period of 45 days from the mailing of this public announcement to file the objection with that Court. The Agreement is also subject to the approval of the Orphans' Court division of the Court. The Diocese and St. Philip's have agreed to cooperate in seeking these court approvals.

Subject to the required Court approval, the Agreement will resolve all potential legal disputes between the Diocese and St. Philip's and allow both to go forward with their respective principal missions, including new forms of ministry, outreach and service, in the name of our one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

[Obviously, bolded italics and snarky comments in brackets are mine, not in the original document.]

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