The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has turned down a request made by former diocesan leaders to reargue their appeal of a lower court’s ruling concerning diocesan property.

On February 2, 2011, Commonwealth Court affirmed the decision by Judge Joseph James of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County that found the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church to be the rightful trustee of diocesan-held property and assets, based on a Stipulation the former diocesan leaders agreed to in 2005. Those former leaders had appealed Judge James’ decision to Commonwealth Court, and two weeks after the appeals court affirmed Judge James, they asked the appeals court to reconsider its ruling.

Commonwealth Court’s denial was issued in an Order dated March 29, 2011, and signed by President Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh welcomes this latest ruling and looks forward to amicably resolving parish property issues through additional negotiated settlements with individual congregations.

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