According to the Tribune-Review, the church will make a payment to the Episcopal diocese and continue to pay the mortgage. It is a reasonable guess that the amount of the undisclosed payment is based in part on the equity built up in the property since the current St. Philip’s building was constructed.
Presumably, the Anglican diocese will not sue St. Philip’s. The spokesman for the Anglican diocese is quoted in the Tribune-Review story as saying that the diocese has already “passed a resolution” allowing for St. Philip’s’ departure. What body passed such a resolution and when was not reported.
The news release from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh in which Archbishop makes his ridiculous allegation about the First Amendment does not appear on the diocesan Web site. The Rev. Scott Homer, rector of Trinity Church, Beaver, a parish of the Anglican diocese has posted it on his blog, however. The statement ends with this peevish paragraph:
“We support the people and clergy of St. Philip’s as they face into this painful decision. It is our sincere hope that The Episcopal Church will stop these abusive and unconstitutional practices so that St. Philip’s can move forward with its mission and ministry. The desire of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh is simply to hold fast to the teachings of Scripture, reach the greater Pittsburgh region with the transforming love of Jesus Christ, and serve those in need,” Archbishop Duncan concluded.Of course, it is true that St. Philip’s has been one of the largest parishes of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, and its assessment will be a painful loss to that diocese.
By the way, Homer offered his own take on the St. Philip’s settlement in a later post.
Nothing about the settlement has yet appeared on the Web site of the Episcopal diocese, but I understand that statements and documents will be released after the signing of the agreement between the diocese and St. Philip’s, which is to take place later today.
Update, 2/2/2010, 10:30 PM: The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has sent out an e-mail message announcing and explaining the agreement with St. Philip’s and today’s Commonwealth Court decision. You can read it here.