As I’m sure many readers already know, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court last week rejected Archbishop Robert Duncan’s request for a rehearing of his appeal from the decision of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas that awarded diocesan assets to the Episcopal Church diocese. The diocese announced the March 29, 2010, order of the court on its Web site yesterday. No announcement has yet appeared on the Web site of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. (I do hope that the April 1 announcement, three days after the order was issued, was not taken by anyone as an April Fools’ Day prank.)
The Commonwealth Court decision should surprise no one, though Duncan held out hope to his increasingly anxious parishes that the court would be sympathetic. (See “More on the Petition for a Rehearing.”) The body of the court order denying the petition consists of a single sentence: “NOW, March 29, 2011, having considered appellants’ application for reargument before the Court en banc [i.e., before the full court] and appellees’ answer, the application is denied.” I find it amusing that the title of the litigation takes up approximately a page and a half, whereas the body of the order consumes only about a third of a page (see images of the two-page document below).