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New appeal set after bishop denies petition

Despite Bishop Zubik denying the petition to take back the merger between St. Philip and St. Margaret schools, petitioners are still pushing forward another appeal.

By Jamie Wiggan

Staff Writer

-St. Philip-

Learning that the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh rejected their petition to overturn a planned merger between St. Philip and St. Margaret elementary schools, a committee of petitioners have now filed an additional appeal March 26.

A press release announcing the new filing argues that when the Crafton-based school was placed under the power of a newly-formed regional school board in July 2020, it was wrongfully taken or “alienated” under the dictates of church law.

“Under canon law, any such seizure or alienation of St. Philip School could only have been carried out with the knowledge, consultation, input, and consent of and by St. Philip parishioners, parish finance and pastoral council members, current school parents, faculty, and staff, and parish and school donors.”

In a March 17 press release dismissing the first appeal, the diocese maintained the merger is necessary as part of broader efforts to consolidate parishes and schools alike across the Pittsburgh region.

“With the increased costs of operating Catholic schools and parishes facing their own financial challenges, regionalization is necessary to help respond to these financial challenges and to take necessary strategic steps to improve the sustainability of Catholic elementary education.”

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