The ENS report by Jan Nunley is headed: Fort Worth bishop receives notice of possible consequences if withdrawal effort continues.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has made public another letter of warning sent to a bishop actively seeking to withdraw his diocese from the Episcopal Church.
The letter to Bishop Jack Leo Iker of the Diocese of Fort Worth notifies him that such a step would force her to take action to bring the diocese and its leadership into line with the mandates of the national Church.
The first of the letters was sent to Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh on October 31. Letters to other bishops will follow.
Fort Worth’s diocesan convention, meeting November 16-17, is set to consider the first reading of a constitutional amendment that would remove accession to the Constitution and Canons of General Convention, as well as several canonical amendments that eliminate mention of the Episcopal Church. Iker has indicated his support and approval of the amendments…
The full text of the letter is below the fold.
The Living Church also has a report: P.B. Issues Warning to Fort Worth.
8 November 2007
The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker
The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth
2900 Alemeda Street
Fort Worth, TX 76108
As you are undoubtedly aware, it is my view that recent amendments to your Diocese’s constitution violate the Constitutional requirement that the Diocese maintain an “unqualified accession” to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. I have now reviewed several proposed constitutional amendments that will be considered at your forthcoming diocesan convention. It is evident to me that several of these proposed changes would further violate the Church’s Constitution, while some other proposed changes would undo the problems created by the earlier amendments. It is clear from your public statements and from what I understand your position to be regarding these matters that you endorse the first set of changes. Your statements and actions in recent months demonstrate an intention to lead your diocese into a position that would purportedly permit it to depart from the Episcopal Church. All these efforts, in my view, display a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between The Episcopal Church and its dioceses.
I call upon you to recede from this direction and to lead your diocese on a new course that recognizes the interdependent and hierarchical relationship between the national Church and its dioceses and parishes. That relationship is at the heart of our mission, as expressed in our polity. Specifically, I sincerely hope that you will change your position and urge your diocese at its forthcoming convention to adopt the proposed amendments that will bring the Diocese’s constitution into agreement with the Church’s Constitution and Canons.
If your course does not change, I shall regrettably be compelled to see that appropriate canonical steps are promptly taken to consider whether you have abandoned the Communion of this Church — by actions and substantive statements, however, they may be phrased — and whether you have committed canonical offences that warrant disciplinary action.
It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it. I would remind you of my open offer of an Episcopal Visitor if you wish to receive pastoral care from another bishop. I continue to pray for reconciliation of this situation, and I remain
Your servant in Christ,
Katharine Jefferts Schori