Monday, 12 November 2007
Iker denies abandonment of TEC
The Bishop of Fort Worth has replied to the Presiding Bishop’s recent letter to him.
You can read his reply here.
Episcopal News Service has a detailed report by Jan Nunley, Fort Worth bishop responds to warning letter from Jefferts Schori which sets out the reasons for sending him the earlier letter:
Fort Worth’s diocesan convention meets November 16-17 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 publicly endorsed the changes and declared his intention to separate the Fort Worth diocese from the Episcopal Church.
In an October 20, 2007 address to the Forward in Faith International Assembly in London, a recording of which is available on the group’s website, Iker stated that the three Forward in Faith dioceses — Fort Worth, San Joaquin, and Quincy — intend to leave the Episcopal Church by 2009.
“There are three Forward in Faith dioceses in the United States, and the three bishops of those dioceses have come to a common conclusion that we have no future in the Episcopal Church,” Iker reported to the London meeting. “Our conventions in those three dioceses, Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin, will be taking constitutional action to separate officially from TEC. Because it is a constitutional change, it must be passed at two successive annual conventions.”
On the recording, Iker continued: “…Our plan is not only to disassociate, then, from the Episcopal Church, but to officially, constitutionally re-affiliate with an existing orthodox province of the communion that does not ordain women to the priesthood. These conversations are very far along but cannot be announced until the province that is considering our appeal has made their final decision public.”
There is also a Living Church report, Bishop Iker: Presiding Bishop’s Letter ‘Highly Inappropriate’.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Monday, 12 November 2007 at 11:18pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
It would appear that Bishop Iker wouldn't understand the concept of truth even if he were to trip over it. The man seems nothing more than a pathological liar who feigns upset when he is caught in the act of taking steps that would violate his oath.
"Oh, but your honor, I had merely purchased the explosives and fuses and timing devices; for anyone to accuse me of behaving as a terrorist, well they are themselves terrorists for accusing me."
It is time for the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to take steps, with the House of Bishops, to declare the See of Fort Worth vacant. It has certainly been morally vacant for some years now, so this will be just a matter of having the records catch up to reality.
The new Episcopal Bishop of Ft. Worth can begin the local process of healing in the Episcopal Church, and Iker can go, personally, to whatever outpost of Calvinism that he cares to associate with.
Certainly there are a few Calvinist Provinces of the Anglican Communion who can use another Bishop, even Iker.
The sad fact is that in many of these, it would not be physically safe for missionary bishops from Australia, or Brasil, or Canada, or England, or Ireland, or Mexico, or New Zealand, or Scotland, or South Africa, or United States, or Wales, to minister to non-Calvinist parishes or individuals who long for Anglican bishops who would lead them out of the myopic fundamentalism of their local Provincial and Diocesan bishops.
The 10% (+/-) Calvinist minorities within traditional Anglican Communion Provinces could be safely served by fundamentalists, as has been made evident by extra-Provincial "missions" within the United States, but heaven help the non-fundamentalists who might try for a reversal of the roles.
Bishop Iker's letter is interesting. Jan Nunley's attempt to spin it -- well -- let's just say I have better uses for my eyesight. As for ++KJS's original letter -- I think it would have been much better unwritten; there are some uncharitable things you might SAY but it rarely pays to be THAT uncharitable in writing.
Whatever else might be said, we can focus on this passage of the response:
"I must remind you that 25 years ago this month, the newly formed Diocese of Fort Worth voluntarily voted to enter into union with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. If circumstances warrant it, we can likewise, by voluntary vote, terminate that relationship."
The problem is that this assertion is historically and demonstrably false. The Primary Convention of the Diocese of Fort Worth only took place after the consent of the General Convention in 1982. Prior to that, it was part of the Diocese of Dallas, and not an unorganized, unevangelized mission territory. Thus, there was never an independent choice to accede to the General Convention because it was never independent of the Constitution and Canons of Dallas, and that diocese's accession to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. (http://episcopalhospitalchaplain.blogspot.com/2007/11/bishop-ikers-rewrites-history.html)
So, this was the process: first, Dallas decided to divide. Second, the General Convention in 1982 consented to that division. Third, and only then, did the bishop of Dallas convene the Primary Convention of the new diocese, which chose the name of Fort Worth, and replaced the jurisdiction of the continuing diocese with its own Constitution and Canons.
He makes it sound like they are just having a chat about future directions. It doesn't ring true - it isn't. She is saying, if the chat becomes policy, then action is taken.
Quite so - he is gone, he is replaced, the diocese stays; whoever else goes also goes and parishes are kept.
It is actually odd. If a manager of a company says I'm leaving, it is a bit odd if such objects if the Chief Executive says you'll be replaced. Of course the manager cannot take the branch of the company with him or her. He just has to get another job, from another Chief Executive.
Bishop Iker leaves out the bit about his promise to conform to the doctrine, discipine and worship of the (Protestant )Episcopal Church.
Also his diocese was created only by obtaining permission from General Convention.
It was created as an attempt to buy off anti-women ordination elements and look at the result.
Let liberal third priovince sympathisers be warned.
I hadn't realised Fort Worth diocese was only 25 years old. Sounds like "last in, first out."
well, the ABC seems to be on the side of the diocese and its bishop rather than the "abstract reality" of TECUSA......KJS beware, not all in the AC worship TECUSA "polity"
"...I must remind you that 25 years ago this month, the newly formed Diocese of Fort Worth voluntarily voted to enter into union with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church."--Bishop Iker
The above statement is, at the least, disingenuous or, at most, an outright fraud.
According to its own website, the diocese of Fort Worth was formed when it was decided to split the diocese of Dallas in two. IOW, all the parishes that make up Fort Worth were already in existence and already part of the Episcopal Church when Fort Worth came into existence.
This leads one to ask Bishop Iker some questions: Who "decided" to split Dallas and form Fort Worth? Who consented to it? Who provided the process for electing FW's bishop? Who consented to that election and then consecrated that bishop? In every case, at one point or another, the answer is the Episcopal Church.
For Bishop Iker to suggest that Fort Worth came into existence through some form of ecclesiastical parthogenesis and then "voluntarily" joined TEC is ridiculous.
Simon, Iker is very clear in his denial – he has not abandoned the communion of the church. He is committed to remaining “loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them.” The crucial issue for him is that TEC is not committed to that.
He seems to be quite clear that it is only a matter of time before he does abandon TEC but his denial is that he has not and will not abandon the communion of the church. This is more than just semantics of course.
Is it the case that 25 years ago there existed a Diocese of Fort Worth that voluntarily joined TEC? How can that be? Were they not simply a group of churches? Did they have a bishop already? I realise that an an English Anglican I may poorly informed about such processes.
If Iker has not abandoned the jurisdiction of TEC then he should shape up and not take "pot shots" at it. He should welcome the Presiding Bishop and strengthen their ties - otherwise he is "too cute for words" and I cannot see a (presumably) macho Texan appreciating that title. He is speaking out of both sides of his mouth claiming continued loyal membership in TEC while working against the organization. He should live his words rather than lying either with his actions or with his words -- the present situation.
Is the AC really supposed to reject people like +Iker (who fit in the AC with no problem and have not torn the fabric of the communion)....for the sake of those who did and continue to reject the repeated calls of the Primates to stick to the agreed position of the AC on the presenting issues and have by those actions, caused division and chaos in the AC?
Here is what Iker said, and for which the Presiding Bishop's response is surely appropriate.
Perhaps Iker can move to become a bishop in another national Church in another part of the world? Perhaps he could establish his own Church and apply for membership of the Anglican Communion?
There were protestors galore before and at Jack Leo Iker's consecration. Nevertheless, PB Ed Browning went ahead as Chief Consecrator. Even Bishops like John S Spong consented to Jack Iker's election, stating that the Diocese of Fort Worth was free to elect a conservative who would not countenance the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.
Although TEC, i.e., the "General Convention Church", respected Fort Worth's more conservative stance, it's former, retired bishops have all left TEC, Donald Davies and Clarence Pope. The latter has now been received into the Roman Communion twice. The "broad tent" outlook of TEC has never been acceptable to the bishops and clergy of Fort Worth: their way or the highway!
"Is the AC really supposed to reject people like +Iker (who fit in the AC with no problem and have not torn the fabric of the communion)....for the sake of those who did and continue to reject the repeated calls of the Primates to stick to the agreed position of the AC on the presenting issues and have by those actions, caused division and chaos in the AC?"
NP--what would happen in the CoE if, say, the Bishop of Rochester announced that he was initiating proceedings to separate his diocese from the CoE (no matter what grounds he cited for the move) and align himself with, say, the Episcopal Church of Scotland? Think the ABC would go along with that?
Is the AC really supposed to reject people like +Iker (who fit in the AC with no problem) --NP
People who lie and misrepresent clear historical facts (Like Iker) fit right into the AC with no problem?
Yours maybe, NP. HTB's, maybe, if you say so. But not mine.
>>>he is "too cute for words" and I cannot see a (presumably) macho Texan appreciating that title.
Iker is not a Texan. He is an Ohio carpetbagger.
Lovely! Jack Iker accuses Katharine of being hostile and aggressive. Who is surprised? The second Katharine was elected, it was clear that Iker would head for the door. He who cannot abide women in the priesthood, and who seems not very comfortable with having us on the planet, will now seek oversight from his own selected primate who will never ordain women. When the faithful Episcopalians of Ft. Worth get to elect his replacement, let us pray that the new bishop of Ft. Worth will actually be faithful to the doctrine, discipline and worship of TEC. An essential part of our doctrine is that each of us, whatever our gender, race, or sexual orientation is equally beloved of God. Once we have entered the waters of Baptism, we are formed by the Holy Spirit into one family, bound together by love and committed to our Lord's mission of reconciliation in the world. An essential part of our discipline, embodied in our canons, is that no is to be denied admission to the process for ordained ministry on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Jack Iker never accepted this doctrine and refused to implement the discipline of TEC in his diocese. He appealed to the higher authority of his holy opinions about the Bible and the traditional practice of the Catholic Church to dispense himself from the doctrine and discipline of our Church. Now he abandons the communion of the Episcopal Church in favor of communion with what Tobias Haller has aptly called, "the Church of All Outdoors." He gets to select his own personal primate, and then he will attempt to transfer the assets of the Episcopal Church to the jurisdiction of his personally selected primate. And the conservatives in the Church of All Outdoors support this. Lovely!
"Simon, Iker is very clear in his denial – he has not abandoned the communion of the church. He is committed to remaining “loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them.” The crucial issue for him is that TEC is not committed to that."
This is complete and total nonsense. The phrase "as this church has received them" does not mean "as I judge this church to have received them". It means as "this church *has* received them". *This* church receives them through General Convention. *This* is the doctrine, discipline and worship to which Bp. Iker has vowed conformity. If he can no longer maintain his vow, the *only* appropriate action is to resign.
Well, they are at liberty to join another church, but TEC in those three dioceses will remain, and will continue without them.
This is getting to be as entertaining as medieval history with popes and anti-popes. I can see all sorts of confrontations between the two bishops of Ft. Worth and the two bishops of Pittsburgh. RW will be trying to make both of them think that they have found his favor by sending out obscure emails.
A simple logical case can be factually made that Bishop Iker has been tearing the fabric of our communion in TEC, ever since he was elected to Fort Worth. NP Spin to the contrary.
Iker’s refusal to moderate or qualify or contextualize his con evo dissent from women in ordained ministries tears the fabric of our communion – He will make church war the inevitable sad result of our Anglican world differences about women in ministry.
Ikers tears the fabric of our historic Anglican Communion by seeking to reframe traditional leeway and breadth of believer views, defining away breadth, mainly in exclusive favor of his own doubtful con evo bishop’s take - on doctrines and on anything else that could possible be considered important.
Such a narrow-minded realignment of traditional Anglican leeway is an outrageous and great affront to Anglican believers. Since when has the sheer essence of being Anglican involved this sort of bad behavior? Well, since the con evo realignment got up to speed, mostly. The rest of us will not agree that doctrines and confessions are weapons – but rather still believe that the weapons of the spirit (if weapons these are) are, still those luscious, edible fruits: hope, faith, love, peace, humility, and all the other virtues which are not exclusive and unique to only Anglican con evo believers or bishops.
Thus. What Iker cannot do against the rest of us, because he is only the bishop of Fort Worth, he would try to do by spin, falsehoods, and rumblings of threat and force in global Anglican church life.
Alas. Lord have mercy.
Iker falls down, precisely because he does not show us how to live across our Anglican differences. Morally, spiritually – Iker as a bishop is skating on very thin ice - if bearing false witness still matters as an item of shared public ethical life together among us Anglican believers.
If a wife suspects her husband of committing adultery, it is reasonable for her to gather evidence. If she gathers enough to take it beyond hypothesis to likely, it is reasonable for her to challenge him and warn him that adultery means divorce.
Similarly, contrary to many misogynists and sociopaths' dreams, wives are entitled to something in the property settlement when a divorce is required.
The calls of deliberately skewed meetings where parties were barred from attending or contributing means they did NOT consent, thus what followed has no authority; the contrivances and exclusionism rendered the “decrees” void.
At least in Australia, a wife is not bound to the illegal actions done by her husband, particularly if they are done without her knowledge or consent. Especially if the husband contrives to have the meetings and agreements made without her presence and, if possible, without even her knowledge.
If men want to skulk, scheme and contrive; that is their choice; but their wives are not bound to "honour" such dishonorable deceptive men.
Jeremiah 8:10 “I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners. From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.” See also Jeremiah 5:26-31 or Jeremiah 9:2-9 “…With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a trap for him. Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD…”
See also Zechariah 10:2-5, Zephaniah 1:9, Hosea 11:12 “Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One.” Thus Isaiah 30:12-16 “…the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall… that collapses suddenly, in an instant…”
Daniel 8:23-25 “…a master of intrigue, will arise… He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does… he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.”
Zechariah 4:6 to 5:4 “…‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground....”
Is this "pathological liar" Jack Iker, deemed suitable for a "Calvinist" diocese in any way connected with the mildly "high church" prelate from across the pond that I've met a couple of times?
As I understand it, my lord of Fort Worth is certainly "con," but certainly not "evo."
Whatever +Iker is (and not a bishop in TEC much longer, I'm afraid: entirely his own doing), he's not a Calvinist! ;-/
[I mean, Jean Calvin was never known to be stridently anti-WO, was he?]
Papism has been growing in the Southern U.S. (not entirely due to immigration), and I *suspect* the Vatican Church (heh: if Jack Leo can say "the General Convention Church"!) will be picking up---regrettably, from my POV---quite a few new members down Fort Worth way (when they find out they can't continue to occupy Episcopal parishes).
Lord have mercy!
Oh dear . . . another love letter! See how Episcopalians love each other by emulating their Bishops. What witness!
I sometimes get the feeling that people in Pittsburg, San Joaquin, and Ft. Worth are truly sinless. The rest of us in other TEC dioceses are garden variety sinners. We're all gay (not that being gay is bad). The uber holy in these holy dioceses (which , paradoxically, have divorced and remaried Christians who are exempt from what Jesus said about divorce) must separate themselves from the possibility of contamination. If thy do secede, I wonder if they will separate themselves again an again from other peope they deem unholy. I feel very sad for people who wish to remain in TEC who have bishops wishing to secede. In TEC it seems as though we've all been scapegoated and blamed for everything except the Kennedy assassination.
Neil Barber wrote: "This is more than just semantics of course."