Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Fort Worth correspondence

Bishop Jack Iker has today issued a Memo to All Diocesan Clergy.

In recent days I understand that all of you have received two threatening letters from representatives of the rump diocese. The first is a letter from The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., the Bishop of Kentucky, in a capacity he claims as the “Provisional Bishop” of the rump diocese, threatening to inhibit and then depose you if you do not recognize his authority over you as your bishop. The second is a letter from Jonathan Nelson, legal counsel for the Gulick-led group, addressed to our vestries, treasurers, and finance committee members, as well as to all our vicars and rectors. It too is meant to intimidate and control us. It is the preliminary notification that will lead to additional lawsuits to be brought against us by The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (PECUSA). Both of these letters are now in the hands of our attorneys, and they will be responding on our behalf. There is nothing you need to do at this point in time. We are no longer members of PECUSA and are not subject to their discipline. It is indeed regrettable that they find it necessary to engage in such harsh, uncharitable tactics, rather than enter into negotiation…

The documents to which this responds are appended as PDF files:
Letter to clergy
Letter to churches
They were reported on by the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in this news release, dated 29 May.

And there are two further documents published today by Bishop Iker:
Litigation Perspective
Archbishop Venables writes to the diocesan clergy

Earlier in the month, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth had issued this formal response to a document filed in court on 8 May by the lawyers for Bishop Iker.

Read about it at The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth files response to motion to dismiss suit to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 11:14pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

Bp. Iker certainly has a mouth on him, doesn't he? Fulminations and threats and talk of 'rump dioceses.' "We are no longer members of PECUSA..." Of course, he won't use the right name of TEC. And no, you are not, so, Bp. Iker, as one of my Great Aunts used to say, "Mind your own beeswax!" Or as younger people might say, "Get a life. Somewhere else."
And as someone even younger might say. "LOL. Get a life!"

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 12:38am BST

The Rump calls the Head, "the rump": this is beyond parody, even for me.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 3:25am BST

Cynthia, TEC is no more correct than PECUSA. Check out the Constitution. "The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, otherwise known as The Episcopal Church (which name is hereby recognized as also designating the Church)..." As a matter of fact, there are plenty who think the name TEC is a bit of chauvinistic over-reaching, given that other Churches also use the word "Episcopal" in their names. It's like my alma mater UT Austin's adoption of the nickname The University, but without the intentional irony.


"The Rump calls the Head, "the rump": this is beyond parody, even for me."

Only if you want to be catty about it, JCF. Bishop Iker is using the word correctly to mean "remnant," as it is used in the phrase "Rump Parliament." It's got nothing to do with rear ends.

+Iker is not my favorite bishop, and the old Diocese of Ft Worth wasn't my favorite part of PECUSA, but there's plenty to fault them with without looking for offense in their use of names and terminology.

Posted by: BillyD on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 1:11pm BST

and who is "Archbishop " Venables.We have Archbishop Duncan too....these rather low church anglican clerics seem to be addicted to rather grandiose titles given the size of their flocks!

Posted by: Perry Butler on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 4:01pm BST

Actually, I liked the fact that Bishop Iker spoke of the "rump diocese." It is a implicit acknowledgement that this is the group with diocesan history, and that his group is the new creature.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 7:42pm BST

Perhaps I should have said that Iker doesn't have the courtesy to use the designation for TEC that is uses of itself. At least he didn't call it 'the General Convention church.'

As for "The University," here in the Commonwealth we Episcopalians speak of a properly educated priest as having attended "The University" [University of Virginia] and "The Seminary" [Virginia Theological Seminary, aka 'The Holy Hill'].

Not being a native Virginian, I do find this faintly amusing.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 8:43pm BST

"At the last Primates' Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, there was clear agreement that you and your bishop are fully members of the Anglican Communion" - Greg Venables. Dio. S. Cono. -

Abp Venables, like former Bishop Iker, has surely mistaken the fact that neither the Primates' Council nor the Lambeth Conference have yet accepted ACNA 'Bishops' of the new ghost province (in its new constituency) as 'Fully members of the Anglican Communion'.

For Bp Iker to refer to the loyal Diocese of TEC, located in Pennsylvania, as the 'rump diocese' is nothing less than a calculated insult to the Church that formerly accepted his oversight as local bishop. His behaviour since that time has caused his dismissal from the episcopal ranks of TEC, and therefore rendering him 'persona non grata' in his former diocese.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 10:10pm BST

Bishop Iker signed the ACNA constitution with its affirmation of the 39 articles.....but earlier in the month he was offering what he belives is Benediction at the Anglo-catholic shrine in Walsingham,. I wouldn't like to be in a Court of Law with him.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 11:19pm BST

"At least he didn't call it 'the General Convention church.'"

Or TEO - The Episcopal Organization. I've seen that on some of the nastier sites.

Posted by: BillyD on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 11:38pm BST

"As a matter of fact, there are plenty who think the name TEC is a bit of chauvinistic over-reaching, given that other Churches also use the word "Episcopal" in their names."

But the Episcopal Church in the United States, Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe WON"T FIT ON MOST CHURCH SIGNS

Posted by: whb on Thursday, 2 July 2009 at 8:43am BST

whb -

I've read other such arguments for the use of the name TEC, and they seem like so much pretending that PECUSA is not primarily a US entity, in which US citizens and residents hold a controlling interest. Not only is it not true (EVEN IN ALL CAPS), but our presence in those other countries (with the exception of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe) isn't designed to be some permanent enterprise; if the Anglicans in those areas were able and willing to become autonomous, we wouldn't object.

PECUSA/ECUSA are more honest names, but only because DFMSPECUSA is a little long.

Posted by: BillyD on Thursday, 2 July 2009 at 2:06pm BST

"The litigation that The Episcopal Church has filed in Tarrant County needs to be put in
proper perspective for your understanding and to obtain a sense of peace in your heart. First, the litigation is contrary to First Corinthians 6: 1-7. Thus, God is not the author of the suit although He has allowed it to happen". -
- Jack Iker, former TEC Bp. in Fort Worth -

It is natural for former Bishop Jack Iker to speak thus of litigation instigated by his former constituency in TEC. However, in quoting the Bible to back up his opinion on the place of litigation in Christian property issues, he needs to remember that his newly-found friends in ACNA have also instigated litigation in very similar circumstances - but against TEC. How does he square his use of Scripture to cover that particular activity? Or does God have a different programme for would-be schismatics?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 2 July 2009 at 7:16pm BST

i like PECUSA..why be ashamed of the word Protestant? Was not Anglicanism formulated by men protesting the hegemony of the Church of Rome?

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 3 July 2009 at 6:30am BST

Gee, Iker upset about perceived scorn, intimidation, and trash talk from his own Jerry Springer heights as a conservative reformist? This whole trope is beyond irony. The more interesting question to me is, Who is Iker's audience? What rung of the grandstands is Iker playing to? I would say one audience is the sidelines media watching all the diocesan struggles. Yet, then, all Iker would be doing is tossing a misleading red herring trope into media perceptions of a controversy that will probably be eventually settled to great extent in a court of civil law, as have the others of similar dudgeon. Is Iker expecting the harried FWD media to lack time to read the precedent cases and rulings, and draw inferential contexts?

Or, maybe Ike just lost his considerable temper? With reassuring letters like this, who needs, what?

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 4 July 2009 at 6:09pm BST
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