Thinking Anglicans

more legal moves in Fort Worth

The Diocese of Fort Worth has issued this press release:
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth files motion for a partial summary judgment in effort to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church.

Attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, and the Episcopal Church have on Sept. 3, 2009 filed a motion for a partial summary judgment in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County, Texas as a step to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church.

The defendants are former members of the Diocesan Corporation’s board of trustees and the former bishop of the diocese, all of whom have left the Episcopal Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth but continue to control significant Episcopal Church assets…

Follow the link above to find numerous related legal documents.

Earlier, the diocese had also filed a response to motions filed by attorneys for former bishop Jack L. Iker and former members of the corporation’s board. See this press release of 28 August:
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth responds to motions filed by former leadership.

The following excerpt is interesting:

As do many of those who have left the Episcopal Church, Bishop Iker continues to make inconsistent arguments about the hierarchical nature of the Episcopal Church. Just seven years ago, in 2002, he joined in challenging Bishop Jane Dixon’s authority as a bishop in a dispute in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Then he represented in a “friend of the court” brief he and former Bishop Duncan authorized to be filed in the U.S. Appellate [Court] that

1. Bishops in the Episcopal Church have limited authority,
2. General Convention leads the church,
3. Dioceses are subordinate to the General Convention,
4. The Episcopal Church is not merely a loose federation of independent dioceses, and
5. That diocesan canons cannot be inconsistent with national Church canons.

Bishop Jane Dixon prevailed, and the court, in their decision, clearly determined that the Episcopal Church was hierarchical.

All these are opposite of the positions he and others take now.

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Father Ron Smith
14 years ago

Former Bishops Jack Iker and Robbie Duncan can’t have it both ways. Either (1) TEC is a legally *hierarchical Church* (as per Iker’s evidence as a ‘friend of the court’ in the Appellate Court of 2002, or (2) his current assertion is true: that TEC is not a hierarchical Church.

Bearing false witness in a courtroom almost anywhere else in the world (except Zimbabwe) is an indictable offence. Will Iker be taken up on this manifest contradiction of his own statement by the Court? Or will he succeed in his appeal?

There can only be one answer to this.

Dallas Bob
Dallas Bob
14 years ago

Well said, Father Ron.

Unfortunately for ex-bishop Iker, he is not dealing with someone such as ABC Rowan Williams. He is dealing with independent, fair minded judges who wish to follow the law and who will not be intimidated.

14 years ago

There is *ample* precedent that, in a US legal context, The Episcopal Church is “hierarchical” as that term is used. It’s not a point that any side can reasonably deny. It has been litigated many, many times in many many jurisdictions and TEC has *always* been held to be hierarchical.

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