Comments: another Fort Worth update

I see a commenter on a conservative blog linked to the Anglican Communion website and, in turn,that site refers back to the TEC website regarding further info. Indeed the TEC site highlights the coming visit of Bp. Schori to Texas. Therefore one can assume Bp. Iker is no longer the valid Bishop and indeed a new one needs to be called.

Posted by ettu at Monday, 12 January 2009 at 9:29pm GMT

Gee whiz, Iker is showing himself in public to be quite a piece of odd work. Thank goodness God in Jesus of Nazareth seems to love all of us, odd or not. As a very odd person myself, I should know first hand. But even I dare not be odd in this clever Iker-esque manner, and expect to not be noticed, that is?

Meanwhile, common sense quickly demonstrates that Iker would surely decline to be part of any big tent TEC which was silly enough to let him join as a member. Think, Groucho Marx, then.

On meaner notes, Iker is sounding way too much like the school yard bully who huffs off telling everybody else how out of line they are for letting sissy Johnny play in the sandbox. Only to get even more upset when his departure is acknowledged and noted, and while afterwards the sandbox he reviles with such delighted disgust just goes on with sissy Johnny included as one of the sand castlers.

Is this the way fair-minded Texans? - or just even North Texans? - always play with others? Oathwise, either you accept the doctrine, discipline, and worship of TEC - or you have left, and you disagree from outside. Iker has squared all the circles, using his special conservative realignment tool box. That does not make his tools a best practice, alas.

We could just pray, Let God Sort Him Out. But then he is holding media release interviews and writing odd letters to the PB. Shades of SF Supervisor Dan White after he resigned from the board of sups. Got Milk?

Let's just keep sticking to the facts and the procedural standards so cool to the common and available TEC believer touch.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 12 January 2009 at 9:42pm GMT

It amazes me that ex-bishop Iker can simultaneously claim the Presiding Bishop has no authority to inhibit him AND that he is still a bishop of an EPISCOPAL diocese! Either he and his followers have departed for the Southern Cone or they haven't.

If they have, then he has no jurisdiction over the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (having formed and leading the Anglican Diocese thereof as part of the SC)...and he has no grounds to object to anything the PB does in regard to the Episcopal Diocese...especially in parishes that have not joined him in his trip south. If they haven't, then--obviously--he is still under the authority of the PB, who can, indeed, inhibit him for his actions at diocesan convention last year.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Monday, 12 January 2009 at 10:23pm GMT

"The Presiding Bishop had moved unilaterally to remove Bishop Iker on the basis of a press release"

But there was much more to it than that.

I find it hilarious that Mr Iker claims to be simultaneously resident in the province of the southern cone, but invoking the rules of the church he left. It's a bit rich to claim that the remaining portion of his former diocese is organizing in opposition when he can't decide with any certainty the province whose rules he's following.

I wonder what the Archbishop of Canterbury will make of this...?

Posted by kieran crichton at Monday, 12 January 2009 at 10:55pm GMT

Okay, I'm confused. Iker leaves TEC and then complains when the Presiding Bishop comes to provide care for those who chose not to leave? Is he saying that he really didn't leave or that people aren't allowed to stay with TEC?

Posted by Kevin M. at Monday, 12 January 2009 at 11:18pm GMT

Ex-Bishops of Ft. Worth have a tendency to act decidedly oddly. Bishop Davies (who confirmed me) left to found not one, but two "Continuing Churches;" Bishop Pope swam the Tiber, then swam back across the Thames, then re-swam the Tiber again, then back across the Thames, and then finally swam the Tiber once more (did I leave any river crossing out?); and now Bishop Iker appears to be under the impression that he is at one and the same time a bishop of the Episcopal Church and NOT a bishop of the Episcopal Church. It must be something in the water.

Posted by BillyD at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 12:47am GMT


I think what he's saying is that when he left, the whole diocese left, becoming part of the S. Cone. Thus (in his mind) any parish that wants to "rejoin" TEC has to first ask to leave his S.C. diocese--thereby implicitly or explicitly recognizing that the diocese was capable of leaving in the first place. And thus, further, any parish that (seeing through all this claptrap) hasn't asked permission to "leave" his diocese and "rejoin" TEC is still part of his jurisdiction and +Katherine is interfering if she visits it. One of the first thing any illegitimate government does, I suspect, is to require / persuade / trick anyone it can into recognizing its legitimacy. If Fort Worth were a country, Jack Leo would have duplicate ambassadors at the U.N. and would be posting a self-congratulatory note on his web-site every time one of them got out of a parking ticket by claiming diplomatic immunity.

Posted by 4 May 1535+ at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 1:30am GMT

There is method to Iker's madness: he wants to hang on to the name "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" so that he can hang on to the property.

Posted by JPM at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 2:16am GMT

Iker was deposed based on his own actions and statements abandoning TEC for the Southern Cone - not on the basis of his beliefs. I can't imagine why the Archbishop of Canterbury or other Primates of other Provinces of the Anglican Communion (NOT the Angican Church, there being no such entity)would want to insert themselves into the internal polity of a sister church. Perhaps he has litigation strategy in mind.

I have had people from his former Diocese come to my church and pour out their hearts of the pain their parishes are suffering because of his hostile, manipulative (and some would say delusional) behavior. Pray for them.

Posted by Kahu Aloha at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 3:53am GMT

The instrument hasn't been invented that can measure how little I care what non-Episcopalian right wingers think of the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Iker seems not to have contemplated that his actions made it easy for a female Presiding Bishop to celebrate the Eucharist in Fort Worth.

This is truly delicious irony!

Posted by Dallas Bob at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 4:56am GMT

With a client like Bishop Iker, the lawyers must be rubbing their hands together with glee. You can just imagine them saying, We've got a right one here and there will be no recession for us."

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 5:29am GMT

Jack The Lad has certainly excelled himself here -in his decision to assume that he has any authority over the TEC Diocese of Fort Worth. His memory must be very short. He actually opted out of any relationship to the TEC Diocese that the PB has announced that she will be visiting as part of her oversight of that Diocese, shortly.

Playing silly beggars will not enhance Mr.Iker's credit in the world-wide Anglican Communion, which he has already besmirched by his plea for 'sanctuary' in the torrid zone of the Southern Cone. Perhaps the sooner Jack and his cohorts depart for the Tropics, the better for all concerned. His incivility to the Presiding Bishop of TEC will only cause him greater problems if he ever wants to return to TEC.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 8:11am GMT

That's probably it, JPM -- just "follow the money," as is said...

Posted by Peter of Westminster at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 10:50am GMT

JPM is probably right. But as the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is entirely a creation of TEC (having been formed and accepted as a diocese by the national church by splitting off from an existing diocese), any decent jurist would look at him and say "You cannot claim ownership of that which you never owned in the first place."

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 11:32am GMT

"Bishop Iker appears to be under the impression that he is at one and the same time a bishop of the Episcopal Church and NOT a bishop of the Episcopal Church."

Sounds like particle physics, to me. You can calculate Iker's speed, but not his mass; you can calculate his mass [Mass?] but not his speed.

Or maybe he's like the famous cat in whosis' box ...

[You can tell I was an English major!]

Both he and Mr. Duncan seem to the on the delusional edge of the spinners and splitters, whereas Minns and Akinola seem to have their eyes firmly on the financial prize.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 1:19pm GMT

Time for a song:

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 1:46pm GMT

"Sounds like particle physics, to me. You can calculate Iker's speed, but not his mass; you can calculate his mass [Mass?] but not his speed."


Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 3:45pm GMT

You don't get it do you...four years of legal fighting , allow them to have four years of rent free accomodation and churches.

Its cheaper to put on a legal facade than make a clean break.

And with retrogade hanging - electrocuting Texas judges it could take even longer.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 7:26pm GMT

Thanks for the particle physics clues. If I am not observing Iker trees in the forest, do they still fall down, roots up in a drought or a mudslide?

The God who made cats and dogs who chase their tails on sunny afternoons surely has a hand in Iker and Company or (Duncan and Company). That is my Intelligent Design theory of the departed FW diocese of the SC.

I believer Sarah Hey at Standfirm blog loves to say: He/she hit the bottom of the hole, and kept digging. Ditto, for Iker this round.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 9:13pm GMT

4 May,
I'm afraid it doesn't work that way. The Diocese of Ft. Worth has not left. The bishop and the standing committee (along with many of the clergy and laypeople) have left, essentially abandoning the flock. Therefore, there is no bishop (or other ecclesiastical authority) in the diocese to object to the PB's visit for the special convention to elect a new ecclesiastical authority.

As for Iker, he's now with the Coneheads but claims to minister within the bounds of an Episcopal diocese which he abandoned. This whole "diocese" of Ft. Worth (So. Cone) not only has no legitimacy according the TEC's constitution or canons but also has no legitimacy according to the constitution of the So. Cone, which does not allow for dioceses outside of the geographic area specified. Of course, what are rules to the truly orthodox? I can imagine the scenario now. An interviewer (let's call him Frost) interviews Venables:

Frost: "Are you saying that the head of the Southern Cone can do something ecclesiastically illegal?"
Venables: "What I'm saying is that when the head of the Southern Cone does it, it's not illegal."

Posted by Kevin M at Tuesday, 13 January 2009 at 10:32pm GMT

What's even funnier is that +Iker's 'diocese' removed their canon detailing Fort Worth's geographical area; i.e. he deliberately created a diocese without borders. So why he's only now whining at the PB for entering his 'diocese' I'm not too sure - she's in his fantasy 'diocese' just sitting in her office. Heck, we're probably ALL in +Iker's 'diocese'! :-)

Posted by MJ at Wednesday, 14 January 2009 at 12:48am GMT

"four years of legal fighting , allow them to have four years of rent free accomodation and churches."

Four years of rent, Robert Ian Williams, would pay the legal bills for a week. It's not cheaper at all. Part of the prize they're after is the buildings and contents; part of it will be sizeable investments (unless they invested with Bernard Madoff); part of it is the hope of wounding the Episcopal Church. They want to exact a pound of flesh from Bishop Schori, cost be damned. The trouble for them is that the cost of the unsuccessful lawsuits is going to come back to bite them.

Posted by Nom de Plume at Wednesday, 14 January 2009 at 12:55pm GMT

Iker: "Le Diocise, c'est MOI!"

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Wednesday, 14 January 2009 at 2:47pm GMT


No need to be afraid on my account--as I said, his position is claptrap. I was just trying to work out what he thinks he's saying. In so far as he's not just delusional, he wants to create a situation in which any response can be construed as recognition of his claims.

Posted by 4 May 1535+ at Wednesday, 14 January 2009 at 8:31pm GMT

If a franchise of Macdonalds declared UDI from the Corporation, would it take as long to bring them to justice. The US Legal system seems very slow. Could some one say how long they think these Diocesan cases will take?

By the way its interesting to see Matt Kennedy
(Binghampton church case) playing to the gallery as his family and congregation face eviction. Yet he knew exactly what he was doing when he chose to be ordained in a liberal denomination. Interesting to see he has a wife who is ordained an Anglican priest... a revisionist vis-a-vis St Paul on women but not on gays!

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Wednesday, 14 January 2009 at 10:09pm GMT

"The US Legal system seems very slow. Could some one say how long they think these Diocesan cases will take?"

Yes, it is. The thing is, each case must originate in a local jurisdiction, then work its way by appeals up the system. State laws vary from each other, so that a ruling in one state in favor of TEC does not make a similar ruling in another inevitable.

The Virginia cases are complicated by a law enacted in Virginia in the wake of the Civil War to help non-hierarcical churches which actually split over slavery/the war to allocate their property. Its applicability to a hierarcical church that did NOT formally split during the civil war is very much in question.

That said, "Bleak House" and Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce came from y'all's side of the pond!

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 15 January 2009 at 12:55pm GMT
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