Under Canon 32, Bishop Iker meets with members of All Saints’, Fort Worth

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Thursday, Jan 22, the Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, conducted a hearing under diocesan Canon 32 with members of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. Parishioners were invited to the meeting in a Jan. 12 pastoral letter. The meeting was held in the parish hall of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Apostles because, as Bishop Iker’s letter explained, parish attorney Frank Hill had sent a letter on Dec. 31 warning the Bishop not to “trespass on All Saints’ property.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

12 Comments
Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Words Matter wrote:

This is meant kindly: why weren’t things like this hashed out before between the first and second council meetings? It seems like a whole year would be enough to set out procedures and protocols by which parishes could make decisions before the formal split. I think most people assumed All Saints would stay in TEC, but was there a process by which the parish could democratically decide that and settle their business with the bishop and the diocese amicably? If not, why not? My understanding is that Bp. Iker made clear that parishes choosing to stay were free to do so, but by what process was such a choice made?

January 27, 3:50 am | [comment link]
2. Brian from T19 wrote:

I’m really trying to understand the logic of this. Please tell me if this is the reasoning on the part of the Bishop:

-The Diocese of Fort Worth is the true representative of the Anglican Communion for its geographical jurisdiction.
-A change of Provincial affiliation has no effect on the Dioceses jurisdiction.
-The canons of the Diocese trump the canons of the Province and are controlling in all matters relating to the parishes in the Diocese
-TEC as a Province (and by extension, the Southern Cone as a Province) has no authority or say in what happens at the Diocesan level as long as the Diocese follows its own canons
-All authority, spiritual and temporal, lies at the level of Diocesan Bishop.
-Any accession to a Province by a Diocese can be made or revoked at any time.

Is this the argument being put forth by +Iker?  And, if so, do all of the former TEC bishops hold this view?

Thanks

Brian

January 27, 4:29 am | [comment link]
3. D. C. Toedt wrote:

Congratulations to the All Saints rector for refusing to allow his former bishop to purport to exercise episcopal authority; would that every Fort Worth rector had done likewise.

January 27, 4:51 am | [comment link]
4. Katherine wrote:

Words Matter, it is my understanding that Canon 32 is that process.  Passed by the diocesan convention the year before the diocese left TEC, it provides for parishes which dissent from the diocese’s affiliation to leave the diocese on a 2/3 vote of the membership.  All Saints has not only not had such a vote, but the rector has aggressively worked to prevent even a discussion of the question.  Reports are that he has preemptively thrown people who want to stay with the diocese out of the parish. Four of seven of All Saints’ representatives to the diocesan convention voted to leave TEC.  This indicates a strong feeling among the parish membership.  Surely taking some time to talk it out and let people make their own decisions was called for.

January 27, 6:08 am | [comment link]
5. William P. Sulik wrote:

...forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others…

January 27, 8:05 am | [comment link]
6. Creighton+ wrote:

I am not surprised by the comments about.  The Rector is exceeding his authority as a priest.  Failure to see this simply exacerbates the situation.  As far as the question, “Why wasn’t this done in advance?”  The presumption is that it wasn’t.  While I know no more than the person who posed the question, I doubt that effort were not made to address the matter.  Bishop Iker is nothing if not competent.  Rebelliousness is in the eyes of the beholder.  For those who see Bishop Iker’s actions as illegal, no explanation will suffice.  But let me point out, that the Rector seems afraid to allow open discussion with Bishop Iker present.  If one is confident in their position and their argument, then open discussion only brings clarification.  If the Church does not support the vision of the Rector, the Rector needs to accept this and step down.  This applies to all Priest no matter what their theological understanding.  This Rector is acting more like a tyrant than pastor.  May God have mercy on everyone involved and may the Spirit of Christ grant wisdom for all in the difficult days ahead.

January 27, 8:45 am | [comment link]
7. Henry wrote:

The Diocese has given every parish the opportunity to vote to leave with ALL property and possessions in tact, through Canon 32.  TEc will NOT allow the parishes to vote in any way, shape, or form.  Also, Jambor+ knows he does not have the 2/3 majority….if even a simple majority!  He has forced 1 priest and 1 lay Youth Minister to resign, along with 4 former vestry members, because they refused to sign a loyalty oath.  He also would not allow anyone to run for vestry or delegate this year unless they signed the oath.  Long time (3 generation) members were not allowed access to the annual meeting.  Lots of “new” faces appeared who were allowed in and to vote.  No questioning was allowed by those who opposed the rector, and finally, about 100 folks walked out!  Things are getting ugly, but it’s not because of +Iker—he is trying to follow the canons and allow for the parish vote.

January 27, 11:58 am | [comment link]
8. Bill C wrote:

DC:  “Congratulations to the All Saints rector for refusing to allow his former bishop to purport to exercise episcopal authority; would that every Fort Worth rector had done likewise.”

Shame ...Shame on the All Saints rector for treating his congregation in this draconian and dictatorial fashion.  I may be wrong but I have never, ever heard of an orthodox parish or diocese treat their congregants in the manner Jambor+ has.  Is he so intent on maintaining an iron grip on the building that he cares nothing for the pain he has caused the majority of those under his pastoral care?

January 27, 1:15 pm | [comment link]
9. Words Matter wrote:

This is interesting. Thank you, Katherine and others for the information.

My knowledge of the parish is out-of-date, but it is probably the richest parish in Fort Worth, situated in a upper-middle to upper-class part of town. Near neighbors include the billionaire Basses and the wealthy enclave of Westover Hills.  All Saints was at one time the cathedral of the diocese, but resigned that designation when Bishop Pope became involved in the ESA, which evolved into FIF/NA.  At least a couple of the voices criticizing Bp. Iker in the local paper are parishioners of All Saints.  All of which is why I’m surprised the parish isn’t loyal to TEC at this time.

It’s noticeable, moreover, that the most liberal parish in town, Trinity, doesn’t seem mired in this problem, though perhaps that just hasn’t surfaced yet.

January 27, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
10. Henry wrote:

#9—You have not heard much about Trinity precisely because they are not split, as a whole.  There are a few there who will leave with the diocese, but the majority will stay with TEc.  I believe if the button pushers and string pullers at TEc would allow them to, Trinity would have already had a parish vote and this would be settled for them.  I wish All Saints was so simple—to big a split, so no way to know without a vote.

January 27, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
11. taz wrote:

The Diocese and the parish leasership should try to find some way to fairly determine the will o fthe parishoners.  It is probably too late to do so, still the effot should be made.  The dithering about canons, legal , and political stratgems are all abou real estate furnishings and trust funds.  None of which have any meaning without the people.  Unless there is a substantial majority of the parishoners (80%-90%) wanting to go withthe dioces, I would advise the Bishop to let the parish go its own way, and make provision to receive those who want to go with the diocese.

January 28, 8:50 am | [comment link]
12. HumbleServant4J wrote:

All Saints is not split.  Only 9 percent of parish attended Bishop Iker’s canon 32 meeting.  A week later every motion by the Iker followers were easily defeated.  In our discernment only 17 percent of those that responded said they wanted to follow Iker.

January 29, 11:50 pm | [comment link]
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