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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Court's opinion and order represent an unqualified victory for the Diocese and Corporation headed by the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, which were both established in 1983. Here is the essential quote from the Court of Appeals' opinion:
It is undisputed that there is only one Corporation and only one Fort Worth Diocese, regardless of how those entities are named or characterized in the underlying suit - whether as entities, as individuals "holding themselves out" as those entities, or as individuals "associated with" one or the other Bishop. There is a single Fort Worth Diocese and Corporation, which both a majority and a minority faction claim to control. The attorneys whose authority is challenged are either authorized to represent those two entities or they are not. But the trial court has barred them from representing only the Corporation and the Fort Worth Diocese associated with the Iker Group. We are aware of no statute or common law rule allowing attorneys to prosecute a suit in the name of a corporation or other entity on behalf of only one faction or part of that corporation or entity against another part or faction....
Thus, the Court of Appeals has soundly rejected ECUSA's Machiavellian strategy.... Although ECUSA's own complaint (and motion for summary adjudication) will stand for the time being, Bishop Gulick and his five "trustees" will have all their pleadings stricken, and so will have to start from scratch. They will have to admit this time that the entities they claim to represent were newly organized in 2009, and that will undermine ECUSA's position as argued in its motion as well. So my guess is that if this decision stands (and there is every reason to expect that it will, since it is so straightforward), ECUSA will have to refile its motion for summary adjudication also. Given the appellate court's ruling as quoted above, ECUSA cannot go forward on its preferred theory that "dioceses never leave, only people do." That is why this decision is such a huge victory for Bishop Iker and the true Diocese of Fort Worth.
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