"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bishop Iker Seeks Clarity From Newpaper

A letter to a writer for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram from Bishop Iker was posted on the diocesan web site today. It provides some clarity about what "alternative primatial oversight" may mean. The text reads:

Bishop Iker has sent the following message to reporter David Michael Cohen:

Your article "Diocese Votes to Leave Church" is seriously in error. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has made no such decision. That decision could only be made by the Annual Convention of the Diocese which meets in November.

We have asked for the alternative oversight and pastoral care of an orthodox primate of the Anglican Communion, but this is a pastoral arrangement, not a legal one, and the request has been made in full accord with official church procedures.

Our Diocese is still a full member of The Episcopal Church, and I would appreciate a retraction and correction in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. You have misinformed your readers.

Thank you.
The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker

UPDATE: The Star-Telegram still doesn't get it!

Bishop Iker's efforts to get a proper retraction and clarification from the newspaper that published the erroneous story did not get the results he wanted. In their "correction" there is not one word about the important distinction between "legal" and "pastoral" oversight the bishop highlighted in his letter. Here is what came out in the little-noticed "corrections and clarifications" section of the paper in response to Bishop Iker's letter:

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is seeking to align itself with an Anglican primate other than the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. The proposed shift was mischaracterized Wednesday in the headline for an article about the diocese.


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