"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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bishop Iker Endorses GAFCON Statement

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker has welcomed and endorsed the concluding statement of GAFCON. The text of his statement appears in full below.

June 29, 2008

It has been a joy to participate in the GAFCON experience in Jerusalem, and I welcome and endorse the proclamation that has been issued at the conclusion of our week of deliberation and prayer.

It is a positive contribution to the future direction of the Anglican Communion, as well as a very encouraging affirmation and validation of the realignment that has been taking place in the Communion over the past few years.

We stand in solidarity with the GAFCON movement and principles, and we in Fort Worth look forward to the continuing saga of this exciting development in our life together as faithful Anglicans.

May the Lord continue to bless and guide us in the challenging days ahead of us.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

RWF resumes: This is very good news indeed. There may be a line or two of the Jerusalem Declaration that I would have tweaked a bit. (I would, for example, have made it clear that the 39 Articles will not be used against traditionalist Anglo-Catholics. I am sure they will not be, but some of my brother priests here in Fort Worth still seem concerned. Long memories here reach back to some celebrated anti-Catholic cases in mid-19th century Britain.). But the Jerusalem Declaration is a good statement, and I am very much cheered by its adoption. May the GAFCON Primates Council quickly recognize the Common Cause Partnership as the orthodox Anglican province in North America. It is time to move ahead. Enough of this bickering with TEC. There is the work of the Kingdom to be done!

God bless the good men and women of GAFCON. And a special thanks to Bishop Iker and the other leaders of our diocese who participated in this momentous event.

UPDATE: Fr. Lee Nelson of our diocese, a GAFCON participant, has a fine post on the end of the meeting and its closing statement on his photoblog.


Anonymous WannabeAnglican said...


9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, excellent that +Iker is condemning all Eastern Orthodox to hell. The Gafcon statement raises both the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Athanasian Creed to the level of "tenets of orthodoxy":

3. "We uphold the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church".

4. "We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today."

Both the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Athanasian Creed state that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Eastern Orthodox do not accept this. But, as the, now authoritative, Athanasian Creed states,those who do not hold to this belief:

"without doubt [they] shall perish everlastingly"

That is the reality of the Gafcon statement - you have officially condemned millions of Eastern Orthodox to hell. I hope +Iker is pleased.

10:21 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Please, anon, take a deep breath and relax. There is hardly a theologian of note in the West today who believes the Filioque clause means anything other than "proceeds from the Father through the Son," an idea that any EO theologian should also endorse. The old Filioque clause controversy will soon be a thing of the past--please don't try to keep it alive. Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism have the same actual beliefs about the Trinity, and the sad divisions that still persist to this day have far more to do with ethnic animosities than to theology. Hopefully the Pope and the leaders of Eastern Orthodoxy can soon make this conclusion official so folks like you can calm down!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is hardly a theologian of note in the West today who believes the Filioque clause means anything other than "proceeds from the Father through the Son," an idea that any EO theologian should also endorse."

If spoken in terms of the mission of the Holy Spirit, then most can agree. But you are sorely mistaken if you believe most Eastern Orthodox will accept "through the Son" in reference to the origin of the Holy Spirit.

You might argue that the Thirty-Nine Articles refer to the mission of the Holy Spirit. You cannot argue such with the Athanasian Creed:

"The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding."

This clearly refers to the origin of the Holy Spirit.

11:19 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

OK, anon, if you truly believe in your heart that Bishop Iker or any other of the endorsers of the Jerusalem statement were condemning Eastern Orthodox believers to Hell, then go for it. Nothing I am going to say here is going to change your opinion.

If you have read this blog for very long, then you will know that I am quite an Orthodoxophile (probably the most Othodoxophilic priest in my diocese, if I am not mistaken) but even I am absolutely certain that Bishop Iker does not believe that to be the case. I am relatively certain that none of the drafters of the statement believes that to be its effect either. Orthodox Anglicans share a common faith with the Orhtodox, and we will continue to do so.

After all, no less a personage than the Patriarch of Moscow restored relationship with the dioceses like my own after he had broken off ties with TEC a few years back, even thought the Athanasian creed is part of our CCP Theological Statement. See both




I am completely confident positive ties between Anglican dioceses like my own and the Orhtodox will continue to develop in a positive direction, and even be deepened, as a result of the Jerusalem statement. But if you think a single word in the Athanasian creed will torpedo that, then go ahead and believe it. I think that you are simply wrong about that. After all, Pope Benedict enjoys warm relations with Patriarch Bartholomew, and the Pope has not repudiated the Athanasian Creed (to my knowledge). I hope one day you can move beyond the filioque unpleasantness. I believe the rest of us are ready to do so.

God bless.

12:20 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Anon, take a look at this news from yesterday. This is how much the Athanasian creed divides the West from Eastern Orthodoxy today!


2:53 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

And just in case you doubt it still carries weight in Rome, the Athanasian creed is cited authoritatively in the Catechism just promulgated less than a decade ago. See paragraph 266, for example.

Clearly affirming the Athanasian creed does not damn the Orthodox, friends, or yesterday's events in Rome would make no sense at all!

2:58 PM  
Blogger Andy B. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Andy B. said...

The troublesome filioque clause in the Athanasian Creed is a bit more difficult than in the Nicene Creed, considering the wording seems to indicate origin, as opposed to mission, but it does not necessitate it either.

I agree that double-procession (origin) is a Christological and Triadological heresy, but I don't think the Athanasian Creed is to be understood by the Church in this way.

It doesn't mean, however, that we (especially as Anglicans who are not 'the' Church) have any authority to change what we've received. That is the very problem that necessitated GAFCON, unfortunately. As Mascall used to say, there is a difference between holding to Anglican tradition and Anglicans holding to Tradition. For Anglicans, the only option we have is to continue on with what we've been handed down until we are juridically reunited (and communion restored).

In Christ,
Andy B.

3:12 PM  
Blogger REC CHIP said...

Father Randall,

You mentioned that you hoped the 39 articles would not be used against Anglo Catholics.

What articles are you worried about. I know that when we (REC) became partners with the APA (which is Anglo Catholic) we are able to "work through" certain things. (Interpretation is important.)

Also, as to the Filioque. I hope that is not still a big deal. I certainly know that our SENIOR WARDEN leaves it out on Sunday Morning (he is originally Coptic Orthodox) but then so does the pope!!

9:16 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

REC Chip, I too believe that the 39 Articles problem can be handled. But some of my brother priests here in Fort Worth still worry.

Some Anglo-Catholics may feel a bit uncomfortable with the classically Reformed way arts. IX, XI, and XVII are put. But the provisions that really seem the most "anti-Catholic" to many of our priests here include art. XXII (which in the wrong hands could be used to stop traditional teachings on the "intermediate state," strip the images from our churches, end the presence of relics on our altars, or terminate our requests for prayers from the BVM and the other saints in Glory). Also troubling are the final paragraph of art XXV, which could be used to end not only Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament but even veneration of the consecrated host during Mass. Finally, some of my peers here hold beliefs on the Real Presence that are very similar/identical to Transubstantiation (n.b., I do not find Transubstantion a fitting way to think of a robust RP myself, but there are some here who do), therefore art. XXVIII troubles them.

I imagine that the folks who keep invoking the 39 articles in the present crisis intend them to be used only against heretics who deny the Trinity and orthodox Christology and soteriology. I doubt any of leaders of GAFCON mean to use the 39 Articles as a club to beat down faithful Anglo-Catholics. But still, the language in the these articles--without an express toleration of possibile pro-Anglo-Catholic readings--is enough to make some of us a bit nervous.

Again, I do not expect actual problems down the road. But everyone among the orthodox in North America and world-wide should know that there is talk in Fort Worth among some faithful priests of the future of orthodox Anglicanism could be restricted to its most extreme Protestant manifestation by the Jerusalem Statement. Steps need to be taken to insure that the Catholic face of Anglicanism is preserved and protected.

9:55 PM  
Blogger REC CHIP said...

Father Randall,

I think that things will work out too. (at least with the articles etc, I remain worried about what will happen about the sitution of females pretending to be ordained!!).

I just realized that two of the posters on this thread are members of the Reformed Episcopal Church (Wannabee/Newbie/Mark) and Myself (RECCHIP/Chip). To think that "two of them" (as some of my Anglo Catholic friends have called us) are right in here agreeing with you. YIKES!!(GRIN!!)

12:16 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Yes, REC Chip, it is a hopeful sign. While it is a pity that we haven't been able to get APA to sign on to full membership in CCP yet (work on them, will ya? Remind them that if they fully enter CCP they will have a significant hand in shaping the new province's policies-hint, hint, hint!), the future is looking brighter and brighter.

BTW, you may not be aware of how warm relations are between the REC and dioFW. Bishop Sutton is a frequent guest at our cathedral (he has preached and, I believe, concelebrated with Bishop Iker at our altar, and I know +Iker has preached at Holy Communion REC in Dallas). And last year I served at our altar with a deacon from the REC during Mass. Very hopeful times, indeed!

8:39 AM  
Blogger REC CHIP said...

Father Randall,

I am very much aware of the closeness of Church of the HOly Communion/Bishop Sutton and Bishop Iker/Diocese of Ft. Worth. Bishop Iker spoke during the CHC lenten series a couple of weeks before our Rector Fr. Charles Camlin. (The Church of the Holy Communion has finally, I THINK, forgiven us for calling Father Camlin away from them!!)

As to the APA, I spoke to Presiding Bishop Grundorff extensively about this and the major factor is WOMAN's ORDINATION. (It is also a big factor in REC discussions, trust me, many in the REC are equally reticent about CCP). Remember, down there in Texas, when a REC member meets a "CCP" Bishop it is usually Bishop Iker, around here it is usually Minns (CANA-women's ordination still under consideration) or Duncan (PRO-WO).

4:06 PM  

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