"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, November 24, 2008

Dio. Fort Worth Rejects PB Schori's "Inhibition" of Bishop Iker

A Press Release from the Diocese of Fort Worth:

Fort Worth, Texas: A letter of inhibition and supporting documents were issued Friday, Nov. 21, from the office of Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, to the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth. However the inhibition is of no force or effect, since the Bishop and Diocese, meeting in annual convention, constitutionally realigned with another province of the Anglican Communion on Saturday, Nov. 15, and are now constituent members of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Documents to this effect have been made public. Consequently, this attempted inhibition will not deter the Bishop from the continuance of his ministry.

Two responses are being issued at this time.

From Bishop Iker:

Katharine Jefferts Schori has no authority over me or my ministry as a Bishop in the Church of God. She never has, and she never will.Since November 15, 2008, both the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and I as the Diocesan Bishop have been members of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. As a result, canonical declarations of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church pertaining to us are irrelevant and of no consequence.

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

From the Standing Committee:

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is a member of the Province of the Southern Cone as of November 15, 2008. Bishop Iker is a member in good standing of the House of Bishops of the Province of the Southern Cone. We wonder by what authority the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States presumes to inhibit a bishop of the Province of the Southern Cone. We do not recognize the authority of the Presiding Bishop over us. We regret this illegal, unconstitutional, and uncanonical attempt to interfere with the rights and ministry of a diocese of another province of the Anglican Communion. We call upon her to desist from any further actions in our diocese and that she refrain from any further border crossing.

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Hightower
President, Standing Committee

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth consists of 56 congregations. The major cities in the diocese include Fort Worth, Arlington, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Wichita Falls, Grand Prairie, Richland Hills, Brownwood, and Stephenville, Texas. The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker has served as the third Diocesan Bishop of Fort Worth since 1995. The diocese enjoys companion relationships with the Dioceses of Northern Malawi and Northern Mexico.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, why didn't Bishop Iker resign as a bishop with TEC? Since he didn't bother, just like any company, procedures must take place to remove the employee from the company's roles. That's all this is and I don't understand why anyone would be up in arms about it. It makes no sense.

Let's say Mr. Iker works for IBM. He has a good long employment there but becomes unhappy with management and the direction of the company. He continues to work for IBM but is openly negative about the company and any management or employees that like IBM, are happy there. Finally, he takes a job with Apple. It's a much better fit..he agrees with the managment and the company philosphy.

He just leaves one day and never formally gives a resignation to IBM.

IBM isn't going away just because Mr. Iker leaves. They still have work to do and employees to take care of. IBM needs to replace his important position so they must take the necessary steps to do so. There is paperwork to fill out and ends to tie up. This must done before a replacement can be found.

Mr. Iker can't believe that IBM would do this? He tells them they can't do anything to him as he now works for Apple.

So one wonders, does Mr. Iker just think IBM will go away without him? He is so important that life will not go on at IBM? Jobs won't get done, employees don't matter and product won't ship because he's gone???

Uh, I don't think so.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Tregonsee said...


Your analogy is fatally flawed.

+Iker is not an employee of TEC, but more like the CEO and primary stockholder of one of a group of independent businesses which have voluntarily agreed to work together. When the business climate changes, since the association is voluntary, he and it have the freedom to associate with other groups.


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no flaw. When he applied to IBM, he agreed to their company policies (he took an oath when he was ordained). The FW IBM location was under the parent company in New York. The parent company supported the FW location, provided training, advertising, contacts among other things. The parent company could choose to close the FW location but not vice versa. The FW location knew the groundrules when it was established and agreed to them.

Analogy aside, the FW diocese asked to be admitted to the union and agreed to follow canon laws in order to gain admission. The diocese was established for faithful Episcopalians. It continues to exist.

Perhaps a man's word is only as good as the man. That is the flaw.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous daniel said...

Anon, your analogy is absolutely correct. You nailed it. In the business world, what Iker has done is equivalent to "job abandonment", essentially. His former employer must move on, and of course deal with the administrative details that you have described in order to document the separation according to its policies. Strange, though, how the former employee is still concerned about how the former employer chooses to administer its policies, even after the employment relationship has ended.

...and yes, if you don't want to look at this in terms of the employee / employer analogy (which is the best one, but whatever), you could just as easily apply a contractor / contractee, vendor / client, or other real-world business relationship analogy here.

12:49 PM  
Blogger John said...


There is nothing analogous between the business of the Church and the business of a corporation.

Unless of course your mentality is that of a corporatist.

It is not as if he is contracted to protect 'trade' secrets... well ok Schori and co. are all gnostics but that is beside the point.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like it or not, the Church operates as a business. Obviously, its "product" is unique. If it were not operating as a business, we would not be having any issues.

There would be no assets, no bank accounts, no paid employees, no utility bills, no loans, no mortgages and no properties to fuss over.

It is a business. I've read time and time again from both sides how we understand and have respect for how each other chooses to believe. No one seems to dispute that. There have been plenty of healthy debates and plenty of not so healthy ones but in the end, people do have a choice and will make the one they feel is right.

It is the business that keeps this going - the assets, the properties, the money.

If it's not a business, the Iker and all the people who do not wish to be Episcopalian (with a capital E) can leave, start their own business and leave us be.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous daniel said...

John says: "There is nothing analogous between the business of the Church and the business of a corporation."

You really believe that, John? Really? Well, I beg to differ. Anon is absolutely right in his comparison.

I guess you probably haven't worked in the business world, based on your comments, but:

Diocesean Canons = Corporate Policy & Standard Operating Procedures

Diocesean (and Parish-level) Budgeting Process = Corporate budgeting process

Diocesean Standing Committee & Executive Committee = Corporate Board of Directors and similar corporate governing bodies

Diocesean Bishop's position = Corporate subsidiary President's position

I could go on and on.

Anon is right about the "product" being different, but the processes and structures are quite similar. So this is a very fair and accurate analogy to make.

4:07 PM  
Blogger John said...

No need to go on.

You have proved my point much better than I could have myself.

You never mentioned Jesus one time.
Imagine that.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You didn't mention Jesus either.

Jesus has been foremost in my thoughts during this mess. I wonder what he would say about it. I wonder what he would think of how demeaning we have been to one another. About the one upmanship that has gone on these blogs, at our church's, at convention. The holier than thou attitudes.

The smart remarks, the time we've all spent with this as our focus.


HIS "business" was pure. He didn't need a building, vestments, a special chalice, a funny hat, a stole, or a pew. He just needed the people.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous daniel said...

Well said, anon.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Andy T said...

Anon... Jesus didnt need the people... the people needed HIM and still do. That is what has become of TEC and YOU. You throw away the bible (specifically Titus) and tell the world you can pick and choose and that you will meld Jesus to your belief systems. Jesus put conditions on our faith as it has been upheld by the Deposit of the Apostolic Succession. Business, Smizzness... this is about The Word... and your heresy. By the way... why do you hide behind ANON?

9:53 AM  

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