Today, the former bishop of Fort Worth issued this statement.
DI O C E S E RE L E A S E S FO U R PA R I S H E S
FORT WORTH, Texas – In a hearing Monday, Feb. 2, the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth took action under diocesan Canon 32 to release the property and assets of four parishes from the Corporation of the diocese. The rectors and elected wardens of the four parishes were notified of the hearing and invited to attend.
The property of Trinity Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, Southlake, has been transferred into the name of the Rectors and Wardens of those parishes, respectively. The property of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Stephenville, will be transferred upon removal of financial encumberances in the form of building loans currently in the name of the Corporation.
As required by Canon 32, the Bishop’s Orders were issued upon determination that the Vestry and Rector in each of the four parishes has expressed an intention to remain in union with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (USA), and that significant majorities of the congregations are in support of that intention. “It is my order, therefore,” the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker wrote to each, “that the relationship between this diocese” and each of these churches “is hereby dissolved. It is no longer in union with the Convention of this diocese and is released from its obligations as a member congregation.”
In a cover letter, Bishop Iker concluded, “Please know of my continued prayers and best wishes to you and all the other people at [these churches] in the years ahead.” The letters and Bishop’s Orders were delivered by mail this week.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was organized in 1982. It is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion and the Province of the Southern Cone. 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.
The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians issued this response:
The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians is very pleased that Bishop Jack Iker has stated his intentions not to assert any claims to and authority over the people and property of these four Episcopal parishes. We are pleased that Bp. Iker has formally acknowledged that he is no longer their bishop and has no authority over them and that they are not part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
Bp. Iker is no longer the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth because he left the Episcopal Church and has renounced his ministry in the Episcopal Church. Because he did that, Bishop Iker has not been the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth for some time. He had no authority to initiate a Canon 32 proceeding.
Because he and other diocesan leaders have left the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the diocese will elect a new bishop and select other diocesan leaders at a special meeting of the convention of the diocese this weekend.
We continue to hold Bishop and Mrs. Iker in our prayers.
You know, I suspose this is a good sign. Maybe some tiny bits of reality are seeping through. But I'm not optimistic. Jack Iker has a whole lot of people inhabiting his delusion with him and they are constantly reinforcing one another in that delusion.