Monday, September 10, 2007

Fort Worth Via Media Responds to Bishop Iker

A response from Fort Worth Via Media concerning Bishop Jack Iker’s statement about the “Episcopalians for the Future” forum held in Fort Worth on September 8, 2007.

We regret that Bishop Iker chose to respond to our event, “Episcopalians for the Future,” with an angry letter of protest posted on the diocesan web site Saturday evening. Sadly, however, we are not surprised, as this has been the pattern of response of our diocesan leadership to any move by the laity to get organized and informed ever since Bp. Iker became bishop coadjutor and then diocesan bishop. In his view, disagreement is disobedience and disrespect. Our diocesan leadership always moves quickly to try to suppress any sign of dissent with intimidation, public shaming, and misinformation.

The bishop’s statement is only the latest example of this. Even though we did not need his permission to invite Bonnie Anderson to Fort Worth, and she did not need his permission to come, as a courtesy we informed him in mid-July of the meeting and invited him to attend. He thanked us for the invitation but declined because he had an ordination on that date. He made no objection to the event at that time.

We also want to emphasize that, contrary to the bishop’s statement, Fort Worth Via Media has never claimed that we “alone are the true ‘loyal Episcopalians‘ here in Fort Worth.” We know there are many loyal Episcopalians in Fort Worth, indeed, many times more than were at our meeting.

We also find some irony in his concern about the protocols and polity of “The Episcopal Church.” After disregarding protocol and polity to call for alternative primatial oversight after the new Presiding Bishop was legitimately elected in accordance with the procedures of the Church, and stating that she is not welcome in this diocese, and after stating that he is out of communion with anyone who had anything to do with the election and consecration of Gene Robinson, and after attending the consecrations in Africa of US priests to minister to Episcopalians in America, we find his sudden concern about protocol and polity surprising.

After enduring years of his constant denigration of The Episcopal Church – the most current example his references to The Episcopal Church in recent statements as “the General Convention Church” -- we find his complaint that we failed to be reconciling rings hollow.

Neither Bonnie Anderson nor Fort Worth Via Media is the entity that has “sought to further divide the people of this diocese rather than to promote reconciliation.” It is the unyielding demands of our leadership that everyone in the diocese conform to “the stated theological positions of this diocese” and their complete refusal to allow a loyal opposition to function that has led to the divisions here. What they want is capitulation. We are working for reconciliation.

The Executive Committee of
Fort Worth Via Media
Contact: George Komechak, 817-229-7257

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