If you can't read the letter below, you can find it here. Or click on the letter. When a friend first read it to me over the phone, I thought it was a joke someone had posted on the 'net, a parody of a letter.
But no, as near as I can discern, it's for real, although it reads like something written by someone channeling Lewis Carroll.
But oh, why not.
First of all, Jack Iker is no longer the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. He AND the Standing Committee all very publicly left the Episcopal Church. So it does not matter one teeny bitty bit bit that they haven't invited the presiding bishop here.
It's like a neighbor of mine used to say, "If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."
Jack Iker is no longer a person of some influence.
He and the former members of the Standing Committee have no authority over Episcopalians OR their dogs any more. This letter is one more meaningless act by irrelevant people who apparently aren't sure exactly what church they are members of.
For instance, after having left the Episcopal Church in November, Iker cites the Episcopal Church's own Canons in his scolding of the presiding bishop for "boundary crossing." Uh, Jack, that's just laughable.
As to the claim of a "rival" diocese being created, let me say this one more time, very slowly.
We are not creating a "new" or a "rival" diocese. We ARE the diocese. You left. We did not.
Then there is the whole paragraph taking Bishop Katharine to task for an uncanonical invasion of "his" diocese and asking her to "reflect" on how she responded "to such a visit to your own Province from a fellow last year." That would be Gregory Venables' visit to Fort Worth.
Does Iker not realize that in characterizing Venables' visit last year as "such a visit to your own Province from a fellow primate last year," he is admitting that Venables' visit was uncanonical? That he and Venables, unlike the Episcopal Church, conspired to violate one of the sacred Windsor Report recommendation?
No, he does not, because as my friend Mollie Ivins once famously said of George W. Bush, if you put his brain in a bee, it would fly backwards.
Now he is accurate that "Actions contemplated by some people in Fort Worth are profoundly uncanonical," but those "some people" would be Iker and the former members of the Standing Committee.
I mean, Iker even violates the illegal canons he and his followers came up with in their effort to make their illegal actions appear legal. His own specially crafted Canon 32 sets in place a process that is to be initiated by petition from a rector and the vestry.
Instead, Iker himself is invoking "Canon 32" proceedings against All Saints and St.Christopher, just as he did Christ the King. They are, of course, ignoring him, as they would any letter from a delusional crank.
He then laments that these uncanonical actions "prevent needed reconciliation talks from proceeding within this diocese."
Reconciliation?!? I know of no parish or individual who has gotten a letter seeking reconciliation or even mediation. Instead he fulminates and threatens, as bullies always do.
And don't you just love it that he copied the other Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury? Could it be any more embarrassing?
Cowboys in West Texas have a saying about things like this -- the engine's runnin' but ain't nobody drivin'.