Iker reconsiders

Jack Iker and his group have made many statements about the minor court opinion of September 16th. In that opinion it is abundantly clear that Judge John Chupp made a simple ruling: the lawyers representing Bishop Gulick’s diocese do not represent Bishop Iker’s group. Gulick’s diocese not made that claim. Read the opinion for yourself.


Immediately after that ruling Iker’s Director of Communications wrote:

In a hearing today in the 141st District Court, Judge John Chupp granted the Diocese partial relief under Rule 12 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. He ruled that attorneys Jonathan Nelson and Kathleen Wells do not represent the diocese or the corporation which have realigned under the Province of the Southern Cone. He denied a second aspect of Rule 12 relief which would have removed the plaintiffs’ diocese and corporation from the lawsuit filed April 14, 2009.

The judge also ruled that neither the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church nor the

Constitution and Canons of this diocese prohibit withdrawal from TEC and realignment under another province.

“We are pleased that Judge Chupp has recognized the legitimacy of the vote of our Diocesan Convention in November 2008 to withdraw from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and has ruled that we had the legal right to amend our Constitution in order to do so. This a positive step in support of the position we have taken. We will continue to keep our concerns before the Lord in prayer.”

The first sentence is true, but immaterial. The rest is simply false.

A week later Iker’s diocese filed a “Motion for reconsideraton of Court’s Sept. 16 decision.” Evidently, upon reflection, the September 16th decision was no victory.

Most recently, on September 29th, he wrote:

I am inviting everyone in the Diocese to join me in a morning of fasting and prayer this Friday, Oct. 2nd, as Judge John Chupp considers three motions we have put before him in the 141st District Court. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. on the fourth floor of the Family Law Center, located at 200 E. Weatherford Street (one block east of the old court house, on the south side of the street).

The last motion requests that the Court correct its Rule 12 ruling of Sept. 16 so that it will permit the local Plaintiff attorneys, Jonathan D. F. Nelson and Kathleen Wells, to represent only the people who have hired them, not the Diocese [Iker’s group] and the Diocesan Corporation.

I’m no lawyer, but isn’t that what the judge ruled on September 16th?

Food is not allowed in most courtrooms in the United States.

In a not so unrelated development, Iker’s standing committee is also reassessing its relationships with ACNA and the South Cone and put forth the following resolution for the group’s November convention:

WHEREAS, this Diocese continues to desire to maintain the highest degree of communion possible with other Anglicans in North America and throughout the world,

AND WHEREAS, this Diocese recognizes that certain theological differences exist among the constituent membership of the newly constituted Anglican Church in North America, as well as in the wider Anglican Communion,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, meeting in its 27th Annual Convention, does hereby commit to continued participation in the development of the Anglican Church in North America, acceding to the Constitution and Canons thereof during this process,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Diocese maintains its status as a member diocese in the Province of the Southern Cone while the formal process of recognition of this new province continues in the Anglican Communion.

Emphasis added. The constitution of Iker’s group asserts it is part of the Anglican Communion, in communion with the See of Canterbury. Legal risks are sufficient to justify the logic of this resolution. The second whereas is in there because there are chronic divisions in ACNA even at this early point in its existence.

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Category : The Lead