The Texas Supreme Court failed to uphold the summary judgment of the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, ruling instead in favor of the breakaway group. Bishop Rayford B. High, bishop of Fort Worth responds.
August 30, 2013
The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., bishop of Fort Worth; the Standing Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth are disappointed by the August 30, 2013 opinion of the Texas Supreme Court that failed to uphold the summary judgment of the 141st District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. That judgment granted the Local Episcopal Parties’ and The Episcopal Church’s Motions for Summary Judgments. The opinion can be seen here and the dissenting opinion can be seen here.
Bishop High has issued a letter to the diocese that can be seen here. When we have more thoroughly reviewed the opinion, the Diocese of Fort Worth may issue further statements. In the meantime we hold all Episcopalians in our prayers as well as former Bishop Iker and his colleagues, and we bid your prayers as we move forward.
Here is Bishop High’s letter to the Diocese:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On August 30, 2013 the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion that sent our case back to the lower court for reconsideration. While it is a disappointment not to have a definitive decision, as followers of Jesus Christ, we live in hope.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori joins me in acknowledging our disappointment and urging all of us to be gentle with one another during this trying time, with the important goal of continuing our worship of God and our ministries in this community in as uninterrupted a manner as possible.
Now I, other diocesan leaders, and our legal team, including representatives of the Church and its legal team, have to make decisions about our next steps.
For now, we all must don the mantle of patience and forbearance. I ask for your prayers and urge us all to stay focused on the saving gospel of Jesus Christ in the days ahead.
I remain convinced that we are right in our affirmation that we are the continuing Diocese of Fort Worth and that I am its bishop.
But in the wake of this opinion, as always, we remain committed to preaching that gospel as we celebrate the sacraments, care for those in need, and strive for justice and peace. When we began this litigation in 2009, we did so as heir and steward of the legacy of generations of faithful Episcopalians.
Let us move forward together with grace and love, guided by the Holy Spirit.
The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth