Monday, November 12, 2007

Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Worth responds to PB

A letter from Bishop Iker to the Presiding Bishop

November 12, 2007
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Katharine,

I have received your letter of November 8th and am rather surprised by your suggestion that I have somehow abandoned the communion of the church and may be subject to ecclesiastical discipline. Such a charge is baseless. I have abandoned nothing, and I have violated no canons. Every year at our Chrism Mass, I very happily reaffirm my ordination vows, along with all our clergy, that I will be “loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them.” (BCP, pages 526 and 538)

It is highly inappropriate for you to attempt to interfere in the internal life of this diocese as we prayerfully prepare to gather in Convention. The threatening tone of your open letter makes no attempt to promote reconciliation, mediation, or even dialogue about our profound theological differences. Instead, it appears designed to intimidate our delegates and me, in an attempt to deter us from taking any action that opposes the direction in which you are leading our Church. It is deeply troubling that you would have me prevent the clergy and laity of this diocese from openly discussing our future place in the life of the wider Anglican Communion, as we debate a variety of proposals. As you well know, the polity of this Church requires the full participation of the clergy and lay orders, not just bishops, in the decision making process. It grieves me that as the Presiding Bishop you would misuse your office in an attempt to intimidate and manipulate this diocese.

While I do not wish to meet antagonism with antagonism, I must remind you that 25 years ago this month, the newly formed Diocese of Fort Worth voluntarily voted to enter into union with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. If circumstances warrant it, we can likewise, by voluntary vote, terminate that relationship. Your aggressive, dictatorial posturing has no place in that decision. Sadly, however, your missive will now be one of the factors that our Convention will consider as we determine the future course of this diocese for the next 25 years and beyond, under God’s grace and guidance.

In closing, let me be very clear. While your threats deeply sadden us, they do not frighten us. We will continue to stand firm for the unchanging truth of the Holy Scriptures and the redeeming Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whatever the costs. I shall continue to pray for you, as I trust you will pray for me, in the difficult days ahead.

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
You can read Katharine Jeffert Schori's leter to Jack Iker here.


RMBruton said...

Here, here! Excellent reply!

Kevin said...

Thank you +Iker! May the Lord continue to keep you and DioFW steadfast.

mousestalker said...

It shows the measure of the man that he didn't use a form letter but did her the courtesy of a full reply. Unlike her letter to him, which is virtually identical to the one she sent Bishop Duncan.

Unbelief, meet Grace.

Anonymous said...

Shot. Splash. No correction - Fire for effect! Target destroyed.

Anonymous said...

You all have got to be freakin' kidding me?
This is a joke?
It's a joke?

This sob threatens leaving TEC and taking his diocese with him.

And the PB does *what she has to do by canon law* and notify him of the consequences. She has no other choice, she is mandated by the rules.

And this results in his response and all you kool-aid drinkers are pissing yourselves over his response?

Get a brain.

You cannot take a diocese out of the church, same as you cannot take a parish out of the church.

Disagree with the church all you want, just leave and have the balls to leave and not try and steal from the church you had supposedly been supporting all these years.

Anonymous said...

Feel the love. Certainly gives me reason to reconsider TEC as a viable alternative to orthodox faithfulness.

Actually, not so much.

Kyronin, if you happen to be in sales, you might want to seek a new gig.

Anonymous said...

Well, I would have expressed it somewhat differently (we Episcopalians DO have our standards, quoth the Church Lady), but Kyronin does have valid points. It is tiresome to hear +Iker pull out the victim role. He has (there are citations) said in public that his desire is to remove the DioFW form the structures of TEC. He has encouraged others to do so.

I think, actually, that ++KJS was rather easy on him.

Padre Wayne

Kevin said...

Ah, feel the love ...

Well, Kyronin, I have a brain, thank you and it says that I disagree with you, I think the RCC is asking the very same thing about five hundred years ago, they also say Canterbury do the very same thing, now if you'll kindly be consistent and repent and return to Rome, then your argument will not violate rules of logic.

Per Padre Wayne, Pots and Kettles?

Kevin said...

Kyronin are you the mysterious deleted comment on T19? You got a about five reactions but that's it and the comment on 'brain' is the same. Did you wonder over here to leave your evidence of fruits of the flesh after seeing your post deleted?

Anonymous said...

Tiresome padrewayne? Actually I am finding new meanings to that as I read the comments this morning.

Over the years as I have written, and spoken, and left a very long paper trail, I have often thought of two criteria. Before writing something, I imagine how it would look on the front page of the local newspaper. I also imagine whether I will feel I have spoken well fifty years later. Do my comments bring honor, do they stand the test of time?

Of the two letters, I can not imagine how anyone will consider what Fort Worth has said in a poor light in 50 years. And he certainly reads better than the warnings of the PB. You may want to argue the points each has made, but the irony of being part of a radically inclusive church that threatens, inhibits and sues others must catch your attention at some point. I am not suggesting we have no boundaries or accountability, for heaven's sake, no. I would like to have more of them. But as a father, and a Father, I know you can enforce boundaries without being a bully.

And that goes for making comments about the issues as well. Yes, some things do just get tiresome.

Read and reread the PB's comments and you hear an emotional disconnect. She is calm, measured, non-emotional. She talks about conversations and radical inclusion. And then she sends threats in the mail, often posting them on line or leaking them to the press before they arrive at their destination. Ward Ewing, now dean at General Seminary wrote a great book on Revelation called Power of the Lamb. I highly recommend it. In the book he compares the power of the beast, which is seen in manipulation, control, fear ... and the power of the lamb, which is in endurance, suffering, and faithful witness. Read the PB's stuff and tell me she is being a faithful witness ... and that her ploys will be seen as something other than manipulative in the years to come.

It does not seem likely though to me, regardless of the finer points of canon law.

Anonymous said...

I find far too much "ad hominem' ( I suppose it should be "ad feminem"?) attacks against the required action of the Presiding Bishop! However,due to its unique legal structure Iker may feel some degree of protection in Texas but clearly he has been way out of line if he wishes to work within the structure of TEC ---and he claims not to have left that jurisdiction. Who does he think he is kidding? I would not have expressed myself as strongly as Kyronin but I stand nd applaud him- bravo and three cheers!

Kevin said...

Of course you would if you think it's "ad feminem," there is no such thing, thus showing a weakness in formal logic. Also you're mixing your root! Female is from Latin "femella" where Greek would be a from of "gyn" as is "misogynist " or "gynecologist."

Unknown said...

Yes, indeed, Padre W, +Jack has encouraged abandonment of the structures of TEC, as would any sane person.

The "structures of TEC" were stolen years ago from the people who built the church, parish by parish, over the decades; note that these very people are the ones voting (whenever they get the chance) between three-to-one and nine-to-one to leave TEC. Or don't you believe in our polity of lay involvement?

Anonymous said...

Kevin - Quite humourous but no doubt a bit unintenrional on your part--- I am well aware of my linguistic weakness and intended to make a political point - not a literary one - however since you mounted an "ad hominem" attack I do have a few qq. - isn't homo also of Roman/Latin origin and therefore is it not reasonable to remain true to that language and use the femina rather than the gyn form? Also, isn't your comment mean spirited when you do not know the educational level of those on this blog? Aren't you judging on a superficial level when we are told by God that we shall be judged as we judge others? Regardless of our level of intellect on this mortal plane I feel we shall be meeting a superior intellect at some point and therefore I prefer to judge others with love and forbearance rather than using a "power over" approach. Humility is a safe first approach to any problem. Prayerfully........

Anonymous said...

Ah the power of the beast comes in so many flavors.

Any chance we stay on topic? Any chance we look at the issues? Just a thought ...

Kevin said...

"Also, isn't your comment mean spirited when you do not know the educational level of those on this blog?

If it is than my apologies. However, I'll say I had no clue if you're a HS student or a PhD, my reply was to cute a random accusation to a previously unknow offense with unsubstantiated evidence -- it does remind me of a scene in a Lewis Carroll book.

Not yet graduated college.

"Aren't you judging on a superficial level when we are told by God that we shall be judged as we judge others?"

I seriously doubt that since I merely responded to your inconsistence, but fervent support to another logically inconsistent argument. While we're on that point, did you not write, "He should live his words rather than lying either with his actions or with his words -- the present situation," on Thinking Anglicans? Are you not guilty of judging where God can only judge then by that statement? I dare say he is living the words he speaks but that standard does not seemed to be held by you.


Rschllnbrg -- Go for it! Step out and present an idea or comment. Often more effective in blogland than the accusation you've made.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kevin. I thought I already had presented some ideas in this thread ... Guess I wasn't communicating clearly.

Thought it would be good to evaluate the correspondance of Iker and Schori in terms of criteria that included whether or not the words were manipulative, derogatory, controlling, or invoking fear ... and whether the words were patient, loving, hoping for reconciliation yet resolute in bearing witness to the truth. That's the difference between the power of the lamb and the power of the beast. It's also helpful for us all to use as a criteria for how we treat one another in our families, on blogs, on the Metro ... whatever. Feel free to improvise here.

My point was to look at the bishop's final comments: "In closing, let me be very clear. While your threats deeply sadden us, they do not frighten us. We will continue to stand firm for the unchanging truth of the Holy Scriptures and the redeeming Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whatever the costs."

For me those ring true. They are not an ad hominum attack (and neither were my previous comments about the PB so let's switch to decaf OK?) but a way of critiquing what seemed to be gracious and grace filled words we could all use as an example ... as an example of the power of the lamb seen in the first few chapters of Revelation.

Well, just my thoughts, and hey I've been wrong once before so take them for what they are worth.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Your apology is accepted

Kevin said...

"Well, just my thoughts, and hey I've been wrong once before so take them for what they are worth."

I think they're good thoughts! Thank you for stepping out and sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Ah, feel the love ...

Ah, make no mistake, feeling the REAL love from excluders has been a very painful thing to go through (seems like forever, because it's been forever), quite expectantly, it all boils down to grabbing stuff/property or what you can and slamming the door in a huff (or storming from the room which is +Ikers favorito)...some love never changes...the emotionally/spiritually sick abusing kind has really gotta go.


Leonardo Ricardo

Unknown said...

Anyone want some pancakes? Now that we're out of court we've got the pancakes flippin' and fillin up your plates, like a Shrove Tuesday in November. But please toss the pancakes in the air, not at one another.

Now I see why they have bailiffs. We just have Hagrid.

Good conversation - I know this isn't easy for any of us, but I appreciate ya'all dropping by here.


Anonymous said...

Anon. Catholic Says:

Kevin, good point regarding going back to Rome. I must say, you are ALL welcome back. Well, maybe not Kyronin, he sounds a bit ... mad. Angry too.

(Two, count um, two post graduate degrees. But who's counting.)


Seriously, prayers for your Church and movement to keep tradition and The Word alive and true.

Kevin said...

Anon. Catholic -- Of course, I take it you'd appreciate us bringing back St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the other Truro (cathedral) and a few other properties [*Wink*]