Fort Worth visit an ‘unwarranted invasion’, Schori tells Venables

Katherine Jefferts Schori at Washington CathedralPresiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has advised Southern Cone Presiding Bishop Gregory J. Venables in an April 29 letter that his planned May 2–4 visit to address a special convocation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth “with the expressed purpose of describing removal to the Province of the Southern Cone is an unwarranted invasion of, and meddling in, the internal affairs of this Province.”

– Report from the Episcopal News Service. (Photo credit: Washington National Cathedral.)

The text of the letter is below:   Read more

Fort Worth releases guidelines for parishes who may wish to leave

Bishop Jack IkerWhat would happen if a diocese voted to leave the Episcopal Church, while some of its parishes preferred to remain? How should those who belong to Jesus act in this matter? The Diocese of Fort Worth has published Guidelines to be followed if a parish wished to initiate a separation –

The leadership of this diocese has watched with sadness as issues and attitudes have caused deepening differences at all levels in the Anglican Communion. Adding to this rupture of the bonds of affection are the growing numbers of lawsuits being filed by those who once were unified in faithful witness and ministry. “Disagreement and division may be inevitable,” commented Dean Ryan Reed, President of the Standing Committee, “but Christian charity must not be sacrified in the process.” The purpose of the Canon and the Guidelines is to provide for a charitable parting, if parting is necessary.

– from a press release from the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Archbishop Venables to visit Fort Worth

Fort Worth crestArchbishop Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, has accepted an invitation from Bishop Iker to make a pastoral visit to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth during the first weekend of May. He will be accompanied by his wife, Sylvia. Read more

Bishop Iker of Fort Worth to attend GAFCON

Bishop Jack IkerThe Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, announced today that he plans to participate in the Global Anglican Future Conference, to be held in Jerusalem, June 22–29, 2008. Read more

Preliminary Report from Fort Worth on the Invitation to Join the Southern Cone

Bishop Jack Iker“Based on our review, we have concluded that the structure and polity of the Province of the Southern Cone would afford our diocese greater self-determination than we currently have under the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. This autonomy would be evident most specifically in the areas of property ownership, liturgy, holy orders, and missionary focus. …”

Read the full Preliminary Report from the Bishop of Fort Worth and his Standing Committee – on the Fort Worth website.

Biblical view of sex and gender “worthy of respect” after all

“In a good development for religious freedom, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) in its decision in Mackereth v Department for Work and Pensions & Anor [2022] EAT 99 (29 June 2022) has ruled that a Biblical view of human sex and gender is ‘worthy of respect’ and may be protected as a religious belief in an appropriate case.

Unfortunately for Dr Mackereth, the outcome of the appeal was that the way he had been treated by the relevant Department in response to his protected belief was a ‘proportionate’ and hence lawful action.

As I will explain below, I think this part of the ruling may be challenged. But it is good to see common sense on the issue of the status of his belief, which is one that would be shared by many people in the community. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster takes a look at a recent ruling in the United Kingdom – at Law and Religion Australia.

Anglican Unscripted interviews Lorna Ashworth

In the latest edition of Anglican Unscripted, Kevin Kallsen interviews Lorna Ashworth.

“Unless the gospel is being taught in a church – it is not a church.”

If you assumed the gospel didn’t need to be preached afresh in the Church of England, watch this.


Andrew Symes, of Anglican Mainstream, writes:

“With unfortunate timing on its part, the C of E launched its new gender fluid policy just after the resignation of Lorna Ashworth from General Synod and Archbishops’ Council.

The well-respected conservative evangelical had warned of the policy of ‘good disagreement’ being a front for a slide into heresy. This was brushed off on Friday as a complete exaggeration by Bishops, and also by many evangelical clergy on social media. She does not need to say anything more. The headlines on Monday morning about ‘Valuing all God’s Children’ have proved her point.”

Ft Worth to Schori: Stop border crossing

Iker responseBishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth has responded to his supposed inhibition by the TEC Presiding Bishop:

“Katharine Jefferts Schori has no authority over me or my ministry as a Bishop in the Church of God. She never has, and she never will.

Since November 15, 2008, both the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and I as the Diocesan Bishop have been members of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. As a result, canonical declarations of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church pertaining to us are irrelevant and of no consequence.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth”

And from the Fort Worth Standing Committee:  Read more

Archbishop-elect of Tanzania visits Ft Worth

Bishop Jack Iker and Bishop Valentine MokiwaDr. Valentine Mokiwa, Bishop of Dar es Salaam and Archbishop-elect of Tanzania visited the Diocese of Fort Worth on Friday.

There’s a photo and brief report on the Fort Worth website.

Roman Catholicism as a “Temptation” for Evangelical Theology

“The Presidential Address at the Evangelical Theological Society is a helpful barometer to measure where the wind blows in North American evangelical theology. This year (on November 16), President Al Mohler dedicated his address at the 73rd annual convention in Fort Worth, Texas, to the four temptations for contemporary evangelical theology.

In Mohler’s view, present-day evangelical theology faces these temptations: Fundamentalism, Atheism, Roman Catholicism, and Liberalism.

These words are not to be taken lightly; the trajectory of evangelical theology has not always been peaceful. What is interesting is to understand the main dangers surrounding it.

Let me briefly comment on three temptations and then focus on Roman Catholicism…”

– At Vatican Files, Leonardo De Chirico is thankful for Albert Mohler’s clarity.

(Link via Tim Challies.)


Article XIX of The Thirty Nine Articles.

$4.5 Million Legal Fee Reimbursement from the Episcopal Church (TEC)

“Jeffrey Walton of Juicy Ecumenism reports that the Episcopal Church (TEC) has reimbursed $4.5 million in legal fees to the Anglican Diocese of Fort Worth (Texas, United States).

In 2009 the Diocese was sued by TEC and it was not until this year that a unanimous decision by the Texas Supreme Court ended the litigation in favor of the Diocese. …”

– GAFCON notes the resolution of a long-running legal battle in Texas.

(These posts from our archives show just how long-running it has been.)

The Dennis Canon Dead in Texas

“With its denial of certiorari (review) this morning to two of the Episcopal Church in the USA’s (“ECUSA’s”) groups in Fort Worth, Texas, the United States Supreme Court has put to rest the multiple adverse claims made for the last twelve years against the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

All of those various claims, and the stages of their ups and downs, have been chronicled on this blog, which began just before the legal disputes emerged.

It is gratifying, therefore, to report that this blog has managed to outlive, along with (retired) Bishop Jack Iker and his faithful flock, the Machiavellian intrigues of the schemers at 815 Second Avenue to hound and intimidate them into surrender of their properties…

The success in Texas leaves just one long-standing ECUSA dispute still festering: its pursuit of Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese of South Carolina.”

– Read it all at The Anglican Curmudgeon, the blog of Christian lawyer A. S. Haley.

And much earlier, on our website …

Diocese of Fort Worth: Living with litigation – Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker, September 2013.

“Living with litigation has become a way of life for us as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. For the past 4 ½ years, we have been under the cloud of a lawsuit brought against us by The Episcopal Church and its local supporters, seeking to deprive us of our buildings and assets.”

Also, most of these post are relevant to Fort Worth.

And on South Carolina, most of these posts are relevant.

‘Texas Supreme Court Repudiates ECUSA’s Sophistries’

“In a comprehensive and unanimous thirty-page decision filed Friday morning, May 22, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bishop Jack L. Iker and reversed the Court of Appeals’ earlier decision to the effect that ECUSA’s rump diocese, and not Bishop Iker’s diocese, controlled the Texas corporation which holds title to the properties of those parishes which in 2008 voted to withdraw their diocese from the unaffiliated and unincorporated association that historically has been called the (Protestant) Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

The decision is as straightforward an application of “neutral principles of law” (espoused by the U.S. Supreme Court in Jones v. Wolf) as one could find among the courts to which ECUSA has presented its “hierarchical church” sophistries. It repudiates those sophistries in a succinct passage (pp. 24-25) …”

– A S Haley, The Anglican Curmudgeon, reports on the latest legal decision concerning The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Pictured: The recently-retired Bishop Jack Iker, Fort Worth.

Earlier posts on the subject.

Bishops respond to accusations

“Our Constitution … specifies no office or body with supremacy or hierarchical authority over the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese for matters within a diocese. And as bishops, we take no vow of obedience to any other office or body.”

– Six of the nine bishops accused of violating TEC’s canons have written an open letter to the TEC House of Bishops and Presiding Bishop. A report and the letter at The Living Church.


“The lawyers for Bishop Iker’s Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth continue to stay several moves ahead of their ECUSA opponents. Bishop Ohl’s and Bishop Buchanan’s tactic of trying to lower the boom on the seven Bishops signing an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court in the Fort Worth case may be said to have backfired. …”

– read more at The Anglican Curmudgeon.

ECUSA Bishop Walter Righter dies

From the Episcopal News Service:

“Retired Diocese of Iowa Bishop Walter C. Righter, 87, died Sept. 11. …

In the mid-1990s, Righter became a flashpoint for tensions over the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in the life of the Episcopal Church. The bishops of Dallas, Florida, San Joaquin, Central Florida, Texas, Eau Claire, Fort Worth, Quincy, Rio Grande and West Tennessee filed a presentment against Righter in February 1995 because he had ordained an openly gay man to the diaconate in the Diocese of Newark in September 1990. …

In May 1996, an ecclesiastical court ruled 7-1 that Righter’s action did not violate church law or “core doctrine.” Thus, the charges were dismissed…”

– This 1996 edition of New Directions gives some of the background to the heresy trial. (Photo: ENS.)

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