December 18, 2014

July 7, 2012


+Iker’s Diocese Requests Expedited Hearing in TXSCt after Disciplinary Charges Filed

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. Bishop Iker and his Diocese yesterday filed in that Court a Motion to expedite the hearing date (the Court has not set one yet) to October 16 or earlier. (October 16 is the date on which the Court has set the Masterson v. Diocese of Northwest Texas case for oral arguments.)

In the Motion to expedite, the attorneys give as one of the reasons for the filing the recent disciplinary complaints filed against the Bishops who signed the amicus brief in the Fort Worth case:

On April 23, 2012, an amicus brief was filed in this case by seven bishops and three priests of The Episcopal Church (TEC). The brief supported the Fort Worth Diocese’s arguments that, should Texas adopt the Deference approach rather Neutral Principles for church property disputes, the final authority in the Episcopalian tradition on such disputes is the local bishop, not TEC’s national administrative office. On July 2, 2012, the Episcopal News Service, the “officially sponsored online news source” of TEC, reported that disciplinary complaints have been filed against the seven amicus bishops for their actions in filing the amicus brief in this case. See Tab A. (TEC lacks jurisdiction over local priests). Petitioners respectfully request that this Court expedite resolution of this appeal to avoid further collateral repercussions.

The Motion also makes the case that delay is adding to the tension and anxiety of the Diocese’s members, whose church properties the trial court ordered forfeited under the Dennis Canon:

As noted in the Fort Worth Diocese’s Statement of Jurisdiction filed over a year ago, the continuing uncertainty surrounding the potential eviction of more than 50 congregations from their church buildings has contributed to losses in membership and funds at some of the Diocese’s congregations that may prove irreparable. See 32CR7007-08. Indeed, the affiant who signed the affidavit attesting to these difficulties (former Canon Charles A. Hough, III) along with five other priests have now left the Diocese, and were ordained last week as Roman Catholic priests. See Tab B. Petitioners respectfully request that this Court expedite resolution of this appeal before these losses multiply.

The motion concludes by recognizing that it is an unusual request, but has been brought “to bring to the Court’s attention matters currently taking place that are not reflected in the appellate record, and that may affect the Court’s handling of it.”

In related news, seven of the nine Bishops against whom complaints were filed have delivered their written reply to the letter to the Presiding Bishop signed by Bishops Ohl and Buchanan. (Bishop Howe was not present at GC77 to sign it, but sent word that he agreed with the letter.)


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10 comments

Live by the sword…

And the Bishops shouldn’t have written KSJ.  Don’t give her that power.  Address the whole HoB if necessary, but put it directly in their lap and empower them in the most flattering way possible.  “We are Bishops; we believe bishops have the power here, including the new bishops of Ft. Worth and Quincy (or wherever), so we will act accordingly and treat this as an issue for all of us.”

And don’t let David Booth Beers into your meetings.  Right now the 9 good Bishops should be saying, “the House of Bishops is our house.”  You want authority?  Exercise it.

[1] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-7-2012 at 04:36 AM · [top]

A strong reply letter, appropriate not only for the HOB but also for the courts.

Any speculation on why they didn’t mention the 1898 General Convention?

[2] Posted by Ralph on 7-7-2012 at 05:52 AM · [top]

Yes, it is very strong and good point about the courts. 

I just am hyper-wary of giving KJS power.  Also, scandals (and secrets) tie people together very closely in counterintuitive ways, so you really have to plan ahead.

[3] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-7-2012 at 06:55 AM · [top]

I am glad to read that the attorneys in Texas are on top of things and have made the request for an expedited hearing.  EXCELLENT! I also really like the letter of reply by the nine bishops. An excellent letter indeed!

Ralph, As to why the nine bishops did not mention the 1898 General Convention in their reply, they are replying to the letter from Bishop Ohl and Bishop Buchanan. It is not mentioned in the letter from the two bishops as that would go against the very claims of Bishop Ohl and Bishop Buchanan- i.e. that TEc is a hierarchal in nature.

[4] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-7-2012 at 07:12 AM · [top]

Well SC blu cat lady, you see, constitutions are living, breathing documents which means they mean what the TEo muckity-mucks want them to mean at any particular time.  So TEo can be hierarchical because KJS & Co. want it to be for these cases, but if it’s more convenient for them to not be hierarchical next Thursday, the constitution “lives into” a new structure.  Being a lefty is great.  Slippery as oil.

[5] Posted by Bill2 on 7-7-2012 at 07:38 AM · [top]

I understand Bill2. Yep, what KJS+ and her minions believe one day may very well change the next day if by changing what they believe furthers the agenda (whatever it might be on that day). Yeah, sure it is great not have any definite beliefs in this life but in the next????

As an aside, I was wrong- only six of the nine bishops signed the reply to Presiding Bishop as the six are there are at GC. The other three are not there. From George Conger+ at Anglican Ink.
<blcokquote>Three bishops who had also been named in the Ohl/Buchanan charge sheet, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, and the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, retired of Springfield are not attending the 77th General Convention and were not available to sign the letter in the brief period of time given the bishops to respond to the accusations.</blockquote>

[6] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-7-2012 at 08:27 AM · [top]

I have seen some excellent discussions of the facts relating to the accusations (whatever they are) against these bishops.

However, facts are irrelevant. The TEc Politburo has been asked to declare these bishops guilty of alternative and therefore TEc-treasonous thought and behavior. They are of course guilty, since they did act, or even think, in a direction not congruent with the Politburo’s true thinking. One hardly need say “true” or even “correct” in reference to TEc Politburo thought, since any other thought is inconceivable. These bishops need re-education so that they can think Politburo thought and act accordingly in a way that is automatic and not subject to any future failures of non-TEc thoughts or actions.

[7] Posted by Bill Cool on 7-7-2012 at 02:07 PM · [top]

Unfortunately, Bill Cool, you are probably right. Of course, the faster this realization is made known, the faster TEC will either reform (if that is still possible but I don’t give up hope easily) itself and become and orthodox Christian church or will die.  I bet you can guess which I think is most likely to happen.

[8] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-7-2012 at 09:51 PM · [top]

I have updated the post to reflect the fact that the six Bishops (of the nine accused) who were attending GC77 signed the physical letter, and then Bishop Howe called in to say that he agreed with the letter, as well. The signers have not as yet heard from the other two not attending (Bishops Beckwith and Benitez), but I see no reason for them not to agree with it eventually, as well.

[9] Posted by A. S. Haley on 7-7-2012 at 10:21 PM · [top]

I would not be surprised that eventually all 9 bishops will agree to this most excellent response.

[10] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-8-2012 at 03:14 PM · [top]

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