Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Rise of Christianity, or Church You Can Believe In.

A Press Release from the Diocese of Fort Worth:

Fort Worth, Texas: A letter of inhibition and supporting documents
were issued Friday, Nov. 21, from the office of Katharine Jefferts
Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, to the Rt. Rev. Jack
Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth. However the inhibition is of no force
or effect, since the Bishop and Diocese, meeting in annual convention,
constitutionally realigned with another province of the Anglican
Communion on Saturday, Nov. 15, and are now constituent members of the
Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Documents to this effect have
been made public. Consequently, this attempted inhibition will not
deter the Bishop from the continuance of his ministry.

Two responses are being issued at this time.

From Bishop Iker:

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

From the Standing Committee:

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is a
member of the Province of the Southern Cone as of November 15, 2008.
Bishop Iker is a member in good standing of the House of Bishops of
the Province of the Southern Cone. We wonder by what authority the
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States presumes
to inhibit a bishop of the Province of the Southern Cone. We do not
recognize the authority of the Presiding Bishop over us. We regret
this illegal, unconstitutional, and uncanonical attempt to interfere
with the rights and ministry of a diocese of another province of the
Anglican Communion. We call upon her to desist from any further
actions in our diocese and that she refrain from any further border

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Hightower
President, Standing Committee

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth consists of 56 congregations. The
major cities in the diocese include Fort Worth, Arlington, Hurst-
Euless-Bedford, Wichita Falls, Grand Prairie, Richland Hills,
Brownwood, and Stephenville, Texas. The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker has
served as the third Diocesan Bishop of Fort Worth since 1995. The
diocese enjoys companion relationships with the Dioceses of Northern
Malawi and Northern Mexico.

With thanks to our Fort Worth contacts.

Good. The forces of darkness (or Mrs Schori, whoever is nearest) can now begin to watch as their enforced 'liberal' regime begins to split and crack. These are dangerous times for the orthodox christian, particularly the orthodox catholic, but exciting times for us as well as something new is forged out of something old, we have simply to ensure that the new is capable of providing us with a stable and secure home for many years to come.

I have no heart for fighting or shouting, I have never hit anyone in my life and I do not intend starting now and shouting gives me a headache but we have to protect the teachings of Christ from people with their own, unchristian agendas. Knock after knock we can take from people who are not within the Church, this is the essence of discipleship, but when those who are supposed to work with us castigate and try to destroy congregations of the faithful, well, there is a sign that we have no longer any shared understanding of Church. The Word is not being preached or lived, the Church is not the body of Christ, ECUSA is finished in any orthodox understanding of Church, with some notable and brave exceptions.

For some time I have suggested that one of the barriers to a third province is the undercurrent of thought from the House of Bishops that it would very quickly become bigger than expected by most Anglicans, taking in amongst itself those who look for Biblical teaching, answers that have two thousand years of faith behind them and a love and care that comes from the hands of Christ Himself, present on our altars. Reason, Scripture and Tradition? We can offer all that, unequivocally, whereas if one uses this as the template for novelty, the actions of ECUSA do not filter through the gap at all, and nor, I am sorry to say, does the thorny issue of women's ordination, it is not scriptural, it is not found in tradition unless one is prepared to accept an argument so convoluted it is in danger of eating its own tail, and it is not reasonable to begin something afresh as part of the church catholic without the other, more venerable, ninety percent of the church. It is my belief that eventually people will return to a Church which does not believe itself to have the right to change the revealed word of God, as it seeks to break open the word afresh to each new generation, in truth and in the sure and certain knowledge of the literal truth of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ and His presence amongst us, according to His word, in the sacrament of the altar.

Oh, by the way, Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker fans (and maybe that is only me) will rejoice in THIS.