It’s official: at 8:29 PST, most of the 197 delegates to the convention of the diocese of Fort Worth voted to terminate their membership in the Episcopal Church. What a surprise and shock. Not.
I listened to Bishop Iker’s address to the convention before the vote. I can sum it up in a couple of statements
We are leaving. We are going to do all we can to steal the property. I call upon Mrs. Schori to wish us well in our theft. TEC should tell us to depart in peace and be happy to have us steal everything but the sand.
There is something deeply disturbing about the people whose property we are stealing resorting to legal redress. It’s unchristian (it is, however a Christian thing to be lying, thieving wolves, which we are).
We are the true Episcopalians; we are “orthodox’” we are the real Anglicans in the United States. TEC is apostate; we have the only right to interpret the bible.
The bible is the ultimate authority in all things (unless we don’t like something in it and decide to ignore that bit).
I’m proud to be your bishop and to have led you into schism and to be the head of the Theft Department.
What came though crystal clear is that Iker needs significant psychological help. He cannot distinguish the difference between reality and fantasy. It is also clear that he is morally bankrupt.
The opposition gave a lengthy and sound refutation of the proposed changes in the C&C of Ft. Wroth. They presented eleven reasons why the vote will be illegal under canon and secular law. Three of the reasons are that it violates (1) the C&C of the diocese of Ft. Worth, (2) the C&C of TEC, and (3) the C&C of the Southern Cone. It was also pointed out that such a move will violate the Windsor Report. The speaker used each of these documents to show how the act will be illegal.
All of the legal reasons were dismissed as an attempt to intimidate people into staying in TEC.
The supporting documentation was simply that they are “orthodox” and TEC is apostate. There was not one legal reason given why the move should/could take place.
The main proponent of leaving TEC had the qualifications of “I’m a mother and grandmother.” Her main point of proving the move was legal was that at one meeting she attended, a woman (Mrs. X) expressed shock that Mrs. X’s husband could not teach Sunday school simply because he wore a dress to church. That was the strength of their argument for leaving. Not one unassailable or logical reason was given for leaving TEC. Every statement in favour of leaving was simply and blatantly an appeal to emotion.
What was interesting was that we repeatedly heard what “the kids” think or would do, but not one young person spoke for those “kids.” Of the three people who spoke, the youngest person was thirty years old – and a priest. He was the expert in what “all the teenagers and younger kids” think and want. Other than the three speakers listed above, only one person spoke from the floor of the convention. Iker had done his job well.
And of course, the African rector of St. Phillips put in his two cents on why TEC is apostate “and totally abandoned be a Christian.” His reasons were an apeal to emotion, too.
Despite the irrefutable evidence provided showing that the move is illegal for many reasons, the delegates said “to hell with the law” and violated at least four sets of canons and constitutions.
I’m not sure if I were the presiding bishop of the Southern Cone, that I would want a bunch of people who proved they have no regard for the legal aspects of the C&C of the Southern Cone or any other organization ecclesiastical or civil.
And then, with a confusing number system of voting with a scantron, the delegates removed themselves from the Episcopal Church. They think they took the diocese with them, but they didn’t and the courts will remind them that they are wrong in their imagination of their hearts.
There was a very interesting documentary shown about the Anglican Church in Peru. That alone was worth watching Iker’s Circus.
The tragic thing of all of this is that these are truly sincere people – they really do love God. They have just been led astray by an egotistical and immoral man who really wants to be a Roman Catholic type of autocratic bishop.
So we now have a situation where the majority of Episcopalians in four diocese have left TEC. There is some peculation that to have a province there must be four diocese. Well, once Pittsburgh, Quincy and Ft. Worth organize themselves in some type of community of faith, the GAFCOnners can say there are the necessary four, and recognize a province in North America. It won't be Anglican though, unless ++Williams truly has gone insane.
The average of the votes for each of the four issues was clergy 72/18 - lay 104/24.