Not that it comes as a surprise but the newest resolution (see below) to be considered at the Fort Worth diocesan convention coming up on November 16 and 17 deals with the “constitutional and canonical implications and means of accepting” an invitation from the Most Reverend Gregory J. Venables of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone to join them. This is called a “generous and fraternal” invitation. Fraternal as in brotherly…as in no girls allowed, of course. Wonder what the plans are for the women deacons in this diocese if this all goes through?
Nor does it come as a surprise that some rectors are instructing the delegates that they are to vote as a bloc with the bishop. Hmmm…’scuse me? Don’t the lay delegates represent the laity? Or did I miss something somewhere?
In Jack Leo Iker’s letter to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, he states that it is “deeply troubling” to him that she would have him “prevent the clergy and laity of this diocese from openly discussing” the diocese’s “future place in the life of the wider Anglican Communion”. He goes on to remind her that “the polity of this Church requires the full participation of the clergy and lay orders, not just bishop, in the decision making process.”
WHO knew that he knew this????????
I am sure that the good bishop will stand firm and loud, stating that he didn’t tell “his” clergy to vote as a bloc. They just got the idea all by themselves. Or maybe they remember last year’s convention when the bishop, with a mocking laugh, told the assembled group that a rector who couldn’t control his vestry wasn’t much of a rector. (Does the image of a controlling abusive spouse pop into your head when you read that? It did mine when I heard him say it.) Maybe they were remembering the laughter aimed at one rector in particular whose vestry had disagreed with him immediately and loudly after he declared that the parish would follow the bishop wherever he went.
I also find it somewhat sadly ironic to think that he would indicate that he had been praying for +Katharine. He said that in his closing line – “I shall continue to pray for you, as I trust you will pray for me…” I hope he is praying for her, I really do. I am quite certain that she is praying for him. As I do. Everyday. Not for him to change but just as I do for myself – for my eyes, ears and heart be open to the will of God. However, seeing as how he “strongly” suggested in a deanery meeting that all parishes refrain from praying for the Presiding Bishop in the Prayers of the People after she was newly elected, I find it difficult to see how he could pray for her. Perhaps he has had a change of heart. Maybe he can pray for her as a woman, but not as a Presiding Bishop. Ok…so why not just “strongly suggest” that parishes remove the words “presiding bishop” and just put in its place “Katharine Jefferts Schori” or “Katharine”?
The point being…it’s hard to take him seriously. How can we? On one hand, he is accusing her of intimidating and manipulating “this diocese”. On the other hand, he is intimidating and manipulating this diocese.
How is the laity going to be represented when the delegates that the laity elected are instructed by the rectors that the vestries chose to vote as a group with the bishop? How is the laity represented if the rector is supposed to “control” “his” vestry?
So, basically, what he told +Katharine in the letter is a bunch of bunk. He doesn’t believe that the laity should have much say-so. If he did, he wouldn’t work so hard to keep them silent and ignorant.
But, hey…what do I know? I am just “out for the publicity” and interested in “creating furor”…
A Response to the Invitation of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone
Whereas, it is the resolve of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to remain within the family of the Anglican Communion while dissociating itself from the moral, theological, and disciplinary innovations of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America;
And whereas, the Synod of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, meeting Nov. 5-7, 2007, voted to "welcome into membership of our Province on an emergency and pastoral basis" those dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America who share this resolve;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the 25th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth extend its sincere thanks to the Synod of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, and to its Primate, the Most Reverend Gregory J. Venables, for the generous and fraternal invitation to join their Province;
And, be it further resolved, that the Bishop and Standing Committee prepare a report for this diocese on the constitutional and canonical implications and means of accepting this invitation.