One of the neat things about being an Anglican in the United States is that you get a free legal education with your faith!
Take the case of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, Texas. It was created in 1983 after it was decided that the Diocese of Dallas had become too large. Because the Diocese of Ft. Worth is a legal instrument, papers of incorporation were drawn up and signed, a bishop appointed and a board of trustees selected to run “the Diocese of Ft. Worth, a legal corporation”.
However, the conservative diocese, led by Bishop Jack Iker, voted on November 15, 2008 to leave The Episcopal Church and come under the jurisdiction of the province of Anglican Church of the Southern Cone (which covers Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay).
Needless to say, this highly irritated the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, who ordered her army of lawyers to go south and file legal papers against the diocese. However, in a blow to their plans, the judge in the case granted Iker’s lawyers a writ of mandamus on Monday:
The court has considered relators’ [Bishop Iker et al.] petition for writ of mandamus and motion for stay and is of the tentative opinion that relators are entitled to relief or that a serious question concerning the relief requires further consideration.
In a nutshell, the court asks this: if Bishop Iker and the trustees are in charge of the Diocese of Ft. Worth (the legal corporation founded in 1983), then who are the people filing against them in court, who are also claiming to be representing the Diocese of Ft. Worth? As Anglican Curmudgeon points out in this helpful post:
This played right into the hands of the ECUSA Potemkin Plan, by allowing Bishop Gulick and his followers to maintain their theory that the 1983 entities had never validly departed from the Church, and that they were now the ones legally in control of those entities. Except — except that Judge Chupp had ruled that there was a Diocese and a Corporation which was legally associated with Bishop Iker; and if the entities which were associated with Bishop Iker were not the ones formed in 1983, then where did they come from, and when were they legally created?
Interesting times. If you liked this article, you’ll really like this one (title: “815’s Day of Reckoning Approaches”).