9/09/2007

BIshop Iker forgets who he is

Bishop Iker has written in a great snit about the visit of Dr. Bonnie Anderson to the City of Fort Worth, see city of his diocese. You can see his now famous letter HERE.

It would have been perhaps polite if the statement title referred to her by any one of several of the titles that might assumed to be of interest to the reader: President (of the House of Deputies), Dr. or even Mrs. Instead it is Bishop Jack Iker and Bonnie Anderson. Well, maybe that's no big deal.

Perhaps of greater importance is his reference to polity: "I consider it a breach of protocol and a violation of the basic polity of The Episcopal Church." The "it" is coming into his diocese seemingly without notification or permission. Via Media Fort Worth has denied lack of notification. Seemingly he felt it unimportant to ask her to stay away, since the press is better if it seems he is being beaten up by those awful liberals.

But there is the clincher: Bishop Iker forgets who he is. He says in his statement, "“I regard her visit as part of a concerted effort to undermine the existing diocesan leadership in favor of those who support the liberal agenda of the General Convention Church."

This "General Convention Church" (GCC) business is a distancing statement - this is THAT church that is liberal, awful, heretical, no longer biblical, etc. It is the church that he and his friends are hoping to replace with a more pure and refined church, orthodox, Anglican and the replacement for The Episcopal Church (aka the GCC).

This is part of a larger distancing effort in which The Episcopal Church is identified with this somewhat sleazy liberal thing, called The General Convention.

The Bishop forgets who he is:
  • His ministry is described and authorized in the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, under whose discipline he was elected as bishop, received consents (by way of a process outlined in the canons), and ordained by Episcopal Church bishops, members of the House of Bishops of this Church, all of which are products of The General Convention.
  • He is empowered to exercise ministry as a bishop in the Diocese of Fort Worth by virtue of his promises made at his ordination, which prayer book service and oath of office are the product of General Convention.

But now he seems to think "The General Convention Church" is some awful thing from which he must distance himself, whose Presiding Bishop is not really real, and whose House of Deputies President is the enemy.

Bishop Iker no longer comes from here, The Episcopal Church, because The Episcopal Church and the General Convention Church are one and the same, and they always have been.

He is making noise in order to raise up a new bugaboo - some awful liberal thing (gasp!) the General Convention Church. I hope this dopey name gets dropped quickly.

8 comments:

  1. The only reaction I can muster is to laugh.

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  2. Viriato da Silva10/9/07 10:06 AM

    +Iker has clearly, by his own words, broken his communion with the "General Convention Church."

    He should therefore be neither surprised nor perturbed when he receives a presentment from that Church.

    What more must it take before the Fundamentalist Fragmentarians (not my coinage, but I think it's the most accurate I've seen yet) receive presentments?

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  3. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but there is nothing in the polity of TEC (or should I say GCC) that requires a lay person (even the President of the HoD) to have the permission of the Bishop to speak in the diocese as far as I know.

    Posts elsewhere have indicated that not only was Bp Iker notified but he was invited to attend. To say nothing then and get in such a snit now is disingenuous at best.

    This is the 2nd place I've seen reference to the General Convention Church. Perhaps doing so allows "purification" of the title "Episcopal Church" in hopes that his new province can reclaim it.

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  4. It appears from a glance at the conservative side of the web that the defense is that the intent of Iker's memo is sarcastic rather than serious, intended to mock those (Bonnie Anderson included) who have complained about the various African bishops' boundary-crossing activities.

    Whether such sarcasm can be considered appropriate Christian behavior is left as an exercise for the reader.

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  5. All I know is that next time I have a layover at DFW, I'm going to email +Iker as a matter of courtesy. :)

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  6. Deacon Charlie Perrin10/9/07 4:45 PM

    mo k wrote:

    "This is the 2nd place I've seen reference to the General Convention Church. Perhaps doing so allows 'purification' of the title 'Episcopal Church' in hopes that his new province can reclaim it."

    Hmmmm, one wonders what the polity of this newly purified "Episcopal Church" might be. I'm sure it would not have a General Convention. Perhaps it would have a group of old white men playing "dress up" in pointy hats.

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  7. I made this comment on another thread by mistake.

    In any event.

    It isn't as though Bonnie Anderson went into the diocese intent on ordaining an alternative Bishop of Fort Worth, as laudable as that idea might be.

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  8. Bishop Iker's response (in July, no less) was simply that "I won't be there, as I have an ordination that day." Seems a little silly to protest NOW. Also, as has been pointed out, no layperson, even the President of the House of Deputies, needs a bishop's permission to enter his or her diocese and speak. Actually, come to think of it, no clergyperson needs that permission unless he or she wants to function as a priest (preach or celebrate).

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