Tag: TEC

Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court Decision Announced

16 May, AD 2016

To All the Faithful in the Diocese of Quincy,

gavel_scalesThe Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court has ruled in our favor in our ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against us by the Episcopal Church. In their unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that our Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of our assets.

While the Episcopal Church had claimed that prior Court rulings did not encompass “all” of the Diocese’s assets, the trial court of Adams County, Illinois ruled that it had in fact awarded all of the Diocesan assets to our Diocese free of any claim by the Episcopal Church.

The trial court noted that its original decision had been affirmed by the Fourth District Appellate Court and that the Illinois Supreme Court had declined the Episcopal Church’s Petition for Leave to file further appeal. Further, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s sanction against the Episcopal Church, whereby the trial court had ordered the Episcopal Church to pay attorney’s fees for the Diocese.

While all of this is fantastic news and is a further answer to our prayers, it does not mean we are done with legal challenges. The Episcopal Church still has a lawsuit pending against us in Peoria County and another pending against us in Rock Island County. These lawsuits are essentially asking for the courts to award the assets of our individual congregations to the Episcopal Church. These cases have been “stayed” or put on hold pending the decision of the Appellate Court discussed above, but are now likely to become active again in the very near future. While we all hope and pray that the Episcopal Church will cease these attacks upon our Diocese, our Diocese and its attorneys will continue to vigorously defend our rights to proclaim the Gospel without fear and to worship as traditional Anglicans.

Upholding all of the faithful in the Diocese of Quincy in unceasing prayer and all love in Christ Jesus,

The Very Rev. Thomas A. Janikowski, FSAC
The Right Rev. J. Alberto Morales, OSB, DD, Quincy IX

Bishop of Fort Worth responds to the Canterbury primates communique

Bishop of Fort Worth responds to the Canterbury primates communique

Primates Suspend Episcopal Church from Full Participation
in the Anglican Communion

When I read this headline on the results of last week’s meeting of the Anglican Primates in Canterbury, my first thought was, “Well, what took them so long?”

For decades The Episcopal Church has been undermining the historic faith and order of biblical Anglicanism – most recently by endorsing same-sex marriages. And for years there have been efforts to sanction or discipline TEC for its continuing drift away from orthodox belief and practice. The Windsor Report in 2004 and the Primates Meeting at Dar es Salaam in 2007 both called for specific actions to discipline TEC and called for repentance, but to no avail. There is little reason to believe that anything will change as a result of this most recent decision from the Primates. Already, the leaders of TEC have said as much. They are going to continue to be defiant and autonomous, come what may.

Yes, for three years TEC representatives can no longer serve on ecumenical bodies or be elected or appointed to decision-making bodies of the Anglican Communion. Yes, an overwhelming majority imposed these consequences on TEC for its unfaithfulness to the Scriptures. (The tally was 26 For, 3 Against, and 6 Abstentions.) And yes, TEC has been suspended from full participation in the Anglican Communion. They are reduced to observer status, with seat and voice, but no vote in meetings of various Anglican bodies. All of this is welcome news, and we commend the Primates for the position they have taken.

However, the real good news behind all this is the growing strength and influence of the GAFCON movement, representing the vast majority of Anglicans around the world. They have been increasingly supported by the Global South Primates, and the future of the Anglican Communion lies with the leadership of this new alliance. They recognize the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and have seated our Archbishop, Foley Beach, as a Primate in both bodies. It is very telling that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, followed their lead last week, consenting to this recognition and welcoming Archbishop Beach to the Canterbury meeting, with full seat, voice, and vote. Our place in worldwide Anglicanism is confident and secure.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, GAFCON Chairman, said: “The need for the GAFCON movement is being recognised by an increasing number of people… We long to see a united, confident and courageous witness to God who by the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ has given us an unshakeable hope and assures us of his unfailing love.”

Fort Worth stands with him in the pursuit of this goal in the days ahead.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

Primates Communique 14 January 2016

Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.

The Primates regret that it appears that this document has been leaked in advance of their communiqué tomorrow. In order to avoid speculation the document is being released in full. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.

Questions and further comments will be responded to at a press conference tomorrow at 1500. Full details are available here.

The full text is as follows:

1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.

2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.

3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.

4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.

6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.

7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ.

Court denies TEC claims to Diocesan property

Sharpe-IkerThe 141st District Court has ruled in favor of the Diocese and Corporation in our nearly six-year-old lawsuit, instigated
by The Episcopal Church. Pictured with Bishop Iker is attorney Shelby Sharpe.

Statement by The Diocese of Fort Worth
March 3, 2015

On Monday, March 2, 2015, the 141st District Court granted our Motion for Partial Summary Judgment regarding all diocesan property, with the exception of All Saints’, Fort Worth, which Judge Chupp severed for a separate trial.

Nearly six years after we were first sued by The Episcopal Church and its local representatives, the court has confirmed the Diocese’s right to dissociate from TEC and for the Corporation to retain its property.

“We are grateful for the ruling in our favor,” said Bishop Iker. “It’s clear that both church laws and Texas laws have been rightly applied to this dispute.”

In granting our motion, the Hon. John Chupp has ruled that Bishop Iker and the duly-elected officials of the Diocese and Corporation control the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, its Corporation, all endowments and funds, and all property that has been disputed in this litigation. The ruling is binding on all parties.

The judge severed out all the claims concerning ownership of the property of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, and this case will be heard by him at a future time. All Saints’ is the only incorporated parish in the Diocese and claims to hold title to property in its own name. In a February 20 hearing before the court, Judge Chupp strongly encouraged the leadership of All Saints’ to pursue the Canon 32 process with the Diocese, which might settle the issues without the need for a trial.

The following statements from our Motion for Partial Summary Judgment are confirmed by Judge Chupp’s order:

“According to the deeds, church charters, and Texas law:

• using neutral principles of Texas law to decide this case is not retroactive;
• the properties at issue are owned by the Corporation;
• the Defendant Trustees are the properly elected Trustees of the Corporation;
• Bishop Iker is the proper chairman and a member of the Corporation’s board;
• no express trust exists in favor of Plaintiffs (TEC);
• no implied or constructive trust exists in favor of Plaintiffs;
• the Defendants are not estopped to defend themselves; and
• the Defendants properly control the funds, trusts, and endowments at issue.

As a matter of law, the Defendants are entitled to title, control, and use of all of the property at issue in this case.”

The laity and clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth rejoice with Bishop Iker and join him in giving thanks to God for this ruling. We pray for a quick resolution to the remaining claims and disputes. We will continue to carry out the mission given us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: to win the world for Him.