A.S. Haley:+Iker’s Diocese Requests Expedited Hearing in TXSCt after Disciplinary Charges Filed
July 7, 2012
The lawyers for Bishop Iker’s Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth continue to stay several moves ahead of their ECUSA opponents. Bishop Ohl’s and Bishop Buchanan’s tactic of trying to lower the boom on the seven Bishops signing an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court in the Fort Worth case may be said to have backfired. Bishop Iker and his Diocese yesterday filed in that Court a Motion to expedite the hearing date (the Court has not set one yet) to October 16 or earlier. (October 16 is the date on which the Court has set the Masterson v. Diocese of Northwest Texas case for oral arguments.)
In the Motion to expedite, the attorneys give as one of the reasons for the filing the recent disciplinary complaints filed against the Bishops who signed the amicus brief in the Fort Worth case:
On April 23, 2012, an amicus brief was filed in this case by seven bishops and three priests of The Episcopal Church (TEC). The brief supported the Fort Worth Diocese’s arguments that, should Texas adopt the Deference approach rather Neutral Principles for church property disputes, the final authority in the Episcopalian tradition on such disputes is the local bishop, not TEC’s national administrative office. On July 2, 2012, the Episcopal News Service, the “officially sponsored online news source” of TEC, reported that disciplinary complaints have been filed against the seven amicus bishops for their actions in filing the amicus brief in this case. See Tab A. (TEC lacks jurisdiction over local priests). Petitioners respectfully request that this Court expedite resolution of this appeal to avoid further collateral repercussions.the rest
Six of the nine bishops accused of violating the church's canons have responded in an open letter to the House of Bishops and addressed to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.