BISHOP IKER TO BISHOP DIXON: "They're under my Oversight and Protection"

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Mon May 28 16:51:35 EDT 2001

"They're under my Oversight and Protection"

By David W. Virtue

Following is the official letter from Bishop Jack Leo Iker (Fort Worth)
to the rector, warden and vestry of St. John's, Christ Church,
Accokeek, Maryland.

The letter was read at both services - 8am and 9am Sunday May 27 - and
later publicly
in the Pavilion of the parish in front of the renegade audience that
included two bishops, Ronald Haines (Washington ret.) and Jane Dixon
(Washington suffragan).

May 26, 2001

The Rector, Wardens and Vestry
Christ Church, Saint John's Parish
600 Farmington Road West
Accokeek, MD 20607

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Greetings to each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord
and Savior. May His grace and peace be with you always.

I am writing in response to your letter of May 22, 2001, in which you
request that St. John's Parish be placed under my "Episcopal oversight
and protection." After a great deal of prayer and reflection, I have
decided to agree to your request, effective immediately.
The Rev. Samuel Edwards, who has served as a priest in good standing
under my oversight for the past eight years, will continue to serve as
your duly called Rector. This arrangement will continue for as long as
the current circumstances makes it necessary.

I am taking this step because the Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of
Washington, acting as Bishop pro tempore, in refusing to accept your
Vestry's call of Fr. Edwards as your Rector, is denying you that
"sustained pastoral care" which, in their Pastoral letter of 2001 from
Kanuga, the Anglican primates committed themselves to secure.

Bishop Jane Dixon's actions appear to be contrary to the canons of The
Episcopal Church, and also violate the spirit of the 1998 Lambeth
Conference Resolution 111.2, on "The unity of the Anglican Communion,"
which reads in part: "[This Conference]...calls upon the provinces of
the Communion to make provision, including appropriate episcopal
ministry, as will enable them to live in the highest degree of
Communion possible..."

The failure in the Diocese of Washington to find a way to respect
recognized theological positions shared by many throughout the Anglican
communion is in danger of breaking the peace and unity of the Church,
and is depriving you of necessary pastoral care. This I pray may now be
rectified by my intervention.

I also pray that this new pastoral arrangement between us may only be
temporary and that in due course a graceful accommodation may be made
by the Diocese of Washington whereby your call to Fr. Edwards may be
ratified canonically.

As together we look forward to a resolution of the controversies
afflicting you, please know that in addition to my oversight and
protection, you have my deep felt love and prayers. God bless you.

Faithfully in Christ,

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

cc: Archbishop George Carey
     Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold
     Bishop Jane Dixon

More information about the VirtueOnline mailing list