Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mis-Leader

A Missive from the "As If" Bishop

Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker has offered his insights on the March meeting of the House of Bishops in the May 2007 issue of the UK's Forward in Faith magazine, New Directions, now reproduced at TitusOneNine. His story begins:

A palpable sense of apprehension was in the air as the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church gathered at Camp Allen in Texas on 16 March 2007, for their five-day spring meeting. Everyone was in a dither about the recently issued Communique from the Dar es Salaam meeting of the Primates . . . .
Isn't this an engaging opening? You get the clear sense that Bishop Iker was right there – in the thick of it – fighting for the cause. (Whatever his cause is.) Here are some more salient quotes from his account of the meeting:

So after much talk and prayer, as the final day approached, a business session was called and the bishops moved into the legislative mode . . . .

Then it was time to perfect the 'Message to God's People,' which some bishops had been working on for days in advance of arriving at Camp Allen . . . .
Doesn't it just give you that delightful "You Are There" feeling which one gets from an eyewitness account? It's always helpful to get that "insider" perspective.

There's just one problem with Bishop Iker's account of the House of Bishops meeting. He was not there. Yes, that's right: He was not there. He was not at Camp Allen, meeting and talking with the other bishops of the Episcopal Church. He stayed away from the meeting . . . as he has stayed away from so many meetings of the House of Bishops.

Now, on close examination, if you read his story, you'll see he never says "I was there, and this is what I saw and heard." No, he just lulls the careless reader into believing that he is giving a first-person account.

Back in March, I read many first-hand accounts from the meeting. I bet I could have written a riveting story as if I were there. But I wasn't. So I didn't pen an "as-if-I-were-there" story. Instead, I relied on those who were there. I posted their reflections, mostly over at The Episcopal Majority's site.

What was Bishop Iker thinking when he submitted such a story for publication in New Directions? And why are blogs such as TitusOneNine posting it as if it were news?

Fortunately, even the commenters at TitusOneNine are acknowledging that Bishop Iker wasn't at the House of Bishops meeting. As one person said in the comments: "The tone of the narrative with phrases like A palpable sense of apprehension was in the air would suggest an eye-witness report." Indeed it would. Indeed it does.

I'm going to forebear. I'm not going to lump Bishop Iker in with the lying liars. The kindest adjective that I can attribute to Bishop Iker's story is that it is "misleading." But there are plenty of Episcopalians in Fort Worth who have seen him mis-lead that diocese for several years now. Bishop Iker has been behaving as if he were a bishop in the Episcopal Church for quite a long time now. So there's really no news here.

Addendum (06.06.07): Father Jake offers an even more pointed analysis at Fort Worth Bears False Witness and reminds us all of the very fine and truly first-person account Bishop Jim Kelsey offered immediately after the House of Bishops meeting.

6 Comments:

Blogger Sioux said...

I am only one of many, many in the Diocese of Fort Worth who is glad our bishop is NOT behaving like a bishop in the Episcopal Church, but instead is behaving as an Anglican Christian. We are thankful for his leadership...we who want to be Christians first and Anglicans second and Episcopalians, not at all.

6/05/2007 9:19 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

OK, Sioux. But I have two questions for you.

1. Why don't you and he renounce your affiliation with the Episcopal Church and go to a church that's more in synch with your beliefs?

2. How do you explain his duplicity in the article of his about which I blogged here?

6/05/2007 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm sioux,
I don't think it's much like an "Anglican Christian" to say in the subtitle of an article that he (Bishop Iker) wrote that he is reporting "FROM THE RECENT MEETING OF THE AMERICAN HOUSE OF BISHOPS." Bishop Iker WAS NOT AT THE MEETING. A lie is a lie, in fact when you write it on paper, it becomes PERJURY. Whether the lie comes from someone you love or someone you hate, it is still a lie. Bishop Iker has been lying for years to parishoners in the Fort Worth diocese saying that he "IS NOT LEAVING THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH." In light of recent events, this statement of his can hardly be considered the truth. If you don't want to be EPISCOPALIAN, PLEASE GO TO ANOTHER CHURCH THAT YOU DO LIKE, AND LEAVE MY EPISCOPAL CHURCH ALONE! I think you will be a lot happier.
-Sarah
PS AT LEAST ONE CHURCH IN THE FORT WORTH DIOCESE (TRINITY FORT WORTH) HAS PASSED A VESTRY RESOLUTION STATING ITS INTENTION TO REMAIN IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The whole Diocese is not leaving TEC after all. I suspect a few more churches may follow.

6/05/2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

If you want a first-hand report of what happened at the meeting, and how the statement was developed, read the late Bp. Kelsey's commentary:

http://upepiscopalnewz.blogspot.com/2007/03/jim-kelseys-report-on-spring-bishops.html

The bishops did not arrive at the meeting with a draft already written. The statement renouncing the pastoral scheme was the result of discussions that occurred during the meeting. If Bp. Iker would have been there, he would have known this.

6/06/2007 12:23 PM  
Blogger David said...

+Jack Iker, the "Faux News" of Episcopal Church reporting...

6/06/2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we say in Texas: 'Well, bless their hearts!'

Iker, an Ohio carpetbagger, is no more a Texan than George Bush.

And if he does not want to be Episcopalian, then he should have the grace and honor to leave the church for one that suits him better. (Frankly, for all his Anglo-Catholic pretense, I think that Iker would be much more comfortable with the Southern Baptists.)

6/06/2007 5:48 PM  

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