Local TEC attorneys notified us today that they will petition the United States Supreme Court to overturn the ruling of the Texas Supreme Court, which calls for the 141st District Court in Fort Worth to proceed with a new hearing on the property dispute between TEC and the Diocese of Fort Worth and to decide the case on neutral principles of law. In order to buy time for this, they are asking the Texas Supreme Court to recall the mandate issued on March 21 for the lower court to proceed.
In the meantime, the Diocese has petitioned the trial court to rescind the supersedeas order of October 2011 that required us to post a $100,000 bond with the registry of the court and to make monthly financial reports to our opponents. If granted, the bond would be returned to the Diocese, with interest.
Bishop Iker said of this latest ploy by TEC: “This is a last-ditch, desperate act on the part of a group that now realizes theirs is a lost cause in Texas. It shows how far they will stretch to delay and confuse, to prevent the proceedings from being brought to a conclusion.”
The record shows that the TEC group pursuing this case consists ofseven self-supporting parishes and 10 small splinter groups meeting at different locations. On the other hand, our Diocese is comprised of 30 self-supporting parishes, 18 aided mission churches, and 10 mission stations, with an average Sunday attendance of over 5,230 members.
It is highly unlikely that either the US or the Texas Supreme Courts will grant either motion. While we continue to make our case based upon Texas laws governing property ownership, trusts, and corporations, TEC loyalists argue from sentimentality and a “my church right or wrong” mindset.