Mere Anglicanism

Episcopal Church to appeal Fort Worth court loss

The national Episcopal Church will appeal a Texas court ruling granting trusteeship of All Saints Church, Fort Worth to the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth led by the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker.

The national Episcopal Church will appeal a Texas court ruling granting trusteeship of All Saints Church, Fort Worth to the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth led by the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker.

 

On 10 June 2015 The Hon. John P. Chupp of the 141st District Court for Tarrant County granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Bishop Iker and the diocese giving it control of the church, parish hall and old rectory currently occupied by a breakaway group aligned with the national church and its diocese led by the Rt. Rev. Rayford High, Jr. Under the doctrine of neutral principles of law set down by the Texas Supreme Court, the court was directed to look at the title deed and ownership documenets to ascertain ownership and not give weight to claims under ecclesiastical law.

 

After six years of litigation, on 2 March 2015 Judge Chupp handed down a motion for summary judgment holding the corporation led by Bishop Iker was the lawful owner of all diocesan property. The dispute over All Saints had been severed from the larger lawsuit for separate consideration.

 

In a statement released after the court ruling was handed down, the national church affiliated group said that once a final judgment is entered on the consolidated decisions in favor of the diocesan corporation it will appeal the ruling “to the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, Texas Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.”

 

Bishop High said, “I was present this morning at the hearing in Judge Chupp’s court for the Partial Summary Judgment. I believe our legal team did a very good job of presenting our case. I am disappointed in the decision but I know this will be appealed. This decision will not deter us from continuing to do the good work of the Gospel in our diocese, with determination and a good, loving, embracing spirit that has been our mark of faith.”

Bishop Iker gave “thanks to God for this wonderful ruling. It means that in due course this great, historic parish will be restored to the biblical faith, orthodox teaching, and catholic religion of her founding members.”

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