Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Episcopal Church sues to regain control of Fort Worth-area buildings held by breakaway group

The Episcopal Church filed suit Tuesday to regain control of Fort Worth-area church buildings and other property held by a breakaway contingent led by Bishop Jack Iker.

"We're stewards of property that has been given for generations to the Episcopal Church. We can't just let people walk off with it," said Kathleen Wells, chancellor for the reorganized Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

The suit was filed in Tarrant County district court and names Iker as a defendant, among others.

Iker could not be reached. In earlier interviews, he said he hoped the property dispute would be ended through negotiation, but he predicted that the Episcopal Church would first file suit.

Last November, a large majority of clergy and lay leaders of the Fort Worth Episcopal Diocese voted – at Iker's urging – to leave the Episcopal Church and realign with a more conservative province of the Anglican Communion.

Fort Worth was the fourth diocese to break away, and like the others, left complaining that the national church had become too liberal in its theology and social views.

Since then, Iker's group has continued to call itself the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and has occupied most of the church buildings in the diocese, with worship services and other church activities continuing.

More here-

Court filing

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