Backtracking in Fort Worth

As we reported last week, there was an apparent attempt to take the Diocese of Fort Worth to the Roman Catholic Church. Katie Sherrod, who lives in the Diocese of Fort Worth, and who first broke this story, now reports that the following email was sent to clergy in the Diocese last night:

Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 9:42 PM

Cc: Bishop Iker

Subject: Ad Clerum: Statement

To the clergy,

The following statement has been released jointly by Canon Charles Hough, Fr. William Crary, Fr. Christopher Stainbrook, and Fr. Louis Tobola in reference to the document released earlier this week concerning a June meeting between them and Bishop Kevin Vann.

Bishop Iker and the Standing Committee have asked that it be conveyed to you via Ad Clerum. It will be sent to all convention delegates and alternates as well.

Suzanne Gill


From: Fathers Crary, Hough, Stainbrook, and Tobola

To: The Clergy and People of the Diocese

We wish to emphasize:

1. That the documents and our conversation with Bishop Vann solely ever represented the four priests named.

2. In retrospect, we regret our choice of timing for starting these conversations.

3. We deeply regret the phraseology of the document which has caused hurt and division.

4. We remain fully committed to the goal of this Diocese, as plainly stated by Bishop Iker, to realign with an Orthodox Anglican Province.

Respectfully submitted,

The Very Rev. William A Crary, Jr.

The Rev. Canon Charles A. Hough, III

The Very Rev. Christopher C. Stainbrook

The Rev. Louis L. Tobola, Jr.

As Katie observes:

Read on to see what happens even to longtime loyal priests in this diocese when they embarrass Bishop Jack Iker. These four senior priests of the diocese — all of whom have been staunch supporters and defenders of Bishop Iker – obviously believed they had his support in making their proposal to the Roman Catholic bishop. They would never have done something that serious unless they believed that.

The negative reaction from the people of the diocese must have been beyond enormous to cause the bishop to demand this public a retraction and have it issued at 9:42 p.m. on a Saturday night. But after all, what are four longtime friends when it comes to saving face?

Read it all here.

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