William Fleener, Jr. highlights some interesting facts about the former leadership of the Diocese of Fort Worth on his blog Est Anima Legis (The Spirit of the Law). Bishops Jack Iker and William Wantland, two of the leaders of the breakaway movement in the Episcopal Church once asserted in a lawsuit that the Dennis Canon – which holds that parish property is held in trust for The Episcopal Church- should be regarded as having the force of law in secular courts. Now they are arguing that the Dennis Canon is irrelevant as they try to take Episcopal Church property to the Province of the Southern Cone.
So it turns out that in the 1990’s a parish wanted to leave the Diocese of Fort Worth. They went to something called the Antiochean Orthodox Church so you can bet it was not because they thought Fort Worth was too conservative.
Anyway, the diocese (wait for it) asserted the parish property was held in trust for the diocese and the national church. And there are even affidavits from William Wantland and Jack Iker.
Affidavits are here and below.
More information here.
UPDATE: And Quincy, too.
Rev. John Throop, president of the diocesan standing committee, in a telephone interview, . . . said that the diocese “will vigorously pursue every legal avenue open to us to defend the diocese’s control over the property and assets because we know that they are held in trust for the diocese as long as there are Episcopalians who wish to worship there.”
Nevertheless, diocesan officials were undaunted in their determination to uphold the clear ownership of the building and the estimated $2 million endowment. “The denial of the preliminary injunction is only a minor setback,” said the Rev. Canon J.C. Emerson, diocesan communication officer, in a March 15 press release following the judgment of the court. Emerson said that the diocese has joined parishioners who remain Episcopalians in a lawsuit to “make the parish’s case and end the illegal occupation of the property of the legitimate St. John’s Episcopal Church by a renegade and dissident few.”