Fort Worth and Dallas sought to usurp role of General Convention

The Bishop of Fort Worth writes that he and other diocesan leaders have been discussing associate status in the Diocese of Dallas for congregations in Fort Worth who want to remain in The Episcopal Church when he and others move into the Province of the Southern Cone.

In late January, I asked 12 of the senior, most respected priests of the Diocese to begin meeting together as a clergy discussion group to assist me in addressing the tensions and conflicts involved in the life of our Diocese as we move toward a Diocesan Convention vote in November to separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. I am sorry to report that after several meetings over the months, they have been unable to agree on any proposed remedy for the divisions that face us.


At the same time as these conversations were going on, a group of diocesan officials from Fort Worth were meeting with our counterparts in the Diocese of Dallas to see if a pastoral agreement could be worked out between our two dioceses, whereby parishes in Fort Worth that wanted to remain in TEC could do so as part of the Dallas Diocese. These meetings included the Bishops, Chancellors, Canons to the Ordinary, and Presidents of the Standing Committees of the two dioceses. We came up with a proposal whereby, under certain conditions, Fort Worth parishes and clergy could have “associate membership” in Dallas, including seat, voice and vote at their Convention, and their property could be placed temporarily in the name of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, to be held in trust for their use.

Mr. Beers stated that neither the PB nor the General Convention would support such a plan, and without their support, the Fort Worth parishes [we thought would like to pursue such an arrangement] were unwilling to continue steps to implement the plan.

According to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church only General Convention can approve rearrangement of congregations and the dioceses to which they belong. The Diocese of Fort Worth will continue to be a diocese of The Episcopal Church regardless of the vote of the diocesan convention and the bishop.

Read it all here.

The Dallas Morning News reports here. Some of those commenting seem to understand the situation better than the bishop and his associates.

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