On November 20, 2008, the Title IV Review Committee certified to me pursuant to the canons that the Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, had abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church, having purported to separate his Diocese from the Church. With the consent of the three senior bishops, I then inhibited Bishop Iker from exercising his pastoral ministry. In response to this action, on November 24, 2008, Bishop Iker issued a public statement in which he made clear that he had chosen to leave the Episcopal Church and that he no longer wished to carry out the responsibilities of ordained ministry in the Church. Accordingly, I have, with the consent of my Council of Advice, chosen this day to accept Bishop Iker’s voluntary renunciation of his Orders in the Episcopal Church and have removed and released him from our ordained ministry.
Her letter concluded: Accepting Bishop Iker’s voluntary renunciation now rather than waiting for the March meeting of the House will do much to alleviate the difficult circumstances facing the Episcopalians in Fort Worth, who are functioning in a Diocese devoid of any formal leadership. Second, renunciation is a more hospitable avenue of departure from the Church, and therefore increases the hope for reconciliation with Bishop Iker and his followers at some point.
The full story makes clear that Iker does not think he has renounced his orders, but that the Presiding Bishop, her Council of Advice (which includes the extremely conservative Bruce MacPherson) and the nine-member Title IV review committee (chaired by Dorsey Henderson, nobody’s liberal) think his public statements constitute renunciation.
An interesting side note: the Episcopal witnesses on the one-page notification that the Presiding Bishop released are Bishops George Packard and Lloyd Allen, both of whom, I believe, voted against deposing Bishop Bob Duncan.