Diocese of Fort Worth appeals to the Panel of Reference  

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference for assistance in our dispute with the Episcopal Church in the United States over the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate. The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese made the appeal on July 11, 2005, in objection to the actions of the 1997 General Convention that made the ordination of women priests mandatory in every diocese, while the Anglican Communion seeks to maintain an “open process of reception” on this issue.

The purpose of the Panel, as expressed in the Primates’ Communiqué of February 24, 2005, is “to protect the integrity and legitimate needs of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces.” Under the present canons, the Diocese of Fort Worth would not be able to proceed with the consecration of my successor (when that time comes) unless he agreed to the ordination of women as priests.

The Panel is asked to help find a way for the Diocese to remain a full member of the Anglican Communion, while maintaining the historic practice of the church catholic of a male priesthood.

Links to the appeal and supporting documentation may be found below.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
July 25, 2005


Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Text of the Appeal

Supporting documents (PDF)

2005 timeline concerning the Panel of Reference

Appeal process described
[clicking opens a new window in the Anglican Communion Web site]