The Dallas/Fort Worth Plan

A Pastoral Arrangement for Parishes
in an Impaired Relationship with Their Bishop

1. Should a congregation of either the Diocese of Dallas or the Diocese of Fort Worth believe that there is impaired communion or an impaired relationship between them and their diocesan bishop, they may ask their bishop to arrange for episcopal pastoral care for them from the bishop of the other diocese.

2. The Diocese of Fort Worth

A. In the Diocese of Fort Worth the bishop is in a state of impaired communion with women functioning as priests in that he cannot receive their sacramental ministrations nor share in their priestly ministry. Nor can he in conscience suggest that women can be validly ordained as priests of the universal church by ordaining or licensing them to perform priestly functions.
B. Should any rector and vestry of a parish in the Diocese of Fort Worth, following a majority vote of the vestry and after due consultation with the parish, wish to engage the services of a woman to function in a priestly capacity, the diocesan bishop will ask the Bishop of Dallas to provide episcopal pastoral care to that parish and its clergy in all things sacramental and spiritual while in all purely legislative and administrative matters remaining within the jurisdiction of the Bishop and Diocesan Convention of Fort Worth.
C. Any woman so functioning within the Diocese of Fort Worth shall be licensed by the Bishop of Dallas and be canonically resident in his diocese.
D. Should any woman in the Diocese of Fort Worth seek ordination to the priesthood, the Diocesan Bishop shall petition the Bishop of Dallas to provide her with full episcopal pastoral care from the discernment process through to her eventual ordination and placement.

3. The Diocese of Dallas

A. Should any rector and parish in the Diocese of Dallas, following a majority vote of the vestry and after due consultation with the parish, believe that the congregation is in a state of impaired communion with the bishop of that diocese because of women functioning as priests under his license or for some other explicit reason, they may petition the Bishop of Dallas to ask the Bishop of Fort Worth to provide episcopal pastoral care in all things sacramental and spiritual while in all purely legislative and administrative respects remaining within the jurisdiction of the Bishop and Diocesan Convention of Dallas.
B. Should any male aspirant who believes that he is in a state of impaired communion with the Bishop of Dallas seek ordination, he may petition his bishop to ask the Bishop of Fort Worth to provide him with full episcopal pastoral care from the discernment process through to his eventual ordination and placement.

4. The Bishops of Fort Worth and Dallas in consultation with one another shall assist any parish in impaired communion with their bishop in calling future rectors, and all arrangements for episcopal pastoral care shall remain binding upon future rectors until such time as the vestry of the said parish by majority vote and after due consultation with the parish congregation and the Bishops of Dallas and Fort Worth shall petition to have such arrangements nullified.

5. The Bishops of Dallas and Fort Worth agree that in all cases a petition to provide episcopal pastoral care will normally be granted after due consultation, as deemed appropriate by both bishops.

Revised and approved: March 2007

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton
Bishop of Dallas