The Anglican wars timeline keeps getting longer and longer, as the court cases roll on and on and the lawyers keep cashing the checks. It is very hard for reporters to keep up with all of the details, of course, especially since there are brilliant experts on both sides whose views of the facts clash more often than not.
However, as always, it helps to know what happened when.
Take the case that is unfolding in Fort Worth, Texas, the subject of another amazingly short update in The Star-Telegram. I can understand the temptation to cut to the chase, but the problem with this story is that it is not nearly as complicated as it should be.
The new headline is that the old guard in the local diocese -- doctrinally conservative Anglicans -- won a major victory over the progressive Episcopal Church establishment , which, of course, will now be tested in another court. Let's walk through this story a bit and see where editors needed to plug in a bit more history.
FORT WORTH -- After a bitter, seven-year legal dispute, state District Judge John Chupp ruled Monday that the Episcopalians led by Bishop Jack Iker who broke away from the national Episcopal Church are entitled to an estimated $100 million in property in the 24-county Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
Fort Worth-area Episcopalians who remained loyal to the national Episcopal Church and reorganized the diocese under Bishop Rayford High have the right to appeal the decision.
Now, the key to this case -- from the point of view of the Anglican right -- is that Iker had for years been, and his supporters believe he still is, the leader of the real Fort Worth diocese. He was there first. This story hints at that fact -- note the word "reorganized" in the reference to Bishop High -- but doesn't state it clearly.
Why does that matter?