Friday, January 11, 2008

The Episcopal Church Division Intensifies: Schori "inhibits" the Bishop of San Joaquin


As a point of clarification, there is no confusion on the part of the Bishop of San Joaquin or the clergy, people, leadership, and convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin of their status. The claims of the Episcopal Church to have oversight or jurisdiction are not correct. The fact is that neither the Diocese nor Bishop John-David Schofield are part of The Episcopal Church. The Bishop is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as of December 8th, 2007. The Diocese is a part of the Southern Cone. Neither the Presiding Bishop or the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church have any further jurisdiction. Bishop Schofield is no longer a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

A statement from The Most Reverend Gregory Venables, dated January 11,2008:

“As of December the 8th, 2007 Bishop John-David Schofield is not under the authority or jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church or the Presiding Bishop.He is, therefore, not answerable to their national canon law but is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone and under our authority.

Un fuerte abrazo.

--The Most Rev. Greg Venables, Archbishop of the Southern Cone

UPDATE via e-mail:
The following is the Diocese of San Joaquin's statement in response to a letter sent to Bishop Schofield by Bishop Schori of The Episcopal Church today:

The Episcopal Church’s assertion that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church is an admission that TEC rejects the historical Anglican faith.

This is why The Diocese of San Joaquin appealed to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America for emergency and temporary protection. The majority of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion hold to the traditional faith.

It is the primary duty of bishops to guard the faith and Bishop Schofield has been continually discriminated against for having done so while Bishops and Archbishops around the world have affirmed not only his stance but the move to the Southern Cone. Bishop Schofield is currently a member of both the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, not prohibited by either house.

Governing documents of TEC do not prohibit relationships between different members of the Anglican Communion, rather they encourage it. TEC’s action demonstrates that there is an enormous difference between their church and most of the Anglican Communion. Again, this action is a demonstration that TEC is walking apart from the faith and its expression in morality held by the rest of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church’s own identity is dependent upon its relationship with the whole Anglican Communion.

TEC should consider whether it is imperiling that relationship by taking such punitive actions.

815 announces the action this evening.

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on January 11 inhibited Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield.

In the text of the inhibition, Jefferts Schori wrote: "I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Schofield and order that from and after 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, January 11, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this Church; and pursuant to Canon IV.15, I order him from and after that time to cease all 'episcopal, ministerial, and canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of San Joaquin,' until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops."

Look who else gave thumbs up to the action. Looks like there is lots of glee about this action over here. You can read the rest of the story here. And pass the popcorn. It's quite a spectacle.

BB NOTE: Bishops of the Anglican Communion have publicly indicated that they support Bishop Schofield. They include:

The Right Revd Jack L Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth
The Most Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney
The Right Revd Matthias Medadues-Badohu, Bishop of Ho
The Right Revd Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester
The Right Revd Gerard Mpango, Bishop of Western Tanganyika
The Right Revd Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh
The Right Revd Ross Davies, Bishop of The Murray
The Right Revd Keith L Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy
The Right Revd Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield
The Right Revd Ewen Ratteray, Bishop of Bermuda
The Right Revd Michael Hough, Bishop of Ballarat
The Right Revd John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham
The Right Revd Martyn Jarrett, Bishop of Beverley
The Right Revd John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley
The Right Revd Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough
The Right Revd Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney
The Right Revd Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet
The Right Revd Lindsay Urwin, Bishop of Horsham
The Right Revd Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes
The Right Revd Henry Scriven, Asst Bishop, Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Right Revd Bill Atwood, Province of Kenya
The Rt Revd Martyn Minns, Convocation of Anglicans in North America
The Right Revd John Guernsey Bishop, Province of Uganda
The Rt Revd David Anderson, CANA
The Right Revd John Gaisford, lately Bishop of Beverley
The Right Revd Edward MacBurney, lately Bishop of Quincy
The Right Revd Roger Jupp, lately Bishop of Popondota
The Right Revd David Silk, lately Bishop of Ballarat
The Right Revd Nöel Jones, lately Bishop of Sodor and Man
The Right Revd Edwin Barnes, lately Bishop of Richborough
The Right Revd William Wantland, lately Bishop of Eau Claire
The Right Revd Donald Parsons, formerly Bishop of Quincy
The Right Revd Jackson Biggers, lately Bishop of Northern Malawi

BB NOTE: Alas, I'm not sure I know what to think about to make of the Presiding Bishop these days, but this action does make me sad, very sad indeed. I thought I might make light of it at first, but the truth is, this action causes me to lament yet another example of the official division of The Episcopal Church. There is no longer any respect for conscience. We now have an almost militant defiance demanding loyalty over conscience. Even during the Civil War, the Bishops of the North only marked the Bishops of the South absent - which included, at that time, the Bishop of Virginia. And this is what we call progress? I think not. What we saw after the Civil War was mercy. What we see now I think is called schism.


Lisa Fox said...

BB, you say in your postscript that the Diocese of Virginia gave their thumbs-up to this action. But in the link you provide, there is no indication that DioVA had anything to do with it. As far as I know, nobody from the diocese is on the Review Ctte that concurred with the inhibition. But you're more savvy than I about this stuff. What are you saying?

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that since the PB left town with parts of +Lee in her purse, he's been unable to think for himself.

It's a rather sad ending to the career of a man who could have made a difference.


Anonymous said...

BBs postscript des not mention the DioVA. It links to pictures of two members of the Title IV Review Committee.

Follow the link indicated by "here".

BabyBlue said...

I think the link works.


BabyBlue said...

Lisa, it was Bishop Lee (along with two other senior bishops). Here's the part from the ENS Article:

Jefferts Schori needed, in accordance with Title IV, Canon 9, Sec. 1, the consent of the three senior bishops of the church with jurisdiction (as opposed to being retired or not in diocesan seats) to issue the inhibition. She noted in the inhibition that Leo Frade of Southeast Florida, Peter Lee of Virginia, and Don Wimberly of Texas gave their consents January 11.


Br_er Rabbit said...

BB, I can't find the reply to the inhibition letter using your link. I think it might be a DioSJ website problem.

Lawrence said...

Wouldn't this inhibition just go to prove the very same division in the church that 815 is saying isn't happening in the Virginia courts?

Seems to me like a rather self-defeating move in that regard.


Yes, you are seeing schism. The schism planned, bought and paid for by those committed to choosing separation over toleration. Here's hoping those who brought it about are enjoying the fruits of their labors. It's a sad day for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

RE: "Here's hoping those who brought it about are enjoying the fruits of their labors."

Yep -- Integrity is definitely enjoying the fruits of their labors.

RE: "It's a sad day for the rest of us."

I gotta wonder if Susan Russell actually believes that any of us believe that. I think not -- so I can only assume that -- as with much of her public rhetoric -- her statements about "sad" days are for another audience than that of reasserters.

But it's a nice touch leaving it on a reasserting blog. ; > )


Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for the clarification, BB. I was following the hyperlink from your "Look who else gave thumbs-up to this action." It just goes to the DioVA bishops webpage.

This is surely not a happy night for anyone. But, I must say, I am glad that Bishop Schofield is finally being held accountable for his actions.

ccinnova said...

What we saw after the Civil War was mercy. What we see now I think is called schism.

I would actually go a step further. What we are seeing is persecution of the faithful.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, however. Jesus warned His followers they would face persecution. Still, it saddens me to see that the persecution is coming from the denomination in which I grew up and to which members of my family still belong.


anonymous ... Yep. Meant it. Sad day. Sad that it has come to this. And sad that all the work done over ... oh, the last decade or so ... of New Commandment Task Forces and National Reconciliation Conferences and Talking Across the Divide events was all for naught. Sad because we end up here -- where those whose criterion for being included is being agreed with have made good on their promise to tear the church apart if it won't capitulate to their demands for a uniformity antithetical to authentic Anglicanism.

youknowwho said...

Methods match motivations. Legalism, scolding, pressure. Anyone want some "fruit"?

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest; if there were no property disputes, would revisionists really care who left?

The more of us who leave, refusing to accept your goals, the better place that TEC becomes for you.

As far as reconcilliation and talking - did revisionists have any goal other than the complete acceptance of their agenda?


Anonymous said...

RE: "Yep. Meant it. Sad day."


Oh, okay . . . now I really really believe it.


Anonymous said...

BB, the so-called "glee" to which you refer is truly not that -- it is a sigh of relief from those whose theologies and ecclesiologies have been denigrated by the former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin for years. Re-check the entries at the blog to which you refer, note the sadness of Susan+ above and believe it. While, again, there may be a sense of relief, there is little happiness when we prayerfully search our hearts.

The Church has been torn. Not by progressives, but by those who refuse to live with us in the Angican way.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't do "anonymous."

That was me, Padre Wayne.

Blessings and prayers.

Allen Lewis said...

The Church has been torn. Not by progressives, but by those who refuse to live with us in the Angican way.

Nonsense! What did the 2003 Primate's Communiqué say would happen if the Episcopal Church (USA) proceeded with the consecration of Gene Robinson to the bishopric: "The fabric of the Communion will be torn at the deepest level." [Note:that may not be the exact phrasing, but it is close enough] Then Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold signed that communiqué, acknowledging that possibility, and then came home and proceeded to consecrate Gene Robinson.

Padre Wayne, please don't be so disingenuous. There are plenty of us who know how to read and have long memories. By the way, the "Anglican Way" that you mention does not consist of calling good what God has plainly called evil. That may be the Progressive Way, but it is certainly not the Anglican Way!

Kevin said...

RE: "Yep. Meant it. Sad day"

Susan, Really, I never seen any fruit from so-called 'progressives' that indicate any sadness other than people strongly disagree with you, else you might have called for a true "pause" until the rest of us "caught-up" but as it is all I see is a political push for an advance regardless of affect on the whole. There seems little sorrow in your statement and actions over the last four years.

trueanglican said...

Allen Lewis, you have failed to note that the primates' 2003 communique is in the passive voice. It doesn't say who is going to tear the fabric of the Anglican Communion at the deepest leve.

We now know who the who is. It's the dissident congregations of Virginia. It's the bishop of San Joaquin and his misguided followers. It's the bishop of Pittsburgh and his ditto, with bishop of Fort Worth evidently not far behind. And what they are saying is what schismatics always say: "We would rather be right than be part of the church, which is altogether too messy, too ill-defined, too tolerant of error for us."

That the majority of Anglican people is with this kind of narrow rigidity is pure fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, all this talk of tolerance! Have people forgotten what this is about? It's not being tolerant of some little minor difference of opinion.

This is about the authority of Scripture - who Jesus was - did He rise from the dead - all the beliefs stated in the Nicene Creed that have been challenged by the "progressives." It is only the ordination of +VRG and the 2003 communique that has made people wake up and realize what was being preached and tolerated for years - The idea that Jesus is not God the Son, that there was no Virgin birth, that Jesus was not ressurrected.

Perhaps you don't believe those things - perhaps you are orthodox in your beliefs. Why then did you not hold accountable the Bishops who were preaching such nonsense? Instead, the poison that was in the church was allowed to spread. There is plenty of blame ot go around here.

I seem to remember that once Bishop Spong when asked said that it was better to be a heretic than a schematic. I could be wrong. Perhaps it was someone else who is a Bishop in the Episcopal Church - but I'll never forget the statement!

It would be best if heretics were anathamized as those who refuted the original teaching were in the ancient church. But it is too late for that now. The orthodox leaders of the Episcopal Church were asleep at the switch - or perhaps they were hoping that love would show the way to the heretics - that we could love them to the truth. And before anyone realized it - the heretics had contol.

So the question is not so much of schism or tolerance as it is can truth be unequally yoked with heresy? I think that all you read in the Bible will say, "NO!" If I'm wrong and heresy is to be tolerated, I sure wish you'd show me where.

I have never understood why people insist on joining a church whose doctrines they don't believe or remaining in one they no longer believe. If you have different, better ideas, go proclaim then and start your own church. I am sick to death of people who try to tell me that what I believed from childhood -what was taught by the Church - is wrong and that the Church and I need to change. You want things different, go make your own way. Follow in the traditions of Luther and all those other guys. But leave the Church you disagree with alone. Then there would be no schism - the "dissident churches" in Virginia and elsewhere woudl still be The Episcopal Church and the "Progressives" would have a different name - maybe something like "Latter Day Episcopalians" to distinguish them from the "Orthodox Episcopal Church."

I wonder if the LDE would be accepted into the Anglican Communion???????

What I do know is that as an orthodox Christian, I have lost several churches in my lifetime as each began to deny the beliefs they professed when I joined. I have lost more than one church to "progressives." This thing in the Episcopal church is nothing new.

I cannot imagine that it will happen to me again as I have finally found my way home to a church that has not changed her teachings/doctrines in 2000 years.

BabyBlue said...

One of the benefits of sitting in court and watching legal proceedings is that the arguments have to be based on fact, not on "fantasy."

Of course the Primates are very clear in 2003 in not only WHO is going to tear the fabric of our communiion at its deepest level, but what. They are very specific and they were right. The actions of The Episcopal Church in the consecration of Gene Robinson and the actions of the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada did exactly what the Primates said it would five years ago.

The Primates wrote:

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA) has explained to us the constitutional framework within which the election and confirmation of a new bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) takes place. As Primates, it is not for us to pass judgement on the constitutional processes of another province. We recognise the sensitive balance between provincial autonomy and the expression of critical opinion by others on the internal actions of a province. Nevertheless, many Primates have pointed to the grave difficulties that this election has raised and will continue to raise. In most of our provinces the election of Canon Gene Robinson would not have been possible since his chosen lifestyle would give rise to a canonical impediment to his consecration as a bishop.

If his consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).

Similar considerations apply to the situation pertaining in the Diocese of New Westminster.

It is disingenuous to think that Episcopal progressives such as it appears this so-called "True Anglican" (is that like "true German" I wonder?) can play the old "switcheroo" game that attempts to cast blame on those who pointed out that the actions taken by the Episcopal Church would not tear the fabric of the Communion. They did. Those actions tore the Communion at its deepest level.

It is not passive at all - the Consecration of Gene Robinson - despite all the pleas world wide and within the Episcopal Church and within the House of Bishops itself - did not do a damn thing to stop the Episcopal Church from carrying out their self-proclaimed "prophetic mission."

The kind of reasoning used by "True Anglican" is the sort of reasoning used by an unfaithful philandering husband who's wife leaves him and divorces him for his adultery. It's like the husband saying to his estranged wife "This marriage is over because of you!" and the wife replies "How can you say that after what you did?" And the husband replies, "Because you left me, you intolerant b#*&#."

The key phrase in the Primates 2003 Statement, which was released before Gene Robinson's consecration, is "If his consecration proceeds ..." then everything else will follow.

"If his consecration proceeds" then "we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion."

"If his consecration proceeds" then
"we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy."

"If his consecration proceeds" then
"the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world"

"If his consecration proceeds" then "many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA)"

"If his consecration proceeds" then "This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level"

"If his consecration proceeds" then it "may lead to further division on this and further issues"

"If his consecration proceeds" then will "provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA)."

And that is exactly where we are today five years after the Episcopal Church took action and consecrated the Bishop of New Hampshire.

So the adulterous husband points his finger at his estranged wife and has the audacity to say to her "You would rather be right than be part of a marriage which is altogether too messy, too ill-defined, too tolerant of error for you."

That's not narrow rigidity - that's integrity.


Anonymous said...

Preach it, Baby Blue!

; > )

But . . . the revisionists already know all that -- they just need to speak the rhetoric into the wind of the blog, is all.


ccinnova said...

I seem to remember that once Bishop Spong when asked said that it was better to be a heretic than a schematic. I could be wrong. Perhaps it was someone else who is a Bishop in the Episcopal Church - but I'll never forget the statement!

Bishop Peter Lee was the one who uttered those infamous words, though Bishop Spong has said many other infamous things as well.

glmcg1 said...

I find it troubling that only one or 2 of those posting are identified by other than "monikers." Seems to me if they want to be taken seriously by the rest of us, they should not travel in disguise.

Come on, folks...who are you?

George McGonigle

BabyBlue said...

Well, George, here at the cafe we don't require patrons who sit at our tables to identify themselves if they do not wish to or to use a different name if they wish to. Like in a cafe or pub we do not always know who sits at the next table but often we are quite interested to hear what they have to say. Sometimes, over time, they might tell us their name - and sometimes they never do. I have frequented a Starbucks on P Street regularly, but I do not believe most of those who are there know my name.

As long as we are all respectful - even when we are passionate over what we feel and believe (we do permit standing up and even standing on a chair if one must, but please don't throw the chairs or you may find yourself tossed out the door by that rather large Giant now snoozing by the door).

It does seem we had a Tour Bus from Pasadena stop by here recently, though. But - as the sign says in the window - tour buses are welcome.

And thanks George - it's good to know your name.


Anonymous said...

HI George,

I'm unsure of why there would be any advantage in being "taken seriously" by you.

Can you provide any sort of articulation of why any of those writing under pseudonyms might wish to be "taken seriously" by you or others?


Kevin said...

Now George, the name "George McGonigle" means absolutely nothing to me.

Please send you SSN, complete address, DoB and your daytime phone number. You may have just inherited millions, if only you can provide us with this information.