THINKING ANGLICANS

statements re San Joaquin

First, this statement was issued by email from a PR company on behalf of Bishop Schofield:

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 which 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 Bp 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, a position 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 demonstrationthat TEC is walking apart from the faith and its expression of 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.

How is it that over 60 million Anglicans world wide can be wrong while a few hundred thousand in the American Church can claim to be right?

Note: The Diocese of San Joaquin at its annual convention on December 8, 2007 took a historic step and voted to disassociate from The Episcopal Church. The convention also accepted an invitation from Archbishop Gregory Venables and the bishops of the Province of the Southern Cone of South America to be welcomed into their membership.

Second, this clarification was issued by The Rev. Cn. Bill Gandenberger Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese 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

Third, this statement was issued by the Bishop of Fort Worth:

It comes as no surprise that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has initiated canonical actions against the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield to remove him from office. However, the matter is complicated by the fact that Bishop Schofield and the Diocese of San Joaquin, by constitutional action of their Convention, are no longer a part of The Episcopal Church. They now function under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone. Disciplinary actions cannot be taken by this Province against a Bishop who is a member of another Province of the Anglican Communion.

The House of Bishops of TEC can indeed prevent Bishop Schofield from functioning as a Bishop in congregations of The Episcopal Church. However, they cannot invalidate his consecration as a Bishop in the Church of God, nor prevent him from functioning as such in congregations that welcome and affirm his ministry as their Bishop.

The Bishop of San Joaquin has my friendship, my support, and my prayers during this time of turmoil in the life of our church.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
January 12, 2008

Episcopal Cafe also has an article about the confusion at Is he or isn’t he?

Note, other church-related work from the same PR company can be seen here.

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MJ
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MJ

From the PR firm’s (Gladstone International) website: “Should a crisis hit, our team mobilizes immediately to minimize damage to your organization’s reputation.” Given their initial statement claiming +Schofield as being a member of both TEC and Southern Cone HoB’s, which quickly had to be ‘corrected’, it’s safe to say they failed straight out of the gate! Unless +Schofield was himself under that impression, thus needing correction by his new Primate?! In any case, +Venables has made it quite clear that +Schofield is no longer a member of TEC, therefore the inhibition and eventual deposition for ‘abandonment of communion of the… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

And the sooner TEC can be rid if him, the better – I think that swift action should be taken with any diocese which opts for the same path. The rest is for others to sort out – TEC’s responsibility is to ensure there is a TEC presence throughout the USA

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

All these statements avoid the basic question:

Was the action of the diocesan convention even legal? Can a diocese that is formed by the action of a national church legally claim to disassociate itself from that church without the church’s permission? Isn’t that rather like Orange County voting to no longer be part of California but to be part of, say, Montana, instead?

And if Schofield is no longer a bishop of TEC, yet there are still Episcopalians in his domain, then clearly there is still a Diocese of San Joaquin in TEC, one whose episcopal chair stands empty.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

It’s hard to figure out exactly which side of the “source”* may have been overly tippling/nipping with the cut-rate alter wine (unconsecrated).

Whomever it was this “pressed release” kinda makes me feel “car sick” and I think I want to toss my crookies.

*Does Gladstone Internationals “team” of “damage control experts” get paid by clients or the opponents of their clients?

Maybe I ought hold my breath and hang on to the bed until the “spin cycle” kicks in.

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

Clearly he wants to have his cake and eat it too. However, since it’s septuagesima next week, perhaps it’s time for a little pre-lenten restraint in the cakeshop direction? Far too much trifle here.

badman
Guest
badman

The reason for the “clarification” is that the original statement was that San Joaquin was a member BOTH of the TEC House of Bishops AND of the Southern Cone House of Bishops. This was on Titus One Nine and on Stand Firm. When the clarification was issued, the original was pulled, and no trace was left of it. However, remnants of it are preserved in the comments which quote the original version. See, for example the comment here: http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/9121/#169427 which quotes the original text which said: “Bishop Schofield is currently a member of both the House of Bishops of the… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Clearly the bishop’s game of “I’m a bishop of TEC when I claim the property but a bishop of the Southern Cone when TEC tries to discipline me” didn’t last long because it was patently absurd — nevertheless, it is a relief, considering how many absurd statements by various schismatics in this world wide power game have been left unchallenged.

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

“Was the action of the diocesan convention even legal? Can a diocese that is formed by the action of a national church legally claim to disassociate itself from that church without the church’s permission?”

Ultimately that is going to be a determination to be made by the civil courts. I wouldn’t make any bets on how it will turnout.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The better aspect of this latest round of realignment spin doctoring is that we get to see the separate realignment campaign steps which are usually rushed by us in a blur of media campaigning. Like Halliburton making big bucks from Iraq war, one presumes that Gladston Intl will also earn its keep in this church life warfare. I am more and more coming to see the rationale for the emergence of high school courses on media spin, advertising, and propaganda techniques which started to proliferate, often in California USA schools a few decades ago. As the state went, so now… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Christopher Seitz of the Anglican Communion Institute argues that what John-David Schofield has done is perfectly acceptable. He has simply transferred his diocese to the obedience of a different province, the Southern Cone. According to Seitz, any bishop may, on his own initiative, transfer his diocese to a different province, should he judge it necessary to do so. There is no need to seek the consent of the former province. Furthermore, says Seitz, since Schofield is no longer a bishop or priest of the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church cannot inhibit or depose him. Finally, according to Seitz, since the… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Don’t you just love the way papers and contributions disappear and are purported to have never existed? The only good thing, is souls are learning never to play poker with some as they keep aces up their sleeves and collude behind the scenes to tip off others what is in your hands. I don’t have a problem souls not wanting to be in communion with TEC or any other communion for that matter. God does not impose upon those who want nothing to with God, God just strolls along doing God’s thing and souls can get involved as and when… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“The Episcopal Church’s own identity is dependent upon its relationship with the whole Anglican Communion.”

Not so. We are part of the Anglican Communion by being in communion with the ABC. As a province, we antedate the Anglican Communion by about 100 years or so. Maybe this firm should stick to damage control for companies with defective products. Oh – that’s what Schofield’s outfit is. There’re just not very good at it.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“According to Seitz, any bishop may, on his own initiative, transfer his diocese to a different province, should he judge it necessary to do so. There is no need to seek the consent of the former province.” Oh, goody. Will we now see Rochester join, say, Nigeria, while London adheres to TEC? I suspect, ultimately, the British Parliament and courts may have something to say about that. “As a province, we antedate the Anglican Communion by about 100 years or so.” Not as a “province,” as that is a term that only has relevance within the Communion, but as a… Read more »

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

“Maybe this firm should stick to damage control for companies with defective products. Oh – that’s what Schofield’s outfit is. They’re just not very good at it.”

PR companies are only as good as the line their client wants them to sell / defend / maintain…

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

> Christopher Seitz of the Anglican Communion Institute argues that what John-David Schofield has done is perfectly acceptable. Since the Anglican Communion has no real rules and no enforcement mechanism that opinion is worth as much as any other opinion. None of them really count for very much. > Oh, goody. Will we now see Rochester join, say, Nigeria, while London adheres to TEC? I suspect, ultimately, the British Parliament and courts may have something to say about that. It is really only civil authority that has any real power in the matter. Obviously the British Parliament and Crown have… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“Obviously the British Parliament and Crown have a particular relationship to the C of E.”

More than a particular relationship–the CoE owes its entire existence to Parliament and the Crown.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Gladstone International LIES. In its website page congratulating itself on its “success” with the “breakaway” congregation of St. James in Newport Beach, CA, it states: “The Diocese ultimately dropped all claims against St. James.” Um, well then, perhaps Gladstone International’s principal, Ms. Joan Gladstone, would care to explain how these cases are in fact currently under appeal before the California Supreme Court. *Surely* she is aware that they are still quite in litigation. Gladstone International LIES, and they ought to be publicly called out for it. But apparently, they spin so much for a living, they can no longer tell… Read more »

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

Bishop Schofield stated fairly clearly in his December response to Bishop Jefferts Schori that his diocesan convention had removed the Diocese of San Joaquin from TEC but that he himself retained his membership of the TEC House of Bishops while simultaneously joining the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone. This latest statement just repeats that viewpoint. It was “clarified” (More like “contradicted”) by someone other than Bishop Schofield, man of many miters, seemingly at the instigation of Bishop (now Archbishop?) Venables. I am not convinced that Bishop Schofield yet concedes that he does not inhabit both houses, and I… Read more »

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

I notice Tobias Haller had already made the quip about “contradiction” rather than “correction”. Great minds . . .

Simon Kershaw
Admin

‘were it not for the desire of the Episcopalians of the mid-19th C. to clarify their relationship with the Church of England (and the resulting Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral), there would be no Anglican Communion–since at the time, all other Anglican churches, parishes and dioceses were colonial outposts of the CoE.’ Depends what you mean by ‘colonial outposts’. The Church of Ireland was disestablished and disendowed in 1870, and the Scottish Episcopalians ejected from the established Church of Scotland in 1688. Both of these churches were separate and independent of the English Church. The presence of these churches, along with the non-British… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

But more important still is the 1688 beginning!

The Radical Calvinists threw out the Moderate Calvinists and all others from the Church of Scotland.

….”mainstreaming” it…

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Thanks for the correction about province vs. church.

I would be curious to know if former TEC bishop Schofield is still part of the Church Pension Fund, and who is paying for his health insurance. Stipendiary clergy in my diocese get their health insurance through the diocese.

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

“More than a particular relationship–the CoE owes its entire existence to Parliament and the Crown.”

If the CoE becomes embroiled in turf wars, it would make a very good argument for disestablishment.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

“I would be curious to know if former TEC bishop Schofield is still part of the Church Pension Fund, and who is paying for his health insurance. Stipendiary clergy in my diocese get their health insurance through the diocese.” – Cynthia Gilliatt. Bishop Schofield is vested in the CPF and, while inhibited, is still able to make contributions to the fund. Once the HoB has deposed him, and since he is past retirement age, he will receive all his pension benefits as long as the DSJ has paid all its CPF assessments. I have no idea whether the DSJ has… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

I wish Richard Lyon wouldn’t use an intransitive verb when a transitive verb is called for. Someone has to embroil the Church of England in turf wars; the Church doesn’t embroil all on its own. (This is more than a grammatical point.)

Frank
Guest
Frank

Seems to me the church is doing rather well at embroilling [trans.] itself.

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

“I wish Richard Lyon wouldn’t use an intransitive verb when a transitive verb is called for. Someone has to embroil the Church of England in turf wars; the Church doesn’t embroil all on its own. (This is more than a grammatical point.)”

And your point is?

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Does de facto disestablishment occur for any C of E dioceses — let’s say, Rochester and Durham — that leave the C of E to join, say, the Church of Nigeria? Apparently, despite being a defender of establishment, the AbC seems to think Rochester and Durham *could* — in term sof the ecclesiology and the canon law, anyway — do so, what with ++Rowan’s “dioceses are the only units that really matter” theory and his deafening silence on the Southern Cone’s invasion of botht he USA and Canada. It boggles the moind that as bright a mind as ++Rowan’s has… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I think that Williams hasn’t quite worked out that as an established church, the English dioceses concerned would have no right to secede or leave the CofE.

The CofE doesn’t fit his ecclesiological dream at all.

The man is so politically inept, it is laughable. Pathetic really is the only word.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I don’t understand any of these comments about Church of England dioceses. Nowhere have I read anything by any archbishop of the CofE even vaguely suggesting that an English diocese can go anywhere outside the Church of England. Any such idea is totally fanciful.

An English diocese is not merely an aggregation of parishes, it is defined to be a particular geographic territory. The General Synod has the power – though the procedures are complex – to create, abolish, combine, or revise diocesan boundaries. A diocese has no power to depart from the Church of England.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Simon —

All you say about dioceses in the Church of England applies equally to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church — a diocese has no power to depart from The Episcopal Church — but the ABC has certainly made it sound as if it can (as many of us pointed out with great objections at the time)!

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Simon, I think the point we are trying to make is that what is true for the C of E is true for each other Communion province as well, and that ++Rowan’s novel and innovative theory holding dioceses to be the fundamental membership units of the Communion” — along with his silence implying acceptance of Southern Cone invasions of North America, especially the entire Diocese of San Joaquin — flies in the face of what is true in both the C of E and each other province. Yet I doubt that, had it been not a retired Canadian bishop and… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Simon, while I normally find your contributions spot-on and informative, I am mystified by your apparent inability to appreciate the dichotomy of Rowan Williams failing to criticize “secession” of dioceses from non-English Provinces in which they were created, while you are simultaneously pointing out that dioceses of the CofE have no right to secede and realign with other Provinces. Dioceses of TEC also have no right to secede, and I would wager that this is true of most Provinces of the AC.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“novel and innovative theory holding dioceses to be the fundamental membership units of the Communion”” Is this really all that novel and innovative? I have always understood the Church to organized on a diocesan basis. Not, as has been said, that the Church is simply an aggregate of dioceses, we have more responsibility for each other than that, and no one bishop can decide doctrine, for instance, on his own, but that the diocese is the basic building block of the Church. I though that went back to the beginning, or at least to the Roman world. I know the… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Simon S can make his own comments — but there is a big difference between what is the case in England, and what might be the case elsewhere, and that is that in England the Church is established by law, and the rules and regulations of the Church are not just some common agreed rules, they are the law of the land. So it is absolutely clear that English dioceses cannot secede, and that as Simon S has noted, the General Synod has, under the terms of the Dioceses Measure, power to divide and unite and modify dioceses, and this… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
Guest
Davis d'Ambly

Well, then, as long as the CofE is protected, it’s no wonder the ABC isn’t concerned with the rest of the communion falling to bits.

This is cold comfort to the American Church and, well, disestablishment when it comes, will be haunted by his inactions and then all bets will be off.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Ford, when the C of E broke with Rome, was John Fisher permitted to stay affiliated with Rome and to keep Rochester in communion with Rome instead of going off with the rest of the C of E? Was there an asterisk after the bold proclamation that “[t]he Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England,” asserting “well, except in the diocese of Rochester, and except in such other dioceses as may, from time to time, elect to dis-affiliate from the C of E and re-affiliate with the RCC”? The entire Church in the entire “Realm of… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Viriato, my argument would be that such a connection between Church and nation is too Erastian for my tastes. I very much support the idea of the Church expressing Her faith and worship in the local cultural context, which includes but isn’t limited to language. I am also aware that it isn’t only us Anglicans who think that way, the Eastern Christians do as well. Rome, for once, gets this better, I think. I read in a book on liturgics that a main theme of the Reformation was to strip away the unnecessary and at times mistaken “accretions” that had… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Viriato: yes, you express the situation very well in your comment above. What we see is simply a mixture of cowardice and hypocrisy on the part of the current English episcopate: cowardice, because none of them dare raise their voice against the Con Evos, however outrageous their unChristian behaviour to their gay fellow humans; and hypocrisy, because they can contemplate the break-up of churches overseas with equanimity, on ecclesiological grounds which they would find unacceptable at home.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Simon K, as a US attorney, permit me to assure you that in this country, the “canons and rules of [TEC]” are not at all “amenable to interpretation under more general charity and trust law.” Under certain circumstances, it is true, “general charity and trust law” may be held to speak to, e.g., issues of property ownership, but in such case they *trump* “canons and rules,” they are not employed to “interpret” them. And US courts tend to steer clear of anything that could be viewed as injecting themselves into deciding matters internal to a denomination or as deciiding questions… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

[continued from post above replying to Simon K] But I think that’s a tangent, because the point we are trying to make here regarding ++Rowan’s sad opening of the barn door is not a *legal* one but an *ecclesiological* one. Let us step back from the human-made legal overlay. What ++Rowan’s actions and words appear to state is that, if a “bishop with congregation gathered about him/her” desires to de-link from a provincial affiliation without that province’s approval, well, for Anglican Communion purposes, that’s just fine and dandy, and said bishop and flock can reaffiliate wherever else they might want,… Read more »

Greg Ironside
Guest
Greg Ironside

Ford, I think you will find (though I am happy to be corrected) that the Celtic church was based around monasteries, not bishops. While Celtic Bishops performed key sacramental functions, they were not afforded anything like the same status or power as their counterparts in the Roman church of the time. Abbots and Abbesses were much more prominent – or so my understanding goes – and the church had no formal dioceses as such. As a result it is not quite accurate to say that every limb of the catholic church, certainly prior to the great schism of 1054, used… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Part 1 to Ford “Viriato, my argument would be that such a connection between Church and nation is too Erastian for my tastes. I very much support the idea of the Church expressing Her faith and worship in the local cultural context, which includes but isn’t limited to language.” [Ford] Well, I think we need to de-couple the concept of the national/provincial/culture-specific church from the rather inaccurately named bogeyman “Erastianism” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erastianism). The concept of the national/provincial/culture-specific church is not dependent upon “Erastianism,” which really addresses the nature of the relationship between state/government and church. (This is why I find… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Part 2 to Ford There are legitimate reasons for fostering ecclesial autonomy on a culture-specific basis. Different dioceses that nonetheless share a common cultural context are best able, collectively, to discern the appropriate/accurate contours the Gospel takes within that culture. “Outsiders” such as the Bishop of Rome who “hath no jurisdiction” (or the “Arch”bishop / Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, or the Archbishop of All Nigeria, et al.) are simply not similarly equipped. And culture-wide discernment and decision-making — as opposed to diocese by diocese — is more likely to “get it right”; see, e.g., recent research and analysis… Read more »

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

I think Viriato’s point is the same one I’ve probably made here and there to the degree that everyone is tired of seeing it: one can imagine *an ecclesiology* in which dioceses are, like so many Lego blocks, fundamental and separable units of the Church (though, as Tobias has pointed out, the insistence of having three bishops for a regular consecration seems to undercut that idea), and one can also feel, as Ford says, that the idea that the church in each nation is as sovereign as (because it shares in the sovereignty of) the state itself is a might… Read more »

Russel Kester
Guest
Russel Kester

I was just wondering if since the Diocese of San Joaquin was originally a part of the Diocese of California if the properties and maybe for a time those remaining faithful to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA could be regained by the Diocese of California. After all, that diocese spent its precious resources to foster the growth of the church in San Joaquin, and I don’t understand why it should be allowed to walk away with them.

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

What if the Diocese of San Joaquin had decided to affiliate, not with the Southern Cone, but with York, for example? Would that have been OK?

Prior Aelred
Guest

The most baffling aspect of the ABC’s baffling Advent letter was on the one hand to undermine the authority of the provinces by making their dioceses detachable while at the same time elevating the authority of the primates (who apparently have authority over the entire Communion but not over their own dioceses — it is absurd).

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“What if the Diocese of San Joaquin had decided to affiliate, not with the Southern Cone, but with York, for example? Would that have been OK?”

Nope–not to my mind, anyway. The issue isn’t the politics or the stance on any particular issue of the “invading” province, but the fact that it is invading.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“What if the Diocese of San Joaquin had decided to affiliate, not with the Southern Cone, but with York, for example? Would that have been OK?” What on earth makes you think any of us is saying *that*? Logical consistency on our part demands that that be considered equally impossible. The ideological orientation of the province purportedly transferred to, or any other characteristic of that province, is wholly irrelevant. While I would amused to see, let’s say, London depart the C of E to join TEC, I’d view it to be as theologically unsupportable, and as ecclesiologically impossible, as San… Read more »