Saturday, 2 December 2006

APO: San Joaquin passes weaker resolution

Updated again Monday

The Diocese of San Joaquin today voted for a different amendment to its constitution than the one previously published.

The resolution actually passed can be seen here.

The previous proposal can be seen here.

The Associated Press reported it this way: Calif. Diocese Snubs Episcopal Church. Reuters has U.S. diocese favors break with Episcopal Church.

The Living Church says California Dioceses Take Opposing Sides on Human Sexuality.

The bishop’s address to the convention is on the diocesan site.

The New York Times has its own report on this: Episcopal Diocese Votes to Secede From Church by Laurie Goodstein in New York and Carolyn Marshall in Fresno, Calif. They write in part:

…The vote by the diocese is one more step in a carefully planned strategy by conservative Episcopalians in the United States and primates of Anglican provinces, many in the developing world, to unite the conservatives, claim the mantle of Anglicanism and isolate the Episcopal Church, the 2.3-million-member American branch in the Anglican communion, which claims 77 million members worldwide…

…The Bishop of San Joaquin, John-David Schofield, told the convention on Thursday, “This amending process is the first step in the removal from our constitution of any reference to the Episcopal Church because, in our opinion, they have decided to walk apart from the Anglican Communion.”

The wording of the resolutions was changed at the last minute, leading to widespread confusion among the delegates. But Bishop Schofield told the convention that the wording was changed after a recent meeting in Virginia between conservative American bishops and other leaders and conservative primates from other provinces in the Anglican Communion. The global primates advised the Americans to “remain flexible and allow them to provide the necessary leadership for us,” by holding off on specifying what structure, or bishop or province, would replace the church’s relationship with the diocese.

One crucial amendment effectively erases the borders of the diocese so that it could eventually absorb parishes in other parts of the state or elsewhere in the country that wish to break with the church, Mr. Petz said.

Another amendment says that if the bishop and his coadjutor bishop are absent, unable to act or removed, the standing committee, a lay group, would become the “ecclesiastical authority.” The thinking behind this provision, Mr. Petz said, is that it could prevent the church from taking over the diocese by removing the bishop and coadjutor…

Update Monday
Episcopal News Service has published its report of this: San Joaquin convention seeks to sever diocese from Episcopal Church

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 9:47pm GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Well, perhaps there are many nits to pick in Bishop Schofield's address – the accuracy of his account of recent history, for example; but others will do so, and probably better than I. Two things did strike me, especially in light of recent discussion here and elsewhere in the blogosphere.

First, he specifically cited issues of ecumenical discussion and hope for union with Eastern Orthodoxy and with Roman Catholicism. Several recent discussions I've run across have noted that these are not the only large, international bodies of Christians with whom we interact ecumenically, much less nationally and locally in the Episcopal Church. A number of those other bodies are not so distressed at the ordination of women or full welcome of GLBT persons in the entire life of the Church, including orders. We are in conversation and sometimes in full communion with communities that maintain the historic Episcopate, but are not in communion with either Rome or Constantinople (the Mar Thoma Church comes to mind). We may find the similar structures - especially an initially similar Episcopate - of Rome and Constantinople attractive; but they hardly describe the whole Body of Christ. Citing ecumenical issues with only a part of the Body illustrates Bishop Schofield's inclinations regarding centralization of authority, and, in my opinion, clericalism.

Second, I find Bishop Schofield's image of Paul before Agrippa interesting. It certainly works to illustrate his perspective that San Joaquin is the prophetic voice. Or, perhaps it would if he were talking about San Joaquin. What impressed me was how very much he personalized the parallel with Paul. Yes, questions have been raised with and for him as an individual, ordained in The Episcopal Church (and for all his repetition of it, there is no institution called "The Anglican Communion" within which to be ordained - repetition doesn't make it so). However, his image of himself as so central, so pivotal, detracts from his focus on issues. Yes, there may be some consequences for him, but this is not about him, from either pole of the debate. His presentation suggests to me that he's not clear about that.

Oh, and Simon, thanks for the reminder about post length.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Sunday, 3 December 2006 at 5:49pm GMT

"Citing ecumenical issues with only a part of the Body illustrates Bishop Schofield's inclinations regarding centralization of authority, and, in my opinion, clericalism."

Yes Marshall, clericalism, but then they go and say

"Another amendment says that if the bishop and his coadjutor bishop are absent, unable to act or removed, the standing committee, ***a lay group***, would become the “ecclesiastical authority.”"

I believe that the the Dio SJ is trying a "shotgun" approach to schism. "You don't like one rationale? Here, we have another. And another. Whatever works (with the California courts)."

Sad, sad, sad...

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 3 December 2006 at 8:32pm GMT

Of course it is a painful temporary bummer to have conservative believers bear such consistently false witness about you - whether you are a progressive or a queer person or some other sort of alternative Anglican believer. Shall this false witness separate any of us from God or from following Jesus to the best of our fallible conscience or fallible abilities? Not, surely thanks to God's grace.

In the Father's house are many mansions. And, so it seems at the moment, all the newly conserved and newly purified conservative belivers will get together by themselves in one set of Anglican rooms - where, thank you very much, all other believers are loudly and self-righteously banned.

Bravo Schofield for being such a Big Cheese example of straight purity and, ipso facto, straight superiority. Legacy statuses all, still institutionalized without scrutiny and without question. Pronounce your bans on the rest of us with gusto, then, the better to seem untaintedly pure and conformed to nothing but your legacy of special, exclusively heterosexual rights.

With this much momentum, I predict we just ain't seen nothing yet. The near pending Primates Meeting will be a newly conserved circus maximus. Replete with presuppositions and exclusive definitions blaring like trumpets as the Anglican gates are commanded to be closed, once and for all.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 4 December 2006 at 12:17am GMT

"++Rowan Writes to the Episcopal Majority
He says, "I fully accept that I have no jurisdiction in the USA and I have not sought and am not seeking to impose any new structure."

http://admiralofmorality.blogspot.com

Posted by: The Admiral of Morality on Monday, 4 December 2006 at 12:22pm GMT

Is San Joaquin's Standing Committee really a "lay group"? In most dioceses it consists of clergy and lay members. That the Standing Committee becomes the Ecclesiastical Authority in the absense or disability of a Bishop is in keeping with the national Canons.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Monday, 4 December 2006 at 6:21pm GMT

"With this much momentum, I predict we just ain't seen nothing yet. The near pending Primates Meeting will be a newly conserved circus maximus. Replete with presuppositions and exclusive definitions blaring like trumpets as the Anglican gates are commanded to be closed, once and for all." - Drdanfee.

Anglicanism has become a soap opera of the Network 'cult' leaders and their GS cohorts defending all male patriarchy threatened by the emancipation of women and gays, with equal access to ordination. And NOW ECUSA even has a female PB!
No wonder she is being denounced as a 'heretic' when she teaches that God, through Christ's atoning sacrifice, saves ALL humankind. [In fact, her teaching is not much different from Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, II.2. para. 33: "The Eternal Will of God in the Election of Jesus Christ".]

The Anglican soap opera is all about power, MALE power ("Father knows best!).

Posted by: John Henry on Monday, 4 December 2006 at 7:40pm GMT
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