Saturday, 12 January 2008

Bishop Schofield inhibited

Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service reports:

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the temporal affairs of the Diocese of San Joaquin,’ until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops.”

Jefferts Schori acted after the Title IV Review Committee certified that Schofield had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

On January 9, Upper South Carolina Bishop Dorsey Henderson, committee chair, wrote to Jefferts Schori, telling her that the nine-member committee had met that day and that a majority agreed that the documentation provided to them “demonstrated that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline or Worship of this Church.”

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.

Read the full press release from Episcopal News Service.

Note that one of those giving his consent to this was the Bishop of Texas, Don Wimberly, convener of the “Windsor bishops”.

See the report of the Title IV Review Committee here (PDF).

See the text of the inhibition here (PDF).

And there is another ENS report on the activities of Remain Episcopal previously reported here, see San Joaquin’s remaining Episcopalians to gather for reconciliation, inclusion, celebration.

See the lengthening list of places of worship here.

Early press reports:

Associated Press Episcopal Church Bans Bishop for 2 Mos.

Rebecca Trounson Los Angeles Times Fresno bishop barred from carrying out religious duties for Episcopal Church

Bakersfield Californian San Joaquin Episcopal bishop ordered out of communion

Fresno Bee Local bishop is banned from practicing

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 8:04am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

Should think so too. Now TEC can get on with sorting out the Episcopal Church in that Diocese.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 2:04pm GMT

This is very good -- apparently even the "conservatives" and the "Windsor bishops" have had enough and realize that being courteous & gentlemanly is not going to succeed in tiding over a crisis (as it was during the "Late Unpleasantness" known in the North as "The Civil War").

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 2:57pm GMT

Dangerous "pretending and denial" (in many areas of life) won't result in REALITY being altered to suit the less-than-righteous obsession/quest to "demoralize others" by +Schofield. It's fortunate, for him and many innocent others, that no matter how he struts about the Diocese of San Jaoquin he will fail. While demanding and shouting that everyone AGREE with him and climb aboard kamakazi flight to the Global South he will fail to hit target.

Perpetuating fear/hate and discrimination at Church is on it's way out.

PUNISHING others who disagree with the trashing of fellow Christians at ALL levels of OUR Churchlife is plainly way off Christs intended course and wish for us to embrace the marginalized.

Come home +David, you've reached the "falling off" place. Your wings (and self-imagined halo) are illusions and they don't work and your cunning/tainted REAL behavior toward fellow human beings is running way out-of-control.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 3:19pm GMT

It is interesting to read the Diocese of San Joaquin's response to Bishop Schofield's inhibition. Their argument is that +JDS has not resigned from TEC's HoB, and that TEC's Constitution and Canons do not prohibit a bishop from being active in two or more Anglican provinces. Spin... spin... spin.

The ball is now in Rowan Cantuar's court. Will he withdraw Bishop Schofield's invitation to Lambeth 2008 once TEC's HoB has found Bishop Schofield guilty of "having abandoned the Communion this Church", when, at the same time, he is still a member of the House of Bishops of the Province of the Southern Cone?

Posted by: John Henry on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 4:30pm GMT

Pity the process can't be speeded up, but there is a two month delay for him to think about it.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 4:45pm GMT

It's about time that our leadership acted! Good for them! Now we can begin to rebuild the diocese with the 10 parishes that remain loyal to the Episcopal Church.

Posted by: Kurt on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 5:15pm GMT

Timely. Indeed, some of us think that under the category of "discipline" it could have been done some time ago.

Sadly, John-David Schofield, with his attitude of, "Diocese of San Joaquin, c'est moi," will force the further efforts needed to demonstrate that all those congregations were established as *Episcopal* congregations, and not as expressions of some sort of independent, unfettered diocese. He will not recognize the lack of jurisdiction, nor will his fellow-travelers, without further effort. However, for those who struggling to remain Episcopalian (both in and out of that organization of similar name), this will be an important step.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 5:26pm GMT

As per usual, the Separatists are in "full-martyrdom mode" over this largely administrative act, which, sadly, alters the infamous "facts on the ground" not a whit. And, also in accordance with their established folkways, their greatest contempt is for one of their ostensible own, Bishop Don Wimberly, whose concurrence, as one of the three senior bishops of TEC, was required for the inhibition to be made. One can expect to see multitudinous examples of his hitherto hidden apostasies surface in the near future.

Posted by: William on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 5:27pm GMT

One rather expects, sadly, an instant slow motion replay of the events involving the deposed bishop of Brazil and his reception into the Southern Cone in good standing. Did he get invited to the next Lambeth?

Nevertheless, we will still have a San Joaquin diocese in TEC, just not under Schofield/company. Then maybe we can renew what will be subsequently more akin to interfaith exchanges and conversations, if even then Schofield/company will deign to participate in talks about things about which they have equally sadly closed their minds and hearts.

Change is not easy, despite all the conevo realignment comments which reduce important corrections to a facile following of major cultural trends. And to PB KJS, again: You go girl - just keep being honest and fair and open to a change of heart, even among the most oppositional realignment groups.

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 5:28pm GMT

Yes Kurt - and the number of loyal parishes is said to be increasing - or at least has increased markedly over the past week - perhaps Schofield's boat has sprung a few of it's seams - or so it seems from here -- ettu

Posted by: ettu on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 5:31pm GMT

Another nail in the coffin of Windsor. (Perhaps that's why you're all so pleased.)
And another step along the way to formalised schism and a parallel church.

Posted by: Neil Barber on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 6:07pm GMT

As to the rules: House of Bishops General Rule XXIV includes this:

...[A]ny Bishop of this Church who removed from the jurisdiction of this Church to the jurisdiction of a Church in the Anglican Communion may be continued in relationship to this House as an honorary member.... No vote shall be accorded the honorary member.

Whatever else can be said, it seems clear that +JDS no longer considers himself under the "jurisdiction" of this Church. He appears to consider himself and his diocese ("the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin") to be, as he says, "under the Province of the Southern Cone of South America. (sic)"

He cannot have it both ways.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 7:04pm GMT

Sadly necessary.

I pray for reconciliation among all in SJ--but am relieved that the faithful Episcopalians there will be out from under-the-schismatic-thumb of xJDS.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 7:45pm GMT

Church of Sweden did this it worked.

I'm with you drdanfee, Schori and her church just need to be "just keep being honest and fair and open to a change of heart". They also need to remember God's definition of true justice "‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another." (Zechariah 7:9)

That said, they do have the right to defend themselves and to disassociate from those who will not desist from bickering, slandering nor stealing from their temples.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 8:17pm GMT

I see a bunch of greedy lawyers licking their chops in anticipation of a long gravy train.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 10:55pm GMT

Neil ; there needs to be formalised schism. A split. Parallel churches. Call it what you will. Being free of conservatives is something to celebrate.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 11:46pm GMT

And Bishop Venables has been put through non of the humilation that Bishop Jefferts-Schori has had to endure.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 8:00am GMT

Now what will happen with the Province of the Southern Cone (NOT a "parallel" church in any sense) and it's presiding bishop?

Will the PB's invitation to Lambeth be revoqued and the Province suspended from the Primate's meeting until the PB resigns?

For soon to be deposed Bishop Schofield did not do this on his own, but with the collusion and rather active co-operation of the SC...

Was that acceptable behaviour by a (Presiding) Bishop of the Church against an other?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 9:20am GMT

The Lambeth, Canterbury, and peer response of the worldwide faithful to Venables and his colleagues - all admittedly men because of their beliefs about the indelibility of male anatomy/gender? - will no doubt be settled in a slow, messy, and eventually forceful Anglican process of reflection, reception, and reply as these hot button changes ripple out among us, through us.

GAFCON if it goes forward as contentiously as it has begun will perhaps accelerate this messy Anglican pattern - but high-handed holier than thou public and private social manners among many of the realignment will do nothing in the long run to further their claims that they are the only real Anglicans left on the face of our planet.

As garden variety conservatisms go, there are still plenty of fairly conservative people left all around the world - who nevertheless maintain some sense of safety and composure and who do not feel all that pressured to immediately go into high militant attack mode, weaponizing their admittedly conservative beliefs. They still have sufficient humility and love inside that they do not feel they have to trash talk or mistreat the queer couple or parents down the block, nor deny these new developments the benefit of a long reflective heartfelt prayerful doubt. After all, nobody is pressuring them as conservative people to run off to marry a gay man or woman to whom they are not at all attracted. Or requiring that they present documented evidence of any requisite number of properly obtained orgasms before they can participate in Common Prayer and Eucharist. Thanks, then, to all those garden variety conservative folks for not so easily being stampeded into warfare action mode.

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 6:36pm GMT

+Bob Pittsburgh narrowly escaped being inhibited today, according to the Episcopal News Service. The Review Committee concurred that +Bob Duncan (Pittsburgh) had abandoned the "Communion of this Church", but the three senior bishops with jurisdiction did not.

Posted by: John Henry on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 at 3:06am GMT
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