Sunday, 20 January 2008

another development in San Joaquin

Updated Monday morning

Dan Martins an Episcopal priest who was formerly in the Diocese of San Joaquin reports on his blog about what happened on Saturday to the Standing Committee of that diocese in A Saturday Morning Massacre:

…In the post previous to this one, I drew attention to the role of the Standing Committee in the Diocese of San Joaquin. All eight members—four clergy and four lay—are solidly orthodox in their theological positions, all “reasserters.” All have been energetic supporters of Bishop Schofield’s advocacy for the received moral teaching of the Church Catholic. All have agonized over their relationship with an Episcopal Church that causes them shame and embarrassment at every turn. I am well acquainted with five of the eight, and know two of the three others, having served on that very Standing Committee as recently as six months ago. I shared their mixed feelings when we contemplated our relationship with TEC and the Anglican Communion. We worked hard to present a united front with our bishop in bearing witness to the faith of the saints, apostles, prophets, and martyrs.

As of this morning, six of those eight are now ex-members of the San Joaquin Standing Committee. Only … which ones are the six and which ones are the “remaining” two?

Here are the facts…

…Then we have this , from the duly-elected president of the Standing Committee:

During the Standing Committee meeting of January 19th, the Bishop determined that the elected members of the Standing Committee who had not publicly affirmed their standing in the Southern Cone [whose congregations are in discernment, some over the legality of convention’s actions] were unqualified to hold any position of leadership in the Diocese, including any elected office. He pronounced us as unqualified. No resignations were given. The question of resignations was raised and rejected. The members of the committee at this morning’s meeting were quite clear on this point, we did not resign, we were declared unqualified to hold office. The Bishop’s decision affects up to 6 of the 8 elected members of the Committee including all of the clergy members…

Let the record show that three of the four clergy members who are now clearly not members of the Standing Committee of the Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin are rectors of the three largest parishes of the diocese. Two of them are the two most senior priests of the diocese (in terms of time in cure) and the other is in the top five, having held his position for 12 years.

Bishop Schofield’s action has effectively (pardon the metaphor) “outed” these priests, revealing a divide within the diocese that cannot be casually dismissed. We’re not talking about the liberal fringe (I use “liberal” in a relative sense) who have always been malcontents in the diocese, now under the umbrella of Remain Episcopal. We’re talking about actual conservatives—those who, in grand San Joaquin tradition, wore out the ‘No’ buttons on their clickers during legislative sessions of the House of Deputies. We’re talking about the potential seeds of a viable continuing conservative TEC presence in the Central Valley of California…

Read the whole article, and here is the previous article mentioned: San Joaquin annotated.

Monday morning Update

Dan Martins has provided the names of some of those involved and additional confirmation of what happened, see Update…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 12:29pm GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

This sounds like something Stalin did, purge his followers. I must say, I stand a better chance of winning a game of chess against that recently deceased chess champion than understanding what goes on in the diocese of San Joaquin. I'm a bit suspicious of things bizarre and this is certainly bizarre.

Posted by: -frank on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 2:34pm GMT

If the San Joaquin revolution devours its children at this rate, Schofield is not going to lose weight any time soon.

"And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint"?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 2:48pm GMT

It seems to me that TEC should welcome in and support those conservatives who would stay.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 3:40pm GMT

As my grandfather used to say, if you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Posted by: JPM on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 3:50pm GMT

Rabbits included, Frank?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 4:22pm GMT

The hysteria mounts, the grabber starts clutching throats, the shaking of body and soul escalates the intimidating and the desperation is SCREAMING OUT for absolute righteousness and CONTROL!

We are witnessing the "falling off place" for +Schofield and his inability to insist and demand fellow Christians in the diocese of San Joaquin adhere to his every COMMAND!

The concrete wall of NO MORE despotic NONSENSE may pass this way looms larger than ever before.

Seek help of the emotional and spiritual kind Bishop Schofield.

+John David, your unstable and overly self-willed behavior is running/causing riot at The Body of Christ...you endager your physical health and the spiritual well being of many others too.

Reach out for help NOW!

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 4:58pm GMT

Hope Theo Hobson reads this piece. This is exactly why liberal Anglicanism will never completely die out. (It might change its name, but the principle remains the same).

When faced with outright oppression and tyranny, all but the cruelly selfish conservative will remember Jesus' messages of inclusive love and compassion. They will recall his rebukes against teachers of the law who worked to keep the outside of the cup clean but whose insides were dirty.

Some bishops do it a diocese level. They work to keep up the appearances of cleanliness and compassion, but when push comes to shove they are just as opportunistic and selfish as the Pharisees who conspired Jesus' assassination or the courtiers who conspired Daniel being thrown into the lions' den.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:20pm GMT

I read some of the "Loyalty Oaths" expected to be signed by the conservatives - seems to me the Nicene Creed is enough but they added 5 or 6 others such as the 39 Articles, a very early Prayer Book etc etc - reminds me of the old adage about being careful what you wish for-- given enough time I am sure an inner circle of the politically correct will hold sway over the "reasserters" and it will be a mighty uncomfortable, tight hold they will exert - I can almost hear the noose tightening even now.

Posted by: ettu on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:21pm GMT

At the risk of being tedious I quote below a statement from the January 18,2008 update from the Church of the Good Shepherd (Binghamton, New York, USA whose pastor, Fr. Matthew Kennedy,
is a regular contributor to a conservative blog. Personally I do not see the need for this degree of witnessing and testing of loyalty - "chacun a son gout"? or something like that
"1. I confess the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and to be the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.


2. I confess Baptism and the Supper of the Lord to be Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself in the Gospel, and thus to be ministered with unfailing use of His words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.


3. I confess the godly historic Episcopate as an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore as integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.


4. I confess as proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture the historic faith of the undivided church as declared in the three Catholic Creeds: the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian.


5 . Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided Church, I affirm the teaching of the first four Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh Councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures.


6 . I receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.


7 . I receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.


In all these things, the Church of the Good Shepherd is determined by the help of God to hold and maintain as the Anglican Way has received them the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ.

I believe all that is contained in the Theological Statement and Charter of the Common Cause Partnership and vow to conform my life, ministry, leadership and teaching to them."

Posted by: ettu on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:30pm GMT

Give Schofield and Iker enough rope and they will hang themselves.

If they were genuine Anglo-Cathlic Bishops they would have NOTHING to do with Southern Cone or Sydney.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:34pm GMT

a fitting beginning to welcome the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we celebrate here in England?

Posted by: Dodgey Vicar on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:40pm GMT

This is really reaching the point of being a tacky soap opera.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 7:40pm GMT

The only thing surprising is Martins' tone of surprise...

[Darnit, lapin, you BEAT me to the "revolution devours its children" summation! ;-/]

Lord have mercy.

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 8:19pm GMT

I'm getting mighty tired of hearing how the mere presence of gay persons in the Episcopal Church causes the so-called "orthodox" such "shame and embarrassment" and how this reaction somehow confirms their "orthodoxy."

This is simply another symptom of the extraordinary shallowness of so-called "Anglican orthodoxy." It's really, as far as I can tell, rooted in Puritan Protestanism and has little to do with catholicism at all. (To be perfectly honest, it reminds me of grade school.)

Since when did "embarrassment" constitute a valid theological position or argument? The real truth is that there isn't a valid argument to be found anywhere, which is why the social/cultural one comes up so often.

I like and respect theological conservatives, and agree that our church needs them and would be poorer without them. My question is: where are they, and why don't they make their voices heard? Why do they let the "embarrassed" have the stage instead?

Posted by: bls on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 8:28pm GMT

(It's also become extremely tiresome listening to Dan Martins et al. speak derisively and dismissively of the Remain Episcopal laypeople in San Joaquin. There's more on this post (http://cariocaconfessions.blogspot.com/2008/01/when-does-crisis-simply-become-normal.html), where REers are called "the puppet regime" of TEC! Several of these laypeople have responded in the comments.

I hope these laypersons will simply ignore these amazingly rude and objectifying remarks - and that they are aware that many of us in TEC are thinking of them. I wish we could do more.)

Posted by: bls on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 9:29pm GMT

What bls said. We were liberal fringe extremists when we warned others that the Network's goal was the creation of a separate North American province. Oops, guess it was. We were liberal fringe extremists when we warned others that plans were afoot for a separate, Nigerian-headed Communion. Oops again. Fr. Martins now confesses that the Chapman Memo was never really disavowed by the Network, and feels he was "played" by the schismatics. Oops. And no one but a liberal fringe extremist could have ever been unhappy with John-David Schofield as their bishop. Oops.

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 10:47pm GMT

"6 . I receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.


7 . I receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief."

Both of these include an awful lot of stuff about the Crown and its being supreme head of the church, as I recall. Hard to figure out how anyone but an Briton or any citizen of a Commonwealth nation that considers the Queen head of state can "receive" either of these as written. It's especially difficult for any US citizen who is supposed to renounce all alliances to foreign rulers.


Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 12:55am GMT

How long have we all been saying that, as soon as they didn't have TEC to kick around, the "reasserters" would turn on each other like rabid dingoes.

I'm finding it a bit hard to feel sorry for the "reasserters" who got fired, to say nothing for Fr. Martins' regret at having been played.

Posted by: David H. on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 2:45am GMT

"a fitting beginning to welcome the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we celebrate here in England?"

Here in the States, too. I'm one of two homilists for our ecumenical worship service this coming Weds - the other is a United Methodist minister. We talked last week about how sometimes it is easier to be united with other churches than within one's own denomination.

I think I'm going to talk in part about 'unity' doen't equate with unanimnity.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 5:29am GMT

"How long have we all been saying that, as soon as they didn't have TEC to kick around, the "reasserters" would turn on each other like rabid dingoes."

David H.,I think it would be worth remembering that - Lindy Chamberlain aside - dingoes are actually pretty harmless, and are probably among the oldest domesticated breeds of dog. I prefer to think of the *reasserters* as having something more in common with a poorly trained rottweiler.

This is probably a little off-topic, but I seem to recall having read somewhere that +Schofield describes himself as a *former* homosexual who now leads a blissfully sex-free existence. If this is so, then surely there's something of the Uncle Tom in him being associated with this whole issue in the first place.

It has been said that those who have the most to hide fight the hardest to keep the lights out...

Posted by: kieran crichton on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 7:47am GMT

This could be a real opera, not a soap opera, depending on the degree of tragedy at the end. It is dramatic and exaggerated, excessive in every way. It is certainly most un-episcopalian in the traditional American sense. The music by Phillip Glass, please.

Posted by: Andrew on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 10:29am GMT

This news story from the diocese of the Southern Cone will be greeted with joy in the diocese of San Joaquin
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/7151669.stm

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 10:58am GMT

"I receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense ..."

This is the kind of standard of reading - 'literal and grammatical sense' - set by American fundamentalists at the turn of the last century for the biblical text. Hence believing a six day creation, potentially a sun circling the earth [see Joshua] etc etc etc.

I'd like to see someone exegete the article on predestination according to the above rubric.

What silly nonsense.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 1:43pm GMT

"I seem to recall having read somewhere that +Schofield describes himself as a *former* homosexual who now leads a blissfully sex-free existence. If this is so, then surely there's something of the Uncle Tom in him being associated with this whole issue in the first place."

So he had a couple of choices: first, be celebate, since he feels he can't be a Christian and a sexually active gay man, even if monogamously partnered. I respect that decision. Second, he could have chosen to live an exemplary life to show to the world that a gay man can be a happy, committed, celebate Christian. Instead, he chooses to ally himself with people whose living of the Gospel is anything but exemplary, and to behave in such a way as to present himself and his chosen celebacy in an incredibly bad light. What could have been an example of righteousness of life as he would define it instead looks very bad indeed. Gee. There's a role model for you.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 3:01pm GMT

If Matthew Kennedy receives "the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562" rather than the revised, 1801 Thirty-nine Articles of the Protestant Episcopal Church - "taken in their literal and grammatical sense ....... as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief", he presumably (Article XXXVII) accepts the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings as that "only prerogative which we see to have been given always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God himself, that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God".

Technically, taken in a literal and grammatical sense, might this Article also affect allegiance to the United States rather than to the legal successor of Elizabeth I?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 3:53pm GMT

"...dingoes are actually pretty harmless, and are probably among the oldest domesticated breeds of dog. I prefer to think of the *reasserters* as having something more in common with a poorly trained rottweiler."

Personally I think a better comparison would be to Hyenas who are both predators and scavengers (but prefer scavenging as that is easier).

And if Schofield is celibate wouldn't that make him a former heterosexual as well?

Posted by: Deacon Charlie Perrin on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 4:02pm GMT

Has the SSC nothing to say about any of this? Pittsburgh is not a diocese with a strong SSC presence but San Joaquin, Quincy and Fort Worth are all heavily populated by members of the Society of the Holy Cross. Curious behaviour for people committed so publicly to the catholic order of the church.

Posted by: Churchman on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 4:28pm GMT

We humans plot our schemes in secrecy and darkness yet the Holy Spirit shines such a helpful light as to publish our hungers for power and domination over others, now from high internet rooftops. The mean friend-kinship connections among puritanisms/Calvinist manners, conformity and domination, policing and punishing, and the business that is really in the modern conservative closet - the sort of penal ethics and theology which actually is nakedly revealed to be: Do what I preach, not what I live, so that I can keep my foot on your neck in Jesus' holy name.

Our new conservative Anglican realignment is a self-fulfilling presuppositional prophecy whose prefabricated goals and means were long ago put down, all too clearly in USA, by R. J. Rushdoony, and further elaborated even more plainly by the USA Christian Reconstructionists and Christian Dominionists on the far right of USA believers. (And Father Martins is surprised to have been played by the realignment spin doctors? Don't worry, father, if progressive believers and Remain Episcopal in DioceseSJ-TEC are any clue, we can survive being played with God's help and healing.)

Just Google Rushdoony, Reconstructionism, Dominionist, Ahmanson, Scaife, or Chalcedon Institute.

Overtly and/or covertly, these are the essential roots of the conservative Anglican realignment campaign - complete with:
1)dubious ethics in which the ends justify mean means;
(2) preaching that is basically God telling humanity: My way or the highway, you filthy sinners;
(3) a suspect de facto adoration for properly submissive women (and slavishly closeted gay folks at all levels of church life?) who safely walk ten steps behind men to give the appearance that the men are walking ten steps ahead on the conservative cutting edges (or who remain carefully invisible to preserve the false claim that out queer folks offer not significant competencies to our human communities, let alone in church life?);
(4)so many hundreds of instances of trash talk false witness against any and all of their preferred target people that one could not list the lies, let alone all the nuances of the lying; (5)a claim that all manner of things in theology, doctrine, and ethics are flat earth because that is what scripture says in their closed readings of it;
and above all,
(6)this profound need to obtain power in domination of differences among citizens in society and in church life.

Lambeth agrees that we need a power-policing hungry covenant? Wowie.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 21 January 2008 at 7:04pm GMT
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