Thursday, 6 March 2008

Bishop Schofield writes

Updated Friday morning

Episcopal Café has published a letter from Bishop John-David Schofield in which he resigns from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

See John-David Schofield writes Katharine Jefferts Schori.

The letter is a PDF file (200Kb) available here.

Friday morning update

titusonenine has an html version of the letter here.

Episcopal News Service reports that this letter had still not arrived last night at 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017. See last sentence of Bishops prepare for Camp Allen gathering; Schofield posts letter of resignation from House of Bishops. I’m sure this can’t be because of the multiple spelling errors in the name of the addressee.

The letter has now been posted on the website of the former (erstwhile?) Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and can be seen here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 8:45am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Good riddance. Is he as much of a pompous windbag as the letter suggests?

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 11:53am GMT

It may be worth noting that:

A Bishop may not resign jurisdiction without the consent of the House of Bishops. (Constitution, Article II, Section 6)

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 12:55pm GMT

This letter doesn't resign jurisdiction. It attempts to resign membership in the House of Bishops *without* resigning jurisdiction. As a resignation, it isn't one.

But it does seem to be a plea of guilty to the charge of abandonment.

Posted by: ruidh on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 1:32pm GMT

One wonders what the situation with his pension has developed into.

I belong to a union that was "raided" by another a few years back. It wasn't until lawsuits against individual's pension benefits that countered the slide towards lesser paying jobs on other shipping lines (and declining contract standards for us as well).

Hit 'em in the back pocket, it's money that ultimately talks.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 1:41pm GMT

ECUSA Canons involved are: "A Bishop may not resign jurisdiction without the consent of the House of Bishops." Constitution II.6
"Each Bishop of this Church...who...has resigned a jurisdiction, shall have a seat and a vote in the House of Bishops." Constitution I.2.
(hat tip to Louie Crew)

It appears from +Schofield's letter that he is attempting to resign from TEC's House of Bishops, without its permission, a canonical violation, while STILL holding onto jurisdiction (San Joaquin). It would seem essential that, if House of Bishops members felt he should be deposed prior to his letter, they should proceed to do so. Should the House accept the purported resignation:
1. +Schofield would maintain a seat and vote in the house
2. +Schofield would maintain his episcopal orders and right to provide ministry in other TEC dioceses with the permission of the bishop with jurisdiction. (e.g Fort Worth, Sprinfield, Quincy)

3.+Cantuar's ability to recind +Schofield's Lambeth invitation would be impacted. +Schofield's invitation to Lambeth appears to be based on his status as a bishop with jurisdiction. 3. (Communion groups studying the issue also need to know TEC's ruling.)

4. TEC's "acceptance" of the "resignation" might imply its acceptance of the theory that a resignation from TEC is possible without its permission AND such a resignation is possible not including a resignation of jurisdiction. Implied acceptance of this view might be used in a subsequent court proceeding to TEC's detriment.

Posted by: EPfizH on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 2:02pm GMT

It's rather a novelty, this: resigning without leaving your post.

Posted by: Pluralist on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 2:27pm GMT

Whoever is advising Schofield should be shot for total incompetence.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 2:54pm GMT

On a first reading of this latest letter from JDS of the DSJSC, I am with ruidh ... hardly coherent in its presumptions that jurisdiction goes with the departing disgruntled bishop, while membership is a loose end to be tied up, or not.

As an offhand effort to respond to the pending HoB charges, it is more of the same.

When, if ever, will conservative realignment specialist believers ever do anything in response to difficulties, besides adopting rather facile and fairly predictable presuppositional reframings ... always tagged biblical? ... which then resolve all important matters by just happening to show that they are the godly ones who are just doing their humble jobs of making more trouble across hot button Anglican differences? Is there any other tool kit in the conservative realignment Anglican domain of best practices?

Posted by: drdanfee on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 3:48pm GMT

His pension? Once he is deposed, his pension accrual will stop. He is old enough that he can start drawing a full pension at any time he wishes.

Posted by: ruidh on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 4:01pm GMT

ruidh is quite right -- I am so tired of Bishop Schofield little game of being in TEC when he objects to the actions of the PB in ministering to people in San Joaquin who want to remain in TEC & then being out of TEC when it comes to being under its authority -- Humpty Dumpty time indeed!

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 4:07pm GMT

Unfortunately for +John-David, we are not going to go along with his decades overlong games of pretend...same goes for +Greg of Southern Cone(alone)...wishful thinking and creative theiving are not what we are called to do as Christians...facing reality with much rigorous self honesty is how we, as Episcopalian Anglicas, are Commanded to be.

No dice.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 11:18pm GMT

Why do people always raise the issue of pensions? The TEC's pension plan is under federal regulation like any other. When he retires he gets his pension. Period. Of course, if he's not in the Church, he's not contributing to the plan. But that shouldn't impact with all the years he has in. It's not something that can be pulled out because he is a naughty boy. You will have to look elsewhere for the cause of his bizzare behavior.

Posted by: deaconmark on Friday, 7 March 2008 at 6:20am GMT

My point, deaconmark and ruidh, is that there are organizations that prohibit vesting of pensions when one leaves for an aggressive competitor-it's called an employment contract. This is common practice in private enterprise (whether it is fair or not is another issue) The reason this issue gets raised is that the EC lives in a dreamworld of platitudes and denial of proven human behavior. It could be argued if the church ran itself like a business that it surely is, these problems would be taken care of much more effectively.

Schofield's "resigning" his position but not his title is a clear attempt of having his cake and eating it; quiting his job and going to work for a competitor by poaching as a vendor in the same business would be a violation of most U.S. corporation franchise agreements.

Surely the "re-asserters", "pseudo-traditonalists" (a real affront to this traditionalist), "pharisees" or whatever you wish to call them, probably have something like this in their employment agreements. I'd be very surprised if they did not.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 7 March 2008 at 12:53pm GMT

From ENS: "Neva Rae Fox, a spokesperson for Jefferts Schori, said the Presiding Bishop's Office had not yet received (Schofield's) letter by the afternoon of March 6."

What game is John-David playing?
He has resigned from the HoB, but he is still the Bishop of SJ.
John Henry

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 7 March 2008 at 3:17pm GMT

Note this as well: House of Bishop's Rule XXIV states:

...[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...

Had JDS followed proper procedure and simply joined the Church of the Southern Cone while giving up his jurisdiction in San Joaquin, he might have remained an honorary member. It appears rather that he will only succeed in becoming a dishonored nonmember.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Friday, 7 March 2008 at 6:16pm GMT

Choirboy's employment argument is robust.

It would do well to remember that the reasserters consider liberals to be working for an aggressive competitor.

They simply can not comprehend that God covers ALL of Creation and that God has always intended for grace to meted out to all the righteous, irregardless of which holy book their names appear in. That's why the Daughter of Zion and other forces so enthusiastically supported Jesus. Jesus did not withhold grace when Jesus witnessed unsolicited faith from a gentile (Matthew 15:22-28).

When Jesus allowed this precedent, he made gave hope that the everlasting covenant of peace promised to the Daughter of Zion (Isaiah 49) might be fulfilled through Jesus (Isaiah 42:1-9).

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Friday, 7 March 2008 at 8:32pm GMT

He talks about TEC leaving the Anglican Faith...which understanding the Anglo-catholic or the Evangelical?

Schofield has departed seriously from the thirty nine articles and Sydney Anglicanism would judge him a Romanizer...but for political expediency, he is invited to GAFCON to give that Conference a broader appeal....and is deemed a defender of Christian orthodoxy.

Yes Sydney endorse a man who has departed from the 39 articles of Religion. What breath taking deceit and self deception.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 8 March 2008 at 8:21am GMT

"My point, deaconmark and ruidh, is that there are organizations that prohibit vesting of pensions when one leaves for an aggressive competitor-it's called an employment contract. This is common practice in private enterprise (whether it is fair or not is another issue)"

It's not legal in the U.S., so the debate whether or not to do it is necessary. Accrued pension benefits can not be forfeited.

Posted by: ruidh on Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 4:35pm GMT

Matching pension contributions (from the employer) can be forfeited. And the company can make vesting (timing requirements) very sticky. This applies to health insurance, stipends, housing allowances, etc, as well.

That one's own withholdings can be cannot be forfeited is true, and it was indeed inaccurate of me to imply this. But I have seen people ruined when they have aided and abetted a raid.

My apologies for not being clear on this.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 7:30pm GMT

""My point, deaconmark and ruidh, is that there are organizations that prohibit vesting of pensions when one leaves for an aggressive competitor-it's called an employment contract. This is common practice in private enterprise (whether it is fair or not is another issue)" - choirboy

It's not legal in the U.S., so the debate whether or not to do it is necessary. Accrued pension benefits can not be forfeited." - ruidh

I believe that ruidh is correct on the matter of a legally defined pension that once vested it cannot be taken away.

Where departing to the competition allows financial punishment would be on the matter of any deferred compensation due the employee, where, I believe, US law would permit that to be forfeited if the employee were going to a competitor. I believe that was true of my own deferred compensation, but I retired nearly eight years ago, and it became moot at that point.

However, I doubt that schismatic Bishop Schofield had any form of deferred compensation, but perhaps he was craftier than I suspect.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 8:15pm GMT

Pension, shmension. Will his invitation to Lambeth be rescinded? The Archbishop wrote, "I have to reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion."

I cannot imagine a more clearcut case of a divisive action.

Posted by: Parisian Observer on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 10:23am GMT

I don't see that Cantuar has any choice but to rescind the invitation sent to John-David, quon dam Bishop of San Joaquin. Cantuar's decision to invite the real Bishop of Recife vice the Southern Cone Pretender establishes the precedent.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 4:48pm GMT

I wonder if Schofield has a form of dementia.

BTW...irregardless is not a word. The word is regardless.

Posted by: revamundo on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 2:08am GMT

Do you really think that Bishop Schofield has the slightest interest of going to Lambeth?

As a matter of Employment Law, California deems non-competition agreements to be unenforceable. Therefore Schori, theoretically as an agent of Satan, is unable dictate to Schofield that he can not work for the competition (as in working for God) even if Schofield had signed something otherwise. (Or Schori says he did by trickery - even if the signature is in blood.)

Posted by: John on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 7:46am GMT

The HoB, by majority vote, has deposed John-David Schofield as Bishop of San Joaquin this morning.

Posted by: John Henry on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 6:21pm GMT

I wonder what the HOB think they deposed +John-David from? The few San-Joaquin parishes that *want* to remain in TEC?

Or do they imagine that they are going to bring liberty and freedom to a whole diocese by evicting its Bishop, and his diocesan staff, and all the clergy, and all the church members?

Sounds like another 'liberation' of Iraq to me!

Posted by: david wh on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 at 8:26pm GMT

"I wonder what the HOB think they deposed +John-David from? The few San-Joaquin parishes that *want* to remain in TEC?"

What does it matter if there are one million or one hundred people in San Joaquin who wish to remain Episcopalians? Should the church simply abandon them?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 10:47am GMT

Pat,

I'm sure TEC will provide adequate episcopal oversight... for churches that wish to remain true Episcopalian! But I suspect TEC also have in mind to trash the existing diocese and churches..

Posted by: david wh on Friday, 14 March 2008 at 12:43am GMT
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