Comments: APO: Bishop Schofield replies to PB

Found the phrase "not advancing the date" interesting. The path has been chosen, it's just a case of what straw is going to be the excuse to proceed. They will probably try to find the straw that will give them the biggest leverage possible.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 9:07am GMT

again - remember the network sits very comfortably with 70m+ anglicans - they are claerly waiting to see what the AC is going to provide for them.....and it will provide for them beause they are very ordinary anglicans, not radical revolutionaries and innovators.....

they have not created the current problems (note similar people in "the west" eg in the UK have not been driven to similar actions so maybe TEC needs to consider its own actions before demonising these ordinary anglicans?)

Posted by NP at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 10:01am GMT

Generally, 'ordinary Anglicans' don't attempt to leave the Anglican church in their own country....

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 10:31am GMT

"[A]gain - remember the network sits very comfortably with 70m+ anglicans - they are claerly waiting to see what the AC is going to provide for them.....and it will provide for them beause they are very ordinary anglicans, not radical revolutionaries and innovators.....”NP

Rubbish! No one has taken a scientific poll of what 70m+ (an inflated number anyway-k) Anglicans feel about this. We American Episcopalians have a real revolutionary tradition, one of which we are justly proud. It’s understandable that Tory-loving Brits (on the losing side, after all) might not see it the same way. Cheers!

Posted by Kurt at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 1:03pm GMT

It has been said before, but the game is up. All that remains is a rather unpleasant bit of blackmail: I'll slow down the schism if you don't make a presentment against me - and I'll even be nice on the way out while I ransack the shop.

What happens if neither Canterbury nor Abuja will swallow St Joaquin whole?

What happens if Abuja insists that they start from scratch - no property, assets *NOTHING* 'tainted' by previous association with TEC?

What if Canterbury were to insist that they remain in TEC, no special pleading and no particular deals?

What if they get left as a loose (and rapidly fractious) group of proto-congregationalists? So much for the One, Holy, Catholic etc. They would hardly be 'ordinary' Anglicans by any standard. NP's playing with numbers, and as he hasn't even begun personally to ask the '70m+ anglicans' their opinions on the matter I am prepared to doubt his claims on their behalf. At present it sounds too much like two of my favourite fallacies being served as a cocktail: petitio principii combined in equal parts with argumentum ad populum (serve with a nice big wedge of lemon). Getting to the truth of what 70m+ people individually think could be a lengthy and uncomfortable exercise, so let's just ignore the numbers game NP feels compelled to play. If NP were to go with St Joaquin, he would scarcely be an Anglican (ordinary or otherwise); rather, NP would be a congregationalist.

None of this is improbable because it is not clear that the external players required for success will comply when the pressure is on. Any victory will be entirely Pyhrric for the Network.

Why is it so desirable for these people, and why exactly do they believe it is a good thing to seek for the Anglican Communion?

Posted by kieran crichton at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 1:08pm GMT

A Donatist accusing others of apostasy?

NP- They are not "ordinary Anglicans" in other than the most generic of terms. They sit comfortably with the primates of around half of the Provinces. However, there is no real and direct evidence what the typical Anglican in the misnamed "Global South" really thinks on the topic. Any dissent from the line out of the mouth of +Abuja is cut off and he even gets to call on the police in his home country to enforce his views. The crisis is one of theological innovation in that an arguable question of moral theology has been elevated to a litmus test of orthodoxy, at the cost of an important ecclesiological point made over a thousand years ago by St Augustine. Indeed, the idolatry of moral purity and cohesion to the misogyny of African culture are being placed into the realm of orthodoxy. The true innovations here are the inclusion of the cheep and easy heresy of Donatism to a new ecclesial status quo, the elevation of questions concerning human sexuality to the same level as the Creeds, and the further innovation of diocesan border crossings.

Posted by John Robison at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 1:34pm GMT

I don't think that it is demonising anyone to require them to remain in the dialogue/at the table/in the stream, and, essentially, remain "Anglican." This is a denomination that has always prided itself on maintaining the "Via Media," and looking at the history of the Anglican tradition, there are many examples of staying in relationship though points of view are challenged (from the outset, for example, the ecclesiological tensions of the Elizabethan settlement, or the repercussions of the Oxford Movement of the nineteenth century). To leave the dialogue is to leave the communion of Canterbury, and there is no hard feelings for those who choose to move in a different path. But do not assume that either side has a lock on the true Anglican ethos--that is in the totallity, not in the compartmentalization of the tradition.

Posted by Shawn+ at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 2:05pm GMT

Blame, shame, self-destructiveness and rampant defiance by +Schofield...he's exchanged his mitre for a Kamakazi helmet and he's taking his diocese down with him if he can get away with it!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 2:56pm GMT

but chaps - do you not see that TEC has moved away from the AC and "the network" has not really changed.......they clearly sit more easily in the AC than TEC......

this is not a controversial point

Posted by NP at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 3:03pm GMT

Withal the apparent backhanded compliment and mixed message of Bishop Schofield's last paragraph, I don't see how we can expect anyone here to alter course. He has charged TEC (including me, thank you) with apostasy. Considering how he expresses his view of his ordination vows (to "Anglican faith" rather than to "the institution of TEC"), he doesn't really have room to stay: he has given control to TEC, as it were. That is, if TEC doesn't change direction (and since I believe profoundly that I and we among the majority of Episcopalians, who believe welcome to the point of full inclusion is a command of Christ, are certainly not apostate and therefore will not change direction), any decision he makes personally to stay is to live with if not embrace the apostasy. Yeah, I disagree with him, but I respect his commitment to his opinions; so I don't think that will hold.

Even the proposal reported above on TA of a proposal for a "primatial vicar" won't satisfy, because that proposal is provisional, for the purpose of reconciliation, and does not foresee any change in TEC. So, the "apostasy" claimed by Bishop Schofield won't be changing, and the authority of the Presiding Bishop and Primate will be maintained. I believe the proposal is a good faith effort; but I don't see how Bishop Schofield and fellow travelers can accept it if we accept their own understanding of the differences.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 3:53pm GMT

I think Marshall is right - happily +Schofield et al will not have to accept anything provisional because the AC will provide a long-term home for the network people

Posted by NP at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 4:39pm GMT

NP- TEC hasn't moved away from the AC. A portion of it has moved away, as a consiquence of the inovations they, themselves have take up that I mentioned in my last post.

Posted by John Robison at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 4:45pm GMT

What "AC" are we talking about, NP? The Global South fundagelicals, who will soon be setting up their own shop, is it? You can have that "communion."

Posted by Kurt at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 6:19pm GMT

Remember as well that 500 years ago or so, give or take, a relatively small group of people in Northern Europe decided that because their reading of the Bible in their own language indicated to them that the Church had gotten some things wrong, they could no longer trust the Church at all. In their day, they were the rebels, and the majority of the Church disagreed with them, still does in fact. They introduced innovations that on-one had thought of before, and justified them by claiming for the Bible an authority it had never been considered to have. In some cases they totally changed the faith and practice of the church. They are called Protestants.

The point is that rebelliousness and innovation aren't necessarily bad things, and some times just because the church doesn't agree with you, that doesn't mean you are wrong. I'm not saying that TEC has this right, just that dismissing them as rebellious innovators is a bit much from someone for whom the Protestant Reformers are something akin to saints.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 6:25pm GMT

The problem with this is the twelve month deadline.

It is a curious and rather crude way of re-introducing the haste element into these proceedings that Rowan has been doing all he can to remove.

There is some desperation amongst some feeling that if the momentum is lost then they will be lost, and forced to negotiate along the lines the Presiding Bishop has now openly offered in the proposal on a Primatial Vicar.

In hanging himself by a thread this bishop must hope that it will give the GS Primates ammunition at the next Primates meeting to say: “Look at this poor faithful bishop – he has put himself way out on a limb, we must act to save him…….” Etc

Of course, if they do not ride to his aid, we must assume he will just not put the measure to a second vote.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 6:54pm GMT


I could relate to your concerns about deadlines. I feel the same thing when I hear ultimatums elsewhere around the world. E.g. give us a peace deal and vacate "x" land within six months or we will start actively colluding to blow up your children again.

You didn't give us what we want? That means you don't want peace! Bang Bang

That's not making peace - that's using threats to intimidate.

Ditto with some of the players within the Anglican Communion.

Merseymikes' comment on another thread earlier this week was spot on. To paraphrase: Those who despise and hold ABC in contempt, had no trouble milking him for their own ends, but they still despise him now. In the meantime, those that they thought could trust him now know he will play covert games against them and thus he has lost their trust. Lose - lose.

Playing to power politics means that bullies control the agenda.

Better to choose the principles that matter, and look for consistency between actions and beliefs. For those who aren't familiar with concepts of integrity, these Torah studies might be helpful:
Taking Truth To Heart I& II
From the integrity series

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 7:18pm GMT

A true non-starter, already rejected at the earlier meeting. As the late Lee Buck described: “You cannot continue to be subject to corrupt authority and not be affected by it. Staying under the purview of ECUSA is cohabiting with evil. This is very blunt, but, it seems that only blunt and forceful talk will get real action, at this time in the history of the church. You orthodox and conservative members of ECUSA have been misled and “taken in” by such crap as “listening” “delay” “obfuscation such as ‘diverse center’ “ “pluriform truth” “your truth and my truth” and on and on. Get with it. It is all a lie from the pit of hell and ECUSA has been lost.”

Posted by Dave at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 7:26pm GMT

"but chaps - do you not see that TEC has moved away from the AC and "the network" has not really changed.......they clearly sit more easily in the AC than TEC......
this is not a controversial point"

Sorry NP, old boy: this is your *framing* of the terms, and nothing more.

[*NB: I couldn't get that pdf link to work---frankly, for the sake of my blood pressure, I'm sort of relieved! ;-/]

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 7:33pm GMT

NP wrote: ” again - remember the network sits very comfortably with 70m+ anglicans - they are clearly waiting to see what the AC is going to provide for them.....”

The Network does not in fact “sit very comfortably” with the Primates, which is why all this tarrying and wavering, year after year.

Precisely the claim to o w n a majority of the Anglican Provinces proves this, for – numbers games, or no – at no instance has the 6 or 8 more extreme Primates been able to gather more than 17 or 18 of their colleagues (never mind the inhabitants of their provinces), and then only around obviously neutral issues such as education, health work and other kinds of mutual assistance.

It is most evident from +San Joaquin’s letter to his PB that the Networkers simply don’t not know what to do to make a sufficient number of Primates “provide” what they are asking for…

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 7:37pm GMT

Well, I'd read the Bishop Katharine's letter last week, but read it again. Then I read the Bishop Schofield's letter. The differences in tone and spirit are striking, like night and day. The PB's letter was strong, yet pastoral and written with some respect; she also noted Bp Schofield's and the diocesan convention actions (actions of a few in the scheme of things) would effect many people in San Joaquin. She's looking at the bigger picture and show concern for the total church; Schofield, on the other hand, is being very territorial (much like an animal that's been cornered). The Bishop of San Joaquin, however was defensive, dismissive and very disrespectful to Bp Katharine. Did you all notice in the address, he didn't even acknowledge that she is Presiding Bishop? And he misspelled her name (it's Jefferts Schori, right?) Always nice to read TA keep up with Anglican stuff. Thanks.

Posted by JayVinVermont at Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 10:07pm GMT

I have observed the behavior of the 'usual suspects', +Jack Leo Iker & Co., for several years. They were in impaired communion with PBs Edmund Browning, Frank Griswold and-now-PB Katharine Jefferts Schori. They have absented themselves from House of Bishops meetings to make their points. General Convention deputies, both clerical and lay, have observed, with great concern, that +Jack Leo walks out of the room at public hearings whenever someone he disapproves of approaches the microphone. It is always his way or the highway. Of late, +Bob Duncan, who already imagines himself to be a Primate and PB recognized by the 'Global South', has also taken a leaf from +Jack Leo's script.

It is time for the members of TEC's House of Bishops to assert themselves and walk the usual suspects to the EXIT door before they actually steal the 'francise' and create more havoc among mainline Episcopalians, who, for the most part are, Christ-centered and not apostates, no matter how much abuse the 'deceiver' Network bishops heap upon them.

Posted by John Henry at Friday, 1 December 2006 at 12:08am GMT

Bishop Schofield's reply is hardly a surprise, really. What else was he going to do? Repent of his schismatic power drives? Say he was sorry for mistaking a diversity of tenable modern Christian views concerning embodiment or sexuality as nothing but pure evil? Suddenly look in a mirror and see the face of the bishop who has been busy, bearing false witness against a progressive Jesus Freak Christian neighbor?

The ball and its momentum is rapidly shifting to PB KJS and the provincial church - and probably to that extent away from the parsed presuppositions, forever loudly asserted, typically dedicated to spin and sound bites rather than welcoming all the different views among the believers whom God has apparently invited to the feast.

KJS is simply brilliant so far, bringing in the spirit-filled lay representation (whom we have ourselves discerned as called from among us) that is our provincial heritage. Clearly talking in public about both, both, both our institutional frames and our leeway for inclusion and diversities of believer views. A great model for Canterbury, by the way, which one still prays it might take to heart when the fires are set flaming for realignment in the CoE. England is next on the list of provincial churches/countries for burning, isn't it?

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 1 December 2006 at 6:43am GMT

interesting how some here seem impressed by political skills and acting tough from KJS......

-some even seem to think the ABC will see the AC split for the sake of a small radical minority led by TEC - but that is very unlikely if you look at his record to date (eg J John affair)

Posted by NP at Friday, 1 December 2006 at 10:27am GMT

The Jeffrey John affair is indeed enlightening. I admire JJ's saintly behaviour. He stepped aside for the good of the Church. I'd suggest you look up the life of St. Chad of Lichfield, the collect for his Feast goes:

"Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honours that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for others, that the cause of Christ may be advanced and your blessed kingdom enlarged; in the name of him who washed his disciples' feet, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever."

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 1 December 2006 at 8:06pm GMT

"Wise as serpents, gentle as doves" is ALWAYS a continuum.

Perhaps it's because we saw Jeffrey John+ take such a dove-like tack (and be virtually shot-gunned for it :-0), that we see a bold (+GR) and BOLDER (++KJS) serpentine approach, subsequently?

"To everything, there is a season"

God bless TEC, and her *fiercely* faithful PB, Katharine Jefferts Schori! :-D

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 12:49am GMT

My admiration for KJS has mainly to do with her saying things clearly and publicly, without hammering presuppositions, and without dumbing down the institutional or other complexities. Of course she is trained to do this as a scientist, but plenty of realignment leaders have education and ought to be able to help lift the schismatic conversation to higher discernment - If they wished, which I see no evidence they wish.

So far as the splitting off of TEC by the alleged majorities of self-righteous conservative Anglicans, well that is hardly dependent on PB KJS and the rest of us. Our choices mainly involve how we shall conduct ourselves as the process wends its ways forward. We may have the choice, simpler maybe in some ways, of simply staying true to Anglican leeway and plural discernment and inquiry and conscience - legacies the USA church received, not least from the Scottish church, and grown further in the constant waves of immigrant arrival which have helped make the USA what it has been.

Being voted out of the worldwide communion - exactly how again can that happen, given that we have no worldwide institutional machinery for making let alone actually enforcing a top-down decision from, say, the February Primates Meeting - will be whatever it will be. Just as one cannot control the antigay or antiscientist or anti-intellectual prejudices that one may encounter, neither can we afford to worry all that much we are somehow responsible for what gets decided overall in the Primates Meeting.

If Canterbury doesn't have the courage to take a stand on these matters now, Rowan will only have to confront them later, with higher stakes as antigay and anti-intellectual and antiscientist or other purifications get maybe replayed on home shores as the emboldened realignment forces try to do to CoE what they might have just successfully been thought to have done to TEC. How that replay will go in Canada and a few other places, besides, is also still uncertain.

I am at various times of various leanings about the larger outcome. Sometimes I imagine it might be all for the better if many of these newly conserved anti-this and anti-that (neo Puritan?) judgment campaigns gained enough power to burn all the books they wish to ban and ban all the people they so love to target.

Then maybe we would still have to follow Jesus, and probably have a lot more elbow room to renew those bonds of affection which probably brought us together in the first place. New conservative power plays are hardly the point, after all.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 5:18am GMT

yes, Ford - and others did not and do not follow JJ's example, creating chaos from which all are suffering - sadly

Posted by NP at Monday, 4 December 2006 at 9:16am GMT
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