Comments: San Joaquin Special Convention reports

"The Anglican Communion Office has recorded here that the see is vacant."

He did of course resign -- though I understand that the TEC is yet to accept his resignation. Perhaps deposition is the new way of accepting one's resignation in the TEC world of tolerance!

Posted by Margaret at Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 7:59pm GMT

Hi with regard to the composition of the standing committee -- I know none of the details, but there are these follow up post on Dan Martin's site to the question asked both on Standfirm as you linked and on his site. I thought since they were not on the Standfirm site people might miss them:

Message 1:

Dan Martins said...

To Anon at 10:08--I am aware of the developments you cite. They are the direct result of 815's wicked intransigence. Visalia and Modesto could probably have been retained by TEC had there been a mere honest desire to do so. But for what one can only surmise are strategic reasons related to anticipated litigation, it was deemed expedient to rebuff the overture of their rectors and attempt to reclaim them in court. This is pure villainy.
11:39 PM

Message 2:

JamesW. said...

Dan: Regarding your 11:39 comment - I think you are right that the Presiding Bishop did not think she would get a puppet-bishop installed if she played by the canonical rules. And a puppet-bishop hostile to John-David Schofield was a requirement of her litigation strategy.

Having said that, I think that the successive and blatant canonical violations and abuse of process that the Presiding Bishop has perpetrated may (and probably will) completely undermine any legal standing her puppet bishop will have in the courts.

From my heart, I view the recent events in San Joaquin as tragic. From a rational point of view, however, I think that from a strategic and tactical point of view, John-David Schofield has just been given a windfall legally on so many levels, and that secretly does please me. That being said, the one individual who is really standing out as a wonderful example of what the Church is called to be is Rob Eaton.
4:08 AM

Posted by Margaret at Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 8:15pm GMT

PB Katharine Jefferts Schori, to assembled SJ Episcopalians:

"As you seek a renewed life together in Christ, you are going to be invited to remember who and whose you are, why you're here, and what you're going to do about it ... I have just a few reminders as you seek answers to those questions:

1) Jesus is Lord. In the same sense that Jesus is Lord, and not Caesar, remember that no one else -- not any hierarch, not any ecclesiastical official, not any one of you, is Lord. We belong to God, whom we know in Jesus, and there is no other place we find the ground of our identity."

I DARE our usual self-appointed "orthodox" to spin THIS as apostate!

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 10:48pm GMT

As one who is usually accused of the heinous criminal offense of being conservative on this blog (a new and usual experience actually!) I must say that this is an impressive speech. I sincerely regret she did not make it earlier as that would have saved a lot of ink and angst. It does of course raise the question of why now: the cynic in me says it is because she knew even the "liberals" in this conservative diocese were too conservative to appreciate the hesitations and parsing of previous speeches, and so she spoke in a way that would hold the remaining people within the church.

I hope though that she listened to herself as well -- as the message cuts both ways doesn't it.

If I pick up the words of some of her key themes:
"There is above all new hope that this part of the body of Christ can focus on the needs of neighbors who need to hear the good news of God in Christ."
Exactly -- so why are you and they both spending so much time and resources on legal trials both within and without the church? How does this growing edge of the TEC commitment focus on the needs of neighbors?

"Whoever is doing God's work is not beyond the possibility of relationship." Absolutely -- so why are you not providing the kind of release mechanism that PCUSA has, especially as you are in communion with South Cone?

"It led to the first great council in Jerusalem, which didn't easily or fully resolve the issue. The struggles have not stopped since -- either in Jerusalem or in the wider church" True -- and the use of church councils has been the mechanism for settling things since -- so why has the TEC gone in the face of the international church and made the whole row so much more inflamed instead of working through the issues in the way that the Apostles did to reach consensus?

"And that means that God's mission must be the primary focus, not our own hurt or indeed anything that focuses on our own selves to the exclusion of neighbor. For when we miss the neighbor, we miss God." Couldn't agree more -- so why is the TEC going out of its way to inflict pain and suffering on those who have listened for decades to the case for homosexual unions (either in leadership or to be blessed) but have not been convinced by the arguments? And the answer is not that they haven't listened because they haven't been convinced --- the weight of the church universal has also listened and has not been convinced either. Transforming brothers into hurting neighbours by the actions of the church hardly seems to be the way to fulfil her message here.

"And, finally, remember that you are not alone. This part of the Body of Christ is only one limb. The rest of the Episcopal Church is with you, and will continue to be with you." Yes - true - but the same could be said of South Cone being with the other lot --- the Episcopal church in itself is only one (rather small) limb of the church universal.

Now you are free to attack. Go for it!

Posted by Margaret at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 12:29am GMT

Under the 1976 Supreme Court case of Serbian Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich, the American civil courts are almost certainly barred under the U.S. Constitution from determining who is the proper bishop of a church and whether the church properly followed its own canons in determining who the real bishop is. If Schofield or anyone else wants to contest Lamb's election, there chances of getting anywhere in the civil courts are very, very small.

Posted by dr.primrose at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 12:46am GMT

Margaret: Try to open your mind to honesty and then consider joining some other Church.. Anglo
Baptist, perhaps.

Posted by Carl at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 12:48am GMT

So let it be known thoroughout the Anglican Communion that Remain Episcopal members and ALL the growing numbers of loyal Laity of San Joaquin, The Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, President Bonnie Anderson of the House of Deputies, The Executive Council, The Chancellor, The House of Bishops and The Original and Authentic Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has restored themselves to sanity and good will...with Gods "will" (and lots of other positive support from those to wish to Love God and Love "others")...Three women are NOW recognized as Priests in The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and The Episcopal Church, once again, WELCOMES everyone (that would specifically include LGBT Christians/others).

Thanks Be to God

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 1:11am GMT

Margaret is misrepresenting the facts.

Posted by Charlotte at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 1:58am GMT

"815's wicked intransigence...This is pure villainy... the successive and blatant canonical violations and abuse of process that the Presiding Bishop has perpetrated"

...and blessed [is she] when men revile [her] and persecute [her] and utter all kinds of evil against [her] falsely on [Christ's] account. Rejoice and be glad, for [her] reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before [her]!

CHRIST IS RISEN, and followers of the Father-of-Lies can only spread their mendacity in vain! :-D

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 2:22am GMT

Bravo and well done to the faithful Episcopalians of San Joaquin! They've taken a long drawn out catastrophe and turned it into a new beginning. They've set an example for the rest of our Church and for the world.
As the Presiding Bishop said in her address, they can now open the doors to those still considered strangers, including migrant farm workers and returning veterans with their families.
May San Joaquin, once a byword for religious estrangement, become an oasis where strangers become friends. The faithful remnant there are well along the path to that goal.
Applause and gratitude for all of their hard work!

Posted by counterlight at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 3:06am GMT

Margaret, I have never understood how a woman can hold views like yours. It must result from a huge amount of self-loathing. I do understand as I was brought up in the evangelical diocese of Sydney to believe such things about myself as a gay man. Praise be to God I have experienced His Love. I will pray that you might also experience it one day.

Posted by Brian R at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 8:59am GMT

Margaret

"As one who is usually accused of the heinous criminal offense of being conservative on this blog "

I suppose you mean me.
But your problem is that you feel attacked when no-one actually attacks you.
There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is everything wrong with constantly attacking people and dismissing what they say.
Of course, if the shoe fits....

I really do wish you had actually READ what I said in my last posts to you on http://thinkinganglicans.org.uk/mt/comments?entry_id=2955

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/2008_03.html
PB visits South Carolina, 5th March

before accusing me of hating you.

And I still wish you had replied to my actual question.

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 9:12am GMT

Fortunately things are stabilizing and life will eventually go back to "normal" - therefore, I felt further posts were uncalled for on my part until I read Margaret's posts. I cannot help but feel sorrow and compassion for the black bile and pain present in them and so I pray she is able to find the broad way to love and peace - in Christ

Posted by ettu at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 10:34am GMT

""The Anglican Communion Office has recorded here that the see is vacant."

He did of course resign -- though I understand that the TEC is yet to accept his resignation. Perhaps deposition is the new way of accepting one's resignation in the TEC world of tolerance!"

This is part of a long tradition with people who have transgressed in their jobs:

"I quit."

"You can't quit, you're fired."

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 11:00am GMT

""It led to the first great council in Jerusalem, which didn't easily or fully resolve the issue. The struggles have not stopped since -- either in Jerusalem or in the wider church" True -- and the use of church councils has been the mechanism for settling things since -- so why has the TEC gone in the face of the international church and made the whole row so much more inflamed instead of working through the issues in the way that the Apostles did to reach consensus?"

First, because Lambeth is NOT a "church council." Want to have such a thing--then you need to call for one specifically, not take some other meeting and give it that authority. Second, because the polity of the Anglican Communion and its constituent churches (and please, remember, the Communion is NOT a church), does not really permit such a thing without approval from the appropriate authorities in each church, and...as we always must point out to the Global South, apparently...TEC's appropriate authority is not the PB *or* the House of Bishops, but General Convention, because bishops, clergy and laity all must approve.

""And that means that God's mission must be the primary focus, not our own hurt or indeed anything that focuses on our own selves to the exclusion of neighbor. For when we miss the neighbor, we miss God." Couldn't agree more -- so why is the TEC going out of its way to inflict pain and suffering on those who have listened for decades to the case for homosexual unions (either in leadership or to be blessed) but have not been convinced by the arguments? And the answer is not that they haven't listened because they haven't been convinced --- the weight of the church universal has also listened and has not been convinced either. Transforming brothers into hurting neighbours by the actions of the church hardly seems to be the way to fulfil her message here."

If they had listened, they would stop using untruths to make their case--untruths about the health issues of same-sex relations, about the life-spans of homosexuals, about the nature of monogamous gay relationships, etc. It's hard to believe you've "listened" when you keep ignoring the data you're given that contradict your long-held prejudices.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 11:10am GMT

To all in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May you find blessing, healing and resurrection in your new life. The reports from your compatriots at Father Jake's blog are of such joy and thanks to God that I pray your spirit will spread throughout our church and the Anglican Communion. God bless and keep you all, always, God bless Bp. Lamb, and God bless our ++Katharine! Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Lois

Posted by Lois Keen at Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 6:51pm GMT

I will list the substance of most comments on my post to date:

"Try to open your mind to honesty and then consider joining some other Church.. Anglo
Baptist, perhaps."

"Margaret is misrepresenting the facts." [that is it - no explanation, no rebuttal, no nothing!!!]

"Margaret, I have never understood how a woman can hold views like yours. It must result from a huge amount of self-loathing ..." etc

"....I cannot help but feel sorrow and compassion for the black bile and pain present in them ..."

Can I ask whether you find this is the kind of collection you would want on a blog entitled "Thinking Anglicans"

Thank you for the two posts that were more considered. A couple of comments on them:

Erika I was far from meaning you -- as I think the comments above amply demonstrate!!. Your usual posts are considered and thoughtful and I have learned a lot from them. The last thread got beyond that --- and I think it is right to end it there.

Pat -- if Lambeth is not a church council then can you tell me what it is? I know the conservative blogs think it is a tea party because no one takes any notice of the resolutions it passes (eg Lambeth 1.10), but I would not have thought that being ineffectual made it any less the mind of the communion.

For the record for the other commentators:
1. I do not self loathe -- and in fact my husband and four sons seem to think I am rather over-confident in myself at times.
2. I have a PhD in economics so I don't think I can be that unintelligent
3. I am not episcopalian -- nor anglican.
4. Within my own denomination I am accused of being too liberal especially as I supported gay civil unions (I think that is a justice issue -- but the issue of whether God blesses them is something else again)
5. I have no interest in becoming Baptist.
6. I am not in the USA

7 and most importantly, let me say that again MOST IMPORTANTLY

I think comments should have thoughtful content -- not personal abuse.

Posted by Margaret at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 1:08am BST

The Anglican Communion Office website has been listing San Joaquin as "vacant" for some weeks - indeed, almost immediately following the schismatic synod.

What has changed is that the website link provided is now to the Diocese of San Joaquin (Episcopal Church) as opposed to the official website of the Schofieldian schism.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 4:55am BST

"and most importantly, let me say that again MOST IMPORTANTLY

I think comments should have thoughtful content -- not personal abuse.
Posted by: Margaret on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 1:08am BST"

Wherever you are in the world, Margaret, one cannot get past your earlier post in which you do some serious analytical harm to the words of the Presiding Bishop of TEC. If that passes as 'thoughtful content' by your standards, then I say Kyrie Eleison. And since you claim to have argued in favor of gay unions in another denomination, why do you appear to support some of the more egregious elements within the World Wide Anglican Communion?

Or are you really the late bishop of San Joaquin writing under a pseudonym?

Posted by kieran crichton at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 9:18am BST

Margaret
thank you for your comment.
But please, for the last time, bear with me.

The last thread you would like to close ended with me telling you that the examples of active conservative hatred against gays I gave were real. That I was grateful that you found them as distasteful as I did. And I concluded by asking whether you and I could not get together to campaign against such hatred and violence.

I said that it would not stop you to campaign against homosexuality being accepted in church, nor would it stop me from campaigning for its acceptance.
It would simply be a strong and positive sign that we both hold our views genuinely and believe them to be pure and Christian, that we abhor actual harm done to real people, and that we want to do our best to raise the standard of the debate.

I still do not understand why you have been unable to respond to this invitation - despite me having asked you to do so on numerous occasions.

Only yesterday, a very close gay friend of mine was physically attacked for being gay. Another one was severely beaten last week. Wouldn't it be worth both our while to try to do something to stop that kind of outrage?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 9:19am BST

"Pat -- if Lambeth is not a church council then can you tell me what it is? I know the conservative blogs think it is a tea party because no one takes any notice of the resolutions it passes (eg Lambeth 1.10), but I would not have thought that being ineffectual made it any less the mind of the communion."

It is a meeting of the bishops for conversation, reflection and spiritual communion. It is not intended to make policy for a "church" that does not exist...particularly since the various churches represented by those attending have never given those bishops authority to make such policy for them. (This is especially true for TEC, in which policy can only be made by General Convention.)

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 12:13pm BST

"As one who is usually accused of the heinous criminal offense of being conservative on this blog"

Margaret, neither you nor anyone else is "guilty" of the crime of being conservative, since being conservative is not a crime. What people take offence at, in you and other conservatives, is the way in which you misrepresent, attack, sneer at, and deride anything with which you do not agree, then claim others are attacking you when they defend themselves from these things. What is interesting is that no-one has been at all cryptic about this. It has been pretty clear what it is that people are reacting to, yet you don't seem to see it. Do you seriously think that you have the right to speak scornfully to people, insult and misrepresent their beliefs, attack them, and if they defend themselves against that, they are persecuting and attacking you?

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 12:58pm BST

Margaret, why are you even here?

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 2:24pm BST

Margaret, why are you even here?

Because she is a child of Christ and a seeker after truth..

like all of us.

Kennedy

Posted by Kennedy at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 6:40pm BST

Choirboyfromhell
Because I like to think about my faith -- and I am from a liberal background and this site says it is for people who Think, who are interested in the Anglican issue, and who a are liberal. Are you suggesting I should not be on the site?

Ford -- I put it that way and (you left this out) indicated the surprise at the label, because it seemed a light-hearted way of indicating how I seemed to be perceived on this site and also how surprised I am at both that perception and the participants aggressive reactions towards anyone they think is not a fellow-traveller.

I would like to add though that I move widely and read widely across many denominations and I don't know if the TEC realises how unusual both its theological position, and now its use of church law, is.

Pat - You are in good company. I notice Standfirm think the Lambeth is nothing more than a talk-fest with little purpose as well! It does however beg the question of how the Anglican church worldwide does come to any joint position if it is not through Lambeth, the meetings of Primates, the ACC, or the Archbishop. What is the point of these four if they actually have no unifying role? Perhaps the idea is that the name "Anglican" is the only thing everyone intends to share in common and that each church can develop up its own (and potentially contradictory to others) view of what it means to be Anglican. My problem with that is that position means that Akinola's version is as legitimate as anyone elses.

Posted by Margaret at Monday, 31 March 2008 at 8:03pm BST

Mocking my (and many other's) faith with an opening statement about a deposed bishop and the leadership of TEC is certainly not acting as a seeking child of God. It is shaming, scolding, scorning and insulting. It is anything but thinking about one's faith. And it is VERY hurtful.

Posted by choiorboyfromhell at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 12:24am BST

"I notice Standfirm think the Lambeth is nothing more than a talk-fest with little purpose as well! It does however beg the question of how the Anglican church worldwide does come to any joint position if it is not through Lambeth, the meetings of Primates, the ACC, or the Archbishop. What is the point of these four if they actually have no unifying role?"

Once again, there is no "Anglican Church". There is a Communion of individual, autonomous, national churches with a common background and history. Perhaps the only joint positions the Communion is meant to have are the ones it has always had--the ones outlined in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. Why do we need more than that?

And, if you want more, then the answer is to call a real church council, one in which the proposed joint positions are then returned to the individual churches to vote on, each according to its own polity.

The bishops of TEC have no authority to make policy for the whole church...General Convention does that.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 1:57am BST

Hi, Margaret.

First, like many other posters, I, too, should hate for conservativism to become a crime, even if only here at TA.

Second, you commented: "It does however beg the question of how the Anglican church worldwide does come to any joint position if it is not through Lambeth, the meetings of Primates, the ACC, or the Archbishop." The first answer to this, again, must be that *there is no Anglican church worldwide*, period.

By any historically conscious definition of Anglicanism, the idea of an _international Anglican church_ is a contradiction in terms, and, indeed, the worldwide spread of Anglicanism took place largely because of the worldwide expansion of the "nation" (sc. England acting as if it were the whole UK) in which it was the Established Church. The Colenso Controversy turned on the legal insight that once a part of the Empire had its own Parliament, the C of E was no longer established (unless the new Parliament chose to establish a new church of its own in continuity with the old one).

Despite current efforts to say otherwise, the Communion does not have "a mind"; the Bishops assembled at Lambeth may have "a mind," as so may the Primates. But the American Bishops and the American Primate are not authorized to state the mind of TEC (and the English ones are only so authorized up until the moment the Queen-in-Parliament decides something else).

Posted by 4 May 1535+ at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 4:11am BST

Well, Margaret, if you are neither Episcopalian nor Anglican nor from the US, you are not in a position to know what the facts are. So I withdraw my statement that you are misrepresenting them.

But since you do not yet understand what is going on, you might spend a little time trying to acquire some knowledge before you jump into a site like this one and start throwing bombs in all directions.

(And the question still remains as to why you are so all-consumingly focused on denouncing the evil done by the Episcopal Church in America in deposing the Bishop of San Joaquin, given that you have no personal stake in the matter and no direct knowledge of the events, the church, the history, or the beliefs involved. Though you do seem very familiar with the latest talking points among US extremists. Perhaps that is a clue.)

Posted by Charlotte at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 5:11am BST

Margaret: "Pat - You are in good company. I notice Standfirm think the Lambeth is nothing more than a talk-fest with little purpose as well!"

You clearly don't understand Pat's position at all.

The "conservatives" think that Lambeth is of little value because Lambeth declines to be the lynch mob they want.

Pat did not say (nor do most liberals say) that Lambeth is "nothing more than a talk fest with little purpose."

What we DO say is that Lambeth is not an Anglican Court.

Some closed minded bishops tried, at the very first Lambeth Conference, to turn it into that.

They tried again several times thereafter.

Lambeth was never intended to be such, and those who try to give it such authority are historically ignorant at best or fiendishly dishonest at worst.

The fact that Lambeth is not a lynch mob does not make it valueless.

Indeed, the fact that it is not a lynch mob, that it is a talk-fest, that it is a real opportunity for people with different experiences and views to come together IS it's value.

And God bless'm, it's grand that they pass resolutions telling us what they think. And those resolutions deserve to be prayerfully considered by the Church.

But they are NOT binding. They have NEVER been binding. And pray God we will never have some sort of ultramontane pretendy papacy enforcing closeminded policies from a London-based curia.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 6:04am BST

Margaret wrote: “I notice Standfirm think the Lambeth is nothing more than a talk-fest with little purpose as well!”

Tea & Cakes (from 1868). You k n o w this Margaret. Why are you trying to be a nuisance? Some new American decease??

Margaret wrote: “It does however beg the question of how the Anglican church worldwide does come to any joint position if it is not through Lambeth, the meetings of Primates, the ACC, or the Archbishop.”

It is n o t “a church”, so it doesn’t, really. Not a word on China’s crimes against humanity, in Tibet and elsewhere, for instance… Hardly a word on Zimbabwe…

Margaret wrote: “What is the point of these four if they actually have no unifying role?”

None whatsoever. You know this. They are all very late innovations without a future.

Margaret wrote: “Perhaps the idea is that the name "Anglican" is the only thing everyone intends to share in common and that each church can develop up its own (and potentially contradictory to others) view of what it means to be Anglican.”

The anti Modern politicians who are trying to turn the Anglican Communion of Churches into warring Sects, most certainly do not “intend” to “share” anything. And all their existence hangs on contradiction. Your analysis is flawed, Margaret.

Margaret wrote: “My problem with that is that position means that Akinola's version is as legitimate as anyone else’s.”

You better tell dear Dr Rowan that ; = )

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 8:02am BST

With respect to all the comments on my last comment:
Your replies have done nothing to allay my fears ie

My problem with that [your position on Lambeth etc] is that position means that Akinola's version [of Anglicanism] is as legitimate as anyone else’s.

And from what you say that is still a problem. And I find that fact deeply disturbing because I would like Akinola's version to be under the same scrutiny as the TEC's one. For my part I think BOTH have to demonstrate their legitimacy.

But how since there is no way to do it?

Posted by Margaret at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 8:42pm BST

"My problem with that [your position on Lambeth etc] is that position means that Akinola's version [of Anglicanism] is as legitimate as anyone else’s.

And from what you say that is still a problem. And I find that fact deeply disturbing because I would like Akinola's version to be under the same scrutiny as the TEC's one. For my part I think BOTH have to demonstrate their legitimacy.

But how since there is no way to do it?"

But there IS a way to do it. Let the various churches decide for themselves. In time, one or the other will prevail.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 11:24pm BST

Scrutiny comes when people who don't agree engage with each other.

From their behaviour, the Episcopal Church is prepared to be scrutinized. They are prepared to meet with those who disagree with them.

It is the "conservatives" who refuse to be scrutinized, who will only meet if the room is purged of the impure.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Wednesday, 2 April 2008 at 6:52pm BST
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