Skip to comments.Doing the Math: What Is Going On With The Bishop of San Joaquin [+petition!]
Posted on 07/23/2006 3:27:50 PM PDT by sionnsar
After some further reflection, it appears that Fred has been right all along, and this has nothing to do with property. This is the Via Media strategy played out. +Swing, +Bruno, +Mathes, and +Lamb are attempting to circumvent the normal canonical process of presentment against +Schofield, and get a declaration that the Bishop of San Joaquin has abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church. This is Connecticut Six writ large. Yesterday, I made the statement that this is a stepping back from the brink. In the morning light, I see things much differently.
Why no presentment? Because there is no presentment process in abandonment of communion. Similarly to priests is such places like Connecticut, the higher authority does it, ignores the good faith denial, and we have a fait accompli. Night of the long knives, indeed.
What is so maddening about this for me is that the left is too chicken to actually have an open ecclesiastical fight. Rather, they are invoking a kind of ecclesiastical assassination, giving +Schofield no meaningful opportunity to defend himself, and no appeal.
Since the Diocese of San Joaquin has updated their press release and actually named Canon IV:9, lets take a look at Canon 9, of Title IV, shall we:
CANON 9: Of Abandonment of the Communion of This Church by a Bishop
Sec. 1. If a Bishop abandons the communion of this Church (i) by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this Church, or (ii) by formal admission into any religious body not in communion with the same, or (iii) by exercising episcopal acts in and for a religious body other than this Church or another Church in communion with this Church, so as to extend to such body Holy Orders as this Church holds them, or to administer on behalf of such religious body Confirmation without the express consent and commission of the proper authority in this Church; it shall be the duty of the Review Committee, by a majority vote of All the Members, to certify the fact to the Presiding Bishop and with the certificate to send a statement of the acts or declarations which show such abandonment, which certificate and statement shall be recorded by the Presiding Bishop. The Presiding Bishop, with the consent of the three senior Bishops having jurisdiction in this Church, shall then inhibit the said Bishop until such time as the House of Bishops shall investigate the matter and act thereon. During the period of Inhibition, the Bishop shall not perform any episcopal, ministerial or canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of which the Bishop holds jurisdiction or in which the Bishop is then serving.
Sec. 2. The Presiding Bishop, or the presiding officer, shall forthwith give notice to the Bishop of the certification and Inhibition. Unless the inhibited Bishop, within two months, makes declaration by a Verified written statement to the Presiding Bishop, that the facts alleged in the certificate are false or utilizes the provisions of Canon IV.8 or Canon III.13, as applicable, the Bishop will be liable to Deposition. If the Presiding Bishop is reasonably satisfied that the statement constitutes (i) a good faith retraction of the declarations or acts relied upon in the certification to the Presiding Bishop or (ii) a good faith denial that the Bishop made the declarations or committed the acts relied upon in the certificate, the Presiding Bishop, with the advice and consent of a majority of the three senior Bishops consenting to Inhibition, terminate the Inhibition. Otherwise, it shall be the duty of the Presiding Bishop to present the matter to
the House of Bishops at the next regular or special meeting of the House. If the House, by a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote, shall give its consent, the Presiding Bishop shall depose the Bishop from the Ministry, and pronounce and record in the presence of two or more Bishops that the Bishop has been so deposed.
Well, isnt that just lovely? No trial. Just a majority vote from the House of Bishops.
I think Im going to be sick.
On this page over here, I have started a petition opposing the use of the abandonment of communion canon against the Bishop of San Joaquin. I ask that you use the comments to sign it. I will transmit, at a later date, the petition to the Presiding Bishop and the members of the council of advice. Please sign via comment with your actual name, your parish, Diocese, and any position you have in which you handle church legal matters (chancellor, church attorney, etc.)
Let me say this: I urge you to sign this petition. If you do not voice your opposition now to this abuse, the abuse will continue, and someday it might be your bishop that faces this same situation.
We, the undersigned, do hereby protest the use of Canon IV.9 against Bishop John David Schofield of San Joaquin. The use of this canon against the Bishop is for purposes for which the canon was never intended. This canon was conceived as a way of removing Bishops who had in fact joined another communion or church. Bishop Schofield, who was in attendance at the last General Convention, has not officially joined another communion or church, and has by no means renounced his Episcopacy in the Episcopal Church.
If Bishop Schofield has indeed violated any provision of the Constitution or Canons of the Episcopal Church, we call upon the review committee to charge him with a presentment and give the Bishop an opportunity for a trial and an appeal, as provided in the Canons. We decry the abuse of Canon IV.9 to summarily inhibit and/or depose a bishop who has not formally joined another church or communion not in communion with the Episcopal Church.
Bradley L. Drell, St. James, Alexandria, Diocese of Western Louisiana
Judge, Court of Review, Province VII
[Note surprising, the number of names I see on this petition from the Episcopal blogworld. I know +Schofield and would love to sign, but I'm so long gone from PECUSA I doubt it would count for anything. If you are in TEC, I urge you to consider signing this. --sionnsar]
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