Skip to comments.Pearl Harbor [TEC opens up on San Joaquin]
Posted on 07/24/2006 4:37:13 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Episcopal left opens up on San Joaquin:
Four bishops with jurisdiction in the state of California have asked a disciplinary panel to approve an expedited deposition of the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin.
In a letter to the organizing chair of the Title IV [Ecclesiastical Discipline] Review Committee, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles; the Rt. Rev. Jerry M. Lamb, Bishop of Northern California; the Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego; and the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing, Bishop of California, are concerned that Bishop Schofield intends to abandon the communion of this Church. As one of the primary pieces of their evidence the four cite recent changes that qualify subordination under the diocesan canons to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention.
At its annual meeting last October, delegates to San Joaquins convention approved the second reading of a change to Article II of its constitution to state that it accedes to the Canons and Constitution of the General Convention to the extent that such terms and provisions are not inconsistent with the terms and provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of San Joaquin. The four believe this fact alone is sufficient to remove Bishop Schofield from office without trial.
You get two guesses as to that this is really about but you're only going to need one.
In a July 11 interview with The Living Church, Bishop Swing said he and the other three California bishops with jurisdiction at the time the letter was sent are concerned that in several recent church property dispute cases California courts have awarded title to the congregation, applying a neutral principles of law rather than deferring to the denominations bylaws. Bishop Swing, who was chair of the House of Bishops task force on church property disputes until his July 22 retirement, said it was unfathomable that someone would try to retain property after having left The Episcopal Church. It was given to us and we want to pass it on to the next generation, he said.
And this is kind of surprising for a "church" that regularly prattles on about how "democratic" it is.
This is believed to be the first time that questions of abandonment have been raised about a bishop of The Episcopal Church. In the past five years abandonment rulings have been issued against an increasing number of priests and deacons often after the accused has claimed to have transferred to another province of the Anglican Communion. The abandonment process is much more expeditious than other disciplinary procedures which are adjudicated through an ecclesiastical trial process and under abandonment there is no presumption of innocence.
Bottom line: if enough bishops think Schofield has abandoned communion, than he has, regardless of what he has to say about it.
A despicable move, of course, but par for the course for the likes of Double J, the Swinger and their ilk. One assumes that they went this route because their desired result, the removal of Schofield, would be easier to accomplish.
But this might be a case of be careful what you wish for. Suppose that Schofield is removed and a new diocesan election is called. Suppose that San Joaquin reelects Schofield to the position. Suppose also that consent for Schofield's reelection is not granted and that San Joaquin is told to take another run at it.
If I'm San Joaquin, I elect Schofield again. Because if he is turned down twice, the case for alternative primatial oversight becomes almost unassailable. Here is a diocese whose bishop was removed against the will of that diocese and for the most dishonest possible reason.
The national church, San Joaquin can rightly say, has assumed a position of hostility and is trying to force a bishop on us that we do not want. In such a case, Rowan Williams would almost be forced to step in or allow someone else to.
UPDATE: This is not a good sign for Schofield.
Bishop George Wayne Smith[Missouri] has been appointed to the Court for the Trial of a Bishop by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. The appointment was made during General Convention during a session of the House of Bishops.
Because of the possibility that a trial for a bishop might involve property issues, Bishop Smith has resigned his seat on the House of Bishops Property Task Force looking into how the Episcopal Church should handle property disputes.
Besides being an impeccable ECUSA leftist, Smith is also a good company man who won't rock the boat. Thanks to David for the heads-up.
Dishonest to the core. Swing knows well the properties were taken with the passage of the Dennis Canon. (Assuming the Canon was properly ratified, a question that seems to remain on the table.)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.