Skip to comments.Bishop [Schofield] Sees San Joaquin Vote as Referendum on Separation
Posted on 11/13/2006 6:00:34 PM PST by sionnsar
In September, San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield was absolved of charges brought by four other California bishops that he had left The Episcopal Church. But his legal reprieve might not last, with delegates to next months diocesan convention scheduled to consider even more changes to distance the diocese from The Episcopal Church.
In an interview with AnglicanTV, Bishop Schofield accepted responsibility for previous constitutional changes that have drawn the attention of the Presiding Bishops chancellor, as well as those proposed this year which would remove any language tying the diocese to The Episcopal Church. Bishop Schofield described the proposed changes as a referendum on the nature of the dioceses relationship with the national church.
We are saying that if there is a test going on here, its not a test for the national church. Its a test for this diocese, he said. Are the members and parishes of this diocese serious enough about the gospel of Jesus Christ that they want to remain apart from a church that no longer holds to those tenets?
According to diocesan bylaws, changes to the diocesan constitution require approval by two successive conventions. Approval the first time is by a simple majority. Approval on the second reading requires a two-thirds majority from clergy and lay delegates.
If convention approves the changes this year, nothing would change in its relationship within The Episcopal Church, Bishop Schofield said. At this point it is simply a grassroots-level test to see where the majority of the diocese is.
Any clergy or parishes under his care who are unhappy with his leadership are free to leave with their property and his blessing, Bishop Schofield said. While he wishes others in The Episcopal Church would adopt this same approach, he does not think that will happen. Based on her responses during a September meeting in New York City with other bishops affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network, Bishop Schofield said he doubts very seriously that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wants anything to do with him or anyone else in a position of leadership in the Diocese of San Joaquin and quite frankly we would be only too glad to reciprocate.
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