Skip to comments.[+Schofield] Returning Fire
Posted on 11/30/2006 5:13:34 PM PST by sionnsar
Main Entry: pri'mate
Etymology: Middle English primat, from Old French, from Medieval Latin primat-, primas archbishop, from Latin, leader, from primus
Date: 13th century
1 often capitalized : a bishop who has precedence in a province, group of provinces, or a nation
2 archaic : one first in authority or rank : LEADER
3 [New Latin Primates, from Latin, plural of primat-, primas] : any of an order (Primates) of mammals comprising humans, apes, monkeys, and related forms (as lemurs and tarsiers)
-pri'mate-ship \-*ship\ noun
--pri-ma'tial \pr*-*m*-sh*l\ adjective
The battle is joined. John-David Schofield writes the Presiding Bishop:
Greetings in the name of our Lord and only Savior Jesus Christ.
I am in receipt of your letter to me and wish to make clear from the outset that I have always remained faithful to my vows as an ordained bishop in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At my consecration, I vowed to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church of God. I was charged by my chief consecrator to Feed the flock of Christ committed to [my] charge, guard and defend them in his truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments. I carry out my vow by defending and propagating the historic Faith and Order which The Episcopal Church commits to upholding in the preamble of its own Constitution.
Keeping one's word is getting to be a pretty tough thing to do in the Episcopal Church these days.
In 2003, the General Convention committed itself to a theological path that is irreconcilable with the Anglican faith this Church has received and has torn the fabric of the entire Communion. The Primates repeated calls for repentance have not been heeded. More than half of the Primates and Provinces of the Anglican Communion have declared themselves to be in impaired or broken communion with The Episcopal Church. Beyond our Anglican Communion, relations throughout Christendom have been profoundly strained. With obvious reference to innovations and novelties introduced by The Episcopal Church, last week Pope Benedict XVI publically stated to Archbishop Rowan Williams that recent developments, especially concerning ordained ministry and certain moral teachings, have affected not only the internal relations within the Anglican Communion but also relations between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church.
Let's be honest, Kate. You and I espouse two different and mutually-exclusive religions.
The Episcopal Church, as an institution, is walking a path of apostasy and those faithful to Gods Word are forced to make painful choices.
At a diocesan level, the choice is between continuing membership in an unrepentant, apostate institution or following Holy Scripture and the Anglican faith. Whether or not the Diocese of San Joaquin will continue its institutional membership in The Episcopal Church is a choice that will be made by the people and the clergy and not by me. They will express their collective will as provided in the diocesan governing documents which were approved by the General Convention when the diocese was first admitted to membership.
Besides, that vote everyone's so worried about doesn't really mean anything.
It is important to point out that the vote at the Diocesan Convention in December 2006 is neither final nor irrevocable. Should the Constitutional amendments being proposed pass the first reading, then the diocese will simply have positioned itself to make a final decision at a second consecutive Annual Convention in 2007 if that proves Gods call.
Under our diocesan constitution, the second and final reading is automatically scheduled for October 2007. The setting of the exact date may be advanced or delayed by the bishop. There are some significant factors that would influence such a decision.
Like the next Primates Meeting, say.
First, at the meeting with the leading Primates of the Global South in Virginia, November 15-17 this year, the Global South Primates Steering Committee encouraged us by supporting our faithful stand and commitment to Christ, and they expressed a desire to be of help to us to relieve our untenable position. They have promised assistance, the form of which they will bring to the entire Primates meeting scheduled for Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in February 2007. In the meantime, in keeping with the goals of the Windsor Report and positioning ourselves to accept the Primates help, we are responding to the Primates who called upon us to remain flexible until the details are worked out.
So don't threaten me, Bishop.
An additional consideration was your letter to me. I believe you have shown wisdom and restraint by not issuing an ultimatum. Instead, you have invited further discussion which could possibly lead to some degree of reconciliation. In recognition of what you have proposed, I, too, will exercise restraint by not advancing the date of what could be an historic and final act. However, should proceedings be instituted against me as threatened in your letter, I would not feel obliged to exercise restraint. My prayer is that neither of us takes action which upsets the delicate balance which now exists until the Primates have given us direction at their February 2007 meeting. Until then, powerful forces will be at work that will ultimately shape the future.
How Schori takes this letter will be interesting. I expect that many on the Episcopal left will consider this letter to be proof of Schofield's intentions and either file a presentment against Schofield or urge Schori to declare San Joaquin vacant. If either or both of those things happen, the Anglican primates may find themselves with an American orthodox Anglican fact on the ground when they meet next February and the Current Unpleasantness may begin to resolve itself much sooner than many had anticipated.
This gets more and more fascinating. You know, when I first heard Schofield speak at the ESA meeting in Ft. Worth in 1989, I wasn't overly impressed.
The way that he has stepped forward and taken this head-on has, however, impressed me very much. May God be with him.
"At a diocesan level, the choice is between continuing membership in an unrepentant, apostate institution or following Holy Scripture and the Anglican faith."
There! That's what an Anglican bishop is supposed to say in the face of heretics and apostates!
My opinion of him is changing.
Go John-David, Go!
I have never been more proud of a fellow servant for his stand than I am of our beloved bishop John David Schofield. I say "our" because he is a close family friend and confidant - a spiritual director to several members of our extended family. Over the years we have learned to be still and listen to the voice of God and to pray for discernment when faced with momentous decisions. Bishop Schofield practices the art of listening to the voice of God and to the bleatings of his sheep. He tends his flock with love and truth as Jesus would. He calls us to God's standard of righteousness and is living his own calling transparently, which is more than I can say for others.
Attacks on the person and integrity of Bishop Schofield have been devastating to read, but I have considered the source and have noted who these are who would detract from the reason for the stand he has and is taking.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a standard. Bishop John-David Schofield is a standard bearer for the Truth. Let us pray earnestly for his protection and work to see he is provided for if Schori has her way.
It looks like we're going to be hearing more of this. Anglicans are very Entish sometimes, but eventually things start happening.
It is good.
It is very, very good.
He is standing. He is fighting. He will win. How can he not?
See the thread I posted a few minutes ago. He is ready.
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