Skip to comments.Under Fire, San Joaquin Diocese Seeks to Stay Loyal to the Anglican Communion
Posted on 01/28/2007 7:19:55 PM PST by Huber
In previous property disputes hundreds of miles to the south, a Superior Court judge dismissed lawsuits filed by the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese against three conservative breakaway parishes in Long Beach and Newport Beach claiming to be the owners of their churches. The diocese has appealed those rulings.
However, late last year a different Superior Court judge allowed the diocese to proceed with a lawsuit filed against a breakaway Episcopal church in La Crescenta. That suit also seeks a declaration that the property is owned by the diocese.
Its the Wild West out there, Jan Nunley, spokeswoman for the Episcopal Church headquarters in New York, said of California. If the leadership of the [San Joaquin] diocese declares it is no longer part of the national organization, the question is this: Does that leadership stay or have its positions replaced by others?
Schofield said he plans to stay in his post. He also would allow dissenting congregations to keep their churches, provided that they do not leave the diocese saddled with debt.
Let them have their freedom, and a bishop more in harmony with their theology, Schofield said. If someone wants to go their own way, God bless them.
As for the influence of the churchs presiding bishop, he said, This is an autonomous diocese. For Katharine Jefferts Schori to function in this diocese, she needs my permission.
In the meantime, opposing forces in Fresno have challenged the biblical passages the diocese cites to support its positions on various issues, such as gays and the role of women in the church. They also quote the Bible, saying it preaches compassion and acceptance.
The Rt. Rev. Richard Matters, pastor of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Lodi and a co-founder of the Remain Episcopal group, said, We are striving to practice being the authentic church which embraces the holiness and sacredness that Bishop Schofield is motivated to deny, and at the same time demonstrate the inclusivity and tolerance that shocked people at the time of Jesus.
People opposed to a divorce from the national church plan to rally in Lodi on Feb. 10. Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Churchs House of Deputies, is expected to lead the rally.
But Schofield said he was more interested in the outcome of another gathering in February. Anglican primates from across the globe will meet in Tanzania, and some orthodox clergymen have proposed that Jefferts Schori be sidelined at that meeting. Schofield supports such a move.
It is my goal, he said, to remain true to the church as it has always been through the ages. It is the radical fringe that has seized control and driven a wedge into the Anglican church.
Read it all.
I tremble to think that the Churches have taken their fights to the civilian courts because the world system does not respect faith nor does it side with truth. The fundamental issue is one of Truth, not of tolerance. If you really love someone, you tell them the truth, and you help them to accept it. It is unconscionable for apostates to accuse others of intolerance when they are the ones spewing venomous lies. This fight is alienating those whom we would reach for the Kingdom of Christ. That is the real tragedy.
As George Beverly Shea sings: "I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands..." Would that were so in the Episcopal Church.
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