The Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin will appeal a California Superior Court ruling that The Episcopal Church is hierarchical and that the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield had no standing to break the diocese’s ties with the larger church.
Judge Adolfo M. Corona of the Superior Court of California, County of Fresno, issued an order for summary adjudication on July 21. The lawsuit was filed by the Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb, acting bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, and The Episcopal Church against Bishop Schofield, several bodies formed by the departing diocese, and the investment firm of Merrill Lynch.
“Defendants’ right to amend their constitution and canons is not unrestricted and unlimited,” Judge Corona wrote. “The constitution of the diocese has always permitted amendments. ”¦ However, from the inception of the diocese as a missionary district, it acceded to the constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and recognized the authority of the General Convention of the same.”