Obtained via email; in wide circulation at present so important for blog readers to see; please read it all and follow all the links–KSH.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
The Central Third of California
The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb, Bishop
The Rev. Canon Mark H. Hall, Canon to the Ordinary
Dear Bishops and Standing Committee Members,
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin joins me in sending you this letter that outlines our grave concerns about the election of the Rev. Daniel Martins as the Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois.
Our concern is not about the electing process, but about the suitability of Daniel Martins to be ordained a bishop in the Episcopal Church. We write to you now before the consent process is in full swing, so you will know of our concerns and have a chance to review pertinent information about Daniel Martins and his involvement in the attempted separation of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin from the Episcopal Church. We also request that you visit Daniel Martins’ website (http://cariocaconfessions.blogspot.com/) and review his comments about the startup of the Continuing Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
All of the material concerning Daniel Martins’ relationship to the Diocese of San Joaquin can be found on our diocesan website (www.diosanjoaquin.org) under “Updates” on the right sidebar or by direct link at http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/dioceseofspringfieldconsent.html.
Daniel Martins came to the Diocese of San Joaquin in 1994 when he was called to be the rector of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Stockton. He remained at St. John’s until August 2007 when he accepted a call to St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Warsaw, Diocese of Northern Indiana. St. John’s is the oldest Episcopal Church in Stockton (and was one of the leading parishes in the diocese.) Only months after Martins left St. John’s, the parish chose to follow John-David Schofield in the attempt to leave the Episcopal Church. It is our contention that Daniel Martins did not prepare this congregation to remain in the Episcopal Church, but did just the opposite. St. John’s, Stockton is one of the few incorporated parishes in the diocese, and we were forced to file suit to recover this property for the Episcopal Church.
While residing in the Diocese of San Joaquin, Daniel Martins was very active in diocesan affairs. He was elected a deputy to General Convention multiple times, the last time in 2006. The Diocesan Council meeting minutes on April 8, 2006 report on a discussion of the upcoming Diocesan Convention resolution regarding disassociation from the Episcopal Church. In response to a question as to why deputies to General Convention 2006 had questions about the timing of the resolution, the Rev James Snell is referenced: “Read e-mail from Dan Martins. Endorse substance of proposal but concerned that (1) language provocative, (2) timing is ill-advised (prior to GC 2006) – diverts attention, (3) resolution will be spun by Bps adversaries, (4) robs GC deputations of effectiveness and credibility at GC. If GC rejects Windsor Report, then it will be time to act and Dan will lead the charge.” (See http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/doc/CouncilMinutesApr2006)
In John-David Schofield’s address to convention in December 2006, when the first reading of the proposed change to the Constitution was made, he made the following statement, “Working independently of this Virginia meeting, three of our rural deans: Frs. Dan Martins, Jim Snell, and Richard James came up with a substitute for the original proposed changes to our diocesan constitution.” This substitute amendment became the very amendment that the disaffiliating parties attempted to use as their vehicle to leave the Church. (See http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/doc/SchofieldAddr2006)
When former Bishop Schofield called for a vote in 2006 on this constitutional change removing the accession clause (after rejecting the motion for a secret ballot) and called for a vote by delegates standing in favor, reliable witnesses noted that Daniel Martins voted in the affirmative.
The Standing Committee and I contend Daniel Martins was instrumental to the process that led to first and second votes by the diocese to change the Constitutions and Canons that resulted in the failed attempt to unilaterally leave the Episcopal Church. Further excerpts from Diocesan documents are available at our diocesan website. (See for example, email dated June17, 2007 from Martins to Standing Committee http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/doc/Email6172007, Standing Committee minutes from June 2007 http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/doc/SCMinutesJun2007, and email from Dan Martins in December 2006 http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/doc/Email12182006).
We also urge you to read excerpts from Daniel Martins’ blog entitled “Confessions of a Carioca.” (See http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/doc/DanMartinsBlogExcerpts) The following are examples from his blog.
3-5-2008: There’s a new group of Non-Jurors in the process of formation even as I write. They are former clergy and laity of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Their principled stand places them between the “rock” of their former bishop, whom they have loved and served loyally, but whom they cannot in good conscience follow to the Province of the Southern Cone, and the “hard place” of the noncanonical rump “remaining” Diocese of San Joaquin, which they cannot in good conscience join because it represents the raw exercise of naked illicit power by the Presiding Bishop, and because to do so would compromise their oath of loyalty to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.
7-13-2008: Now, aside from the … what shall we say? … ungenerous … tone of the missive, it raises some curious issues. It comes as no news that, for a number of substantive technical reasons, I recognize neither the constitutional foundation of the “Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin” nor the authority of Bishop Jerry Lamb. By any rational reading of the Constitution & Canons of the Episcopal Church, we’re talking about a bogus diocese with a bogus bishop, though they have some impressive-looking stationery. That they exist at all, and are able to maintain the chimera of legitimacy is a result only of the raw exercise of naked political power on the part of the Presiding Bishop. She is manifestly guilty of presentable offenses but it will never happen because the political calculus just isn’t there.
Out of concern for the Episcopal Church, we urge you to review the information in this letter, on our website (http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/dioceseofspringfieldconsent.html), and in Daniel Martins’ own blog.
Upon reviewing the materials, we believe that it is clear that Daniel Martins not only actively supported and voted to attempt to remove the Diocese from the Episcopal Church. Furthermore, it is implicit in his writings and actions that he clearly holds the belief that a Diocese may leave this Church unilaterally, which is contrary to our understanding of Anglicanism and the polity of the Episcopal Church.
In closing, the consent process, as mandated by our canons, is the only way the wider Church can respond to the election of a person to be a bishop. Accordingly, we would ask you to join us in withholding consent for Daniel Martins to become the Bishop of Springfield.
–(The Rt. Rev.) Jerry A. Lamb is Bishop of San Joaquin [the TEC Affiliated Diocese]
Members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin