Press Release from Remain Episcopal on the San Joaquin vote

[i]Remain Episcopal is the Via Media chapter in the Diocese of San Joaquin and opposes the San Joaquin vote. Here is their statement on today’s vote:[/i]

San Joaquin Diocese Will Continue With or Without Bishop Schofield

FRESNO, CA — There’s no such thing as squatter’s rights in the Episcopal Church.

That’s the lesson Bishop John David Schofield will learn if he follows through with his threat to quit the Episcopal Church and take as many members of the San Joaquin Diocese with him as he can, according to national church officials. Schofield claims that he will still be the diocesan bishop after the Dec. 7-8 convention in Fresno in which a majority of delegates are expected to vote to leave the church with him. But national church officials point out that, ecclesiastically speaking, he will be a bishop without a diocese. He can go, but the diocese remains.

The national church’s Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has publicly notified Schofield, along with the handful of other bishops who are actively seeking to withdraw their dioceses from the Episcopal Church (TEC), of the theological, canonical and legal issues involved, as well as the ramifications of voting to leave the church. [Full text of this warning from TEC can be found at]
If Bishop Schofield does quit the church, the 14-county Episcopal diocese in central California will continue. It will have the support of the national church, surrounding dioceses and those individuals, parishes and groups that remain with the church. Many of the latter are members of Remain Episcopal, a group of clergy and lay people formed in 2003 for the sole purpose of assuring that the Episcopal Church remains alive and
well in this diocese. Speaking on behalf of the Remain Episcopal Board, President Cindy Smith said:

[blockquote]We in Remain Episcopal choose to continue the long-established relationship and affiliation we have with the Episcopal Church in the United States.
We are deeply troubled that Bishop John-David Schofield is aggressively pursuing leaving the church. Remain Episcopal admits that it does not know what his exact plans are, whether to set up his own denomination, affiliate with one or more American splinter groups, or even align with a group in Africa or South America. Even more troubling is his desire to take as many Episcopalians with him as he can.
If Bishop Schofield and the majority of the delegates do vote in December to leave, the Episcopal Church will still be alive and well in San Joaquin, although somewhat smaller. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin existed long before Bishop Schofield was elected and will continue to exist after he leaves. While he is a bishop, he is not the church, he is not the diocese, nor, by leaving, can he define whether or not the Episcopal Church will continue in this diocese.
Episcopalians in San Joaquin will still gather to pray and worship and celebrate the Eucharist together as part of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.[/blockquote]

The press release can be found here.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Organizations, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

12 comments on “Press Release from Remain Episcopal on the San Joaquin vote

  1. Jeffersonian says:

    They just don’t get it, do they. Their entire diocese just bolted TEC. They’ll be able to “remain Episcopal” if they wish. Is this so hard to understand?

  2. Connie Sandlin says:

    The press release is dated a month ago. Hardly current, is it?

  3. robroy says:

    See my thread comment [url= ]here[/url] about how the Via Media (Remaining Episcopal) representative, Rick Matters, rector of St. John’s, Lodi of the diocese of San Joaquin was conspiring against his bishop two years ago to depose and sue him.

  4. rschllnbrg says:

    [blockquote]somewhat smaller[/blockquote]
    Because “all is somewhat well?”

  5. The Lakeland Two says:

    Old press release, as Connie says. But for a group that lauds the “listening process” to the level of worship, “Remain Episcopal” isn’t particpating on its part. No surprise there. Bishop Schofield has been very clear as to the direction SJ is going even at the writing of this press release. So this statement is beyond ludicrous:
    [blockquote] Remain Episcopal admits that it does not know what his exact plans are, whether to set up his own denomination, affiliate with one or more American splinter groups, or even align with a group in Africa or South America. [/blockquote] There hasn’t been anything about +Schofield setting up “his own denomination” or “affiliate with one or more American splinter groups”, etc., but slinging crap like this just shows the depths of the divide even more.

    As far as [blockquote] Even more troubling is his desire to take as many Episcopalians with him as he can.
    [/blockquote] That’s called leadership. +Schofield is a sheperd. Those who want to “Remain Episcopal” can stay in TEC, nothing is stopping them (except a mortgage). They have the free will to do so. As +Schofield said, it’s a shame TEC can’t be as gracious.

    The people of San Joaquin spoke loudly and clearly this weekend. In some aspects, it was the shot heard around the world. We hope “Remain Episcopal” and TEC had their earplugs out, because the rest of the world heard it. More lawsuits? Deposition? The more TEC goes this route, the more it shows that it lacks Christian charity.

  6. Vincent Coles says:

    “We don’t like it, and we are going to stamp our feet and cry.”

  7. MJD_NV says:

    Okay, someone who is more adept at online research (& is not going to have children awaking at any moment,) fact check me here, but don’t the ECUSAN canons state that you have to have 6 self-sustaining parishes to form a Diocese?

    My impresssion has been that the Remain ECUSAn remnant constitutes 5 parishes, not allof whom are financially solvent. How do they figure on keeping a diocesan structure? Especially when N CA & LA could by canon make it a missionary area with the greatest of ease, not burden the remaining parishes with a diocesan structure that they cannot support & see if missions in the area will grow & become self-sustaining before getting in over their heads?

    Or is this another case of “perceived polity trumps reality” in the ECUSAn looking-glass world?

  8. Tom Roberts says:

    #7, they’ll just let it revert to mission status, like most of Latin America or Navaho Lands. That is assuming that they don’t do the full court legal press and insist that all the old parishes are “still there” while 815 and the new rump-diocese sue for the property.

  9. Carolina Anglican says:

    I think the “via media” group needs to convey things honestly. The group was represented by 10 objecting votes at the convention. This in no way resembles anything but a tiny minority. Like in the South Caroline Bishop election issues. That minority is treated in the media as representing some significant membership that is now “disenfranchised.” In the ENS article they quoted several of these objectors making it seem like they represent only a fraction fewer than those leaving.

  10. Bill C says:

    “…squatters rights…? What a mean-spirited and totally secular thing to say. It is just vicious. In the UK it is a phrase used to describe unpleasant types, or the homeless and gypsies moving onto private land.

  11. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Squatter’s rights…would that be related to immigration concerns of the national aggregation of dioceses? And, Bill C, it means the same in the US – unless you bought the land, the property, and maintained it in the ECUSA/TEC; then you have absent squatters trying to maintain a fiction that they own it.

  12. evan miller says:

    The word “delusional” leaps to mind.