Living Church: Second ”˜Interim Pastoral Presence’ Appointed for San Joaquin

The Rev. Canon Brian Cox, rector of Christ the King Church, Santa Barbara, Calif., has been appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve as an “interim pastoral presence” in the Diocese of San Joaquin. He joins the Rev. Canon Robert Moore, who was named in January.

“I think the Presiding Bishop’s desire was to have a balanced pastoral presence as we seek to rebuild relationships on all sides,” Canon Cox told a reporter from The Living Church. He added that he hopes to begin “meeting people from all perspectives” and earning their trust during a listening tour of the diocese Feb. 19-22.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

22 comments on “Living Church: Second ”˜Interim Pastoral Presence’ Appointed for San Joaquin

  1. Intercessor says:

    Does this mean that remaining Conservatives are at odds with Remain Episcopal liberals and would not accept Robert Moore in any way or fashion? This sounds suspiciously like the eerie “Episcopal Visitors” scud that went nowhere out of New Orleans…

  2. Susan Russell says:

    Actually, I think it’s a good sign that there are a diversity of folks in San Joaquin who are committed to remaining in the Episcopal Church in spite of their differences. Brian Cox is a good priest with a genuine vocation for reconciliation. He and I disagree about almost everything there is to disagree about except that there’s room in the Diocese of Los Angeles for both Brian Cox and Susan Russell. I sent him my best wishes for the work he will do in the Diocese of San Joaquin and have added both Brian and Bob to my Lenten Prayer List for blessings on their work as bridge builders.

  3. APB says:

    Brian+ was one of those considered in the effort to find a new bishop for the Diocese of TN. He came across as personally traditional, but extremely focused on reconciliation. That, like most virtues, can be carried to an extreme. Some situation simply require decisions. But perhaps his current situation may be ideally suited to this approach.

  4. Intercessor says:

    Rev. Russell,
    Although I also disagree with you most of the time your insight is helpful and appreciated.

  5. jamesw says:

    While I have a lot of personal respect for Brian Cox, I feel that he has made an error in judgment here. Or, at the very least, he should contact the pre-existing DSJ Standing Committee (who as of yet have never been canonically removed) and get their permission to enter the diocese. Otherwise, Cox could be seen as approving the PB’s gross abuse of the canonical process.

  6. Intercessor says:

    #5…Good manners are not part of the 815 canons.

  7. Choir Stall says:

    This seems a bit different than the usual 815 stomp and chomp threats and tactics. Could it be that somebody perked caffeinated coffee and woke up the acolytes? We’ll see once the “presence” gets present. Hopefully the marching orders won’t be the same old torchlight songs.

  8. jamesw says:

    My concern is that if KJS gets away with an uncanonical dismissal of a diocesan standing committee, a precedent will be set. And that precedent is that the PB can dismiss any standing committee in any diocese that she doesn’t like, and probably also, that bishops can dismiss any lay authority in their diocese for any reason at all, regardless of whether they have been given that power via the canons.

    I understand that Brian probably sees himself as the reconciler, but what exactly is he tasked to reconcile people with in this case???

  9. Cennydd says:

    Susan, there is only ONE Diocese of San Joaquin: The ANGLICAN Diocese of San Joaquin! There are only enough reappraisers left in the area to form two or three moderate-sized parishes, and they might better be classified as a missionary district (eventually).

  10. Mike L says:

    why is it every time I hear the term “listening” used in any form related to actions of TEC I shudder?

  11. star-ace says:

    The uncanonical dismissals were done by +Schofield/++Venables and not anyone downstream.

    Let’s not re-write history

  12. jamesw says:

    star-ace: Any dismissals that Schofield did had nothing to do with TEC. Let us recall TEC’s arguments here: The DSJ has not left, only individuals have. Okay, so 6/8 members of the pre-existing DSJ (TEC) Standing Committee did not leave, and so Schofield informed them that since THEY HAD NOT LEFT TEC, there were not eligible to be on the DSJ (SC) Standing Committee. Neither Schofield nor any other TEC bishop has the canonical right to dismiss members from a TEC Standing Committee, and so FROM A TEC PERSPECTIVE, Schofield’s dismissal of the 6 Standing Committee members had no effect. Accordingly, under TEC’s stated view of the situation, the DSJ Standing Committee had 6 remaining members.

    The PB didn’t like this and wanted to recreate the DSJ in her own image with her own lackeys in control. She knew that there was no canonical way to dismiss the existing 6 Standing Committee members and so she simply ignored the canons and declared that she did not recognize them. That, star-ace, is a gross abuse of the canonical process.

  13. Irenaeus says:

    I wonder what KJS would consider a “balanced pastoral presence.”

  14. Irenaeus says:

    PS to #13: By “balanced pastoral presence,” KJS might perhaps envision something akin to the “coalition governments” that sometimes existed behind the Iron Curtain.

  15. DonGander says:

    How does one reconcile themselves to sin?

    Jesus is that sole reconciliation and that path seems abandonded by Schori. What other reconciliation is there remaining?


  16. John Wilkins says:

    #15 Perhaps we should remember how Jesus treated sinners and begin there. Romans 2:1.

  17. ann r says:

    John, thinking perhaps of the money changers?

  18. azusa says:

    # 17 – Job, I think – my favorite book in the New Testament.

  19. NancyNH says:

    I do not personally know Fr. Cox. But he was initially regarded as one of the genuine conservatives in Southern California. All the others have departed TEC – the other four churches took action. Fr. Cox does seem bent on “reconciling” at any cost. Frankly, he has lost my respect. (For those who don’t know me, I was a member of a departing So.Cal. church from 1997 to 2002.)

  20. Already left says:

    Nancy –
    I think you are right – as long as Fr. Brian can say the word “reconciliation” there is still hope. Nope! No chance! All is lost! All is NOT well! Get off the ship before it sinks!

  21. jamesw says:

    I don’t think we should criticize Cox for trying to bring “reconciliation” (as he understands it) to a situation. My concern is that Cox is being manipulated here by KJS in a way that will damage Cox’s reputation as a “true” reconciler. By agreeing to come into a diocese in violation of TEC’s canons (because he should do so with permission of the diocesan standing committee) he is coming in as an agent of one side. Therefore his neutrality is out the door, and the legitimate question can then be asked “what are you reconciling us to, Fr. Cox???” I think Cox has committed a very unfortunate error in judgment.

  22. libraryjim says:

    What I want to know is:
    Will he (under JKS’s instructions) try to set up his offices in the Diocesean HQ in SJ, saying that it is his right?


    ‘Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.