Modesto Bee: Episcopal Church throws out Fresno bishop

The House of Bishops in the Episcopal Church USA voted today to depose the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin.

It’s a little like firing someone who already has resigned.

Schofield, who in December led his diocese to leave the national church over issues such as biblical interpretation and homosexuality, now is under the oversight of the Anglican Church’s Southern Cone in South America.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

25 comments on “Modesto Bee: Episcopal Church throws out Fresno bishop

  1. Sidney says:

    Ironically, +John-David has now made it much more difficult to function as a conservative in the Episcopal Church. As a measure to protect TEC from those who would rip it apart legally, clearly this measure came years, if not decades too late. He has successfully purged his diocese of dissent, and probably successfully removed it from TEC.

    Now the rest of the church will have to anticipate this sort of behavior far in advance – assuming that every conservative is really just trying to get his/her diocese out of TEC. The scrutiny will be higher, and the tests of loyalty will be higher. Can the wider church risk allowing a diocese flexibility in its own choices? My guess is that it will not. Hasn’t +John-David proven that the liberals in the church would be fools to trust a conservative to keep his/her diocese in TEC?

  2. Sidney says:

    As a postscript, I know some of you conservatives will respond by saying that it isn’t +John-David’s fault – that the liberals are the ones ripping the church apart. I sympathize with your point of view – but merely lay the above thought out for your consideration for those of you conservatives who prefer to continue to try to fix things from the inside.

  3. justinmartyr says:

    Sidney, if the Church is all about winning souls for Christ, then, shouldn’t we all applaud acts of a diocese or parish that allow them to follow their conscience? Paul and Barnabas divided (pretty sharply) and then went their ways, serving the same ultimate goals.

    If the Episcopal Church was a business, and I was simply a stockholder, I think I would agree with you.

  4. carl says:

    [blockquote] Ironically, +John-David has now made it much more difficult to function as a conservative in the Episcopal Church.[/blockquote]
    [#1] Sidney,
    It doesn’t matter. In five or ten years there won’t [i]be[/i] any conservatives left in TEC. This will happen regardless of the decisions made by Bishop Schofield and DSJ. The years remaining for conservative leadership in TEC can be counted with the fingers on your hands.

    Conservatives still remaining in TEC will eventually have to decide. Do they submit, or do they leave? I suspect the decision will be forced by canonical changes introduced at GC2009. But the battle for TEC is over, and the Liberals have won.


  5. roanoker says:

    What about the wonderful Bishop Cox. Why didn’t they leave him alone?

  6. Tikvah says:

    “It’s a little like firing someone who already has resigned.” Exactly. What’s the point?

  7. Chris Hathaway says:

    “Fix things from the inside”? There is no fixing that can be done. There is only treading water and surviving until it’s the ship disappears beneath the waves.

  8. justinmartyr says:

    Chris, I don’t think that is quite accurate. I attend a small Anglo-Catholic (very, very traditional) Church in a very liberal diocese: Atlanta. I doubt that most people care what is happening “above their heads,” since they don’t see anyone higher than the vicar.

    I don’t know when last the Bishop visited our parish. And that is quite fine with most of us.

  9. Chris Hathaway says:

    justinmartyr, contentment to live in a ghetto pretending there is no church beyond your parish walls isn’t much of a church life. Being satisfied with such a pathetic existence is part of the problem.

  10. tomcornelius says:

    justinmartyr #8: +Alexander visited OS shortly after he was Consecrated, so I guess the last episcopal visitation was 7 or 8 years ago.
    Chris #9 We never pretended there was no church beyond the parish walls, so engaged it through such groups as FiF/NA, and through attempting to participate in the life of the Diocese.

  11. justinmartyr says:

    Shortsighted, yes, or very farsighted. For me the Church extends beyond the little, insignificant Episcopal church. Beyond the little, insignificant Anglican communion. It includes baptists, catholics, orthodox, and presbyterians. So yes, the world won’t end if my diocese goes away, or even if the Anglican communion does (Although I will miss the rich tradition, of course). Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever.

  12. justinmartyr says:

    Yes, I’m catholic, and proud of it. I’m also very protestant and proud of it (if that’s what it means if I can share the body and blood with any baptized Christian).

  13. justinmartyr says:

    God bless you tomcornelius. I understand your position.

  14. Sidney says:

    #3. Since when has the Church just been about winning souls to Christ?

    It has always been about promoting viewpoints of who Christ was – and about crushing opposing viewpoints and their institutions. That’s how orthodoxy emerged – and clearly +John-David feels part of that tradition.

    Fighting over property isn’t an act of conscience unless you feel called to destroy the heretics’ churches.

  15. Cennydd says:

    Let’s get one thing straight here, once and for all: The Episcopal Church DID NOT throw Bishop Schofield out! He resigned from their House of Bishops four days ago! He is a bishop now, and always will be. Moreover, he and our diocese are now a part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of the Americas, and for proof of that, I invite you all to read Archbishop Venables’ memo to him elsewhere on this blog.

    For you reappraisers who mock him and our diocese, I ask what further proof do you need? For those of you in denial of the truth, I truly pity you.

  16. Cennydd says:

    And Sidney, we’re not the ones who did the crushing, are we? Want proof of that? Remember all of the times when we reasserters have been ignored, shouted down, outspent, and outvoted at conventions? How about the blacklisting of graduates from Nashotah House and Trinity seminaries by bishops who demand that every deacon who comes before them for ordination to the priesthood totally conform to his version of theology? How about the priests who interview for posting to parishes and run afoul of these same bishops because their theological stance is somehow different than his? Where’s the fairness in all of this? Where’s the Christian compassion……..or did it never exist in the first place?

  17. justinmartyr says:

    Cenydd: In what way am I in denial of the truth?

  18. Bill in Ottawa says:

    From a legalistic and tactical point of view, the HoB had to accept the resignation of Bishop Schofield from both the House. Deposition was a bit petty, but it was the only way that they could see to legally “remove” him from the Diocese. So now, in their view, there is a vacant see in San Joaquin and 815 can now proceed to “replace” him.

    So now there are two co-terminus Dioceses, one under +Schofield and one looking for a bishop. Given the current state of collapse in TEC it would make more sense to consolidate San Joaquin’s remaining TEC congregations into one or more neighbouring dioceses. That, however, would require humility and acceptance of defeat.

  19. rlw6 says:

    10 glad to see you Tom, Alexander installed Fr. Bolton two years ago. Paul

  20. flaanglican says:

    For once, someone in the media gets it right. That is one of the most accurate descriptions I’ve read about clergy leaving ECUSA yet are still part of the Anglican Communion under another Anglican Province.

  21. Choir Stall says:

    The secular media is not being well-managed by 815. This will continue to be a problem. There will be a tipping point when 815 finally realizes how ugly and unChristian most people believe them to be. By then it will be too late.

  22. Cennydd says:

    Justinmartyr, I am an Anglo Catholic, just as my bishop is, and therefore, I share the belief in the catholicity of the Church. I simply refuse to share it with TEC because of their actions, and because they have departed from the faith as we reasserters have known it since the founding of Anglican Christianity. I believe that TEC is now Secular Humanist in clerical garb.

  23. justinmartyr says:

    Cenydd, I share your concerns about TEC. I would of course prefer that my parish reside in a conservative Anglican province. (In fact I often attend a DEUS church in the area.) I don’t however ascribe to the pessimism of an earlier poster:

    “Fix things from the inside”? There is no fixing that can be done. There is only treading water and surviving until it’s the ship disappears beneath the waves.

    Christ is still in control. The Church has weathered centuries of bad leadership and will continue to do so. I respect those who leave for other provinces (and hope that it doesn’t result in further splintering), but I am also seeing a valid, conscionable place for faithful shepherds in TEC (even if it is viewed more as a mission field).

    My little Anglo-Catholic parish was decimated by the departure of the vicar and much of the congregation to the Roman Church. TEC has very kindly supported the current priest as he has helped revive this historic parish. The priest is doing a great job, numbers are increasing and people who would not have heard the gospel are hearing it. It is my understanding that my church would not be able to survive in its current state without financial support from TEC. Worse still, if we were to be sued for leaving we might as well walk off and find another church. All in all, the gospel (in this little case) benefits from TEC’s support, and for that I am grateful.

    There are a lot of gray areas in this whole organizational mess, and ANYONE who paints it as black or white (here I am not talking about sin) is deluded.

  24. Sarah1 says:

    I’m a day late to this thread, but wanted to respond to Sydney’s above point about the actions of departing conservative Episcopalians sometimes making it tougher on those of us who are staying.

    She’s right — and as a Christian, it is right for me to rejoice with those who rejoice in their freedom from TEC, regardless of whether things will be harder for me and my allies.

    I do rejoice with them and support them and urge them on in their chosen path, though it is not mine.

  25. justinmartyr says:

    A very mature response, Sarah.