Experts on the church said the deposing of Bishop Schofield had set the stage for the next phase of the conflict, which would most likely be lawsuits over diocesan and parish property.
The Rev. Ephraim Radner, a leading Episcopal conservative and professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College in Toronto, echoed other experts when he said the removal of Bishop Schofield would send a message to others considering a split with the church. Two other bishops have been warned not to proceed with votes to secede. Episcopal bishops denied, however, that the vote to depose the bishop was “punitive.”
“I don’t think we are sending messages but dealing with matters at hand,” Bishop Suffragan Catherine S. Roskam of New York said in a conference call. “We have dealt with it with sober conversation, dealt with it prayerfully and even regretfully.”