The Rev. James Snell, rector of St. Columba Church, Frenso, Calif., and president of the standing committee in the Diocese of San Joaquin, said he is concerned that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb, retired Bishop of Northern California, may be violating canon law and may be liable for presentment if they make good on plans to convene a special convention scheduled to be held at St. John-the-Baptist Church in Lodi on March 29.
“It’s one thing for her not to ‘recognize’ us,” Fr. Snell said. “Acting contrary to the canons of this diocese and of The Episcopal Church is another matter. The Presiding Bishop is not the ecclesiastical authority of this diocese and the canons of this diocese and the national church do not grant her the authority to call a diocesan convention or nominate someone for election as bishop.”
At the conclusion of the House of Bishops spring retreat on March 12, Bishop Jefferts Schori announced that she had nominated Bishop Lamb to stand for election as provisional Bishop of San Joaquin. She also said she would personally convene the March 29 special convention at which Bishop Lamb’s nomination was to be ratified. The agenda for the special convention also calls for undoing the constitutional changes approved during the annual convention last December. The constitutional amendments were used at the convention in December as legal justification to leave The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone.