San Joaquin Special Convention May Violate Canon Law

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.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Polity & Canons

71 comments on “San Joaquin Special Convention May Violate Canon Law

  1. William P. Sulik says:

    “…all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

    -Matthew 26:52b (King James Version)

  2. Dilbertnomore says:

    So violating canon law when it is done for the good purposes of the leadership of the Episcopal Church is a problem? What a quaint, naive notion. Canon law exists to keep the orthodox in line. Canon law is no constraint upon the Episcopal Church leadership.

    Remember, man wrote canon law and man can interpret or change canon law.

  3. DonGander says:

    TEC (The Episcopal Club) can do whatever it chooses to do.

    Those shepherds following Jesus Christ follow the Head Shepherd and will die for their sheep.


  4. Chris Hathaway says:

    Remember, man wrote canon law and man can interpret or change canon law.
    You nailed it, Dilbertnomore, except you should have said
    humans wrote canon and humans can interpret or change canon law.”

    I’ll let you go on this first offense.

  5. Dilbertnomore says:

    To all here present I beg your pardon and forgiveness in being so genderly insensitive in #2 above. Chris is right. I should have used ‘human’ and not ‘man.’

    I’m off now to do penance. I think this one will require three laps around the labyrinth.

  6. RalphM says:

    Why should the Rev. Snell care what TEC does anymore than what the local Buddhists do? His diocese is now safe in the care of those who follow Laws superceding canon law.

    My advice – don’t look back…..

  7. PadreWayne says:

    If members of the previously elected Standing Committee want any sort of credibility, they should answer the simple question, “Do you consider yourselves members of The Episcopal Church or the Province of the Southern Cone.” Perhaps they like (+)John-David’s response: “Yes.” That, of course, was corrected by ++Venables soon after.

    A simple: “I am an Episcopalian” or “I belong to the Province of the Southern Cone” would surely help them out of the mess [i]they allowed[/i] (i.e., as counsel to the former Episcopal bishop). They should, of course, have done this right away rather than attending the SC meeting at which (+)Schofield dismissed them. But they didn’t. Their unwillingness to signify loyalty to one province or the other makes them suspect — and unrecognizable as a Standing Committee.

  8. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    #6, Rev. Snell has remained Episcopalian. So he cares very much what his church is about.

    The Diocese(s) of San Joaquin need to be in our prayers right now. There’s a marked lack of love being shown by certain parties involved in that debacle.

  9. robroy says:

    To echo what Mousetalker states and to modify what I said at SF:

    RalphM: Father Snell and five others (of eight total) of the Standing committee of the diocese of San Joaquin voted not to go with Bp Schofield to Southern Cone. They are Episcopalian. They are the Episcopal standing committee of the Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin. They are canonically the authority of the diocese in the bishop resigns (and his resignation is accepted) or is deposed (Neither of which has happened.)

    I was reading over at Fr Jake’s (yeah, I need to stop that) that Jake is warning the liberal Remain Episcopal folks that Father Snell and others might show up at the special diocesan convention and be “disruptive”. The police and security have been informed, and some have issued thinly veiled threats of bodily harm against the true standing committee members. (Oh, they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.)

    Jake also gives the line that there has been two recent depositions that was not in accord to canon law, so there is a precedent to violate canon law. Wow. How very twisted.

  10. Philip Snyder says:

    PadreWayne – can you show me where, in the Canons, the PB is entitled to remove or replace the Standing Committee of a diocese or allowed to call for a special convention? In the absence of a bishop (and I agree that +Schofield is not the bishop of TEC’s franchise in San Joaquin), the Standing Committee is the authority in the diocese, not the PB or any other bishop.

    I (and probably the rest of the world) would take TEC’s appeals to it’s “special polity” if TEC understood and followed its own polity. As it is, we see a group of lawless people who interpret the canons to mean what they want them to mean or ignore them all together, unless the offender is more conservative than they are.

    Phil Snyder

  11. Stuart Smith says:

    #7: If you “(+) John-David” is your short hand for questioning Bishop Schofield’s orders, you might want to revisit your sacramental theology.

    Not to mention the fact that, for many of us, +John-David has enobled the office of bishop and his current courage restored trust in that office demeaned by so many currently enjoying its privileges!

  12. plinx says:

    #11: Come now, Father Stuart. Of course Mr. Schofield is a still a bishop; he’s just not a bishop in the Episcopal Church. He used to be the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, but he’s not anymore. He can be bishop somewhere else now. I hear Quito is lovely this time of year.
    I wonder where +Duncan and +Iker will go . . .

    It’s fun watching the attempted coup collapse.

    [i] We ask that you please use respectful titles on this blog. Bishop Schofield IS a bishop. [/i]

    -Elf Lady

  13. Cennydd says:

    Plinx, you forgot something: +John-David IS still a bishop, but more importantly, he is a bishop in Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church! Therefore, that means that he is a bishop of the entire Church, and is officially regarded as such by every province of the Anglican Communion save one: The Episcopal Church.

    TEC’s deposition…….attempted or otherwise…….means nothing to anyone except to Schori & Company.

  14. Chris Hathaway says:

    Could you reappraisers please point out which canon it is in PECUSA’s Consitution that states that PECUSA has sovereign jurisdiction over all territory in the United States? And even if such a canon were found, what authority would that have in establishing recognition of it Communion wide? The ABC said that the diocese is the basic unit of Anglicanism. At that time the diocese of San Joaquin was part of TEC. Now it is not. But +Schofield is still the bishop there regardless of which Province the diocese belongs to.

  15. jamesw says:

    plinx – Actually watching the blatant abuse of the canonical process by KJS, DBB and others as they seek to remove the elected, canonical leadership from a politically incorrect diocese and replace them with lackeys of 815, I think that the attempted coup is being carried out, all right.

    Now given the apparent sloppiness or incompetence on the part of KJS and DBB in flubbing the deposition of JDS, I think you might be correct that the attempted coup will collapse at some point in the future. Especially when Lamb attempts to convince a secular court that he is the ecclesiastical authority in the DSJ and when the courts objectively look at TEC procedure and discover that there are two others (JDS and the DSJ-TEC Standing Committee) which have prior and better claims.

  16. DonGander says:

    Obviously there are some posters who have not read, or else fail to understand, my post #3 where I say that TEC is a “club”.

    Don’t you know that when you want to argue that TEC can do any damned thing that it chooses; when you refer to Bishop Schofield as “former Episcopal bishop”, you merely prove the point?

    I say this as an outsider, as one who 10 years ago was looking to join the episcopal Church, one who was looking for “home”. I was biased in favor of the episcopal Church. That bias is gone.

    Don Gander

  17. Intercessor says:

    I sense an injunction will be sought shortly after the illegal convention is paraded which was not sought by the Standing Committee. No one…no matter how hard they try in their rhetoric… can show that the actions of the last two Diocesean conventions are invalid in the State of California. Neither one of those or any other Diocesean Convention has displaced the valid authority of the current Standing Committee. I cannot wait for the powerbrokers of 815 come into a California courtroom and tell the judges that “we do not recognize you” which is in essance is what they did when they stated such nonsense to Fr. Snell et al…IMHO.
    My Prayers to you Fr. Jim.

  18. wildfire says:

    What puzzles me about this is that TEC is acting canonically as if the diocese did in fact leave, i.e., as if there were no diocesan canon law to be complied with and the national canon law with respect to missionary dioceses were applicable. But that is the precise opposite of what will surely be its legal strategy in upcoming civil litigation.

    This is important because, when interpreting contractual dealings between parties, courts have long relied on a principle of interpretation called “course of performance.” Course of performance is the conduct of the parties in the course of their relationship and it is one of the most important of the canons of contractual interpretation in the civil law. When the parties in their course of conduct act as if a contractual provision means “X”, the courts are inclined to interpret it that way.

    Moreover, there are long-standing principles of “estoppel” in the law that prevent a party from denying facts they have assumed or declared in the past. It is simply bizarre that TEC now acts as if there were no diocese or standing committee in San Joaquin when very soon its entire legal case will boil down to “there remains an Episcopal diocese and Lamb is its bishop.” They really do need to do some hard thinking about what their story is because when the litigation starts they will have the burden of proof.

  19. PadreWayne says:

    1. The Diocese of San Joaquin changed its Constitution to eliminate references to TEC.
    2. The Diocese of San Joaquin, with the endorsement of its Bishop, John-David Schofield, and, one would guess, its Standing Committee (as counsel to its Bishop), voted in very large number to disassociate from TEC and join the Province of Southern Cone.
    3. The Bishop claimed membership in the House of Bishops of both TEC and PSC.
    4 The Archbishop of the PSC said no, +J-DS is no longer a bishop in TEC but a bishop in the PSC.
    5. A meeting of the Diocese Standing Committee (now part of the PSC) was called by its Bishop; the members who now claim to be the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin attended (one assumes they knew which diocesan meeting they were attending); at that meeting, the Bishop “deposed” (for lack of better term) six members.
    6. Since the +J-DS now claimed membership in the PSC HOB, it would seem that the six members (now, by his ruling, not members of his Standing Committee and therefore, questionably members of the PSC) could have then claimed ecclesiastical authority. Apparently they did not.
    7. Our Presiding Bishop wrote that she no longer recognized these six as the legitimate Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
    8. Only then did they raise a cry of “foul play.” Their mean-spirited, derogatory letter in response to her asserted that they had not left TEC (then why did they attend a meeting of the PSC Standing Committee? there is no record that they attended only to resign, is there?). Oh? Have they clarified their loyalty to the canons and constitution of The Episcopal Church? No. They have not.
    9. In the absence of a valid Standing Committee as the ecclesiastical authority in a diocese without a sitting bishop (remember, he has stated that he is no longer a member of our HOB, but a member of the PSC HOB), whom would you suggest should [i]be[/i] the ecclesiastical authority if not the national church in the person of our Presiding Bishop?!?

    And BTW, I used (+) to refer to the man I consider to be a deposed bishop, whose sacramental orders have been revoked. Since many of this blog’s readership claim his episcopacy still stands, I have, in this entry, altered my nominclature.

  20. wildfire says:


    In the absence of a valid Standing Committee as the ecclesiastical authority in a diocese without a sitting bishop (remember, he has stated that he is no longer a member of our HOB, but a member of the PSC HOB), whom would you suggest should be the ecclesiastical authority if not the national church in the person of our Presiding Bishop?!?

    National canons require that vacancies on a standing committee be filled in accordance with the diocese’s canons. Has there been any attempt to do this?

  21. robroy says:

    To carry on PadreWayne’s “reasoning”, I think that the members of the standing committee would increase their credibility if the knelt in obeisance to 815, grovelled at KJS’s feet and swore fealty to her. Isn’t that in the canons somewhere that validly elected members of standing committee of a diocese need to do that? Isn’t part of the canons that KJS can “not recognize” validly elected members of a standing committee if they refuse to grovel? Isn’t that part of the double secret probation clause?

    And there is precedent! If we get away with violating canon law twice in a row, canon law becomes nullified, and we can make it what we want. Right?
    [blockquote]Do not pervert justice or show partiality…Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.[/blockquote]

  22. The_Elves says:

    [i] Let’s not get sarcastic, please. It only sends the thread off course. [/i]

  23. plinx says:

    All the discussion about +Schofield is moot: This weekend, +Lamb will be the new interim authority in DSJ. It’s over, boys and girls. Admit defeat and move along.
    To the folks in Fort Worth: please, please, please vote to remove the accession clause in your diocesan rules, so that a clean sweep can happen there, too.

  24. wildfire says:

    It ain’t over til the guy in the black robe bangs the gavel.

  25. Philip Snyder says:

    plinx – thank you for showing us that the rules don’t apply to reappraisers. All that seems to matter to you is that you get your way. It seems to me that crys of “Polity!” would be more believable if those crying “polity” actually understood and followed it.

    Phil Snyder

  26. robroy says:

    Plinx writes “Admit defeat and move along.” Not quite yet. That will come when 815 files the completely expected lawsuits…
    [blockquote]The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means [i]you have been completely defeated already.[/i] [/blockquote]
    I was hoping that 815 would not take the advice of lawyers on both sides of the fence and simply redo the deposition. It appears my hopes will come to pass…the ineluctable march of folly.

  27. Brian from T19 says:

    PadreWayne and plinx

    The difference that you are seeing is one of delusion. Take for example this comment:

    Father Snell and five others (of eight total) of the Standing committee of the diocese of San Joaquin voted not to go with Bp Schofield to Southern Cone. They are Episcopalian. They are the Episcopal standing committee of the Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin. They are canonically the authority of the diocese in the bishop resigns (and his resignation is accepted) or is deposed (Neither of which has happened.)

    Your argument reflects reality. The arguments of those like Snell+ regarding his recognition are fantasy. Arguments like the one above regarding what exists and who holds what position follow this logic:

    Tom murders John. The law says that Tom can not murder John. Therefore, John is alive and well, but Tom should go to jail anyway.

    You see the logical flaw. Bishop Schofield is a Protestant bishop affiliated with a Province of the Anglican Communion. Snell+ is an Episcopal priest and former memeber of the SC of DoSJ. The ecclesiastical authority will be +Lamb. Prior to that it was vacant.

  28. TLDillon says:

    Let me post my comment from Stand Firm also here for some clarity!

    That number of Standing Committee members is shrinking as Fr. Richard James and his vestry of St. Paul’s Visalia voted just recently to go to the Southern Cone. Fr. Mike McClenaghan and his vestry of St. Paul’s Modesto will be voting this weekend to go to AMiA not TEc or the So. Cone.
    So the original list of signers on that letter to KJS on Feb. 1, 2008 is shrinking!
    J. Snell
    M. McClenaghan
    R. Eaton
    K. Robinson
    T. Wright
    R. James

    You can remove:
    Fr. Richard James
    Fr. Mike McClenaghan
    Now as far as the other two lay people, K. Robinson and T. Wright,
    I am not sure just who they are nor which church they belong to. But, I would venture to say that if any of them belong to one of the two churches that have voted to move from TEc, whether it is to the So. Cone or AMiA, their name would be rempoved from this list as well. So it appears that Fr. Snell and Fr. Rob Eaton are two men of God that will need much prayers as their Standing Committee is getting smaller.

  29. TLDillon says:

    Pst Script to my post above,
    Unless there have been new members to replace those members that have resigned their SC membershp due to their affiliation to an Anglican Church/Province. There has been no rumblings of this so…..?

  30. Scott K says:

    PadreWayne, in post #19 I was with you until you said, “5. A meeting of the Diocese Standing Committee (now part of the PSC) was called by its Bishop; the members who now claim to be the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin attended (one assumes they knew which diocesan meeting they were attending); at that meeting, the Bishop “deposed” (for lack of better term) six members. ”
    This meeting was not called by the bishop. It was the regularly scheduled Standing Committee Meeting of the Diocese of San Joaquin, to which the bishop had a standing invitation. He did not “call” the meeting and there was no implication that is was a PSC meeting. The rest of your argument falls apart on that error.

  31. PadreWayne says:

    Scott K, thank you for pointing out my error, that the meeting was one “regularly scheduled.” However, since the Bishop and majority of the Diocese had voted to remove themselves from TEC, it stand to reason (IMHO) that the Bishop and Standing Committee, until the deposition of The Six, were now the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin. And so, again IMHO, the argument still stands. And now that ODC has pointed out the removal of one, potentially two, those members also can no longer claim to be within the Standing Committee of The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

  32. PadreWayne says:

    (I.e., the Bishop claims that the Diocese of San Joaquin had disassociated from TEC — ergo, [i]he[/i] was no longer Bishop of TEC’s Diocese of San Joaquin, nor was the Standing Committee…)

  33. Todd Granger says:

    [i]In the absence of a valid Standing Committee as the ecclesiastical authority in a diocese without a sitting bishop (remember, he has stated that he is no longer a member of our HOB, but a member of the PSC HOB), whom would you suggest should be the ecclesiastical authority if not the national church in the person of our Presiding Bishop?!?[/i]

    Whatever the canonical status of the [i]elected[/i] members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin (TEC) – and not the non-canonically, Presiding Bishop-appointed Standing Committee – may be, there is nothing in the Constitution and Canons that has yet been brought out that empowers the Presiding Bishop to assert such ecclesiastical authority. A presumed vacuum of ecclesiastical authority cannot excuse an emergency usurpation of power – that clearly violates the sense of the canons (which were seemingly framed with no anticipation of such an eventuality as this). It seems that the only group with any sort of canonical leg to stand on is the six-member rump of the previously [i]canonically elected[/i] Standing Committee. Any further action in this regard MUST await a change to the canons, and the Diocese of SJ (TEC) MUST remain in a sort of canonical limbo if the claim of the [i]elected[/i] Standing Committee members is not recognized. There seems to be no other canonical course to take. Anything outside these two alternatives is a naked usurpation of power.

    [i]And BTW, I used (+) to refer to the man I consider to be a deposed bishop, whose sacramental orders have been revoked. Since many of this blog’s readership claim his episcopacy still stands, I have, in this entry, altered my nominclature [/i]sic[i].[/i]

    Which reflects an ecclesiology that The Episcopal Church has never assumed. If TEC believed itself to be [i]THE[/i] Catholic Church, then a revocation of sacramental orders would make sense. (As would outcries against the crossing of established diocesan boundaries, which TEC has been doing nearly from the very beginning of our history.) But that simply is not the case – unless many reappraisers and institutionalists are stratospherically higher churchmen than I assumed them to be.

  34. robroy says:

    The reality is that there is no canonical authority for KJS to do what she is doing. The reality is that people everywhere (yes, Rowan Williams is looking) will be offended by her trampling justice. The reality is that it will look very bad when she tries to pull Episcopal hierarchy polity when the eventual lawsuits are filed. The reality is that she is driving potential allies into the welcoming arms of the Southern Cone (see #28). The reality is that she will continue her march of folly. I am not displeased with this reality.

  35. episcoanglican says:

    I am not a lawyer but #18’s point struck me as well. There is a bizarre hypocrisy here.

    As to dioceses, what is or isn’t the authority, I am struck by the glaring omission here. WHAT DIOCESE???

  36. episcoanglican says:

    … that is, the church is the people. The diocese is the people (in a geographic area.) Claim the geographic area all you want, but there isn’t there (Episcopalians) there…. Oh, but that isn’t what this is about is it? It is about claiming ownership of buildings that could only be sold because there is no one to fill them.

    The light is shining and 815 doesn’t look good any way you cut it.

    Anyone check Bp. Lamb’s resume? Was he a realtor in a previous life?

  37. Ladytenor says:

    I am curious about something, an angle that I haven’t seen discussed here. The pre-Southern Cone Standing Committee was elected by the convention of the pre-Southern Cone convention, which was composed of representatives of the many parishes of the pre-Southern Cone diocese. The vast majority of those parishes, of those delegates, are now gone. Today, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is trying to reconvene as a much, much smaller collection of parishes. If the majority who elected them is gone, who do the members of that Standing Committee represent? By simple logic of numbers, one would presume that the delegates who voted them into office are happily settling into their new Southern Cone home.

    From a purely practical standpoint, I wonder what you expect the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin to do. Certainly, I would encourage any Standing Committee members who intend to stay in the Episcopal Church to come to Saturday’s convention (and perhaps more importantly, to Friday’s service of healing and reconciliation) and humbly demonstrate that in this difficult time they wish to serve the diocese [i]as it is constituted now[/i]–not to rule over them, but to serve the tiny remnant as they find their way forward.

    On the other hand, if the Standing Committee members wish to remain in office simply to facilitate or even bring about the rapid dissolution of what is left of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, then I suppose they should stand their ground. But I wouldn’t expect an anxious flock to follow such shepherds.

  38. Bill Melnyk says:

    Again, give me a break, folks. The people who left the Episcopal Church along with +Schofield are now members of the Southern Cone. Theyt may have a diocese they still call “The Diocese of San Joaquin.” But it is NOT the Diocese of San Joaquin of The Episcopal Church anymore. Since the referred to canonical changes happend in San Joaquin before they all left, the diocese still has those changes, and is changing them back. No followers of +Schofield need care one whit what those still in The Episcopal Church are doing to reconstruct their diocese after the “reasserters” tore it apart! Face it — if you wanted to control the shape of The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, you oughtn’t have left it!
    Now there are TWO dioceses of “San Joaquin”: The one +Schofield took to the Southern Cone (in blatant violation of Southern Cone canons, BTW) and the remaining Diocese of San Joaquin in The Episcopal Church. Because no bishop has ever tried to take a whole diocese “out of the Church” before, there is no precedent for how to reconstitute the remaining remnant. Give it a rest. The folks who didn’t want to leave with you are doing their best to put their church back together, and it’s really none of your business how they do it now that you have left.
    Oh yes, there will be some fights down the road whether some real estate in California will be owned by US citizens, or by South Americans. The US court system will decide that, I am sure. And many residents of California will want to file Friend of the Court briefs.

  39. TLDillon says:

    It has been discussed on other threads and simply put KJS has all but dismissed the reaming standing committee members and thus is going to vote in her own. Everything that is moving on March 29th is first and foremost uncanonical, invalid, and will leave those who find themselves in court trying to explain why they did not follow their own TEc C’s & C’s. I would hope that the RE people and KJS & Co. would pull back and clean up their mess before pressing forward.

  40. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    #30, That is an argument from pragmatism.

    But those of us who are arguing from due process and the denial thereof are being pragmatic as well. We do not wish to be run over the next time the church decides it can ignore its own rules.

  41. Bill Melnyk says:

    #12 Elf Lady ~
    +Schofield may still be a bishop from a sacramental standpoint. He may be a bishop of the Southern Cone from the standpoint of a creative reading of their canons (even they admit their canons were violated) But – he is not a bishop of The Episcopal Church any longer. For an Episcopalian to call him Mr. Schofield is not disrespectful on those grounds. And, indeed, there is a long tradition in the Episcopal Church to refer to ministers as “Mr.”
    When Titusonenine, David Virtue, and Christianity Today all joined the IRD in calling for my scalp, and I ended up saying I could no longer be obedient to +the canons of the Episcopal Church, I, like +Schofield, was deposed. Sacramentally I am and always will be a priest. But no one ever addresses me as “The Rev.” any longer, nor do they call me “Father.” That’s as it should be, and sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I wish Mr. Schofield well in his new chosen profession.

  42. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    Err, that should be #38. My apologies.

  43. Br. Michael says:

    Bill, yes they can put the diocese back to gether. The Canons show them a way back. They simply need to reconstitute the diocese and seek to reenter TEC as if they never existed. That is, start all over. The canons show how to do this. The PB has nothing to do with this process.

  44. Bill Melnyk says:

    #43 ~ I’m sorry, but I disagree. Leaving one Province for another may be possible, but it’s not “legal” within the canons of the first Province. Therefore, the act is “illegal” in the first Province, and therefor it did not, de jure, take place. Therefor, those who remain are still the continuing Diocese of San Joaquin, which did not cease to be. In leaving, +Schofield and his followers simply created a “new” diocese of the same name in their new Province. The legal Diocese of San Joaquin never left.

  45. Br. Michael says:

    Elves, 41, Bill has raised an issue. He is a druid and not a Christian. He raises the issue can it be addressed?

  46. Bill Melnyk says:

    #45 ~ I beg your pardon. I am a baptised Christian, attend church every Sunday (3 times on Easter Day) and serve as an usher, chalicist, and reader. I am an adult confirmed communicant in good standing in the Episcopal Church, where I have been a member for over 60 years.

  47. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) says:

    #46, Glad to hear that! You and your wife have been in my family’s prayers since the storm broke a while back.

  48. Bill Melnyk says:

    Thanks, mousestalker, that’s always a help!

  49. Br. Michael says:

    Bill, then you renounce paganism?

  50. libraryjim says:

    Welcome to the Hotel Episcopalian. You can check out, but you can never leave.

    Since a diocese has to vote in order to JOIN the ECUSA/TEc, then why can’t they vote to LEAVE said organization? It should be a right of freedom of association, not one of signing over all rights and priveleges ad eternum.

    And Bill, glad to see you renounced pagainism and neo-druidism to come back to the one true Faith of following Jesus the Christ and Him alone! Welcome home!

  51. Philip Snyder says:

    Bill Melnyk,
    Can you point ot the canons that say it is impossible for a diocese to leave? There may be a diocese of the Episcopal Church, USA in the counties of the State of California that constituted what was called the Diocese of San Joaquin, but it has very few members, few parish buildings, and none of the assets of the non-profit organization that amended its consitution to become members of the province of the Southern Cone.

    Why can’t you let them go in peace and let the people who worked for and paid for the buildings keep the buildings? I submit that, rather than spend time in lawsuits, the best thing would be to negiotate a settlement that honors the contributions of both the diocese, the national church, and the individual parishes/missions.

    Phil Snyder

  52. Ladytenor says:

    #39– Again I ask, what would you have them do? If the members of this Standing Committee truly wish to help this tiny remnant reconstitute, perhaps they should offer to help, rather than demanding their rightful place as rulers in Bishop Schofield’s stead.

    I don’t know these men, but given the fact that they were elected by Bishop Schofield’s diocese under Bishop Schofield’s leadership and that they were at his side as he put the wheels in motion to take the diocese to South America, I find it hard to believe that it is their true intention to help the remaining Episcopal Diocese survive, reorganize and grow. But if these men do wish to serve the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (and not to undermine it or dance on its grave) then I encourage them to approach their constituents–their brothers and sisters in Christ–with humility. Not, “I demand that you recognize my authority over you,” but “I’m still here; how can I help?” And maybe when the diocese next holds elections, some of them will be restored to their offices by people who will learn to trust them again.

  53. plinx says:

    Just because you might not like the fact that dioceses are subordinate to the General Convention doesn’t mean it’s not true.
    Dioceses are created by GC. (That’s especially clear in the case of Fort Worth.) Dioceses are not self-generating entities. To disagree with this is to depart from reality.

  54. episcoanglican says:

    “To disagree with this is to depart from reality. ” — Ok, so you agree that there IS objective truth?! This may be a beginning…

  55. episcoanglican says:

    And ladytenor does have a point. The people who want to remain Episcopalian should be allowed to reconstitute and there should be a generous reading of canons to allow them to do so without getting bogged down. (Of course, they are being a bit silly in trying to reform a separate entity called the diocese of San Joaquin. Why not join a sustainable diocese already in existence?)

    But then that same Christian generosity should be granted to those with a traditional theology as well, whether leaving or seeking alternative oversight. But not much Christian generosity is forth coming from 815 or the house of bishops these days.

    These are sad times for a once wonderful church.

  56. Bill Melnyk says:

    “These are sad times for a once wonderful church. ”

    Something we can all agree on.

  57. Vintner says:

    [blockquote] We ask that you please use respectful titles on this blog.[/blockquote]

    And would that request pertain also to those who use the small “c” instead of the capital “C” in TEC?

  58. Shumanbean says:

    You seem to take great delight in the departure of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. I have no idea why…perhaps you are incredibly hurt and angry…perhaps you simply loathe anyone who disagrees with you. But you remind me of the presbyter who a few years back stood in the halls of a church’s council and proclaimed, “We no longer need the breeders!” The fact is, you need everyone who is leaving. After you lose them, and their spiritual gifts, not to mention their financial gifts, TEC will be a far poorer place, in many ways. Beyond that, after all the conservatives are gone, there’ll be no theological balance…and of course, no via media, since there’ll be no middle ground left. Hardly seems fitting to call yourselves Anglican, after that.

  59. Cole says:

    Bill Melnyk in your post 38: Lets not misrepresent the spirit and reality of San Joaquin’s departure. There is no intention from +Schofield to interfere with the remaining remnant who prove to be the majority in a parish and wish to remain in TEC. – Both with their theology and their property. There is no interest from the Southern Cone to own anything in the US. They are only providing a temporary refuge. It is the desire of TEC to do an end run and cut off the wishes of the majority of the saints of the Church of San Joaquin that is causing all this legal posturing. Now I can totally understand why TEC wants to cut off the departing at their knees. “You can’t quit, you’re fired.” and “You can’t grow and be a light to the world while we shrink.” Maybe there are saints of the Church who feel saddened by what they see in the remnant. They may feel it is a reversal of the “Great Commission”, but they also fully understand the right to practice one’s faith as one sees fit. Now if they could only get the same consideration for themselves.

  60. Phil says:

    Todd Granger #33 – great comment, though much of the TEC leadership (and their sympathizers here), playing Catholic Church as they are, won’t get the point.

  61. Bill Melnyk says:

    #59 ~ Cole ~ If they’re departed, they’re departed. Gone. Finished. No longer connected. Not part of. No need to “cut them off at the knees” – They’re gone. Of their own volition. Go in peace. Be a light to the world. Have a great life. But you’re gone. You wanted it that way, and peace to you. We won’t comment on what you do as part of the Southern Cone. You no longer have any say in what we do as The Episcopal Church. It’s that simple. Gone is gone. Go in peace. (Oh, and you can leave the keys at the front desk.)

  62. Cole says:

    Bill, your last sentence about keys just proved one of my points. I guess it keeps boiling down to the understanding of what the word “communion” or “Communion” means. They are not gone. They are conspicuously still there and members of the holy catholic and apostolic Church.

  63. TLDillon says:

    Interesting! Bishop Schofield says if you want to stay in TEc then you may and take and keep your church buliding, property, assets etc… no strings attached except don’t leave the diocese with a huge debt. Bill Melynk and those like him say,
    [blockquote]It’s that simple. Gone is gone. Go in peace. [b](Oh, and you can leave the keys at the front desk.)[/b][/blockquote]

    I see where the true meaning of Christianity is at here. I also see what the real issue is here. I also see what is at the true heart of those on both sides. As for me and my house we will worship the Lord with brothers and sisters in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin under the temporary shelter of the Province of the Southern Cone with good and godly bishops who care not about money and property but of God’s word and their sheep’s souls.

  64. Bill Melnyk says:

    Cole ~ When you’re in Communion with someone, you don’t steal their property as a part of breaking communion with them. Come on, get real. You’d say exactly the same thing if the roles were reversed. Go in peace, and leave the keys behind. They are keys to property that was paid for years ago by people whose intent was that it be part of the Episcopal Church, not the Southern Cone. TEC has a fiduciary responsibility to the original donors to keep the property. (Any congregation that joined as a unit a few years ago, and is still comprised of the same people who originally paid for the property, and they all voted to leave – okay, maybe that’s another story. Is there any such animal? I think not. You have no right to take the building my great-grandmother bought two generations ago to be an Episcopal Church.)

  65. Bill Melnyk says:

    #63 ~ The “real issue” when it comes to “real property” is fiduciary responsibility. If the property is no big deal, why are you so keen to take it with you?

  66. Bill Melnyk says:

    Going to bed now.

  67. Bill Melnyk says:

    If I go to a movie, pay for a ticket, and then decide I don’t like the movie, I leave. I don’t try to get title to the theater as well.

  68. Cole says:

    All I can say is it would take a different world view to understand the above logic: 64 – 67

  69. robroy says:

    [blockquote]They are keys to property that was paid for years ago by people whose intent was that it be part of the Episcopal Church, not the Southern Cone.[/blockquote]
    No, my relatives gave money to a Christian church. They would be horrified at the yoga, sufi dancing, sand paintings, etc.

    But friends, let us not push too hard. We don’t want the usurpers to reconsider the folly of their ways. More brutish, clumsy, heavy-handedness! I wonder if they are really so foolish to bodily evict the likes of Fathers Snell and Eaton from the meeting as Jake is egging on people to do.

  70. plinx says:

    Actually, it will be a great relief when some finally do leave TEC to worship in another place in a way that makes them happy. At least it will allow both parties to practice their beliefs with some sense of integrity. The ongoing attempts to destroy the institution, however, have grown more shrill and ridiculous, and the time has come (IMHO) for them to stop. You’re not happy with TEC? Fine. There are plenty of other places to worship the living God (and some of them, of course, are not in a church).
    You’re right that it would be better if there were a balance of theological views in the church. The sexuality and gender issues, however, seem to be a line in the sand for those on the far right of the spectrum. The price for them to remain (or to not foster insurrection) is the continued exclusion or diminished role of others in the church. This position, beyond being incompatible with the Gospel, is a no-sale for the majority in the church, those on the left and center. (Please, spare me the arguments that “folks in the pew” are a silent majority who actually back the far-right position. It’s manifestly untrue.)
    This issue will be moot in 20 years. We know how this is going to turn out: the opponents to change always lose. Always. I don’t expect folks opposed to these inevitable developments to have a change of heart/mind on the issues, but their children will care less and less about the issues that so animate their parents.

  71. The_Elves says:

    [i] The original post was about the special convention. The thread has wandered. Let’s return to a discussion of the original post. [/i]