Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Schofield is Out

From Episcopal Life:

RESOLVED, that pursuant to Canon IV.9.2 of the Episcopal Church, the House of Bishops hereby consents to the Deposition from the ordained ministry of the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin.

EXPLANATION: On January 9, 2008, the Title IV Review Committee certified to the Presiding Bishop, pursuant to Canon IV.9.1, that the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, has repudiated the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Episcopal Church and has abandoned the Communion of the Church by, inter alia, departing from the Episcopal Church and purporting to take his Diocese with him into affiliation with the Province of the Southern Cone. In the intervening two months since the Presiding Bishop gave notice to Bishop Schofield of the foregoing certification, Bishop Schofield has failed to submit to the Presiding Bishop sufficient retraction or denial of the actions found by the Title IV Review Committee. Accordingly, the Presiding Bishop has presented the matter to the House of Bishops and requested consent to Bishop Schofield's Deposition.
This means that John-David Schofield will no longer be able to function as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church. Some will claim that he remains a Bishop. I would not make such a claim. Call me a Protestant, but the only "indelible mark" that I recognize is the one received at Baptism. But, the fact remains, regardless of your understanding of the sacramental rites of Holy Orders, that Mr. Schofield can no longer make any claim to being the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Now that Diocese can get on with appointing a provisional Bishop, and eventually electing a new Diocesan Bishop.

As we have previously discussed, the Constitution and Canons of the Southern Cone do not allow for the creation of a new Diocese in North America. Consequently, the Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin does not exist. Even if we grant the "catholic" notion that Mr. Schofield is still a Bishop, as of today he is a Bishop without a Diocese.

Regarding our "Guess the Date of Depositions" contest, the winner appears to me to be Paul (A.), who correctly identified the date of the first deposition to be March 12, 2008. However, frank also chose that date (along with March 10 and March 11..."vote early, vote often" is his chosen slogan), so if he wants a "Jake's Santos" t-shirt, I'd be happy to offer him one.

We've got some sharp folks around here, who obviously looked up the dates of the Spring HoB meeting. Bonnie chose March 13. Ann chose March 15. And David Charles Walker chose March 17, the day Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland. All good guesses, and deserving of a prize, it seems to me. Please send me your contact info.

We have been offered the following poem by a member of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin to help us commemorate this historic day:

JD Schofield at Bat
(adapted from Casey at Bat)

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Southern Cone that day;
The score stood one to zero, with but one last day to pray,
And then when Duncan got very quiet, and Iker did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of this game.

A straggling few came to their senses and left in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only JD could have his way,
We wouldn’t have to know these women or even someone gay.

Then from a hundred throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the mouth,
For JD, mighty JD, was advancing to the south.

First the vote was taken, told this was their cross to bear;
JD commended those who took this risky dare.
Then came a second vote, jubilation across the land,
A strong and willful line had been drawn in the sand.

Many eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with glee
One hundred tongues applauded when he cried Oh, me.
Then while the House of Bishops deposed him without a blip,
Defiance flashed in JD's eye, a sneer curled JD's lip.

Then the long-awaited letter came quickly through the air,
And JD stood at the ready in haughty grandeur there.
All watched close by as the letter unheeded sped —
"That ain't my style," said JD. "Strike one!" Katharine said.

From the pews, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Kill her! Kill the Presiding Bishop!" shouted some one on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed her had not JD raised his hand.

With a smile of a possessed man, great JD's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to his minions, and once more the untruths flew;
But JD still ignored her, and Katharine said "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened followers, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from JD and his followers were awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that JD wouldn't let this day go by again.

The sneer has fled from JD's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his staff upon the gate.
Now the bishops have decided, and thus they let him go,
And now the few are leaving by the force of JD's blow.

Oh, here in the valley the sun is shining bright,
The choir is singing loudly, and here our hearts are light,
Episcopalians are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Fresno — mighty JD has struck out.

Lori Brown
Bakersfield, CA
March, 2008
J.

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