Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bishop Schofield Resigns

The Lead points us to a letter from Bishop Schofield.

After the usual false accusations and hyperbole, the Bishop finally gets around to the reason for the letter:

...After the Diocese of San Joaquin had voted to become a member diocese of the Southern Cone, I was received into membership of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as the Bishop of San Joaquin. At this moment, therefore, I am a bishop in the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, and I am the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin. The Episcopal Church has no jurisdiction or authority to affect my status in any of these capacities. This leaves only my status as a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church to be determined. Rather than force the House of Bishops to a vote, I hearwith tender my resignation as a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church effective midnight EST, March 7, 2008...
A diocese does not have the authority to vote themselves out of this Church. Consequently, that vote in December changed nothing. There is only one Diocese of San Joaquin, and it is the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. And, by this letter of resignation, John David Schofield is no longer the Bishop of that Diocese.

May there some day by a "Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin"? Perhaps. It would be a break with the tradition of not having overlapping dioceses. But we live in strange times. It could happen. But to date, it has not happened.

For such a new Diocese to be formed would require the amendment of the existing Constitution and Canons of the Province of the Southern Cone and a review by the Anglican Consultative Council, as we have previously discussed. Such amendments may be made some time in the future. But they haven't been made yet. Meaning that the "Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin" does not exist. It is nothing more than a figment of John David Schofield's imagination.

By this unusual resignation, Schofield may also believe he has escaped any disciplinary action for his schismatic actions. And perhaps he has. It is now no longer clear if the House of Bishops will proceed with his deposition.

I think it would be wise for them to proceed, regardless of this letter. Bp. Schofield has been back and forth so many times over the last few months; in TEC, out of TEC, then in if you want me to be, but out if I feel like it, etc., that it would be helpful if it is decided once and for all that this man is no longer a Bishop.

Usually, when clergy are deposed by TEC, that deposition is recognized throughout the Anglican Communion. Apparently, this tradition is being ignored in some places, such as the Southern Cone, who has a history of picking up deposed clergy. So, depose him, if for no other reason than, at least within boundaries of TEC, he will no longer be able to function as a Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Southern Cone, the Diocese of San Joaquin, or any other designation that he might fancy in the future.


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