Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bishop Schofield responds to the HOB decision

The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, a member diocese of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America, was disappointed by today’s decision of the Episcopal House of Bishops but he was not surprised by it.

“It is a shame that the disciplinary process of The Episcopal Church has been misused in this way,” Bishop Schofield said in responding to the news that the Episcopal House of Bishops voted to depose him. “The disciplinary procedures used by the House of Bishops, in my case, were intended for those who have abandoned the Faith and are leading others away from orthodox Christianity, as held in trust by bishops in the Anglican Communion – and which The Episcopal Church had previously upheld also.”

“The question that begs to be answered by the House of Bishops,” said Bishop Schofield, “is, why bishops who continue to teach and publish books that deny the most basic Christian beliefs are not disciplined while those of us who uphold the Christian Faith are?” He added, "At least I am in good company. It is a privilege to know that I am standing along side of one of the outstanding theologians of our time, J. I. Packer, who is under similar discipline by the Canadian Church and who, also, has placed himself under the authority of the Southern Cone."

“I have not abandoned the Faith,” Schofield observed. “I resigned from the American House of Bishops and have been received into the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone. Both Houses are members of the Anglican Communion. They are not – or should not be – two separate Churches. It is the leadership of The Episcopal Church that is treating itself as a separate and unique Church. They may do so, but they ought not expect everyone to follow teaching that serves only to undermine the authority of the Bible and ultimately leads to lifestyles that are destructive."

"The fact remains," Schofield observed, "that a canon law specifically designed to protect the people of God from wrong teaching and schismatic movements has been used in a clumsy way. I do not think it is a coincidence that the canon that was used was the one that involves the least due process. The decision to act against me was not made by the House of Bishops as a whole. It was made behind closed doors by a small review committee and, only then, presented to the larger body for an 'up or down' vote." The bishop added, "Tragically, what drives this action of The Episcopal Church is neither the Christian Faith nor the Communion they say I have abandoned. In the end, it appears as though the real motivation behind all of this is the use of raw power and coveting property. If this is so, then any attempts by The Episcopal Church to seize our property directly ignore Saint Paul's warning not to take a fellow Christian to a civil court. [1 Corinthians 6:1-8]"

Bishop Schofield resigned from the House of Bishops as of March 7, 2008. “I am still an active Anglican bishop, and I continue to be the bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin,” Bishop Schofield affirmed.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you need permission from the HoB to resign? I do not think Mr. Schofield had that permission. He has been deposed.

laugh@TEC said...

They have no more authority to depose Bishop Schofield than they have of deposing Pope Benedict (which I'm sure they would love to do). The Bishop is not part of their pagan party anymore.

When will they stop their political madness and start being concerned with the faith as they are supposed to? Perhaps they should depose of St. Paul, St. Peter, and St. John for that real feel of power.

Anonymous said...

Dear laugh@tec,
You are very mistaken. The ex-Bishop Schofield has been deposed.

Anonymous said...

The exBishop Schofield cannot resign without the permission of the HoB. He did not resign. He was deposed.

Fr Van McCalister said...

I would like to caution those who comment on any of our postings to be polite and charitable - whatever your viewpoint. For example: calling Bp Schofield the "ex-Bishop" is rude and inflammatory. Likewise, you will not find us referring to the PB as "Kate" or "the pretender". In the future, such disrespectful posts/comments - from either perspective will be deleted.

Regarding Bp Schofield's status as a bishop: All bishops are consecrated to be bishops of the WHOLE Church not just a single Province. Any bishop, priest or deacon may have their orders transferred to any other member of the Anglican Communion - if that diocese/province will receive them. Clearly, Abp Venables HAS received Bp Schofield's orders. Whether he resigned or was deposed by TEC, he is still a bishop within the Anglican Communion. Likewise, some 40 plus archbishops and bishops throughout the world have gone on record to state that they continue to recognize Bishop Schofield as bishop. You may not like that but the fact remains.

Fr Van McCalister said...

Unfortunately we do not have the ability to edit a comment before posting. The following included inaccurate personal information about someone other than the author. So, here it is retyped and edited:

"Not unlike Fr. [edited]. Deposed in [edited] and still permitted to practice in San Joaquin. When does "ex" mean something?"

- Fred Schwartz

Fr Van McCalister said...

Mr Schwartz,

The priest about whom you wrote is not currently serving in this diocese. Bp Schofield temporarily allowed him to serve as layman, while the priest challenged the deposition. I understand that he has since been licensed by a TEC bishop from another diocese. However, he is not an "ex" priest - he is a priest who is challenging a deposition - whose orders apparently are recognized in one diocese but not another.

"Ex" (or any other word or prefix) means something when it is used in a context that makes sense and fits the facts.

Anonymous said...

Why the problem with the Bishops resignation? I thought he resigned (3/7) before he was deposed (~1 wk later) anyway. Now it looks like the House of Bishops were not following Canon law when they deposed him anyway- big suprise!

Anonymous said...

Fr. McCalister,
I believe that perhaps a review of the meaning of "ex" is order. Ex, in this case means former. Whether you choose to acknowledge the deposition or the resignation, in reference to John-David Schofield, "ex" is an accurate term. He is the former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. He is a former bishop within the Episcopal Church. He is no longer a bishop within the Episcopal Church and he was previously (formerly) therefore, ex is an accurate term.

We can look at it on another level. In looking up "ex" in the dictionary, one will come across the definition of exodus. It refers to a departure. John-Davad Schofield himself will say that he has departed from the Episcopal Church (isn't that the point of his resignation letter).

If one views the term ex-bishop as inflammatory or rude, it is inferred rather than implied. The term "ex-bishop" seems to be accurate here.

On a somewhat related note, I find it interesting that you managed to maintain your response to a post without maintaining the post to which you responded. That is truly troublesome. If you want the comment to just go away, you should remove your response to it as well. I would prefer to see both sides.

And for the record, the man the bishop allowed to act as a "layman" was paid a pretty hefty salary. I wish I could make a priest's salary as a layperson in a church in your diocese.

Of course, I realize I am doing nothing other than getting this all out of my system here as I am quite sure this post will never see the light of day. Please feel free to prove me wrong.

Fr Van McCalister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr Van McCalister said...

To "Anonymous" above -

I was responding to a post that I retyped and reposted above as follows:

"Not unlike Fr. [edited]. Deposed in [edited] and still permitted to practice in San Joaquin. When does "ex" mean something?"

- Fred Schwartz


All I edited out were the names. Nothing else is missing. The "comment deleted" above was my own. Comments can't be edited - only deleted. Since this blog's comments are not numbered, you will have to find the post with this date-time stamp to see the one I was responding to: March 14, 2008 11:51 AM

Fred Schwartz said...

Fr. Van McAlister,
Why must we debate the term "ex"? Is it the the same issue as "is"? Why does it matter to John-David Schofield? He repudiates anything having to do with the Episcopal Church. Do you think he may wish to return to the Episcopal Church at some later date?

Fr Van McCalister said...

Mr Schwartz,

No. I really do not want to debate "ex". I would much rather have a polite exchange of ideas. There is a tendency for bloggers (myself included) to enter into an ugly exchange, which I doubt most of us would do in person. So, I ask your forgiveness, if my responses have seemed cold or harsh.

You ask a good question. Bp Schofield has not repudiated everything to do with TEC. He loves the Church and is heartbroken over the direction that some have taken it - a direction that violates his ordination vows, and violates the Constitution and Canons of TEC - not to mention Scripture. He has said repeatedly that he would like to be back in communion with TEC if the leadership repents.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr. McCalister,
I am happy to hear you say that you want no more harshness. I do not either. I am one who was forced to leave St. Francis in Turlock when the deposed priest was hired. My heart was broken. I tried to go and visit once after that and was called a spy for RE. My heart was broken again.
I was confirmed in your chuch, Epiphany, many, many years ago by Bishop Vic. I have lived in this diocese since I was 10 years old. I am a cradle Episcopalian. My heart is absolutely broken as well.
May God's Peace Be With You...

Fr Van McCalister said...

...And also with you.

Fr Van McCalister said...

Mr Schwartz,

Regarding your last post's comments and questions(unpublished): They do not directly relate to this article or any other articles on this blog. If you wish to have a conversation with me about a specific topic, please feel free to write to me at van[at]sjoaquin.net and I will do my best to answer your questions.