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Switch to Forum Live View San Joaquin Gets a Letter
7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:37AM #1
Merope
Posts: 10,618
[COLOR="Indigo"]The Diocese of San Joaquin is convening this weekend to vote on (among other things) second readings of 4 diocesan constitutional amendments that implicitly reject property and other canons of General Convention.  In response to this, the Presiding Bishop has sent Bishop Schofield a letter, notifying him that adoption of the amendments would force her to act to bring the diocese and its leadership into line with the mandates of the national Church.  Story and letter here.

As we know, similar letters in the face of similar proposed diocesan constitutional changes were sent to Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh (October 31) and to Bishop Jack Iker of the Diocese of Fort Worth (November 8).

Bishop Schofield has indicated his support and approval of the amendments, as well as for a transfer of the diocese to the authority of the Primate of the Southern Cone, Gregory Venables. The Diocese of San Joaquin announced November 16 that the Province of the Southern Cone had extended an invitation to "those dioceses of the Episcopal Church taking appropriate action to separate" to join the South American province "on an emergency and pastoral basis" until TEC "repents and adheres to the theological, moral and pastoral norms of the Anglican Communion, and when effective and acceptable alternative primatial oversight becomes available."

A similar canonical change was approved on first reading by the Diocese of Pittsburgh's convention November 2-3, despite a warning letter written by the Presiding Bishop to Pittsburgh's bishop. On November 16, the Diocese of Fort Worth approved a change to its constitutional accession amendment on first reading.

If the changes go forward, the Presiding Bishop could ask the Title IV Review Committee to consider whether the bishops who have proposed and supported them have abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

If the Presiding Bishop presented materials to the Review Committee regarding potential abandonment by those bishops, and if the Committee agreed that abandonment had taken place, the bishops would have two months to recant.  If they failed to do so, the matter would go to the full House of Bishops. There is no appeal and no right of formal trial outside of a hearing before the House of Bishops.

If the House concurred, the Presiding Bishop could depose the bishops and declare the episcopates of those dioceses vacant.  Members of congregations in the diocese remaining in the Episcopal Church would be gathered to organize a new diocesan convention and elect a replacement Standing Committee, if necessary.

An assisting bishop would be appointed to provide episcopal ministry until a new diocesan bishop search process could be initiated and a new bishop elected and consecrated.

A lawsuit would be filed against the departed leadership and a representative sample of departing congregations if they attempted to retain Episcopal Church property.[/COLOR]
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 2:45AM #2
Merope
Posts: 10,618
[COLOR="Indigo"]The text of the PB's letter to Bishop Schofield is below (it's a great letter, IMO):[/COLOR]

[COLOR="Blue"]Dear John-David,

As you approach your next Diocesan Convention, I would like to remind you of my prayers, and those of many other Episcopalians, for you and for the Diocese of San Joaquin.  I continue to be concerned for your health, and for your evident sense of isolation.  You have been clear that you feel your views are dismissed or ignored within the Episcopal Church, yet you have ceased to participate in the councils of the Church.  It is difficult to have dialogue with one who is absent.  While there are a number who disagree with you, I believe many more would welcome your participation, particularly as a sign of your faithfulness to your vow to share in the councils of the Church.  The Church will never change if dissenters withdraw from the table.  There is an ancient and honored tradition of loyal opposition, and many would welcome your participation.

I do not need to remind you as well of the potential consequences of the direction in which you appear to be leading the Diocese of San Joaquin.  In this connection I have in mind, among other things, your support of amendments to that diocese's Constitution that would be plainly inconsistent with the Constitution of the Episcopal Church and that would implicitly reject the Church's property and other canons, as well as your support for the transfer of the membership of your Diocese to the Province of the Southern Cone.  If you continue along this path, I believe it will be necessary to ascertain whether you have in fact abandoned the communion of this Church, and violated your vows to uphold the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church.  I do not intend to threaten you, only to urge you to reconsider and draw back from this trajectory.

While you may believe that the Diocese of San Joaquin can be welcomed into another Province of the Anglican Communion, I believe you will find that few parts of the Communion will recognize such a proposal.  Such an action is without precedent, violates long-standing principles of catholic Christianity, and can only harm those faithful Episcopalians who only seek to follow Christ.  I urge you to consider whether there might not be a more honorable course for you, personally, than seeking to violate your ordination vows and the Canons of this Church.  Together with many in this Church, I would very much value your continued and increased presence at the table - both the table of Jesus Christ and the table of fellowship.

You and the Diocese of San Joaquin continue in my prayers, and I remain

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori[/COLOR]
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 3:47AM #3
rmatth
Posts: 1,951
The first of the letters was sent to Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh on October 31. A second letter was sent to Bishop Jack Leo Iker of Fort Worth on November 8.

We should start a poll on when we think the depositions will begin.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 8:58AM #4
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
I think that it makes more sense to let the disaffected leave in peace. I am saddened by the legalism I see in our TEC and the office of The Prsiding Bishop and others. The Eastern Orthodox have overlappping churches, so why can't Anglicans? A split seems inevitable, so why not let it be peaceful. Two Anglican bodies could be recognized by the ABC and Lambeth. Spend the energy both ways in good will and talk of the commenality shared in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. I sure I'm a "heretical" minority here on church discipline, but I value peace. The comments have the best intentions. Peace. Richard
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 9:23AM #5
journeying
Posts: 2,317
If the secessionists were simply interested in leaving TEC, there would be no problem, Richard.  Did you read the Chapman Letter?  They aren't interested in leaving.  They want to replace TEC in the Anglican Communion.  They have already winnowed the folks who disagree with their religion from their churches so they have only limited opposition.  Their goal is to kick out all the traditional Anglican/Episcopal people and convert the clergy, property and all to their new religion.

My friend Sarah does not want her parents' remains in a non-Episcopal church that pretends to be Anglican.  She isn't alone.  Her parents were not whatever the dissidents think they are.  If Duncan succeeds in taking the property she will ask to have the ashes removed but hasn't yet figured out what to do with them.  She said there are a number of Pittsburgh families who have the same problem.  Her sister no longer attends the church because she said the clergy are not Episcopal.  Her grown children are rearing their children without church because they are also Episcopalians, not whatever the church of their childhood has become.

Perhaps this is a good situation in which to have a healthy skepticism about religion in general?

Shel
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 9:29AM #6
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
[QUOTE=journeying;117095]If the secessionists were simply interested in leaving TEC, there would be no problem, Richard.  Did you read the Chapman Letter?  They aren't interested in leaving.  They want to replace TEC in the Anglican Communion.  They have already winnowed the folks who disagree with their religion from their churches so they have only limited opposition.  Their goal is to kick out all the traditional Anglican/Episcopal people and convert the clergy, property and all to their new religion.

My friend Sarah does not want her parents' remains in a non-Episcopal church that pretends to be Anglican.  She isn't alone.  Her parents were not whatever the dissidents think they are.  If Duncan succeeds in taking the property she will ask to have the ashes removed but hasn't yet figured out what to do with them.  She said there are a number of Pittsburgh families who have the same problem.  Her sister no longer attends the church because she said the clergy are not Episcopal.  Her grown children are rearing their children without church because they are also Episcopalians, not whatever the church of their childhood has become.

Perhaps this is a good situation in which to have a healthy skepticism about religion in general?

Shel[/QUOTE]
Thanks for the thoughtful reflection. Richard
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 9:37AM #7
slu_magoo
Posts: 1,000
Richard --

I like your post and find myself in agreement with it.  As much as I do not like the idea of appeasing The Miserables in any way, shape, or form, I think it's better to let them go and let things pan out as they will.  Nothing The Miserables do can lessen my relationship with God.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 9:47AM #8
maplewood
Posts: 4,511
I agree with J.  This was never about peace.  From the start, it was about "taking over".

I am sure there are those who would simply like to leave and start their own community of Believers.  But from what I've seen among the leadership of this movement, such is not the case. 

It's about throwing over the tenents of TEC and the AC for a new, centralized, authoritarian church, contrary to the very nature of TEC and membership in the AC.

I left a centralized, authoritarian church to join TEC, and I don't want to see this one become one.

The folks who lead this movement are joined at the hip with political action organizations like IRD here in the States, and some African bishops who are in league with third-world dictators. 

I don't believe in peace at any price.  Particularly with these folks.  I admire +Schori's consistency, tone, and openess.  I support her 100%
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 10:46AM #9
Dutch777
Posts: 9,129
Richard:
Shel and Mape are on-target;  it's about power, control and property retention.

For heaven's sakes, Google "Anglican Continuing Churches" and you'll find three-score or more listed.   These dissidents and schizzmos think they'll become a unified, alternative Anglican presence in North America.  Schizzmos don't unify; the continue to schism, as experience verifies. As for a second Province, canon law and Anglican precedent does not allow two Provinces in the same territory recognized by Canterbury.  Furthermore, in the USA, established civil case law avoids doctrinal disputes and focuses soley on the property ownership issues; in the case of hierarchical churches the courts follow the churches' established internal rules.

The Ang.Ch.Cda. is having the same problem with two retired bishops attempting to scoop-up a few dissident congregations and ferret them under the umbrella of Bp.Venables of the Southern Cone.  (I guess they'll be called Cone-Heads.

I too look forward to depositions and the subsequent emplacement of missionary bps. pro-temps, or whatever they're called.  I'm also looking forward to Fuzzy being carted off to the old folks' home where he can dither, waffle and drool into his nappies in peace.
  :)
The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2007 - 11:27AM #10
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,982
[QUOTE=dutch777;117285]...................................................I too look forward to depositions and the subsequent emplacement of missionary bps. pro-temps, or whatever they're called.  I'm also looking forward to Fuzzy being carted off to the old folks' home where he can dither, waffle and drool into his nappies in peace.   :)[/QUOTE]

What Dutch said.

I look forward to ++Katherine showing her less feminine side as things progress in this little dance. And what the shizmos are doing is not about theology, at this point, but about property and clerical arrogance.  :(

Bob
Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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