The Episcopal Church Division Intensifies: Schori "inhibits" the Bishop of San Joaquin

SATURDAY UPDATE: from T-19:

As a point of clarification, there is no confusion on the part of the Bishop of San Joaquin or the clergy, people, leadership, and convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin of their status. The claims of the Episcopal Church to have oversight or jurisdiction are not correct. The fact is that neither the Diocese nor Bishop John-David Schofield are part of The Episcopal Church. The Bishop is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as of December 8th, 2007. The Diocese is a part of the Southern Cone. Neither the Presiding Bishop or the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church have any further jurisdiction. Bishop Schofield is no longer a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

A statement from The Most Reverend Gregory Venables, dated January 11,2008:

“As of December the 8th, 2007 Bishop John-David Schofield is not under the authority or jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church or the Presiding Bishop.He is, therefore, not answerable to their national canon law but is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone and under our authority.

Un fuerte abrazo.

–The Most Rev. Greg Venables, Archbishop of the Southern Cone

UPDATE via e-mail: The following is the Diocese of San Joaquin’s statement in response to a letter sent to Bishop Schofield by Bishop Schori of The Episcopal Church today:

The Episcopal Church’s assertion that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church is an admission that TEC rejects the historical Anglican faith.

This is why The Diocese of San Joaquin appealed to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America for emergency and temporary protection. The majority of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion hold to the traditional faith.

It is the primary duty of bishops to guard the faith and Bishop Schofield has been continually discriminated against for having done so while Bishops and Archbishops around the world have affirmed not only his stance but the move to the Southern Cone. Bishop Schofield is currently a member of both the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, not prohibited by either house.

Governing documents of TEC do not prohibit relationships between different members of the Anglican Communion, rather they encourage it. TEC’s action demonstrates that there is an enormous difference between their church and most of the Anglican Communion. Again, this action is a demonstration that TEC is walking apart from the faith and its expression in morality held by the rest of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church’s own identity is dependent upon its relationship with the whole Anglican Communion.

TEC should consider whether it is imperiling that relationship by taking such punitive actions.

815 announces the action this evening.

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on January 11 inhibited Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield.

In the text of the inhibition, Jefferts Schori wrote: “I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Schofield and order that from and after 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, January 11, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this Church; and pursuant to Canon IV.15, I order him from and after that time to cease all ‘episcopal, ministerial, and canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of San Joaquin,’ until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops.”

Look who else gave thumbs up to the action. Looks like there is lots of glee about this action over here. You can read the rest of the story here. And pass the popcorn. It’s quite a spectacle.

BB NOTE: Bishops of the Anglican Communion have publicly indicated that they support Bishop Schofield. They include:

The Right Revd Jack L Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth
The Most Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney
The Right Revd Matthias Medadues-Badohu, Bishop of Ho
The Right Revd Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester
The Right Revd Gerard Mpango, Bishop of Western Tanganyika
The Right Revd Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh
The Right Revd Ross Davies, Bishop of The Murray
The Right Revd Keith L Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy
The Right Revd Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield
The Right Revd Ewen Ratteray, Bishop of Bermuda
The Right Revd Michael Hough, Bishop of Ballarat
The Right Revd John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham
The Right Revd Martyn Jarrett, Bishop of Beverley
The Right Revd John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley
The Right Revd Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough
The Right Revd Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney
The Right Revd Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet
The Right Revd Lindsay Urwin, Bishop of Horsham
The Right Revd Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes
The Right Revd Henry Scriven, Asst Bishop, Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Right Revd Bill Atwood, Province of Kenya
The Rt Revd Martyn Minns, Convocation of Anglicans in North America
The Right Revd John Guernsey Bishop, Province of Uganda
The Rt Revd David Anderson, CANA
The Right Revd John Gaisford, lately Bishop of Beverley
The Right Revd Edward MacBurney, lately Bishop of Quincy
The Right Revd Roger Jupp, lately Bishop of Popondota
The Right Revd David Silk, lately Bishop of Ballarat
The Right Revd Nöel Jones, lately Bishop of Sodor and Man
The Right Revd Edwin Barnes, lately Bishop of Richborough
The Right Revd William Wantland, lately Bishop of Eau Claire
The Right Revd Donald Parsons, formerly Bishop of Quincy
The Right Revd Jackson Biggers, lately Bishop of Northern Malawi

BB NOTE: Alas, I’m not sure I know what to think about to make of the Presiding Bishop these days, but this action does make me sad, very sad indeed. I thought I might make light of it at first, but the truth is, this action causes me to lament yet another example of the official division of The Episcopal Church. There is no longer any respect for conscience. We now have an almost militant defiance demanding loyalty over conscience. Even during the Civil War, the Bishops of the North only marked the Bishops of the South absent – which included, at that time, the Bishop of Virginia. And this is what we call progress? I think not. What we saw after the Civil War was mercy. What we see now I think is called schism.