Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Shameful" is the correct term for this *Update* and *Expanded*

Update and Expansion below.

Well, I've already left the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion is beginning to appear in my rear-view mirror, so I don't know why these things still bother me. I think it's the obvious unfairness - so [Bishop] Lamb, uncanonically "elected," is going to Lambeth, and Bishop Schofield, now under ++Gregory Venables, is not.

I have to ask, why is anyone listening to or trusting Archbishop Rowan Williams? Not that I think he is purposely being untrustworthy, but I think he is inept and why out of his depth politically (or maybe it's happening exactly like he would like) - at this point, it's just all so sad.

From Stand Firm, a letter from ++Gregory Venables to those in San Joaquin:

. . . In addition, I have been in conversation with Archbishop Rowan. Over the weekend I received the following message from him: "I understand that Bishop John-David Schofield has been accepted as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion and as such cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. However, it is acknowledged that his exact status (especially given the complications surrounding the congregations associated with him) remains unclear on the basis of the general norms of Anglican Canon Law, and this constitutes one of the issues on which we hope for assistance from the Windsor Continuation Group. Bishop Schofield has elected to decline the invitation to the Lambeth Conference issued to him last year although that decision does not signal any withdrawal from the Communion. I hope there may be further careful reflection to clarify the terms on which he will exercise his ministry."

This statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury is clear, even though we are in somewhat new territory; you remain within the Anglican Communion. Given the rigors of international travel and the work that there is to do in the Diocese, I am in agreement with Bishop John-David's decision not to attend the Lambeth Conference. I am also aware of statements by Bishop Jerry Lamb in which he makes statements and demands that miss the mark of Christian leadership and fall short of what many consider propriety. I would encourage the clergy and lay members of the diocese to ignore this. We are glad to have you as full members of the Southern Cone. As you can see, you are well regarded as members of the Anglican Communion. May God richly bless you!

Read it all.

Update: From FrWes in the comments at TitusOneNine:
Friends,
This is what we were waiting for from the ABC before we could discuss the matter of Bishop Schofield at Lambeth. Our bishop made it clear to us on numerous occasions that he did not want to attend Lambeth this time because it would be almost as hostile as a TEC HOB meeting, little would be accomplished regarding important matters, and it would be very expensive for us to send him. The ONLY reason for him to attend is to be recognized as a legitimate bishop within the Anglican Communion. The letter cited by Abp. Venables recognizes my bishop as a legitimate bishop in the Communion, so now his attendance at Lambeth is unnecessary. I have personal knowledge that this letter is legitimate. This is recognition that was not given to any uninvited bishop. Not a good day for Episcopalians. They wanted a clear dis-invitation or at least words that reject the realignment of the diocese and they got neither.

So everyone gets to make up their own mind, because I don't know. But if this is something positive, ++Rowan Williams once again did not articulate very clearly. (And what in the world is "Anglican Canon Law"?)

Expansion: Of course, Christopher Johnson goes to the heart of it all here:
Three days ago, a commenter at Stand Firm wrote the following:
I regret to say that tonight I have received definite confirmation that Bp. Schofield will NOT be going to Lambeth. I don’t know all the details, but some sort of compromise was worked out where +J-DS will get an official letter from ++Rowan Williams stating that he is recognized as a bishop officially within the Anglican Communion, and in return he will refrain from going to Lambeth. But let their be no mistake; this was a deal forced upon the good bishop. His invitation was withdrawn, at the last minute. I don’t feel free to indicate my source. But it's not longer a rumor. A highly placed source in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin has confirmed it. +Schofield is NOT going to Lambeth. He was disinvited.

No, no, no, no, we were reassured by Living Church and Kendall Harmon among others. Ain't true. Don't jump to conclusions. But today we find out from Schofield's primate that:
In addition, I have been in conversation with Archbishop Rowan. Over the weekend I received the following message from him: "I understand that Bishop John-David Schofield has been accepted as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion and as such cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. However, it is acknowledged that his exact status (especially given the complications surrounding the congregations associated with him) remains unclear on the basis of the general norms of Anglican Canon Law, and this constitutes one of the issues on which we hope for assistance from the Windsor Continuation Group. Bishop Schofield has elected to decline the invitation to the Lambeth Conference issued to him last year although that decision does not signal any withdrawal from the Communion. I hope there may be further careful reflection to clarify the terms on which he will exercise his ministry."

This statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury is clear, even though we are in somewhat new territory; you remain within the Anglican Communion. Given the rigors of international travel and the work that there is to do in the Diocese, I am in agreement with Bishop John-David’s decision not to attend the Lambeth Conference.

Given how very nearly perfectly the Stand Firm commenter nailed it, this is going to need to be cleared up the day before yesterday. Did Schofield, in fact, make this decision on his own? If he did, are Venables' stated reasons why he did it? And if he didn't, was he, in fact, forced out?

If Schofield's "exact status...remains unclear on the basis of the general norms of Anglican Canon Law," what does that say about the library of canons that TEO violated in the removal of Schofield and the installation of Mrs. Schori's sock puppet, Jerry Lamb?

Read it all.

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