PB Schori Does "Not Intend to Threaten" Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin (any resemblance to a threat is purely coincidental)
A few weeks ago Presiding Bishop Schori issued threatening letters to Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh and Bishop Iker of Fort Worth, threatening them with deposition if their diocesan conventions acted to pass first readings on constitutional amendments that would end their accession to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Now she has written Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin, California in a similar vein. Charming. (Emphasis added by RWF--you simply have to love the fact that PB Schori has now developed such a strong attachment to the "long-standing principles of catholic Christianity.") The full letter, along with another ENS story explaining the line of attack the national headquarters will take if they pass the amendment in its final reading, may be found here.
December 3, 2007
The Rt. Rev. John-David M. Schofield
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
4159 East Dakota Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726-5227
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 SchoriIf you need a little comic relief after reading that letter, check out this little gem from Stand Firm.