"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bishop Schofield Inhibited by PB Schori; the Orthodox Anglican World Begins to Respond

Well, the other shoe has finally dropped for Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin. That diocese departed from TEC last December at their diocesan convention and became a constituent diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone. Yesterday PB Schori of TEC announced that she had inhibited Bishop Schofield, meaning that he cannot perform any episcopal sacramental acts in a TEC church. The story may be found on ENS.

But naturally the good people of San Joaquin responded by saying, essentially, "You cannot do anything to our bishop because he has already left your organization, and so have we!" As found on Stand Firm, their statement reads:

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.

Following is a statement from The Most Reverend Gregory Venables (Archbishop of the Province of the Southern Cone of South America) 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.

Bishop Iker of Fort Worth has taken the same position on the pretended powers of PB Schori over Bishop Schofield in a statement released today:

It comes as no surprise that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has initiated canonical actions against the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield to remove him from office. However, the matter is complicated by the fact that Bishop Schofield and the Diocese of San Joaquin, by constitutional action of their Convention, are no longer a part of The Episcopal Church. They now function under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone. Disciplinary actions cannot be taken by this Province against a Bishop who is a member of another Province of the Anglican Communion.

The House of Bishops of TEC can indeed prevent Bishop Schofield from functioning as a Bishop in congregations of The Episcopal Church. However, they cannot invalidate his consecration as a Bishop in the Church of God, nor prevent him from functioning as such in congregations that welcome and affirm his ministry as their Bishop.

The Bishop of San Joaquin has my friendship, my support, and my prayers during this time of turmoil in the life of our church.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are very blessed to have J. L. Iker for a bishop. I will not admit to envy (!) but what a difference a diocesan boundary (or a few miles down I-20) can make.

5:40 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

We are indeed blessed, anon. And just so you know, we passed constitutional changes on the first reading last November that would erase our old diocesan boundaries. Should those pass again at our next convention, you need NOT be outside our boundaries any longer. Just a thought! ;-)

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It baffles me why Bishop Schofield did not resign from the post of Bishop in the Episcopal Church as soon as the San Joaquin convention voted to leave TEC. It makes me wonder how much money the Diocese of San Joaquin will waste on lawyers to defend +John David in the TEC (presentment/inhibition) trial (the lawyers have already been issuing statements for him, they are all over the internet, and they probably were not free), when the bishop has stated publically that he is not longer a member of the Episcopal Church. What a waste of money and time! So far all that I feared would happen has come true. Money wasted on those who do not need it, those who need REAL help are left out in the cold all for the sake of being "right." Maybe someday those who wish to be "right" will also concern themselves with following "legal" procedures (for free) in order to avoid paying the price for neglecting them.

6:58 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Anon, Bishop Schofield has made it clear that he will completely ignore the inhibition. I can't imagine they will spend any money on lawyers to fight a worthless piece of paper. No need to worry about needless expense on the orthodox side. PB Schori no longer has any authority over the good bishop or his diocese, so ignoring her inhibition is the wise course. Sadly, TEC has made it clear they WILL force a great deal of legal expense over property in the future, but no one is going to care much about this empty gesture of inhibition. Sadly PB Schori is the one who is wasting money on this pointless action and is planning on causing us all to waste far MORE money on lawsuits over property in the future.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I have to say that I think Bp. Schori's actions are hardly pointless, as they are part of her job, appropriate under the circumstances, and not done lightly but with due deliberation. I must say I heartily agree with her latest letter to Bp. Iker. I understand that you won't agree with me on this. This whole thing is very sad.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texanglican said," I can't imagine they will spend any money on lawyers to fight a worthless piece of paper"...

Well, you don't have to imagine it...+Schofield has not one but TWO lawyers who released statements defending him just after the inhibition was released to the public. I don't think the lawyers are working for free either.

One of the lawyers said in his statement that Bishop Schofield is both a Bishop in the Episocpal Church AND the Southern Cone. this statement was quickly retracted and replaced with a second lawyer's statement. You can read it for yourself on Father Jake's Blog. It's all there. there WILL be wasting of time and money by lawyers and courts all because Bishop Schofield did not resign from TEC, even though he is asking everyone else in his diocese to say they are no longer members of TEC.

7:42 PM  

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