Saturday, March 29, 2008

on the Alice in Wonderland World of the Diocese of San Joaquin

So I read it and was very amused by it too. But at the same time, I was disgusted. I am disgusted by the spin doctoring that goes on among the re-asserters. They are quick to claim that the Episcopal Church abandoned them. But what they do not see is their continual use of the "2 wrongs making a right"logic. They justify all of their own uncanonical actions on the basis that TEC made them do it because TEC was naughty first. Overlooking, of course, that everything TEC done has been by the book in accordance with the Canons and Constitutions.

Schofield and Cox could have chosen to be released from their vows. They did not so choose and there are logical consequences to any choice. It is disingenuous to cry "Foul! Play fair!" when one is asked to face those logical consequences. It is disingenuous to use the "he made me do it" defense. Our mothers taught us this was flawed logic when we were toddlers.

I quote now from the blog entry:

"But for reasons at this point known only to her, the Presiding
Bishop refused to recognize the loyalty of the six, despite clear knowledge
of their intention to follow the canons, and publicly declared her judgment
that there were in fact no continuing members of the Standing Committee of
the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin."

Let's see... If the first time the members of the Standing Committee
ever contacted the PB was after the fact, then the PB acted properly. What did this SC do in the first place to oppose Schofield's uncanonical actions? Did the SC contact the PB long before and ask for help?

"But in the case of both bishops, the deposition failed on a
technicality, though this was not noticed at the time."

And yet both are still guilty of abandonment of communion. If (and I
very much doubt there is an "if") any such technicality exists, they
are nonetheless guilty. After all, OJ was acquitted on technicalities and didn't
we all deplore that?

"Now the final ingredient in the Perfect Storm recipe--the one that will act
as a catalyst, joining with the others to ignite a cataclysm in the Anglican

Personally, I think this must be in imitation of Jimmy Stewart addressing Tracy Lord in "The Philadelphia Story". And only Jimmy could get away with such hyperbole.

" In less than two days' time, the Presiding Bishop is intending to
call to order a special convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
in the city of Lodi. While it is arguably her duty to facilitate the
reconfiguration and reinvigoration of TEC's ministry in that area, the way
she has gone about doing so seems to ignore, if not flout, the very
Constitution and Canons of the Church she serves."

Any one else see the contradiction? It is "her duty" while at the same time "flouting".

"This is where the
canonical cloud over the deposition of Bishop Schofield becomes extremely

Of course, he hasn't even defined what this "canonical cloud" let alone proven one exists. There was some discussion after the House of Bishops that perhaps there wasn't a quorum, but it has since been demonstrated that all canonical considerations were followed by the House of Bishops. Some talk has also been made that Schofield and Cox did not speak up in their own defense but that would have been difficult considering how they chose not to go and do so.

"Only in the absence of a bishop can the Presiding Bishop step in
to a situation, and then only under strictly limited circumstances. But
there is plausible doubt whether Bishop Schofield has in fact been properly

I begin to wonder if the author of this piece lives in any sort of
real world. Schofield ******left******* the Episcopal Church. He did
not bother to speak in his own defense, making it clear he really
didn't care what happened. IMO, that makes it pretty obvious that there is no bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin at this time.

When Schofield left TEC for the Southern Cone, he left the
Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin without a
bishop. Choices and logical consequences.

"But wait...there's more!"

I feel like the stylistic model for this blogger must be infomercials.

" The "unrecognized" Standing Committee--that is, the duly and canonically elected Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin--"

Which didn't do their jobs.

"made it clear to the Presiding Bishop on several occasions that, in the event of Bishop Schofield's lawful deposition, they stood ready to perform their duty and become the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese,"

But they were not ready to step in earlier as he prepared to abandon communion, apparently.

" cooperating with her office as appropriate under the constitution and canons. As recently as two weeks ago, they expected to shortly be called to act in accordance with the polity of "this Church." But because of the technical glitch, they cannot recognize the See of San Joaquin as vacant, and are therefore unable to lawfully step in."

If their excuse if a so-called technical glitch, then what we really have is a bunch of Schofield supporters in disguise who think they can fool the PB and the rest of TEC so they can continue to breed dissent and schism among faithful Episcopalians.

Yes, but did they act prior to Schofield's attempts to steal an entire
diocese? to oppose the uncanonical actions of Schofield? Or is all of
their fuss only after the fact in a CYA move, perhaps?

"So what we will have Saturday is a Perfect Storm--an institution going rogue
"on itself, ignoring its own polity, its own rules . . ."

Hmmm... perhaps the author's stylistic role models include the writers of TV melodramas. "An institution going rogue"... you know, I had no idea institutions had minds of their own.

This is laughable. Schofield violates his vows as priest and Bishop to
uphold the canons and constitutions of TEC but it's TEC that's gone

Here's the bottom line: All Schofield and Cox had to do was ask to be
released from their vows. That's all. They chose not to do it.
Instead Schofield preferred to act in a manner so out of accord with
the very canons and constitutions he swore to uphold that it has
created a situation without precedent. "By their fruits you will know them" seems to me to say there are logical consequences.

Let's put the blame where it belongs: on Schofield, on any that
supported him in San Joaquin and on any that didn't oppose him.
Actions and choices have logical consequences.

"The harm that this will do to the commonweal of the Episcopal Church and the
Anglican Communion is untellable."

Well, there isn't going to be any. What there is going to be is
healing and reconciliation from the actions of those who sought to
take the law into their own hands, from those who acted as if the
rules didn't apply to them.

I am sick to death of those who object to people who don't play fair
when it is in fact the crybabies who cheated on the rules in the first

"If we can't trust ourselves to live by our
own laws, if the ends are seen as justifying the means"

Which is I guess exactly how Schofield justified his behavior.

"if a mistake in the past is used as a justifying precedent for repeating the same mistake, then the confidence of the minority that the protections afforded them under our polity will indeed be effective evaporates like morning mist under the desert sun."

Poetic cliches are so trite, aren't they?

Well, if the Bishop of San Joaquin hadn't deserted those who depend
upon him in the first place...

"We are left to be drowned by the tyranny of the majority."

Who said TEC is a democracy? I wonder if this blogger feels that the Constitution of the USA drowns its citizens in a "tyranny of the majority"?

Schofield ****left**** TEC. There is no getting around that.
Schofield created the situation. There is no getting around that.
You can spin the facts all you want but bottom line: Schofield
walked. Period. End of sentence. End of discussion.

"But on the Last Day, I do not anticipate being envious of whose who, buoyed by a perception of power made invincible by righteousness, are in these days the instruments of such an unholy wrath."

I'm always grateful when hubris rfeveals itself for what it really is.

On the Last Day what will happen is this: Jesus is going to say "When
you gave food to the hungry, you gave food to Me. When you slake the
thirsty, you give drink to Me. When you cared for the sick, you cared
for Me. But instead you diverted time, energy, people, resources from
loving your neighbor as yourselves, from feeding the hungry, caring
for the sick to argue interminably about something I never said a word
about. You chose to ignore the things I myself told you to do.

I told you not to judge, but you judged. I told you to leave sin up
to Me but you wouldn't. You bore false witness which you were told not
to do. You twisted facts to suit yourselves. You decided the ends
justify the means. You believed that a perceived wrong made it ok to
do wrong yourselves.

You dissidents, schismatics, re-asserters were buoyed by a perception of power
made invincible by righteousness, are in these days the instruments of My
unholy wrath."


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