Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lambeth Update

Thanks to information that has been shared with me by persons whose identities I should probably protect, I am personally convinced that Bishop Lamb's invitation to Lambeth is authentic, that it was issued with Archbishop Williams' knowledge and consent, and--do not underestimate this last detail--specifically at the request of the Presiding Bishop. I am not surprised by this, though I am annoyed because I believe the office that Bishop Lamb holds is of dubious canonical foundation. But I don't expect Lambeth Palace to have the resources to keep up with all the ways that due process and good order have been trampled in the "left behind" Diocese of San Joaquin.

However, I am equally persuaded that Bishop Schofield's invitation will not be rescinded, and that the only thing that might keep him from Lambeth is his health, which is ever on the edge of precariousness.

As many have noted, this creates a situation that is, to say the least, interesting. Under what titles will Lamb and Schofield be listed in conference documents? Presumably, only of one them, if either, will be directed to the queue that leads to an exchange of pleasantries with Her Majesty, sparing the Lord Chamberlain--or whoever handles such things--the awkwardness of introducing two purple-cassocked gentlemen as "the Bishop of San Joaquin."

My guess is that, in true Anglican fashion--that is, with decisions being made by indecision--we are witnessing the first step in the legitimation of multiple Anglican jurisdictions occupying the same geographic area. There will be more.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well good for Bishop Lamb. Too bad his invite was coerced by KJS and not on the real recognition of his seat. But, he's going and I am sure he and his wife will have a grand time! I for one would rather have an invitw based on y own merit rather than a higher up getting it for me!
ODC

Anonymous said...

Now we know where a chunk of the $500,000 "Let's build a rogue diocese fund" is going...Wine and dine...big surprise.

James W. said...

I suppose that this result was actually very predictable. Whenever Rowan Williams is faced with any decision, all one needs to do is determine which response is the easiest way out, requiring the least amount of backbone, and that is the most probable response he will take.

Having said that, I would think that Schofield's presence at Lambeth will be galling to the PB. (Lamb's presence is really neither here nor there for either side.) But Schofield's presence declares that, notwithstanding anything else, the ABC recognizes a non-TEC jurisdiction in the United States (a first) and does not recognize the purported deposition of Schofield.

I am not yet convinced that this is the end of the matter.

Malcolm+ said...

Well, there are two Bishops of Rochester, two Bishops of Newcastle and two Bishops of Edmonton. But none of those abuse the laws of geography.

Anonymous said...

malcom+ you really need to get a grip! The only Bishop who has abused any laws is KJS and her willing participant +Lamb!
ODC

Jon said...

Actually, no it doesn't mean the ABC recognizes a non-TEC jurisdiction in the US. It could be that he isn't convinced that Bishop Schofield was properly deposed, and is waiting for TEC's HoB to rule on whether or not the deposition was valid. Alternatively, he might feel that it would be terribly rude for him to withdraw Bishop Schofield's invitation at this time. He could even be waiting to hear back from some council of advice on whether or not it makes sense to permit Bishop Schofield to keep his invitation.

robroy said...

This shows that people who decry those who are abandoning a Canterbury based communion are deluded. Canterbury has capitulated to 815. History will judge this sorry excuse for a bishop very poorly.

David Wilson+ said...

Should other "irregular " bishops besides Lamb+ now be recognized and invited? John Rodgers, Chuck Murphey, John Guernsey, Bill Atwood, Bill Murdoch, Sandy Green, Thad Barnum, TJ Johnston, Phil Jones,John Miller all come to mind.

And since RW++ now de facto recognizes two jurisdictions in one geographic area how about the two bishops of Recife and the two Anglican Churches and their bishops in South Africa.

JamesW. said...

jon: You suggest that Rowan Williams might not be recognizing two Anglican jurisdictions, then give some arguments why not...

1) "It could be that he isn't convinced that Bishop Schofield was properly deposed, and is waiting for TEC's HoB to rule on whether or not the deposition was valid." There is no provision for the HoB to "rule" on anything. There is no independent judicial review in TEC. KJS has declared the deposition valid - if Rowan maintains the invitation, it means he does not recognize that deposition.

2) "Alternatively, he might feel that it would be terribly rude for him to withdraw Bishop Schofield's invitation at this time." Doesn't really matter, jon. If Rowan maintains Schofield's invitation, it means he accepts Schofield as a legimate Anglican bishop with jurisdiction.

3) "He could even be waiting to hear back from some council of advice on whether or not it makes sense to permit Bishop Schofield to keep his invitation." And, this, I think, might very well be the case. But this could strike against TEC as well as in its favor if the committee would rule against inviting Lamb.

Jon said...

JamesW, Your argument against 1 seems foolish to me. It is true that TEC has no independent judicial review, but to suppose that this means the power cannot be exercised seems to me to be like supposing power can be made to not exist. There are a very limited number of authoritative voices at the national level in TEC, the two houses of GC with their presidents and the EC. Since the deposition of a bishop under IV.9 is a responsibility of the HoB they (or their President, the PB)are the most plausible group to act in this situation. If you're going to live in a community you have to abide by the community's rules and decisions. Even those who commit civil diobedience abide by the community's rules by accepting the punishment for breaking them. The only alternatives that I see are rebellion, which is always at its heart rebellion against God, or leaving the community entirely, either to join a different already existing community or to form a new community. The only thing those who leave need to remember is the lesson of Lot's wife, and not look back.

ON 2 you are, I think, entirely mistaken. Unless Archbishop Williams explicitly confirms that he beleives the deposition to be invalid, Bishop Schofield remains in limbo because Archbishop Williams has already ruled out multiple jurisdictions in a single place by refusing to invite Bishop Cavalcanti of Recife to the Lambeth Conference. The only difference I see between the situation between San Juaquin and Recife is that Bishop Cavalcanti was clearly deposed, while the question of Bishop Schofield hasn't been entirely resolved yet.

Jon

Malcolm+ said...

Anonymous @ 9:08, I suggest that you get a grip. Your OPINION that the Presiding Bishop has acted improperly is an OPINION with no more weight to it than any other opinion. I have previously agreed that the opinion - when backed up by actual arguments - constitutes a primae facie case which should be answered. But is pretending that your OPINION is an indisputable FACT, you are being, shall we say, economical with the truth.

Opinions, as someone once noted to me, are like rectums - everybody has one. (He actually used a less polite word for rectum.) In any legal manner, a lawyer will happily write a legal opinion for whichever side of the question his/her client prefers.

Anonymous said...

Feel better Malcom+? I hope so! Your opinion rates right up there with mine. It appears that 5 other diocese feels the same as myself in the validity of your PB's actions on deposing Bishop's Cox and Schofield. But, none the less tiem will rtell who had a better opinion than the other.
ODC

Malcolm+ said...

That would be my point. The opinion that the depositions were illicit is an opinion. The opinion that they were licit is an opinion. The latter holds the (not insignificant) advantage of being the de facto situation.

There are still some of us of a mind that the deposition of James II/VII in 1688 was illicit, but Francis Wittelsbach still lacks his British thrones while the Princess Elizabeth of Greece and Denmark continues to occupy his house.