Some years ago--I can't recall whether it was during my time there or not, but it was certainly during the episcopate of Bishop Schofield--the canons of the Diocese of San Joaquin were amended to include the following:
Sec. 33.01: All members of the clergy of this Diocese shall be under the obligation to model in their own lives the received teaching of the Church, and specifically that all clergy are to abstain from sexual relations outside of Holy Matrimony.
The ecclesial entity that presents itself as the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is gearing up for what it is calling its 49th Annual Convention (October 24-26), to be held in the town of Hanford. Interestingly, the ecclesial entity that presents itself as the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin will be holding what it considers its 49th annual convention on the same weekend, some 40 miles away, in the city of Fresno.
Both of these entities claim to be in some sort of continuity with what was spun off from the (Episcopal) Diocese of California in 1911 as as Missionary District, becoming an actual diocese in ... well ... whatever year would make this one the 49th. Most of the property that they both lay claim to (and which the "Anglicans" mostly possess at the moment) is real and material. But they also claim to "own" the diocesan canons as they have been amended by successive conventions over the years.
Now, however, those canons (indeed, those dioceses) are like characters in the science fiction movie wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger played both a cop and the (direct-to-adulthood) clone of said cop. Both of them shared the same memory of life before cloning; both considered themselves "real" and the other an interloper. But the divergence has begun. The newly (and, I must say one more time, illicitly constituted) Episcopal diocese quickly moved to restore the Accession Clause (to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church) that had been removed earlier, and repealed the canon specifying adherence to the Province of the Southern Cone.
Now they have the luxury of time for further cleanup, and 33.01 is on the chopping block. The proposed amendment strikes the final clause: "...and specifically that all clergy are to abstain from sexual relations outside of Holy Matrimony." Here's the explanation:
There is considerable concern that the canon as currently drafted is in conflict with the Canons of the Episcopal Church, under "Rights of the Laity" (Canon 1:17.5) and “Rights of the Clergy” (Canon 3:1.2), which forbid discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities or age. The proposed deletion of the language in the subject canon would remove any actual or potential conflict with the Canons and Constitution of the National Church.
So, if I am reading between the lines correctly, the professed concern is that the language that is proposed to be striken potentially runs afoul of the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, because persons with a sexual orientation toward those of their own sex cannot be married; hence, to enjoin them from sexual relations would be to discriminate. Have I got that right? Is there something I'm missing?
But wait. This is California we're talking about. And in California same-sex marriage is presently legal. (Proposition 8, the constitutional challenge to that legality, appears headed for defeat.) So how is the canon as presently worded discriminatory? Or are there other motives involved?
This is one more neon sign that 815 and the powers-that-be were never interested simply in an ongoing Episcopal diocese in California's central valley. They could have had that by actually following the canons they are sworn to uphold and allowing the duly-elected members of the Standing Committee to do their job. Six of the eight were ready to play ball. But no. After having been fired from the Anglican Standing Commitee by Bishop Schofield, they were, within days, fired from the Episcopal Standing Committee by the Presiding Bishop (notwithstanding the fact that she had only the power to do so, not the authority).
It's no big secret why those in power resorted to obfuscation and chicanery. Had they followed the canons, there would today be a legitimately constituted Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Only it would have very much the same theological complexion as the old one (not completely the same, but close). You can bet your biretta that Sec. 33.01 of the diocesan canons would not be up for evisceration at the 49th annual convention of the diocese. And that is a prospect that the minions of the "progressive" juggernaut could not abide.
In other San Joaquin news . . . Bishop Lamb has announced that the canonical depositions of clergy who have not professed fealty to him are proceeding apace. This is in stark (and sad) contrast to the position taken by the Bishop of Western New York, Michael Garrison, in response to news that his largest parish, St Bartholomew's in Tonawanda, is decamping to the Southern Cone. Rather than deposing the rector, Father Arthur Ward, Bishop Garrison is just politely transferring him to the canonical authority of Bishop Venables in Buenos Aires. What a concept.