Wednesday, March 12, 2008


...just a bit. Temporarily, I hope.

I'm very sad tonight. My former bishop, in whose diocese I joyfully served for 13 years, and whose overall theological and moral vision I share, has been deposed--in the popular parlance of non-Episcopalians, "defrocked"--by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

It was no surprise, of course. Every sentient being who was paying attention saw it coming. But to have it actually happen--to know it as an accomplished fact rather than merely a future certainty--is still emotionally draining.

I expect I will have more to say--more of an analytical nature--later, in due course, for this is no insignificant milestone in the ever-unfolding Anglican soap opera. Tonight, after granting the fact that it has very little concrete impact on Bishop Schofield's day-to-day life at this point (and he is still a bishop, just no longer a bishop of TEC), I'll simply say that there is ample blame to go around for this sorry turn. Yes, he brought it on himself (by behavior I cannot condone) and, yes, he was "done to" by corrupt forces and less than honorable means.

But mostly, tonight, I'm just emoting. This is truly a tragedy of veritably Shakespearean proportions.


Scott Gunn said...

I thought of you today, actually. It was a sad day for the church. Expected. Perhaps deserved. But definitely sad.

Thanks, by the way, for all your thoughtful writing about the goings-on in San Joaquin and elsewhere. Your perspective, your faithful, and your spirit are inspiring.


Aghaveagh said...

Quite rightly the reference to Shakespeare. A passage from Romeo and Juiet is most apropos:

See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.

Indeed, all are punished.

Leslie Littlefield said...

The tragedy here is that many faithful Episcopalians have no place to worship due to the actions of the ex-Bishop. The silver lining is that women are now able to celebrate as priests and we have an inclusive and loving diocese in the making.
May God's peace be with each and every one of us.

C Heenan said...

Hello Fr. Dan -- I believe I'm in the same place today. Saw it coming, knew how it would all turn out, and still moved more than I expected. I suppose there are more than a few San Joaquin expatriates feeling the same way right now.


Sarah Masterson said...

I read recently that 1/3rd of American churchgoers attend and divide their giving among 2 or more churches. I suspect this is the way our people will deal with the leadership's attempt to suppress each other's ministries.

As a resident of Warsaw, what I care about is how the local church goes about promoting basic Christianity. I feel confident that if the local church promotes basic Christianity such as all at least say they support, the issues will resolve themselves.

"You will find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart."

Perhaps, Fr. Dan, you will share with us some of your thoughts on discipling kids, teens and adults? Promoting prayer and frequenting the sacraments? Getting marriages off to a healthy start?

As a Warsaw resident, that's what I care about, not church politics.

Sr. Sarah, OSF

Anonymous said...

More importantly the very canon that was used to deposed not only my Bishop +John-David, but also a godly man in his 80's, Bishop +Cox, was not the appropriate canon to even use. But, then the PB of TEc is violating canons at every turn it seems. Why should this be any different? And now she and those in her conference of which also happens to be your Bishop, Fr. Dan, +Ed Little are seeking to try and depose Bp. +Duncan at Lambeth. How Christian is that?

And which church is it that these godly men are being accused of abandoning? TEc? Or the WWAC?

Abandoning the doctrine of Church is what TEc is very good at in and of itself! When they ignore the Lambeth 1.10 resolution and go forward with requests and pleas of the WWAC to not move forward in consecrating an openly gay man to the epsicopate and the very fact that the then PB. Griswold gave is word it wouldn't happen and well, it appears his word is worthless look where we are. Then there is KJS in her DES fiasco. These things are, IMHO, more an abandoning of the Church than trying to stay in a Church that upholds and defends the Faith once Delivered for all and teaches the very Scriptures and Gospels in the Word of God as has been done and accepted for the past 2000+ years. TEc is more a political church than a Christian Church thus is abandoning the doctrine of the established Church and the true doctrine of TEc that has been taught and agreed upon for decades. Thy have abandon the communion of Anglicanism as a whole in setting aside Scripture, Tradition and Reason for a poliically and socially correct doctrine in blessing & ordaining those things that are contrary to scripture.

Good Luck with all that TEc and those who are still in it. As for me and my Bishop, we have moved on to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Saving Grace in the transforming of our sins and sinful life to be more like Him and be obedient to Him and His Word!

We want to be relieved of our sins not be affirmed in them. Only Jesus Christ can do that!

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add that cow flatulence cannot save you form your sins and has othing to do with the Resurection of our Savior Jesus Christ!
Easter Seromn indeed!Like I said,
Good Luck with all that!

Malcolm+ said...

One day closer said: "And which church is it that these godly men are being accused of abandoning? TEc? Or the WWAC?"

It is clear from the canons themselves that "this church" refers to the Episcopal Church. For that matter, when the canon was written the concept of an Anglican Communion did not exist.