The Episcopal schism continues

The Episcopal Church USA’s insistence on legitimizing and normalizing homosexual conduct, culminating in the ordination three years ago of an openly practicing homosexual as a bishop, has rent the Church, and the Anglican Communion, in two. The latest development in this years-long saga is a letter from the Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, to Bishop John-David Schofield of the San Joaquin Diocese in Fresno, California. Schori tells Schofield that by convening a conference to discuss leaving the Episcopal Church, he has violated his vows and therefore he should resign and leave the Church outright. If the dissenting bishops such as Schofield were to follow that course, it would leave the reigning apostates in total control of the Church, by simply removing the dissenters from the scene at the head of their dioceses, eliminating their ability to engineer the realignment of their dioceses and parishes under the authority of traditionalist Anglican dioceses in Africa, which is their current plan.

Bishop Schofield’s reply to the Presiding Bishop reads in part:

I am in receipt of your letter to me and wish to make clear from the outset that I have always remained faithful to my vows as an ordained bishop in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At my consecration, I vowed to “guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church of God.” I was charged by my chief consecrator to “Feed the flock of Christ committed to [my] charge, guard and defend them in his truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments.” I carry out my vow by defending and propagating “the historic Faith and Order” which The Episcopal Church commits to upholding in the preamble of its own Constitution….

In 2003, the General Convention committed itself to a theological path that is irreconcilable with the Anglican faith this Church has received and has torn the fabric of the entire Communion….

The Episcopal Church, as an institution, is walking a path of apostasy and those faithful to God’s Word are forced to make painful choices.

At a diocesan level, the choice is between continuing membership in an unrepentant, apostate institution or following Holy Scripture and the Anglican faith.

Schofield says that the vote to be taken at the meeting this month is preliminary, but that a final decision will be made in October 2007.

The Anglican American Council is the main organization for the dissenting and separating Episcopalians and has continual updates on all developments.

* * *

Since the above was written a week ago, the annual convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin met and voted 176-28 in favor of separating from the Episcopal Church. This is the first time an entire diocese, as distinct from a parish, has made such a decision. It is a preliminary vote. If it is repeated next year, it will become final.

According to the AAC’s report:

At the San Joaquin diocese’s convention on Friday, Bishop John-David Schofield said, “The Episcopal Church walks apart from the Anglican Communion, but accuses us of leaving the church.”

[Presiding Bishop] Jefferts Schori last month said Schofield would violate his vows if he led his diocese away from her leadership and suggested he “seek a home elsewhere.” However, she added that the door remains open for dialogue and reconciliation.

Schofield responded, saying, “At a diocesan level, the choice is between continuing membership in an unrepentant, apostate institution or following Holy Scripture.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 09, 2006 11:13 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):