San Joaquin – The Real Issue

Father Jake (who claims to be able to stop the world) thinks I’m barking up the wrong tree:

Once the Diocese was re-established at last weekend’s Diocesan Convention, another change occurred. The Society of Archbishop Justus, which operates the domain "anglican.org", redirected "sanjoaquin.anglican.org" from the website of John-David Schofield’s Southern Cone group to the website of the official Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

Now there is a new round of wailing and gnashing of teeth commencing, but that’s not what intrigues me about these changes. What I find fascinating is a little detail pointed out to me by dr. primrose in the comments.

You may recall the former Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin, who were "not recognized" by our Presiding Bishop. They responded to our Presiding Bishop with much bluster, but refused to answer the critical question; are they Episcopalians, or are they part of John-David Schofield’s breakaway group? Since then, the numbers of this former group have shrunk to three, since half of their members finally declared that they have left TEC. At least they had the integrity to end the guessing game regarding their allegiance.

So on the basis of this, Jake suggests that the new diocese is the correct legal inheritor of the Anglican territorial jurisdiction. That my friends IS the key issue.

It matters not two hoots whether Bishop Schofield is now in the Southern Cone. What the issue is about is whether the Anglican Communion can have two dioceses in the same geographical location. There is still an Anglican diocese of San Joaquin, it just belongs to a different Province. If the leadership of TEC want to create a *new* diocese which covers the same territory as the old diocese then that is their business. Sounds like boundary crossing to me though.

Here’s the bottom line – Bishop Schofield still has an invite to Lambeth and the new puppet bishop of 815 does not. That means that Canterbury recognises Schofield as the legal and rightful Bishop of San Joaquin, despite whatever 815 (and the ACO) may say.

Bishop Schofield’s Diocese is still the Episcopal / Anglican diocese of San Joaquin. The actions of SoAJ are simply political and have exacerbated a situation with potential international ramifications.

4 Comments on “San Joaquin – The Real Issue

  1. Can one infer from your statement that, should a invitation to Lambeth be withdrawn from Bishop Schofield, you will then acknowledge Bishop Lamb and the entity he pastors as the legitimate Anglican/Episcopalian diocese in San Joaquin?

  2. Do you really think that’s going to happen? Lambeth Palace is doing a typical British diplomatic approach to a crisis – keeping silent while events unfold. Remember, the formation of a new diocese isn’t even a done deal yet, especially as 815 would need to clearly demonstrate in the courts that its new puppet bishop is the legitimate heir to the geographic district.

  3. I have no idea what will happen, though I or any other sentient being would be foolish to take odds against inaction by ++Cantuar.

    I’m merely trying to ascertain under what circumstances you would acknowledge Bishop Lamb and the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin as the legitimate Anglican ecclesiastical authority/entity in that area. If I understand correctly, an invitation by ++Cantuar to the Lambeth Conference is your primary criterion for validating Bishop Schofield’s legitimacy. So am I correct in assuming that a withdrawal of that invitation would, in your mind, invalidate that legitimacy?

  4. William,

    I understand what you’re asking. Unlike Recifé, I think were ++Cantuar to withdraw Schofield’s invitation and extend one to Lamb that would indicate very clearly where Rowan was headed. I guess the logic of my argument would have to extend to accepting that as a recognition of Lamb.

    Interestingly though, such an approach would elevate ++Cantuar to a primacy amongst the instruments of unity.

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