18 December 2008

Schofield and the Roman Catholic Press - more propaganda

Yesterday must be a slow news day as even the Roman Catholic press can't keep their reporters from dealing in propaganda where the Episcopal Church is concerned.

An article appeared in the California Catholic Daily on 17 December by an unnamed journalist. Of course, the article praised David Schofield, a bishop who forfeited his right to exercise episcopal authority when he renounced the church that gave him that authority,and was subsequently deposed by the house of bishops.

And guess who the "reporter's" chief source is? I'll give you two guesses and one isn't Schofield himself. It's David Virtue via his blog. The second source is Mr. Ron Parry, "pastor" of St. Luke's in Merced. Parry states
The current presiding bishop, Katherine Schori, got [Mr] Schofield deposed, which violates our canons.
The first questions is, "whose canon?" The Episcopal Church of the Southern Cone which has no provision for Schofield and his camp-follows?

The second question I have is, "Why is it that these people cannot have the common courtesy to use the proper name for the Presiding Bishop?" Her name s Jefferts Schori. By refusing to use her legal name, they show how low they are themselves.

The third question is, "why would a journalist interview people only on one side of an issue if they intend to write an honest article? The answer, of course is, the journalist didn't intend to write a balanced article. The journalist was writing propaganda.

And of course, we hear the sad story of persecution:
[Gene Robinson's ordination] was the straw that broke the camel's back, to make a man living in an openly homosexual relationship outside of marriage a bishop. Things had been going on for years--problems with the authority of scripture, the nature of Christ, the historic faith. People in authority, all the way back to Bishop Pike, denied the tenets of the faith, but they were never disciplined.

Bishops Jefferts Schori, when she was pressed as to whether Jesus Christ is 'the way, the truth and the life,' responded, 'For us, He is.' There are bishops who don't believe in the resurrection or the incarnation. The whole notion of the atonement is under question. But Gene Robinson's ordination made it absolutely clear that this was not going to turn around.
Well, if they are making a list of bishops who aren't sure Jesus Christ is the only way, they must include the current bishop of Rome, Benedict on that list. But they aren't making a list they are promulgating factoid and fiction. They continue to make Robinson the whipping boy, the mask to hide their fundamentalist membership in the flat earth society. But they forgot to mention Spong. All the other propaganda is there.

But there is one interesting bit in this article:

The split was also driven by concerns about who would lead them in the future. 'The mandatory retirement age for a bishop is 72 and our bishop (Schofield is 70). In order for us to have any chance of ever getting [a fundamentalist] bishop again, we felt that we had to step away on a temporary basis.
There is it in black and white -- Schofield not wanting to relinquish the total authority he has accumulated over the past two decades. Power greedy people do not step aside in favour of others. The power hungry leaders of the diocese do not want to relinquish their power, either. They had to leave TEC to retain power when Schfield relinquishes power which, in my opinon, will be sometime after he is embalmed.

But the really interesting bit is the last; "we felt that we had to step away on a temporary basis." As a friend's son says, "Say what?" It sounds as if they plan to return to the Episcopal Church at some future date. What about the "province in waiting"? What about the apostasy of TEC?

And then the article turns to another odd bit:
According to the canons and constitution of our church, we have a right to leave. But the mindset of the Episcopal Church is that parishes and dioceses cannot leave. Only individuals can leave. The problem is that the parishes that left took their property with them, so we are all being sued.
What church? Whose canons and constitution? Neither TEC, nor the Southern Cone nor Schofield's dominion allow parishes to take property when they leave. Mr. Parry is not familiar with the canons and constitution of any of the organizations involved.

Of interest are the comments left on the web site. I left a wee comment
Well, the article isn't exactly correct and it's obvious that the reporter didn't check the facts. But the most egregious bit is that the presiding bishop illegally deposed Schofield. He left the Episcopal Church -- he quit. The deposition came after he had quit and joined another church.
A comment following mine said:
James, once again you've denoted the most conscience rattling information of the millennium. your insight is near godlike
I'm not sure if that was a compliment or an insult. The best comment is from "Dave N."
Schofield's remarks and actions seem a bit disingenuous. First, the Episcopal church has been appointing barely closeted gay suffragan bishops for decades and certainly openly gay priests for the same amount of time. Yet when the people ELECT a gay bishop (bishops are elected in the Episcopal church) suddenly it's an issue. And I say "suddenly" with some irony since it took Schofiled et al. almost four years to leave in spite of the fact there was clearly no way Bp. Robinson's election would be overturned, even if the church wanted to (and they did not.) If you have democracy in the church, you'd better be prepared to live with whomever gets voted in. And this "got him deposed" business is more than just poor English, it's a canard, as James observes, again pointing to Schofield's lack of sincerity in the matter. It's the blind leading the blind basically--the whole lot is headed for the pit. So if you think that democracy might be the eventual solution to our own egregious bishop problems, you might want to reconsider
He is absolutely correct, of course. Most Episcopalians who are even slightly involved at a diocesan level can name at least two dozen gay bishops. And of course the smoke around Schofield has been rising for forty years or more. But it is the "outness" that gave the schismatics their moment in the sun and seize it they did. The problem is, things aren't going as the Chapman memo told them it would go.

Dave brings up the central issue in the whole schism: "
If you have democracy in the church, you'd better be prepared to live with whomever gets voted in." The schismatics don't want democracy, the want monarchical rule in the guise of theocracy. Oh, they will give it just enough "voting" to make is look like a democracy. But as in San Joaquin, anyone who was involved in the diocesan process knows, it was a monarchy and it still is a monarchy.

Almost all the comments sound as if they come from schismatic supporters. One wonders if the comments come from Romans or former Episcopalians.

If you want a good read, and a few good laughs, check out the article.