14 January 2009

A letter from Schofield

Some time ago, I was given a copy of a Christmas 2008 letter written by the former bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin. It was sent to a longtime fiend who wrote David about his/her concerns about David's mental and physical health. That friend passed it on to me. Having established the authenticity, I asked the legal experts about posting it and they said there is are no impediments to its publication. The following are relevant excerpts from the letter.
You needn't worry too much about me for at least two reasons.

First, my doctor has taken me in hand and has insisted on a very stringent diet which seems to be working. So far I'm down some 28 pounds. Even though i hate to admit it, I do feel much, much better!
I'm very glad to know that. I've been concerned about David's physical health for years. I hope the new heath plan continues to work.
Second, what you read in the media about the Diocese of San Joaquin and me is largely from the fevered brains of the new York's P.R. People.

I find it interesting that they are still telling the public that The Episcopal Church has 2.4 million members.

Even if that were true, and it isn't, those figures include the four dioceses of: San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Quincy, and Forth Worth who have left with nearly 50 thousand members.

This says nothing about the known figure of approximately 750 individuals who have been leaving The Episcopal Church weekly for some years now, not to mention the large numbers of parishes who have left their dioceses without yet affiliating with on of the Anglican bodies in North America. Among those, I believe, are the 11 parishes in Virginia who have won two law suits brought by Presiding Bishop Katherine [sic] Jefferts-Schori against them.

Equally exciting is the fact that over 100 thousand members of the Common Cause Partners with some 30 bishops will also be joining us.

The actual facts, then, are that The Episcopal Church with somewhere around 700 thousand (not 2.3 million) will be encountering a new day when the new Province arrives on the scene with over 150 thousand of us. Mmmmm. [Sic.]
One of David's best abilities is manipulation of numbers -- someone once described it as Schofieldmath. Of course, David gives us no facts to back up the claim of those leaving weekly from The Episcopal Church nor does he give us facts to back up the membership of the renegade bishops and their followers.

It is a known fact that David continues to claim that ninety to ninety five percent of the Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin followed him like lemmings. The facts disprove that. All one needs to do is look at the attendance of the churches who did not follow him.

Putting the best interpretation on the facts, the number is at best sixty percent. When dealing with David, one must always remember the Schofield-factor - use salt liberally and divide by at least sixty. But for the schismatics, number are validation that they are right. So, the figures must be "adjusted."
I have just returned from national meeting near Kansas City, Missouri where final preparations are being made for the new Province that it now appears will be up and running by June 2009! imagine that! I've never seen the Church move so quickly.

We already have the approval of the seven Primates of GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference). We expect massive support from the Primates of the Global South who will be meeting in the Caribbean in January. And, I don't think the liberal Primates at the worldwide conference of Primates who be held in Alexandria, Egypt at the end of February will have anywhere near the votes necessary to stall the recognition of the new Province to be called the Anglican Church in North America (since it includes the Canadians as well).
Who are the seven GAFCON primates? The last count we had it was five.

As for "massive support" well, that remains to be seen. I don't think it will be as clear cut as David imagines it will be.

For one reason, the primates are nervous. If the schismatics have no regard for rules and polity in North America, why should any Primate think that this new schismatic group will not claim new territory. We know the goal -- Today North America, tomorrow the world.

Also, for better or worse (and in my opinion for better), the sane majority of primates do and will continue to look to Canterbury. All one needs do is to look back to his summer and the wonderful party Canterbury threw for the bishops of the WWAC. I am afraid to say, David is going to be sorely disappointed. But, the new organization has made it crystal clear, "Canterbury is irrelevant to our goals."

All things considered, if even one "other" primate supports the schismatic organization, it will mean the "support was unanimous." Always remember Schofield math and the schismatic spin.

However, perhaps it will be I who will be sorely disappointed. It won't be the first time I've been disappointed by the bishops and primates.

UPDATE: H/T to David for pointing out a new post by Mark Harris that seems to confirm the schismatics aren't in the cat-bird seat as they believe.
The Anglican Communion website now confirms The Episcopal Church's understanding that there is currently no bishop in either the Diocese of Quincy or the Diocese of Fort Worth. In addition, the entries are for "The Episcopal Church," rather than "The Episcopal Church, USA." Additionally, the Diocese of Fort Worth website now lists the site belonging to that of the "Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians representing The Diocese of Fort Worth."

As dioceses of the Province of the Southern Cone, the AC Website does not list any of the four breakaway groups from TEC, namely San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Quincy or Fort Worth.

It would seem the Anglican Communion website is keeping a bit better pace with events on the ground. Thanks to whoever is on the case.
Apparently, the schismatic's huntin' dog don't fly none too good.