An ENS article on the Latest in San Joaquin

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In response to a question about the status of church property in the diocese, Jefferts Schori said that one of the first tasks of the diocese's new leadership will be "to recover the corporate sole" of the diocese. This process will involve removing control of the property from deposed San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield.

"We believe since John-David Schofield has been deposed, he has no right to claim the property of the diocese as the corporate sole," she said.

The Presiding Bishop said that the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church say that parish and diocesan property is held in trust for the entire church. "We believe those properties are a legacy" given by generations of Episcopalians for the use of generations yet to come, she said.

"We don't have the fiduciary or moral responsibility to simply walk away," Jefferts Schori told the audience. "They're meant for mission and we'll do what we can to recover them."

Answering a question about reports of problems with the March 12 consent by the House of Bishops to her request for authority to depose or remove Schofield from his diocesan position, Jefferts Schori said that the vote was conducted in the same way that other such deposition requests have been done.

While the applicable canon (Canon IV.9.2) may have "varieties of interpretation," the Presiding Bishop said that her chancellor and the House's parliamentarian ruled that the canon called for approval by the majority of those bishops present at the meeting. She added that the canon does not allow for a poll by mail of all bishops eligible to vote, as some have suggested ought to have been done.

"We believe that we did the right thing," she said, adding that the consent came from "a clear majority of those present."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesCono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]Episcopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Polity & Canons

63 Comments
Posted March 29, 2008 at 6:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Vintner wrote:

“We believe that we did the right thing,” she said, adding that the consent came from “a clear majority of those present.”

What is so sad about this statement is that:

1) There is obviously widespread disagreement about that notion from members of the HOB ~ a disagreement that could be easily cleared up if she would just redo the deposement procedures correctly.

2)  This will not hold up in court.

Slightly edited.

March 29, 8:05 am | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

Translation:  We are going to do what we want to do and you can’t stop us.

March 29, 8:08 am | [comment link]
3. DonGander wrote:

It is amazing what she is willing to believe that is not true. It is equally amazing what she is unwilling to believe that is true.

Don (amazed)

March 29, 8:19 am | [comment link]
4. Brian of Maryland wrote:

If it’s true that people often call forward the leaders they need, I’m left with trying to figure out what TEC is attempting to accomplish.  If the desire is/was a more rapid implosion of the church, then this PB is the right person at the right time and she’s doing all the right things.

Brian

March 29, 8:23 am | [comment link]
5. Katherine wrote:

I thought from the first I heard of TEC’s San Joaquin caper that it was about the property, and here Jefferts Schori confirms it.  Care of the parishioners who did not wish to follow the bishop could be done more easily by arranging for episcopal jurisdiction from adjoining dioceses.

March 29, 8:37 am | [comment link]
6. libraryjim wrote:

Jefferts Schori said that one of the first tasks of the diocese’s new leadership will be “to recover the corporate sole{sic}” of the diocese.

In other words, give the boot to those who don’t conform?

grin

Jim Elliott <><

March 29, 8:54 am | [comment link]
7. robroy wrote:

When will the deliberate twisting of words stop?

The Presiding Bishop said that the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church say that parish and diocesan property is held in trust for the entire church.

They most certainly do not. Not that Katherine Jefferts Schori cares one lick about true adherence to the canon law, but the Dennis canon states…

All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission, or Congregation is held in trust for this Church [i.e., the Episcopal Church in the United States] and the Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission or Congregation is located.

So it says nothing about diocesan property. It also says that parish property is held for the diocese and the national church. Now if these two parties disagree, who wins? Probably any lawyer would say, look to the name on the deed.

I am also quite sure that the canon law will be modified in 2009 to correct this ambiguity - “All property, both parish and diocesan is held in trust for the national church.”

March 29, 9:34 am | [comment link]
8. Jeffersonian wrote:

Schori’a law is starting to look a lot like rule by decree, no?  It seems that if you’re being prophetic, the sky’s the limit.  Just like another “inevitable” philosophy we’ve witnessed over the past century, now relegated to the dustbin of history (and a few metaphorical atolls like the Berkeley faculty lounge, NY Times editorial board and the DNC).  I suspect Mrs. Schori will meet a similar end.

March 29, 10:09 am | [comment link]
9. Chris Hathaway wrote:

Jim, I think by “corporate sole” she means sole possessor and sole authority.

It would have been clearer if she had used the traditional threefold acclamation:
Mine, mine, MINE!

March 29, 10:23 am | [comment link]
10. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

one of the first tasks of the diocese’s new leadership will be “to recover the corporate sole” of the diocese

The “corporate sole” refers to the fact that the diocesan bishop is named on the deeds and bank accounts of all the property of the diocese. He is the “corporate sole” property owner in the name of, and in trust for, the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Please pray for John David Schofield. He is in Satan’s bullseye. The tools of the enemy are out to destroy him.

The Rabbit.

March 29, 10:37 am | [comment link]
11. Cennydd wrote:

I have always been of the opinion that “he who has the deed registered in his name owns the property.”  So, in cases where parishes have their deeds registered in their names and in their possession, do they, in fact, actually own their property…...or does TEC still claim ownership?  And if this is the case, how can they subvert the property ownership laws of the State of California, which historically is a strong property rights state?

March 29, 10:49 am | [comment link]
12. Eclipse wrote:

#3:

It is amazing what she is willing to believe that is not true. It is equally amazing what she is unwilling to believe that is true.

Hasn’t this been Shori’s MO from day one?  Won’t believe Scripture, won’t believe tradition, won’t believe the Primates… IF it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

I just hope her little house of bishop cards fall sooner than later - and I will be praying for our brothers and sisters in CA.

March 29, 10:53 am | [comment link]
13. DavidH wrote:

Cennydd, 11, the approach you’re espousing—look at the name on the deed and only that—is generally referred to as the formal title doctrine.  My mildly educated guess is that it is constitutional but not practiced in any state.  “Neutral principles” states look at the deeds, but not exclusively.

March 29, 11:08 am | [comment link]
14. j.m.c. wrote:

Since the canons haven’t been respected with regard to the Standing Committee, and then again with the deposition, and now again with the special convention not called by the standing standing committee (which can’t operate, since the bishop wasn’t deposed), one wonders what this new thing should be called.  It doesn’t seem to be a TEC diocese, since because of the many canonical problems, the TEC diocese would either be that represented by the standing committee, or else would be non-existent.  Not being a TEC diocese, it won’t be a diocese in communion with the AC.
Is it perhaps a personal diocese?  But then not with Ms. Schori’s position as a TEC bishop, but rather just as herself personally - Ms. Schori’s diocese?

March 29, 11:13 am | [comment link]
15. Cennydd wrote:

At one time, The Episcopal Church had what were called “missionary districts.”  Perhaps this is what the so-called new “diocese” should be called, since there is NO WAY that this new entity is going to be self-supporting.

March 29, 11:41 am | [comment link]
16. Ed McNeill wrote:

#4, “Implosion” results in the concentrating of energy.  Implosion isn’t quite the right word.  There is no concentration occurring, just an emptying and aging.  I’m not sure what word captures the sense of violence that results in loss of purpose and squandered potential.

March 29, 11:54 am | [comment link]
17. An Anxious Anglican wrote:

J-S says that there are varieties of interpretation about this text:

If the House, by a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote, shall give its consent, the Presiding Bishop shall depose the Bishop from the Ministry, and pronounce and record in the presence of two or more Bishops that the Bishop has been so deposed.

With each utterance, I am more convinced that J-S is living in Wonderland:

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’  ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’  ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master - that’s all.’

March 29, 12:16 pm | [comment link]
18. Irenaeus wrote:

“The Presiding Bishop said that her chancellor and the House’s parliamentarian ruled that the canon called for approval by the majority of those bishops present at the meeting” [i.e., that a voice vote by a purported quorum would suffice]

The chancellor is hardly an objective expert. He works for KJS. He is moreover, a toxic tort litigator by profession, accustomed to playing hardball with only a court to rein him in.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“From . . . lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches that comfort cruel men . . .
Deliver us, good Lord!”
—-G. K. Chesterton

March 29, 12:24 pm | [comment link]
19. RevK wrote:

Jim, Chris

..Jefferts Schori said that one of the first tasks of the diocese’s new leadership will be “to recover the corporate sole” of the diocese.

  Spelling not withstanding, this sounds too much like the Dementors from the Harry Potter series - sucking the soul out of those unfortunate enough to be in their path.

March 29, 12:39 pm | [comment link]
20. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Well that’s interesting - Canon Kearon’s Episcocratic Office in London have just amended the entry for San Joaquin to declare the seat [http://www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/diocese.cfm?Idind=692&view=alpha ]vacant[/url].

I expect they anticipate being asked for a Lambeth invite for the Presiding Bishop’s chaplain to Remain Episcopal shortly.

March 29, 12:40 pm | [comment link]
21. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

I’ll try that one again

March 29, 12:42 pm | [comment link]
22. Milton wrote:

Br’er Rabbit, you wrote:

The “corporate sole” refers to the fact that the diocesan bishop is named on the deeds and bank accounts of all the property of the diocese. He is the “corporate sole” property owner in the name of, and in trust for, the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Well, no wonder +KJS is so keen on coronating Lamb+ by royal fiat as the Bishop of San Joaquin.  We may hope and pray that a court will decide that since +Schofield’s resignation was refused and the deposition violated the canons and so null and void that he will be ruled the bishop and so the corporate sole property owner.

March 29, 12:42 pm | [comment link]
23. TLDillon wrote:

Please pray for John David Schofield. He is in Satan’s bullseye. The tools of the enemy are out to destroy him.


#10 Br_er Rabbit
Yes! But the good news is he has God on his side! smile Alleluia Christ has Risen!
Someone besides myself needs to write Canon Kearon to inform him that the deposement is null and void and was done in violation to TEc’s own Canons & Constitutions and yet again he is putting the cart before the horse and is making his boss look very bad yet again!

March 29, 12:51 pm | [comment link]
24. Intercessor wrote:

KJS to the World…Might is Right!!
Intercessor

March 29, 12:53 pm | [comment link]
25. Jeffersonian wrote:

Interesting, PM #21.  And I didn’t even see Schori’s lips move.

March 29, 1:04 pm | [comment link]
26. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Yes, Milton, that is one of the prime considerations. The second (and perhaps more important) will be, “Which of the two or three entities claiming to be the ‘true’ property-rich diocese is the entity for which he is holding the property in trust?”
The Rabbit.

March 29, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
27. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#36 The Episcocrats did this prior to the current meeting and any election - they have also amended the dio website to a Canadian registered site.

March 29, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
28. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Sorry Jeffersonian that is #25

March 29, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
29. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Someone in London is trying to create facts on the ground at the behest of their mistress.  We have a fifth column here.

March 29, 1:18 pm | [comment link]
30. Jeffersonian wrote:

I’d recommend waking the ABC up to address the issue, Pageantmaster, but I’m afraid we’d just get another exhortation denouncing Evil Western Greed and an accelerated schedule for submitting to shari’a law.  Better to keep him out of the fray.

March 29, 1:36 pm | [comment link]
31. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

I am sure the ABC is well aware of what is going on Jeffersonian and awake.  TEC are seeing how far they can push him as well as everyone else.  No resistance?  They will just push further.

March 29, 1:51 pm | [comment link]
32. Words Matter wrote:

OT, but a word about the problem PM had in #20. I can’t ever get the formula that uses the square brackets to work. What I have to do is “preview” my post, then use the other code that uses the angle brackets.  It’s not that big a problem, since previewing is a good idea anyway, but I wonder if this is just something I’m doing wrong?

March 29, 1:52 pm | [comment link]
33. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

[#OT #32 I deleted part of the coding when pasting the link in and should have previewed - you live and learn.  Thanks.]

March 29, 1:54 pm | [comment link]
34. wildfire wrote:

Pagenmaster #31

Do you have an opinion on how far he can be pushed and what the perspective of the wider CofE might be on these shenanigans?

March 29, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
35. Jeffersonian wrote:

I am sure the ABC is well aware of what is going on Jeffersonian and awake.  TEC are seeing how far they can push him as well as everyone else.  No resistance?  They will just push further.

To be honest, I don’t see anything short of Schori conducting a black mass in Central Park rousing the Archbishop of Somnambulation, and then only to penning an impenetrable, 20,000-word exegesis on the proceedings.  No amount of thuggery and heresy seems to provoke even the slightest opprobium, and he obviously doesn’t even have control over those supposedly working for him (i.e. Kearon).

It’s hard to imagine a man less suited to his office and time.

March 29, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
36. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#34 Mark McCall
As far as I can see the ABC has always been clear that his role is to give people the space if possible to talk and he has gone out on a limb to keep TEC at the table.    The PB and Goodwin Procter seem to have taken this as a sign of weakness and have indulged in massive persecution of the conservatives in North America and Dr Williams has been silent. 

The effect of the PB’s actions will be to alienate the Majority of the Communion who will not be coming to Lambeth and perhaps that is the PB’s game plan to widen that fault line and end up driving the remainder of the Communion and the CofE along the revisionist path. 
The shenanigans have been widely reported here with some revisionist spin given the people running the UK blogs and some papers: however people here have seen what is going on.  The ABC and how far he can be pushed - I don’t know - it is already farther than I expected.

If +Shori has her way we will end up in a tiny rump with tiny TEC - Oh Joy!

March 29, 2:46 pm | [comment link]
37. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Added to that I don’t think that the PB will respect anything less than a firm line being taken with her - she knows that if she is separated from the Communion that holes her plans to steal parish property below the waterline.

Dr Williams?  I don’t know - he has lost the confidence of the Global South and his position has suffered in all this as has the CofE.

March 29, 2:51 pm | [comment link]
38. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

“what the perspective of the wider CofE might be on these shenanigans?”
Liberal or Conservative I suspect appalled!

March 29, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
39. robroy wrote:

Jake is following the goings on (someone stated that he seems to alternate on his blog towing the party line in SJ against all reason and accusing ABp Akinola of genocide). Anyway, he points out:

Also, it appears that three of the six members of the former Standing Committee of San Joaquin can no longer claim to still be members of the Episcopal Church. James, McClenaghan and Wright belong to congregations that have recently voted to leave TEC.

So now there are three who have yet to declare their loyalty, or lack thereof, to TEC.

As time goes on, it is becoming more and more clear that our PB was acting prudently when she refused to recognize these six.

Prudently to drive away potential allies? The rump diocese is becoming a boil on the rump. Attendance was around 350, I hear. I wonder how many carpet baggers? It promises to be less than the Navajo mission diocese.

Father Rob has stated that he would be attending the convention. Talk about walking into the valley of death.

March 29, 3:05 pm | [comment link]
40. wildfire wrote:

##36-38

Thank you.

“As far as I can see the ABC has always been clear that his role is to give people the space if possible to talk.” 

You surely are right here, but that is the role of a neutral mediator with no stake in the outcome.  That is about as far from an apostolic role as it is possible to imagine.

March 29, 3:45 pm | [comment link]
41. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

#32 Words Matter,
I paste the following from a scratch pad (in Wordpad):
{url=HTTPLINK}LABEL{/url} (with brackets instead of braces)
Then I can doubleclick on the CAPS letters and paste in the link and the label. The link format in the ‘formatting help’ usually throws me off when I’m trying to delete and replace.
The Rabbit.

March 29, 4:04 pm | [comment link]
42. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#40 Mark
You don’t comment often, but when you do it is well worth sitting up and taking notice and I always look forward to reading a post when your name is attached.  I wonder if you have any sense of the wider perspective in TEC of these shenanigans? 
If they were to happen here I think there would be uproar.  I don’t think I have ever heard of a bishop being deposed.  Much less such action being taken in disregard of church law.

March 29, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
43. Jim the Puritan wrote:

I would suggest the Presiding Bishop is going to hit a huge stone wall when she files suit to reclaim the property, because she can’t demonstrate to the court that Schofield has been deposed.  I would think she has no standing until she can show a valid deposition.

March 29, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
44. wildfire wrote:

Pageantmaster #42

I don’t know anything except what I read on the blogs.  I suspect, however, that the answer to your question is found in the deafening silence that greeted these outrages, especially after the statement by South Carolina’s Fr. Burwell’s yesterday: “I am hoping that other diocesan bishops and standing committees will join me in respectfully calling for the consistent application of our canons.”  You have heard the response.

When pondering the state of TEC, I often think of the 1970’s film by the Spanish surrealist filmmaker, Luis Bunuel, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.  A group of sophisticates arranges with considerable effort a sumptuous dinner party at a country estate only to have a gang of terrorists invade the feast with automatic weapons.  One man manages to hide successfully under the table until his hunger gets the best of him and he reaches out with his hand in full view of one of the terrorists to grab a piece of meat off the table.  The orthodox in TEC are hiding under the table, but when they get hungry enough, one by one they make their peace with their new overlords.

March 29, 6:41 pm | [comment link]
45. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

That is indeed a thoughtful and sobering reflection Mark.  Not many Bonhoeffers here it seems.

March 29, 6:53 pm | [comment link]
46. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Then again I was struck by the courage of the lawyers who spoke out in the last week or so - both liberal and conservative - some whom I had never heard do anything but support TEC warts and all.

Of course if Beers/Schori get away with this then they have established the ability of a kangaroo court to do away with the minority in any meeting; instead of what the canon required which was a proper majority of the bishops as a whole.  The tablecloth just got a lot smaller.

March 29, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
47. wildfire wrote:

It is now a fait accompli, lawyerly quibbles notwithstanding: 

The members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin March 29 chose their provisional bishop and other officers, and passed organizing resolutions during a convention filled with cheers and applause, and rooted in the message of resurrection.

March 29, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
48. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

If I were a TEC Bishop I would be livid at having been misled by Goodwin Procter.

March 29, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
49. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

It is not over until the fat lady sings.  We will now see whether the Communion is prepared to accept the latest banditry - in particular it is now over to Dr Williams and his invitation list.  He knows he and his office are on the line.

March 29, 7:14 pm | [comment link]
50. wildfire wrote:

You clearly are not bishop material. ):

(I tried to do the smiley you taught me, but it doesn’t seem to work.)

March 29, 7:15 pm | [comment link]
51. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Interesting oaths to The Party going on:
“Clergy delegates were asked to sign an oath of conformity to the Episcopal Church, similar to that which they were required to sign at their ordination. Lay delegates signed an oath the echoed the Baptismal Covenant. Nominees for diocesan offices also had to sign the oath”

Other way round “:)” without quotes
smile

March 29, 7:22 pm | [comment link]
52. Cennydd wrote:

I believe that if Dr Williams does accept this “latest banditry” and adds this rump diocese’s bishop to the invitation list while not inviting non-TEC Anglican bishops who have left for the Southern Cone….particularly since the Province of the Southern Cone is in full communion with Canterbury, that will finally “tear it” for the primates of the Global South.  I don’t think the Communion as we know it will survive for long after Lambeth ‘08 if this is allowed to happen.  I am anxious to see what will happen at GAFCON.

March 29, 7:24 pm | [comment link]
53. Cennydd wrote:

And speaking of oaths:  I have been a delegate to convention for four years in the Diocese of San Joaquin before and after we went South, and I have NEVER been required to sign any kind of oath.  Such oath-signing for delegates sounds very much like legal entrapment to me.  I wonder whether or not requiring such an oath would hold up in a court of law?

March 29, 7:29 pm | [comment link]
54. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Just what you would expect from the PB’s rump caucus.

Just as well bishops aren’t allowed to play with matches any more.

March 29, 7:38 pm | [comment link]
55. RevK wrote:

Deleted-ed..

March 29, 8:26 pm | [comment link]
56. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

“The convention accepted without debate
Jefferts Schori’s recommendation of Jerry Lamb as provisional bishop of the diocese”

March 29, 8:29 pm | [comment link]
57. Jeffersonian wrote:

I can hardly wait for the North Korean News Service-worthy ENS story.

March 29, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
58. Betty See wrote:

Doesn’t this deposition set a legal precedent that allows TEC to easily depose any Bishop for any reason?

March 29, 10:32 pm | [comment link]
59. Dootz wrote:

The Episcopal leadership - Jefferts Schori and others - always claim that they are safeguarding property left as a legacy to future Episcopalians.  But anyone who has dealt with charitable contributions will tell you:  We give to a mission, not to future agents of that mission, so if the organization we donate to veers from its mission, it is not keeping with the intent of my gift and should forfeit the monies or assets.  The ACN et al. should seek to retain property using donor intent and charitable contribution law.

Edited slightly-ed.

March 29, 11:43 pm | [comment link]
60. RevK wrote:

Dootz,
You are exactly right.  Perhaps a name change is in order - The Domestic and Foreign Property Society.

March 30, 5:31 pm | [comment link]
61. FrJake wrote:

Doesn’t this deposition set a legal precedent that allows TEC to easily depose any Bishop for any reason?

The precedent was already set.  Previous consents for the PB to depose were accomplished by majority approval of the Bishops present at a meeting of the House of Bishops.  There was no new process in these last depositions.  The innovation is the interpretation of the canon that suggests it requires some kind of super-majority.

March 30, 11:01 pm | [comment link]
62. Betty See wrote:

FrJake, When was the precedent set?

March 31, 1:15 am | [comment link]
63. Betty See wrote:

FrJake,  Am I wrong when I assume you mean the precedent was set by Queen Mary when she deposed quite a few Bishops including Archbishop Cranmer?

March 31, 12:20 pm | [comment link]
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