“Scorched earth”? No, it’s scorching hypocrisy from the Network
Puh-lease! The House of Bishops, in a move that should have surprised no one, today deposed Bishop John-David Schofield (and Bishop William Cox, but we’re more interested in Schofield in this post). There are lots of things one could observe here. Fr. Jake says Schofield is no longer a bishop (though he admits that’s a Protestant view). I believe that ordination is indelible, so my take would be the Schofield is still a bishop, but not allowed to function as such within ECUSA. But those are small potatoes compared with what we read over on BabyBlueOnline, who helpfully collects the statements of both Schofield and the Anglican Communion Network.
There we read Schofield’s statement: “The disciplinary procedures used by the House of Bishops, in my case, were intended for those who have abandoned the Faith and are leading others away from orthodox Christianity…” Let me get this right. Schofield wants to steal property, engage in irregular ecclesistical boundary crossing, and disregard the canons of not only ECUSA, but his new friends in the Southern Cone. And he thinks that all this doesn’t add up to abandoning the discipline of the church? Sorry, but when you callously disregard the rules, you have to expect to face some consequences.
And likewise, we read this from the response of the Anglican Communion Network: “It will have no practical effect on the ministry of these two godly leaders, but instead makes crystal clear the scorched earth policy that the current leadership of The Episcopal Church intends to prosecute against those who can not in good conscience follow them out of the Christian mainstream.” Right. Let’s talk about scorched earth. That would be a policy of destroying property in your campaign to defeat an enemy. The canons that we’ve all lived with for years make property ownership quite clear. Sorry, Bishop Duncan et al, but church property doesn’t belong to the Network. So who is stealing property, and who is preventing the rightful owners of property from using it? That would be the secessionists, who seem to think they can pick up “their” toys and leave when they no longer like some aspects of how things are going — read: when they don’t run the show any more.
I’ve written several times about the importance of following due process, and our Presiding Bishop has had her share of missteps. But all that pales in comparison to the feigned (I have to assume) righteous indignation at Schofield’s deposition today.
All I can say is that I hope we can quickly get back to the business of doing the work of the church. I wish Bishop Schofield the best in his new home. Just leave us alone now. We have evangelism and mission work to do.