Bishop Schofield has been inhibited. That's Friday's news. The Presiding Bishop following the canons of the church issued the inhibition that proceeds a final process of deposition. You can read the letter and article HERE.
The Diocese of San Joaquin and the Province of the Southern Cone had this to say (from Titus One Nine) : "As a point of clarification, there is no confusion on the part of the Bishop of San Joaquin or the clergy, people, leadership, and convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin of their status. The claims of the Episcopal Church to have oversight or jurisdiction are not correct. The fact is that neither the Diocese nor Bishop John-David Schofield are part of The Episcopal Church. The Bishop is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as of December 8th, 2007. The Diocese is a part of the Southern Cone. Neither the Presiding Bishop or the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church have any further jurisdiction. Bishop Schofield is no longer a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.
A statement from The Most Reverend Gregory Venables, dated January 11,2008:
“As of December the 8th, 2007 Bishop John-David Schofield is not under the authority or jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church or the Presiding Bishop.He is, therefore, not answerable to their national canon law but is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone and under our authority.
Un fuerte abrazo.
--The Most Rev. Greg Venables, Archbishop of the Southern Cone"
The bishop of Fort Worth chimed in with this: "It comes as no surprise that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has initiated canonical actions against the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield to remove him from office. However, the matter is complicated by the fact that Bishop Schofield and the Diocese of San Joaquin, by constitutional action of their Convention, are no longer a part of The Episcopal Church. They now function under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone. Disciplinary actions cannot be taken by this Province against a Bishop who is a member of another Province of the Anglican Communion.
The House of Bishops of TEC can indeed prevent Bishop Schofield from functioning as a Bishop in congregations of The Episcopal Church. However, they cannot invalidate his consecration as a Bishop in the Church of God, nor prevent him from functioning as such in congregations that welcome and affirm his ministry as their Bishop.
The Bishop of San Joaquin has my friendship, my support, and my prayers during this time of turmoil in the life of our church.
The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
January 12, 2008"
Bishops Venables, Iker and Scofield have a point: Bishop Schofield has abandoned the Communion of this Church. They know it. We know it. There it is.
No one is suggesting that Bishop Schofield is not a bishop or that he can't function somewhere else in the Communion. But he is inhibited from acting as a bishop in The Episcopal Church and unless he decides otherwise he will cease being a bishop in The Episcopal Church by vote of the House in March.
If the Province of the Southern Cone wants a bishop who has disregarded the promises made at his ordination to the episcopate and who wishes to ignore the discipline of the church in which he was both ordained and licensed, fine. I am sure they will trust his new vows of obedience and loyalty to the doctrine and discipline of the church as the Province of the Southern Cone dictates.
Bishops Venables, Iker and Schofield want to make this about Bishop Schofield and his ministry. It is not. It is about The Episcopal Church and its ministers. This procedure is taking place so that it is clear that Bishop Schofield has indeed done what he has done - abandoned the communion of this Church and in no way is the authorized agent of this Church.
One presumes the invitation to the Bishop of San Joaquin to Lambeth is an invitation to the person holding the position as Bishop of San Joaquin in the Episcopal Church. When Bishop Schofield leaves, he ought to leave the invitation on the desk along with the keys.
We may wonder if he cares all that much about Lambeth. His new found community in the Global South seems to have limited interest in going. So maybe he will leave the invitation. But I bet he wants to take the keys.
Resolving that question will require not only inhibition, it will require legal prohibition.
These are not easy times and prayer for all involved is in order.