A letter from Bishop Schofield, titled "The Bishop's Response to Charge of Abandonment" has not helped his case or the case for his sanity at all. The letter accuses the Episcopal Church and its leadership of false teaching, being on a "path that is irreconcilable with God's word and the Anglican Faith" leaving "the Diocese of San Joaquin was left with no choice but to separate from The Episcopal Church to preserve Biblical truth and the historic Anglican Faith and Order." Then Bishops Schofield writes,
"After the Diocese of San Joaquin had voted to become a member diocese of the Southern Cone, I was received into membership of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as the Bishop of San Joaquin. At this moment, therefore, I am a bishop in the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, and I am the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin. The Episcopal Church has no jurisdiction or authority to affect my status in any of these capacities. This leaves only my status as a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church to be determined. Rather than force the House of Bishops to a vote, I herewith tender my resignation as a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church effective midnight EST, March 7, 2008."
At no point does Bishop Schofield acknowledge that he is under inhibition or that he was asked to respond to the specifics of the charge of abandonment of communion. The title attached to his letter seems to think this is a response to the charge, but nowhere in the letter is there such acknowledgment. His letter is a letter of resignation. Title IV, Canon 9 states,
"Unless the inhibited Bishop, within two months, makes declaration by a verified written statement to the Presiding Bishop, that the facts alleged in the certificate are false or utilizes the provisions of Canon IV.8 or Canon III.12.7, as applicable, the Bishop will be liable to Deposition. If the Presiding Bishop is reasonably satisfied that the statement constitutes (i) a good faith retraction of the declarations or acts relied upon in the certification to the Presiding Bishop or (ii) a good faith denial that the Bishop made the declarations or committed the acts relied upon in the certificate, the Presiding Bishop, with the advice and consent of a majority of the three senior Bishops consenting to Inhibition, terminate the Inhibition. Otherwise, it shall be the duty of the Presiding Bishop to present the matter to the House of Bishops at the next regular or special meeting of the House. 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."
Bishop Schofield certainly did not provide information that the facts were false. He did not utilize the provisions in the Canons. He offered no reason for terminating inhibition. He has not met the requirements of the Canons.
What he did do is suggest that by resignation he would save the House of Bishops the need for taking a vote. But in making his resignation it is not from his office as bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, for he states "I am a bishop in the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, and I am the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin." Well, as Fr. Jake points out the first part of this seems true: he is a bishop in the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone. The second part is not only false, it is misleading. He is not the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin.
He is not the bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin either because he has left the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of San Joaquin is a diocese in the Episcopal Church, or he has resigned as bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Bishop Schofield seems to think that his resignation from the House of Bishops does not imply his resignation from the jurisdiction of the Diocese. In this he is wrong.
More than wrong Bishop Schofield is misleading or mislead. This muddleheaded letter serves no purpose save the obscuring of the reality that the House of Bishop is charged to respond to the charge of abandonment of communion and must do so. Bishop Schofield has at least abandoned the communion of this church. It may appear he has also abandoned his mind.