Episcopal Cafe has posted a report from Dan Martins that John David Schofield has fired six of the eight members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin because they won't go to the Southern Cone with him. Martins was a priest in San Joaquin until he was recently called to a parish in Indiana.
Here's what Episcopal Cafe reported:
The message from Bishop Schofield:
"On December 8th at our Diocesan Convention the overwhelming vote to transfer from the Episcopal Church to the Province of the Southern Cone was passed. At that time I became a member of the House of Bishops of that Province. Therefore, the Standing Committee, which is my council of advice, must be composed of clergy members who are Anglican priests of the Southern Cone. This is required by Diocesan Canons and the Archbishop of the Southern Cone of South America, who writes:
“'In welcoming you to the Province of the Southern Cone on December 8th it is my clear understanding that even though you are allowing a period of discernment for those clergy who are still undecided, it would be highly inappropriate for any officer or leader within the Diocese of San Joaquin to be currently undecided or clearly within the Episcopal Church and continue as an officer or leader. The requirement governing each diocese of the Southern Cone is that all members of Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, and those selected as representatives at Synod be recognized Members of this Province.'
"Therefore, this morning I received the resignation of those members of the Standing Committee who do not meet the above qualifications. Communication and correspondence related to the Standing Committee should now be directed to the new President of the Standing Committee, ---------, at the Diocesan Offices."
Then we have this , from the duly-elected president of the Standing Committee:
"During the Standing Committee meeting of January 19th, the Bishop determined that the elected members of the Standing Committee who had not publicly affirmed their standing in the Southern Cone [whose congregations are in discernment, some over the legality of convention's actions] were unqualified to hold any position of leadership in the Diocese, including any elected office. He pronounced us as unqualified. No resignations were given. The question of resignations was raised and rejected. The members of the committee at this morning's meeting were quite clear on this point, we did not resign, we were declared unqualified to hold office. The Bishop's decision affects up to 6 of the 8 elected members of the Committee including all of the clergy members."
The Presiding Bishop's representative and the President of the House of Deputies are scheduled to meet with members of the Diocese of San Joaquin to discuss the future of the church in central California.
Note a couple of things. Apparently there are no lay people on the steering committees of dioceses in the Province of the Southern Cone.
Therefore, the Standing Committee, which is my council of advice, must be composed of clergy members who are Anglican priests of the Southern Cone. This is required by Diocesan Canons and the Archbishop of the Southern Cone of South America . . .
Note also how quickly the purging has started of those who are still "discerning" what they want to do. According to Dan Martins, these are very conservative priests who were fired by Schofield. Sadly, Martins couldn't resist taking a shot at members of Remain Episcopal as "malcontents."
I suspect these conservative priests will find themselves more welcomed by the "malcontents' in RE as they try to reconstitute their diocese than the RE members ever were in the parishes of these conservative priests.
UPDATE: Apparently there ARE lay members on the Standing Committee. Dan Martins updates his earlier report and gives the names of the preists involved.