Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mullin's Deposition, The prayerbook and San Joaquin

Part II of our continuing discussion of the Mullins Deposition and its meaningfulness to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin begins with the prayerbook. John David Schofield has on many occasions and in various public and private settings complained longly and loudly about the 1979 Prayerbook. Let's examine this complaint in light of the deposition given by Bruce Mullin. This deposition is available on Preludium and I urge you to read it all. I also encourage everyone to read The History of the Episcopal Church by Manross.

Mullins states,
"The General Convention meets at least once every three years to establish the policies, rules, and programs of the Church. It has adopted and from time to time amends the Church's governing documents, its Constitution, canons, and Book of Common Prayer."
Further in Mullin talks about the ability of any diocese to use a proposed/revised Book of Common Prayer only until such time as the First General Convention. Clearly the Book of Common Prayer is one of the governing documents of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Then Bishop John David Schofield comes along, some 20 to 30 years later and says he personally has significant issues with the Book of Common Prayer. During the last four or so years before the schismatic move JDS he railed on three major issues: Women's Ordination; LGBT full inclusion, and the errant Book of Common Prayer. The prayerbook creates uniformity in worship. Apparently JDS did not like the uniformity and so, lo and behold the GAFCON people adopt the 1662 prayerbook as their official Book of Common Prayer. In effect, not only does he reject a major governing document established from the beginning of the Episcopal Church (1789) but rejects the American Revolution and goes back to swearing allegiance to the crown of England!

Can a bishop do this? Can a bishop that does this stay a bishop in the United States? Does this person now fall under the Patriot Act? These are all questions that will be answered in the near future.

Folks in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin -- is this what you wanted to do?

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