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Call for review after trial ‘flouted Church rules’: CEN 3.28.08 p 5. March 27, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, House of Bishops.
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 Published in The Church of England Newspaper

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori failed to follow the procedural rules governing the trial of Bishop William Cox for “abandonment of the Communion” of the Episcopal Church an investigation by The Church of England Newspaper has found.

In a March 12 press conference, Bishop Schori stated she had not followed rules governing the requirement that the 88-year old retired bishop be granted a speedy trial, that he be informed of the charges against him in a timely fashion, and that the consent of the church’s senior bishops be solicited by the Presiding Bishop to suspend him from office pending trial. A subsequent investigation by CEN in conjunction with The Living Church magazine revealed an insufficient number of votes to convict were cast also.

The Bishop of Central Florida has called for a review of the proceedings, and the president of the church’s appellate court of review for the trial of bishops is understood to have agreed to look into the proceedings.

Elected suffragan bishop of Maryland in 1972, Bishop Cox was translated to Oklahoma in 1980 as assistant bishop and retired in 1988. In June 2005, Bishop Cox performed ordinations at Christ Church, Overland Park, Kansas on behalf of Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda. Earlier that year Christ Church negotiated an amicable parting of the ways with the diocese of Kansas and had joined the Ugandan Church. Bishop Cox returned the following month to Overland Park to perform confirmations on behalf of Archbishop Orombi.

The bishops of Kansas and Oklahoma filed a complaint against Bishop Cox for performing Episcopal acts without the permission of the local diocesan bishop. In March 2006 the Church’s Title IV review committee found there was sufficient evidence to bring Bishop Cox to trial, however, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold declined to prosecute.

Following the 2006 election of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop the charges were resubmitted. Bishop Cox, then 87 years of age, declined to contest the matter telling his attorney he was too old to fight, and by letter resigned his membership in the House of Bishops on March 28, 2007.

In his letter of resignation Bishop Cox said that although he was resigning his membership in the House of Bishops and was not resigning his orders and would be joining the Province of the Southern Cone and would continue his episcopal ministry in that branch of the Communion.

Bishop Schori forwarded the letter to the Title IV review committee asking it to determine whether by this letter, Bishop Cox had “abandoned the communion” of the Episcopal Church.

On May 29, 2007 the Title IV review committee issued its certificate and report under Title IV Canon 9 that Bishop Cox had “abandoned the communion.” On Jan 8, 2008 she informed Bishop Cox that he had been determined to have abandoned the communion of this church. She gave him 60 days to recant, or else he would be brought before the next house of bishops meeting and be deposed. Offering no defence, Bishop Cox was deposed on a voice vote of bishops attending the final day of the meeting.

The procedures laid out in Title IV, Canon 9, sections 1 and 2 (the abandonment canon) to depose a bishop state that after the Title IV review committee issues a certificate of abandonment the Presiding Bishop “shall” “forthwith” notify the accused. The Presiding Bishop then “shall” seek the consent of the three senior bishops with jurisdiction to inhibit the accused bishop, and trial “shall” take place at the “next” meeting of the House of Bishops.

At a March 12 press conference Bishop Schori outlined the procedural history surrounding the Cox case. She said the Title IV review committee had “certified [Bishop Cox] several years ago. … before her time.” She added, however, that “it was never brought to the House of Bishops for action.”

She then said she “did not send it to the three senior bishops” and the House of Bishops “did not consider it in September” at their meeting in New Orleans with the Archbishop of Canterbury due to the “the press of other business.”

Several minutes later, Bishop Schori said she wanted to “clarify” her earlier statements. She said she had been “unable to get the consent of the three senior bishops last spring. That’s why we didn’t bring it to the September meeting” of the House of Bishops.

Contacted after the press conference, one of the three senior bishops, who declined to be named, stated he had never been asked by Bishop Schori to consent to Bishop Cox’s supension.

The Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor, Mr. David Booth Beers, declined to address the issues surrounding Bishop Cox’s case in a March 15 statement released through the Episcopal Church’s press office. However, he stated that his “position” was that there had been a legal quorum to depose the two bishops on March 12.

Canon lawyer, retired Bishop William Wantland of Eau Claire told CEN the deposition of Bishop Cox was “void” for failing to achieve the required “majority vote of all bishops entitled to vote” and because the “canonical procedure was simply not followed.”

In defence of the proceedings against Bishop Cox, Indianapolis Bishop Catherine Waynick wrote that while the “canons may need to be clarified, what does not seem to need clarifying” was that “William Cox willfully violated the canons by functioning where he had been specifically asked not to.”

However, the charge brought against Bishop Cox was not violating diocesan boundaries. In 2006 Bishop Griswold dropped the charges proffered against Bishop Cox for the Kansas ordination, raising the question whether the bishops convicted him of a crime not before the bishops for adjudication.

The charge was “Abandonment of Communion,” Bishop Wantland said. The punishment for violation of diocesan boundaries “is a totally different charge. In my opinion, this is what he should have been charged with, and the procedure under Canon IV. 9. 2 was totally inappropriate and without any justification,” he said.

On March 15, Central Florida Bishop John W. Howe urged the Episcopal Church’s three senior bishops to review the case, saying he was under “no illusions that the outcome of the despicable vote to depose John-David [Schofield] and William [Cox] will be reversed, but at least we might want to obey the canons.”

On Maundy Thursday, Bishop Howe repeated his call for justice to those falsely condemned, noting “I recall that another person of influence washed his hands of a difficult matter on this same weekend some years ago.”

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Comments

1. Bp. Stonewall Shelton, FCJ - March 28, 2008

To All,
Greetings during this holy time of the year. The charges against these holy bishops is not about abandonment or crossing the boundaries. The PB and her Nazi Chancellor want to be rid of anyone in the Church who stands for Jesus. They are turning this into a political war.
A review panel should be opened to bring charges against The PB and her pet Chancellor for the wrongs that they are carrying out against the clergy.
Other clergy in the Communion should cry out for justice for these bishops who stand for Jesus against The PB and The Chancellor.
Other clergy of the other sacrmental churches, whether national, international, and continuing sacramental churches need to take a stand against 815.
This involves all of the body of Christ. When 815 gets done getting rid of the Jesus bishops and clergy, they will then turn on the rest of us. By then it will be too late. We must act now to put a stop to this madness. Anyone who doesn’t stand for Jesus in this matter have become cowards.
Pax Romana,
The Rt. Rev. Stonewall Shelton, FCJ
Ordinary-Episcopal Diocese of St. James
The Restoration Episcopal Church
*An Old Anglican Jurisdiction*

2. Jake - March 28, 2008

I am quite offended by your comments, Stonewall.

I stand for Jesus, and also support our Presiding Bishop, who is protecting the Church from marauding foreign Primates, with whom Bp. Cox was conspiring.

BTW, George, there was no trial. The majority of the House of Bishops present at the last meeting gave consent for the Presiding Bishop to depose. This was done the same way every other deposition has been carried out. It is your interpretation of that canon that is the innovation.

Also, using Bp. Wantland, who you may recall was exposed as the mastermind of a failed coup some years ago, as your “expert” on canon law really weakens your case.

3. Mike - March 28, 2008

Mindlessly spouting the party line again, and flinging out red herrings (coup) again, Commissar (Fr. [sic]) Jake? And do you stand for Jesus, the Christ, or the Jesus Seminar Jesus?

4. Fred Schwartz - March 28, 2008

Mike,
That was an erudite comment designed to further meaningful discussion. I am sure we are all impressed with your clearly delineated argument.

5. Kurt - March 28, 2008

Fleet Street “journalism”.

6. Bp. Stonewall Shelton, FCJ - March 28, 2008

To All,
God admonishes us all to stand for Jesus in all things. We are to take a stand against false doctrine and teachings which go against Jesus Christ. This includes the clergy and laity are to stand for Jesus.

The liberal party line in the body of Christ, doesn’t matter which denomination, will go after anyone who stands for Jesus. The liberals do not like this because they see Jesus as the enemy who is a threat to their little fantasy world of power, prestige and privilege.

God laid down the biblical law of what the clergy, especially the bishops are to do. It is plainly stated in 1 St. Timothy 3:1-7, St.Titus 1:7-9. The bishop must be of great sound character so that he can be a devout guardian of the faith. It is one of their jobs to stand against false teaching and doctrine.

Again the laity in the faith are given the instructions to snuff out false teachings and doctrine that go against the infallible word of God.
This is stated time and again in the following verses:
Philipians 3: 1-9
Colossians 2: 6-15
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-17
1 St. Timothy 1: 3-20
1 St. Timothy 4: 1-16
1 St. Timothy 6: 3-19
2 St. Timothy 2: 14-22
2 St. Timothy 3: 1-17
2 St. Timothy 4: 1-8
St. Titus 1: 5-16
St. Titus 2: 1-15
Hebrews 10: 19-30
2 St. Peter 1: 16-21
2 St. Peter 2: 1-22
St. Jude 1: 1-25
According to these that is exactly what the good bishop was doing. He was standing for Our Saviour.

I must remind them, that the only power any of us have, including the liberals, in office that we are elected too are given to us by God when He gives us the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
One should resign from office when they violate The Sacred Scriptures. When violation of Sacred Scripture occurs without forgiveness then the anointing of the Holy Ghost is taken away. Here God strips them of that privilege to serve Him. If the clergy do not resign from their office they only remain as a hollow figure devoid of any moral authority.

The godly bishops like the good bishop in this article did, decided to follow the road less traveled by. And that is the road traveled by Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

One can quote the Sacred Scriptures to that gang of bullies at 815, but it wouldnt matter. They have declared the Bible null and void so they could get away doing evil.

The Bible is The Infallible Word of God. It is the Supreme Law of The Christian Faith. It must be obeyed at all costs. Because it is the Living Word of God. And Our Saviour Jesus Christ is that Living Word. For Jesus is The Only Way, The Only Truth, The Only Life. For He is The Only Resurrection and The Only Life to get us to Heaven.

There is no other way to God no matter how much 815 wants to promote other avenues for this.

We should never apologize for telling the truth about the enemy.

In Christ,
+Stonewall

7. Fr. Harry Howard - March 28, 2008

“And Jesus wept” as he looked at ALL OF US.

8. Michael Vinson - March 29, 2008

“marauding foreign Primates”?? Jake, do you not realize how silly (not to mention paranoid) this sounds? Come on, did these Primates come into the churches with guns and machetes to take the people hostage? You KNOW they are invited in by Christians who have been abandoned by the so-called “leaders” of what used to be known as the Episcopal Church, but can now be more accurately termed the episcopagan church. That, the “leadership” of this organization (it can no longer be characterized as either church or Christian) cannot see what they are doing to people who grew up in the Church, married in the Church, nurtured their children in the Church and planned to be buried in the Church, is simply beyond my simple comprehension!

The fact that you state you are “quite offended” by Stonewall’s comments demonstrates your self absorption and egotism. I will pray for the strength and grace to forgive you and your ilk for the damage you have done to untold numbers of faithful Christians.

9. Fred Schwartz - March 29, 2008

Michael,
Shame on you! Did you read and comprehend the last post by “Stonewall”? As a member of the Diocese of San Joaquin I believe Fr. Jake has pretty much stated the facts correctly. Mr. Schofield went on a search to find the “best deal” from Akinola (see Virginia) and Venables (see us). He got the best deal from Venables and sold the diocese for 30 pieces of silver, acutally for his own personal gratification (though I am hard pressed to know which is worse). Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought ignorant than to speak and remove all doubt.

10. Arden - March 29, 2008

What did anyone think they would get when they elected a scientist to head up a church? Duh! It’s all about the identity of the person at 815 not the only identity that counts, that of Jesus The Christ. We want to be so hip, so cool, so now.

11. Imogene Stranch - March 29, 2008

Bravo for the brave Bishop Shelton! To those who “threw stones” at Bishop Shelton and Cox, The Lord have Mercy. To be loyal to our Saviour above an institution that has become apostate is to be rid of idolatry to a fallen institution. My family has been Anglicans since the Reformation so it has been painful to watch Satan take over this branch of The Body of Christ. It has been painful to watch those we love be just as deceived.
All this began with the disfunction of TEC-HOB in not deposing Bishop Pike. They have been either too weak of deceived themselves. We, the laity must demand Bishops who are walking in the Light, or leave.

12. Craig Goodrich - March 30, 2008

Rubbish, Jake(#2). There has never been a coherent defense of the odd interpretation of the procedural Canons employed in this instance, and as to your ad hominem attack on +Wantland, even if it were substantively true it would have no bearing on the specific objections he has raised.

Please abandon your red herrings and address the actual issues here.

13. Bp. Stonewall Shelton, FCJ - March 31, 2008

Fellow Believers,
Greetings to all in the name of Jesus!
Again I come to gently remind each of us of why we are here. We are here to serve Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are here to do the Will of the Creator. We are not here to do our own will.
If we do anything but God’s Will, then it is all in vain. There is no will on Earth but thou art God’s in Heaven. It is HIS WILL that matters. Nothing else does.

I am reminded, as we all should be, of being God’s Will for each of us
to live a holy life according to His Word. God said His Word, not by our word. God commands us to holy living. It is not a suggesting or a consideration. It is a command because we have taken on His Son as Our Lord and Saviour. Therefore by His gentle command we are to live a life of holiness according to 1 St. Peter 1: 13-15. Here God is saying that “Gird up your loins of your understanding to be sober, and have your hope totally focused on the grace that will come to you at the revealtion of Jesus Christ. Live as obedient children. Not according to the desires of your former ignorance. For He who called you is holy, and so you too should be holy in all of your conduct. For it is written that you shall be holy cause I am holy.”

Our minds, our bodies, our souls, was created by God. He created each of us as temples for His glory. And not our own. We are to let God to use ourselves as a shining example of His righteousness. But God can only accomplish by us going to confession, receiving forgiveness, in which we arise from the sacred water and fire of the Holy Ghost in a newness of life. We are to do this for Him. Not for ourselves.

Being a Christian in which we live for Jesus on a daily basis will not be easy. It will be hills of joy and valleys of suffering. But from this moment forward, let us begin here. Let us begin now. A moment of spiritual renewal based upon the Infallible Word of God. Not on the basis of the new age concept of selfishness.

If each of us are to survive in this society of degradation we each must move forward in strength from the Holy Ghost. To put on the body armour of Jesus. To march forward undaunted against the ensuing battles we face against the corrupt institutions as mentioned here in this article.

Yes God is a Monarch of majesty, mercy and love. But God is also a Monarch who is a jealous god. All false idols of man will deteriorate. Man will return to the clay of the Earth from which The Creator fashioned him. God is also a Monarch of judgement. He will smite the church, its people, and the country if they do not turn back. For the intellectuals know this. But the demons of Hell have captured their heart with their own lusts of power, privilege and prestige. It is still not too late to turn back. God is always ready to accept the wayward man back into the fold.

The Sacred Scriptures teaches that once you accept Christ as your Saviour into your heart your name is written into the Lamb’s Book of Life. And only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will get to enter Heaven. To each of you, can you be so sure that your name is written there? Can you be very sure of it?

Just remember that each of us must:
Live not for the glory of ourselves,
Live not for the glory of others,
But live for the glory of God.
Stop living in sin,
Stop living for Satan,
Stop living for this world,
But live for the eternal living God.

For eternal glory does not come from the welfare of the state. Nor does it come from intellectual man. But it comes from the hand of God. For His Will alone. If we can not accept the fact to do God’s Will, then all of us will find The Hand of God against us.

We as orthodox Christians, as orthodox clergy, must not let this occur. We are guardians of the faith The Sacred Scripture says. We must cry out for justice against the evil that is being done. We owe it to God. We owe it to ourselves. Let us not shrink from this mandate. Let us move forward with wisdom and courage. When we do this for on that day the kingdom of Heaven shall be yours.

Pax Romana,
+Stonewall

14. Bp. Stonewall Shelton, FCJ - March 31, 2008

Great many thanks go out to Mike, Michael V., and Imogene.
Pacem dominus sic semper vobiscum. In nomine patris, et filii, et spiritu, sanctu, amen.

Pacem et bonum,
+Stonewall

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[…] HRC WANNABES: “US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori failed to follow the procedural rules […]

17. Joy - April 3, 2008

Why not ask Our Lord Christ to judge this matter and set the entire matter straight to His Satisfaction? History is filled with incidents of His Intervention and surely, if we are going to argue about the very definition of Holy, then He is the one most qualified to define it in terms of human sexuality. I doubt that any of us could adequately provide not only the definition, but the disposition of those who are engaged in redefining it. In the end, it really does not matter what we think or how well we argue. It is “What does the Lord Christ think?” Since it is His Church and His Lordship at issue here, then why not simply ask Him to step in and deal with the errant side, establishing His Truth and Will in all these matters?

18. Network newsletter – 5 April 2008 « The Occasional Christian - April 7, 2008

[…] George Conger reports that the president of TEC’s “appellate court of review for the trial of bishops” has agreed to look into the apparently illegal deposition of the 87-year-old Bishop William Cox, now a bishop under the jurisdiction of the Southern Cone. Conger also reports that legal council for Bishop Cox has advised the Presiding Bishop that her announcement of Bishop Cox’s deposition constitutes defamation given its illegality. The Anglican Communion Network confirms this report. The Standing Committee of Diocese of South Carolina has protested the flaunting of church canons in this deposition. BabyBlueOnline discusses TEC’s legal “end game”, saying TEC is acting to distance itself from the Communion to advance its legal position. But another point of view is that, by failing to follow its own rules, TEC is hurting its chances of success in the courts. If you’d like some background, Conger provides more detail. […]

19. Bp. Stonewall Shelton, F. C. J. - April 11, 2008

Greetings to all in Jesus…
I commend all of the orthodox bishops: active and retired. That they will continue to march forward in compliance with God’s Will. That is a continued must.

My favourite Episocpal bishop was a man of honour, integrity. A man of great zeal and faith for Jesus Christ. He was a man of boundless energy for Jesus. A man who sought to bring Jesus to the frontier lands of America. He did just that. He lived from 1796-1877.
This bishop was His Grace, Rt. Rev. William Augustus Muhlenberg. His Grace did alot of creative and original reforms. One dream he had that was very interesting. But it never came into reality. He proposed that The Episcopal Church simply offer to ordain bishops in their church and other churches for the soul purpose to serve in the other sacramental churches in the body of Christ. This way the common ministry between all the sacramental branches could be one. His Grace took the epsicopacy very seriously. He believed that these bishops would provide a link not only across time but also across the borders of denominationalism. This radical proposal of his was called the “emancipation of the episcopate.”

What KJS and 815 is doing now is totally insane and ruined Muhlenberg’s dream. We should heed Muhlenberg’s ideal and bring it into reality.
Pax Romana,
+Stonewall

20. Frank Adams - April 21, 2008

Dear Friends:

I am a lawyer married for 26 years to my lovely wife, a physician. We have been members of several liberal churches (UMC, ELCA, etc) and about 4 years ago, at the invitation of a friend, we began attending an Episcopal Church in our community. It is pastored by a woman, and it was quite noticable during the first year that membership was waning with many Sundays no more that 20 or so in the congregation. I also noticed during the next couple of years that the ratio of wome to men has been around 3 to 1 conservatively. Needless to say the number of children can be counted on one hand and I am not aware that any “young people” are regular communicants although on occasion a few attend. It is a thoroughly feminized congregation and I have not been comfortable there for sometime – our attendance has slipped significantly but when we do attend church it is usually there.

More significantly however, it was after we had attended awhile we began to hear of the discord in TEC and how the present administration is sue happy with regard to those conservative congregations wishing to affiliate with a more traditional communion, that we decided not to give monetarily to any appeal in which portions go to support the national church. We refuse to participate in enabling a wicked course such as the present presiding bishop has determined. How can professing Christians sue their brothers and sisters in the faith? What explanation but politics can be the motivator? As for myself I will NEVER spiritually follow the lead of a woman – and my position seems well borne out in that the present woman who is the head of TEC seems not even to uphold the deposit of the faith. TEC would do just as well with Oprah, who in many ways seems more Christian than KJS. The twelve were men, not women and for good reason – men are leaders and (with VERY few exceptions) women are not. I am not inspired by a woman leader who seems at every turn to feminize Christ. I will follow a man who is a warrior for Christ because it is clear that we are in a mighty battle to rescue a perishing humankind from evil by pointing to the ONLY salvation possible – the name of Jesus Christ. I can honestly say I have no clue that women in general (and KJS in particular) know or understand what sin is or how it can be assuaged, for I have not heard that message in years. In general, women seem to dwell on how socially unjust men have been to them throughout history and are hellbent to even the score. KJS epitomizes this angle in that she seems to have precipitated to a great degree the present turmoil in TEC by clinging to the appointment of Bishop Vicky in New Hampshire in spite of his being scripturally unqualified to occupy the office. His continued acceptance, to be compelled by the PB, will go a long way to ensuring a final destruction of this once venerable church body.

When we travel we look for real Anglican churches to attend, but they are few and far between. Otherwise we no longer claim to be a member in any church. And for that we are sad.


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