Le Palais des Papes, Avignon, France (source)As Father Jake puts it succinctly:
As of 2:42 pm EST on December 8, 2007, the bishop and clergy of the diocese of San Joaquin are no longer members of the Episcopal Church.
While the historical analogy may not be very precise, I am coming to think of John David as something like an Avignonese pope. No, the Diocese of San Joaquin is not exactly the whole of Western Christendom, but a split has now occurred. If he pretends still to be the Bishop of San Joaquin, a diocese that is a creature of General Convention from which he has now disaffiliated himself, then he is actually an anti-bishop, like an anti-pope: a pretender. I think he should move to southern France ASAP, thereby removing a major irritant from the already too-polluted air of the Central Valley of California.
It's all quite ugly and the spiritual abuse inflicted there and in other places is rather nasty. May he find healing. Until he does he remains an abuser and it is in that category that I shall continue to consider him and his ilk. As I have told a friend, I am quite out of charity for the damage done to the body of Christ and I see no reason to make nice. It's rather like trying to negotiate with George W. Bush. Futile, pointless, serving no good end. Appeasing abusers is what we are talking about, folks. You don't stop abuse by appeasing abusers.
John David deplores the whole business of churches suing in courts. Well, if one doesn't steal property one needn't be taken to court. Sheesh.
There, I've had my rant. All in all, it came out rather charitable.
Please continue to pray for the people of San Joaquin. They've been lied to, bullied, and misled. They deserve better.