Valley Episcopalians Voice Concern Over Split

KFSN National Episcopal church leaders meet every three years to review its canons, make resolutions and revise their constitution for the San Joaquin Diocese. But today the topic was about Bishop John-David Schofield and the future of the Episcopal church here in the valley.

After a service Saturday at the Church of the Savior in Hanford, congregation members expressed concern over the historic vote on December 8th to break away from the national church.

Bishop John-David Schofield says the majority of congregation members in the valley were upset over the acceptance of same sex unions and homosexual bishops.

However, several churches in the valley felt separating over this disagreement was not the answer.

Now the national church is asking Bishop Schofield to recant and rejoin the diocese or face possible lawsuits over property the church says it owns.

Michael Glass, National Church Attorney, says "We're going to be thoughtful about how we proceed in litigating if it comes to that. We're going to be economical about it and we're going to be as charitable about it as we can."

Bishop Schofield says "The national church has never put a penny into any of them. So it seems like a Johnny come lately doesn't it? To have the national church come in and say ah, well, now this all belongs to us."

Bishop Schofield says Episcopalians in the valley who wish to remain with the national church can do so. Schofield expressed he doesn't answer to the national church anymore but is under the leadership of the Anglican Church of the southern cone in South America.

The national church may declare Bishop Schofield's seat vacant within 60 days. If that happens a new bishop will be appointed and the possibility of a lawsuit is likely.

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