The PB strikes back

The U.S. Episcopal church is going after its breakaway conservatives.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, head of the 2.4-million-member U.S. church, last week slapped Bishop John-David Schofield, leader of California’s 8,000-member Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, with an “inhibition.”

It ordered him as of January 11 to “cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this church” and stop all “episcopal, ministerial and canonical acts.”

That happened because the Fresno, California-based diocese last month seceded, becoming the first Episcopal diocese to do so, and aligned itself with the conservative Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, based in South America.

Schofield told the Episcopal leadership neither he nor the diocese were under their jurisdiction any more.

The civil courts may be courts of last resort.

Ceremonials, yes

Clergy abuse rears its ugly head in the Bishop Braxton case:

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) An advocacy group for victims of clergy abuse wants Roman Catholics across southern Illinois to earmark or cut back their tithings to the church until complaints that the bishop misspent money is sorted out.

Pastoral groups in the 104,000-member Diocese of Belleville want Bishop Edward Braxton to address claims that he bought ceremonial garments with about $8,000 in donations to a Vatican world outreach fund.

And the Belleville News-Democrat reports Braxton also may have bought a wooden chancery table and chairs with $10,000 from a fund for children and adults.

Braxton isn’t discussing the complaints publicly.

His ilk is usually above all that public discussion.  Bishop Ed, formerly pastor of Oak Park’s St. Catherine & St. Lucy parish, can afford to ignore this, because he has friends in high places.