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The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Why is Schofield so Fat?

Why is Schofield so Fat?

The elephant in the living room in the events of Bishop John D. Schofield pulling his diocese out of the Episcopal Church is “Why is Schofield so fat?” I am outing a large elephant. He weighs three hundred pounds now. In 1960 when he started as a student at General Seminary in New York he was a slender reed of a boy studying Biblical criticism in the required courses. Of course, he forgot his lessons and made up his own methods of reading the Bible. Then when he was a curate in a parish in San Francisco, better known as sin and sybaritic city, he grew but failed to mature. He must have viewed with horror that so many men enjoyed same gender sex. Many of his brother clergy, only brothers then, no sisters, were gay. How repulsive.

Then he went to the tiny parish in Inverness where he made the church into a retreat center. Just down the street was Manka’s restaurant, one of California’s finest. Nearby was Vladimir’s, with Czech food of beef, pork, red cabbage, potatoes and apple crisp with whipped cream. It was an easy reach for a lonely, celibate, sex-starved priest living alone in the deep countryside.

Cruising all over the state of California, especially in rural San Joaquin, he led retreats, quiet days and prayer groups. Oh those church suppers with the maple cured and honey-baked ham, peas and potato dishes, the green Jell-O jiggly salads in a mold. Then there were the tuna fish casseroles, beef stews and endless pasta dishes with Alfredo sauce, meat-balls and manicotti and don’t forget the lasagnas that fabulous Costco sells cheap.

Then he is elected Bishop of San Joaquin in 1988. He spreads himself even further around the diocese enjoying banquets in his honor in every town and city in the central valley. Chicken, mashed potatoes and peas, plus a variety of berry and cream pies, make an abundant splendid diet. I suppose a bottle of fine wine from one or two of the splendid vineyards found within his domain. What is a poor celibate boy to do except to eat away any pining yearnings he may have had sublimating his sexuality to the Lord. The diocesan web site shows him portly, chubby and downright fat. What a change from the skinny youth of 1954.

My psychologist friend says, “What’s he hiding with those layers of fat?” Does he hate himself so much that he is trying to disappear under all that fat? Is he hiding something? I have read differing stories about Schofield. Some say he has said he was a homosexual and went through a de-programming program and is now straight. I have also heard that he has denied that he ever went through such a program. I believe that he has said he was homosexual in orientation and has chosen to be celibate. That is an honorable choice, if it is true.

”Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” seems to be Schofield’s level of intellectual and Biblical knowledge and criticism. Jesus had no women followers, so no women should be ordained priests and deacons in his church. It says so in the Bible, only men then were apostles and so it should be now, says the schismatic Bishop. Homosexuals are castigated in Schofield’s Bible so those poor folks need not apply to be ordained as anything in the church. Biblical scholars, the conventions of the church and human compassion disagree with his “for the Bible tells me so” interpretations of sacred scripture.

Is Schofield so fat to protect himself from the pain of being wrong, hated by so many and the knowledge that he proclaims a childish corruption of holy writ? He flatly rejects God’s call to women and homosexuals to be ordained in Christ’s holy catholic church. His word against God’s is a choice he has made. Such arrogance and disregard for human beings and their vocation, his abuse of the power as a Bishop and contempt for his own intelligence is enough to make anyone fat, very fat.


Anonymous chuck said...

hi robert!

i suppose we should also wonder what the equally (if not more) corpulent bernie ward is hiding from - given the analysis that fat people are in hiding from something
(a kiddie-porn conviction maybe?)

on a different subject-is there anything in church law that would prohibit members serving in 2 consecutive rector-search groups every doing so again in light of the last 2 miserably failed rectors chosen by them?

chuck c

4:25 PM  

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