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Saturday, October 28, 2006

And lady makes three

The Presiding Bishop Elect, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and Presiding Bishop Frank Tracy Griswold, were invited to Lambeth Palace to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Bishop Griswold is quoted as saying how pleased he was at the warm reception given to Bishop Katharine by the Archbishop.

Lovely. Just lovely.

What a perfectly lovely way to begin one's primacy - especially as the first woman Presiding Bishop in the Episcopal Church and the first woman Primate in the Anglican Communion - albeit one who has been unceremoniously disinvited from being at table with some of the Bishops, Archbishops and Primates of the Global South.

I know this is the most insignificant comment I could make - bordering on petty - and this will most likely start a tempest in a traditional British tea pot, but I found myself sighing and wishing 'Herself' had worn a skirt.

And, not just a "proper" skirt. Something long and flowing. You know. (Dare I say it?) Feminine. And, did she have to wear the suit jacket?

I know. I know.

At least that's a woman "up there" - standing next to two of the most powerful men in the Anglican Communion - taking her rightful role of leadership. It's a far cry from the "Women: Know your limits" film which I recently posted on this blog.

I know. I know. "We've come a long way baby."

And, as Flo Kennedy once said, "If we had come a long way, no one would be calling us baby."

I do know Katharine and I admire her greatly. She's much more comfortable in slacks that she is in a skirt and, goodness knows, there's so much of what she's called to do that is uncomfortable that she should at least be given the latitude of wearing whatever the bloody hell she's comfortable wearing.

Deep sigh.

Okay. I'm back on board. I just had to say what I know a lot of the sisters are saying silently. It's terribly important that there is a woman "up there" with the two boys. It's most likely important that she IS, in fact, wearing slacks.

Goodness knows, as they say in the South (that's as in the Southern States of America), "We wouldn't want to startle the horses."

I'm certain ++Katharine will be startling the horses the minute she takes the reins on this runaway horse in the Anglican Communion called The Episcopal Church.

In the final analysis, it won't matter whether she's in a skirt or a pair of slacks.

Even so, I think I'll send her some pink roses.


MadPriest said...

You're far too nice to say this yourself, so I'll just have to say it for you.

It should have been you, darling. It should have been you.

For a start, I bet you've got much nicer legs.

And what's the point of being a woman and not wearing a skirt. How on earth could you be more comfortable in trousers than in a skirt. Practical yes, comfortable no.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...


First, I could never be confused with anyone who could be described as "nice."

Second, God obviously loves me more than Katharine and has graciously spared me the burden of being the first woman PB and Primate - knowing full well I'll be too old to be elected the next time round.

Third, ummm . . . darling . . .how is it, exactly that you know that a skirt is more comfortable than trousers?

Wait. Don't answer that.

Your wife may be reading this.

Let's just say that it is. Take my word for it. Not the word of MadPriest. He is, after all, quite mad. So, what would he know?

Liz Zivanov+ said...

My dear Elizabeth (and madpriest)--

I am shocked and stunned!For some women, slacks are much more comfortable than skirts -- flowing or otherwise!

Reminds me of one of my elderly Bible study participants who said upon seeing her first photo of +KJS -- "Are you sure she's the most qualified? Why, she isn't even standing like a lady! Her feet should be together!Are you really sure she's the most qualified?"

I assured her that the vestments were quite heavy and +KJS needed to maintain her balance.

Something I find interesting, though, is that she's the only one wearing a purple shirt!

Suzer said...

Maybe she hadn't shaved her legs? LOL! (Something the male bishops never have to worry about.) I mean, that's often my excuse for not wearing skirts or dresses. That plus I hate pantyhose. Won't wear 'em unless I have to. :)

Of course, maybe we should not worry about the leg shaving stuff anymore, anyway. But I guess I haven't gotten beyond that part of patriarchal oppression yet.

Anyway, best part of winter coming is the switch to long pants, and, when necessary, tights. No need to worry about shaving until it becomes so bad I scare my partner.

Aside from all that, I think she looks great up there. It's good to see!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...


Oh, my dear. Have you not heard of garter belts?

Umm.. . hang on . . . never mind.

This IS a family blog, after all.

But wait - garter belts and panty hose only work in the spring and early fall when one would shave one's legs anyway.

In the summer, it's bare legs for me and my house.

In the winter, thick woolen tights and throw away the razors is what I say.

Wouldn't you agree, MadPriest?

Actually, had the ABC and the PB worn purple feather boas, the PB elect would not have so badly upstaged them in her purple shirt.

Alas! Had they only consulted MadPriest before the shoot.

And, Cranmer49, darling: skirts are infintely more comfortable than slacks. You ought to try them sometime.

I mean, a whole nation and generations of Scottish men can't be wrong, now can they?

Ann said...

You are definitely not from the Real West (like Nevada and Wyoming) - we always wear slacks for dress - otherwise it is jeans (like Levi's). Yikes - welcome to the 21st century where women can wear whatever they want to wear.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Which is exactly the point.

Thanks, Ann.

Martha said...

Ah, Elizabeth, Elizabeth.

All these years I thought you found photos of female clerics in trousers ... inspirational.

Love from New Mexico,
Martha Blacklock

Elizabeth Kaeton said...


No, no my darling. It was the picture of you on the front cover of the Sunday Times Magazine, in May, 1981, sitting on the steps of St. Clements, NYC, in your black clergy shirt and white collar, EPF cross, sandles, and . . . .

. . . . . JEANS.

Jeans, not just trousers.

Oh, be still my heart!

And you had your little Jack Russell Terrier at your sandled feet.

It was the first time I had ever seen a woman in a clerical collar and it broke me open like so much communion bread.

I was finally able to take in and listen, with the ears of my heart, my own vocation.

Could heaven have come nearer?

Perhaps some woman somewhere is looking at Katharine in her purple clerical shirt and her heart is breaking open, too.

It is wonderful to hear from you.

Deborah Sproule said...

Watch the Nov 2006 Episcopal Life our new PB is wearing feathers, and jeans. Poor boys stuck in their stiff neck collars. Happy girls that can choose to twirl, squat, bend, dig, dance or anything they wish in what ever they wish to wear. I am so glad that PB elect Schori is not a conformist. She seems a fool for Christ in the best way.