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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: The Episcopal Year in Review

Episcopal Core Beliefs
It's the eve of the new year of 2012.  Already, 2012 is distinguished by an optimism that is probably mostly due to the fact that it's not 2011.

As editors of magazines and newspapers are compiling lists of the "Top Ten" stories, I wondered what might be the stories in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion that have caught our attention.

I asked readers here and on FaceBook what those stories might be for them. What follows is a highly unscientific and patently unreliable poll of what we might remember from 2011. They are in no particular order of priority. I hope you'll chime in if you think something got left out.

1. "Papa don't preach": The Anglican Covenant.

Like it or not (and, I don't), this story dominated the news in our church and in the Anglican Communion for most of the year. I have no doubt - no doubt at all - that it will continue to have a prominence in our religious news in 2012.

According to the website maintained by "No Anglican Covenant: Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity", all thirty-eight provinces (national and regional churches) of the Anglican Communion have been asked to adopt an agreement, the Anglican Covenant (or Anglican Communion Covenant), which sets out reputedly common doctrine and describes a process for dispute resolution among Communion churches.

As of this writing only five provinces have "approved" or "accepted" the Anglican Covenant, The Province of South East Asia has "acceded" to it, The Church of Ireland "subscribed" to it, and six provinces are in various stages of debate and ratification or rejection.

In The Episcopal Church, the Covenant will be taken up at the 2012 General Convention. Various dioceses have passed resolutions both for and against the Covenant. Most notable, because of its detail is a resolution against adoption from the Diocese of California. The Executive Council will offer a resolution at General Convention gently rejecting the Covenant.

2. "Much ado about nothing":  The Rt. Rev'd V. Gene Robinson plans retirement in 2013.

I include this next not because it is earth-shattering news, although I hasten to point out that it was a story covered by the NY Times (as well as other major newspapers around the globe) but rather because his election (note to my British friends: not "appointment") and consecration were the very reasons for the Anglican Covenant in the first place.  I find it sublimely ironic. The point was not missed by The NY Times which noted:
Since 2003, the Communion’s leaders have labored to save it from outright schism, not just over homosexuality, but also over female bishops and priests.

The current strategy, pushed by the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, is for each regional province to sign a “covenant” of common beliefs.

The covenant has been slowly making its way through laborious writing and approval processes, which could take years.

Late last month, an international coalition of liberal Anglicans started a campaign to reject the covenant, saying, “The covenant seeks to narrow the range of acceptable belief within Anglicanism.”

The group, Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity, said, “Rather than bringing peace to the Communion, we predict that the covenant text itself could become the cause of future bickering and that its centralized dispute-resolution mechanisms could beget interminable quarrels and resentments.”
Bishop Gene will retire in January of 2013, which gives this story real "legs' for 2012. It should be interesting to see how - if at all - it will affect process of "ratification" of The Anglican Covenant.

3. "It's mine. No, it's mine.":  The on-going Property Disputes

As the fallout over "The Great Episcopal Schism" works its way through the court system, time and time and time again, the legislative process has favored The Episcopal Church. I don't have the time or the inclination to track down every story (have at it, if you wish), but there are two notable incidents that caught my eye.

The first is that the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Christ Church, Savannah, GA and its property (valued at nearly $3 million) belong to the national Episcopal Church, not the local congregation.
The court’s 6-1 ruling upheld earlier rulings by the state Court of Appeals and Chatham County Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf.

The 45-page majority opinion written by Justice David Nahmias found that the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of religion “allows the local congregation and its members to leave the Episcopal Church and worship as they please, like all other Americans, but it does not allow them to take with them property that has for generations been accumulated and held by a constituent church of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.”
The second is that the governing board of Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh has voted, 11-7, to affiliate with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh more than three years after a majority of parishes left to form the more conservative Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The Episcopal diocese has about 9,000 members in 29 parishes. The Anglicans have about 20,000 members in 74 congregations.

The governing board and the cathedral's congregation approved a resolution in October 2008 to let the cathedral continue to represent both groups, but congregation officials said the dual affiliation was making it difficult to grow.
I chose these two stories because I think they speak to the sadness and continued contentious nature of this schism. We are, alas, completely incompatible. And, it's costing us tons of money to discover what many of us already knew. I think it makes Jesus weep.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that an earthquake rocked the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, causing structural damage that will require millions to repair.

4. "Jesus meets the money changers. Again": Trinity Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street

At first, Trinity Wall Street and the movement known as Occupy Wall Street tried to work together, but after the "occupyers" of the OWS movement were evicted from Zuccotti Park,  OWS tried to get TWS to allow them to use a vacant lot owned by TWS known as Duarte Park. The church declined, calling the proposed encampment “wrong, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially injurious.”

Even Bishop Mark Sisk of the Diocese of New York and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Shori wrote public letters of agreement. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was initially supportive, took a few steps back in his second statement - a fairly transparent piece of evidence that the folks at TWS and 815 had made a few overseas phone calls.

This all happened as the Christmas season was full upon us, bringing up interesting theological questions about the need to "occupy" time and place if transformation is going to happen.

I should also note that, across the Pond, the Dean and the Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral resigned over the decision of the Cathedral to deny access of the LSX (London Stock Exchange) "occupyers" to the Cathedral, which brought about a few reversals of the decision.  Well done! Good form!

5. "Arrested theology": Bishop George Packard arrested for civil disobedience

On December 17th, George Packard, retired Bishop Suffragan of the Armed Forces, along with several others, including two Episcopal priests, were arrested for trespassing as he climbed a ladder and scaled the fence the surrounded Duarte Park. There he was, in his purple cassock, going over the fence. And there he was, handcuffed and sitting on a bench with the rest of the demonstrators, surrounded by the NYPD Swat Team. Looking that those two pictures, I, personally, have never been more proud to be an Episcopalian.

Bishop Packard wrote on his blog:
I am still baffled that the Episcopal Church of which I have been a member all my life could not--through Trinity--find some way to embrace these thousands of young people in our very diminishing ranks. (Every year for the last five years we have lost 14,000 members.) Just as we pioneered an awareness of the full membership for the LBGT community what's happening here? How hard would it have been for Trinity to convene legal counsel and say, "Give us some options so that a charter could be granted over the winter months?"

I had proposed that to the Rector and I still think it was a solution. Occupy Wall Street gets a home over the winter (one that would offer food for the Homeless and a clinic--truly bring alive dead space) and Trinity would have the assurance that the lease would return to them safe and sound come Spring. Everybody wins.
Except, the way it turned out, The Episcopal Church in general and Trinity Wall Street in particular lost. What did we lose, exactly? Credibility. As Christians who are all about justice and transformation. Big Time. No wonder the fastest growing religion is "The Nones" - those who profess to be "spiritual but not religious" - and claim no religious affiliation. This story is far from over. Stay tuned.

6. "Restructuring for mission - er, dollars": The Sauls Plan

At the September 20th meeting of the House of Bishops, Stacy Sauls, former bishop of Lexington and the new COO of The Episcopal Church gave a power point presentation which used eight separate slides to list the church's 75 commissions, committees, agencies and boards -- those he could readily identify, he said -- and another five slides to list the 46 Episcopal Church Center departments and offices, all of which have multiple reporting structures.

He noted that, as it stands in the current budget process, governance is funded first and then asked, "What would happen if we reversed that priority, starting with mission?" Based on that, he continued, what if, in creating a hypothetical annual budget of $27 million, $19 million of that budget went toward mission and the remaining $8 million toward overhead? (The current budget is closer to $35 million, he said.)

Sounds good, on the surface, right? Except that the Sauls' proposal was made without any consultation with any of those 75 commissions, committees and boards or 46 Episcopal Church Center's departments and offices. Including the President of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson.

Bishop Sauls offered the bishops a "model" resolution for each diocese to submit to the 77th General Convention in 2012 for consideration. The model resolution would call for a special commission to be charged with "presenting a plan to the church for reforming its structures, governance, administration, and staff to facilitate this church's faithful engagement in Christ's mission."

Excuse my left eyebrow, raised in suspicion, but I don't think any plan that does not begin with a full consultation with the affected members - much less the President of the House of Deputies - is at all about mission. Look for this to be a story that gains a sturdier set of legs as we move deeper into 2012 and closer to General Convention where the Very Big News will be the Budget.

7. "Be a blessing - give a blessing": SCLM proposes Rites of Blessing

The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) has released educational materials and other information surrounding its plan to ask General Convention to authorize a three-year trial use of its proposed rite for blessing same-gender unions.

During that same time period the church also would reflect on its understanding of marriage in light of changes in both societal norms and civil law if convention agrees to a related resolution the commission will propose, according to the Rev. Ruth Meyers, SCLM chair.

According to Meyers, the 18 month process included "a wide consultative process" with "input from a number of people" before being ready to present the final draft to the church of a three year trial use of proposed rite of blessings and more conversation about the civil and spiritual nature of marriage and blessings.

Dr. Meyers, might you speak with Bishop Sauls about "restructuring for "mission"? Oh, and while you've got cell phone in hand, why not call Lambeth Palace and speak with Archbishop Williams about a similar process for The Anglican Covenant?

8. "On the road again": The Travels of the Presiding Bishop

Katharine Jefferts Schori travels the Globe - England, Scotland, Canada, Africa, Asia - as a tireless ambassador for Christianity in general and The Episcopal Church in particular. She visits. She preaches. She presides. She inspires. She challenges. She charms. Well, most of the time, except in those places - like a certain Cathedral in England where the Archbishop of Canterbury allowed her to carry but not wear her mitre. And, of course, she was "disinvited" by the Archbishop of Sudan to visit his province because "it remains difficult for us to invite you when elements of your church continue to flagrantly disregard biblical teaching on human sexuality".

Well, there it is then. Which brings up a question in my mind about the whole nature of the office of Presiding Bishop. Is she a "presider" or an "ambassador" and how much of her time ought to be devoted to each? As long as her COO brought up the whole issue of "restructuring for mission", I think it's time to try and get our heads wrapped around the whole concept of a "presiding" bishop who spends so much time away from the office. That's not a criticism. That's an observation and a question.

I'd love to see a bit more of a breakdown of her schedule to see just how much time our Primate spends on matters Episcopal and domestic vs. matters Anglican and 'foreign' and how that distribution of time is understood, given our theological understanding of what it means to be a Primate and a Presiding Bishop - if we even have a theology of that office. That's not going to make headlines, but inquiring minds do want to know. I mean, as long as we're talking about 'mission' - which is really all we seem to do about mission. Talk about it. And, how we should be doing it. And how we can restructure for it. Anything but actually doing it.

9. "One strike and yer out?": The Case of Bede Parry

This is an ugly story about a former Roman Catholic monk who was received as an Episcopal priest even after he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor. That's a bad enough story line but then it gets worse because the bishop who received Parry into our fold was none other than Katharine Jefferts Schori, now our Presiding Bishop, of course, when she was bishop of Nevada.
"I made the decision to receive him," Jefferts Schori said in a statement, "believing that he demonstrated repentance and amendment of life and that his current state did not represent a bar to his reception."
From all reports, Parry has lived up to that repentance and has amended his life. The problem arose, however, because Parry resigned from All Saints' Episcopal Church in Las Vegas when a civil lawsuit was filed alleging that he abused a minor in 1987. At the time of the alleged abuse, Parry was a monk and choir director at Conception Abbey in Conception, Mo.

Current Nevada Bishop Dan Edwards said Thursday that Parry has not been accused of wrongdoing since his Episcopal ordination. "His voluntary resignation was for the good of the church." Parry has not functioned as a priest since his June resignation and will not be permitted to return to ministry, Edwards said.

All sorts of questions have been asked about that process of reception and how much was known and by whom and when and how. It's all so awful that the temptation to minimize or 'duck and run' is great, but it does beg the questions: Do we believe what we preach and teach about 'repentance' and 'amendment of life' and where do we draw the line?

10. "I wanna be you": The ABC meets The Pope

Well, truth be told, this entry is here because it really is last.  Honestly? I couldn't find ten top stories in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion that were really newsworthy, so this one is really a filler. That being said, it occurs to me that it's a way to end this list the way it began: with a story about the increasing efforts to centralize power in the institutional church at all levels.

The Pope has been busy devising ways to 'steal Anglican sheep'. Indeed, just last month, Cardinal Donald Wuerl announced that Pope Benedict XVI will establish an ordinariate for American Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Two Anglican communities--one in Texas, the other in Maryland--have entered into full communion in recent months and are expected to become part of the ordinariate. The Pontiff established the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales in January 2011

Meanwhile, Rowan seeks to be thoroughly Anglican and 'cordial' to El Papa.  In his ecumenical letter to the churches, Rowan wrote:
"Whatever stories we tell ourselves, whatever strategies we develop for keeping ourselves safe, the truth is always that being human is being subject to change and to the risk of suffering. Solidarity must now find expression in humility and generosity, and in the search for true justice for all."
All this whilst Rowan continues to work on establishing the Anglican Covenant as the enforceable law in the Communion. So much for "humility and generosity" in the "search for true justice for all".

Meanwhile, our Presiding Bishop exhibits all those characteristics and walks into a Cathedral in the Church of England with her "hat" literally in her hand, and the Pope eats our lunch in our own backyard. You know, you just can't make this stuff up!

So, there it is, kiddies: My perspective - and those of a few faithful readers of the blog and my FB page -  on The Episcopal Year in Review.

I'm delighted that the election and consecration of Mariann Budde as the first woman to be bishop of the Diocese of Washington, DE is not headline news. That's the best news, I think, of 2011.

As I consider it, 2012 has to be better. Overall, 2011 couldn't have been much worse.

Then again, 2012 will bring us General Convention AND the Church of England Synod which will consider both the "appointment" of women to the episcopacy and the ratification/approval/acceptance of The Anglican Covenant Contract.

Fasten your seat belts, dearies. Looks like may well be a bumpy ride after all.

32 comments:

Lionel Deimel said...

Thanks for the reminders of the good and the bad in Anglicanland in 2011. I suspect that 2012 will indeed offer a wild ride.

whiteycat said...

Wonderfully done, Elizabeth! Wishing a safe, happy and healthy 2012. Let the good times (I hope) roll!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks for your visit and comment, Lionel. Someone just pointed out that I did not mention the deaths of Walter Righter and Pam Chinnis. I didn't, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't Big News. I just didn't know the category in which to put it and how to mention the others who have died. Ah well. Maybe I'll get better at this next year.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, Whitey cat. Let's hope there are lots of good times to roll.

Muthah+ said...

Repris helps us take stock and say let's do something different! Happy 2012

Hap Warren said...

Thanks for the presentation Elizabeth. Have a happy and healthy New Year.
Hap Warrewn

Hap Warren said...

Good Job Elizabeth. Happy and healthy New Year

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Muthah - I don't know if this will help us do anything different. I could, I suppose, but I suspect not. We'll just explode at General Convention when the budget and The Sauls plan come before us.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hey there, Hap. Happy New Year to yourself. Hope everything is going well for you in FL. My love to your beloved.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Lionel left out the ugly. IMO, there's enough of the ugly to make looking back at the year depressing.

Anyway, it's a neat post, Elizabeth, and it was good of you to take the time to consult your readers here and on Facebook to give us an overview as we say good-bye to 2011 and shake the dust of the year off our feet.

Dom said...

Thanks for another fine post, Elizabeth. Hope you have a very happy and blessed 2012!

I'm hoping for a wonderful, positive general convention this year that will move forward in extending Christ's love to everyone.

Thanks for mentioning Bishop Gene Robinson. He's really wonderful!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I didn't, Mimi. Bede Parry was 'teh ugly'.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Elizabeth, YOU did not leave out the ugly.

Brother David said...

I believe Madre, that if you look closer you will find that Bede Parry did not confess to +KJS to a sexual relation with a minor, but with a young adult. He did not admit to relations with any minors until the current lawsuit against his former abbey became public.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Ah, Mimi. You're always right. I didn't. Lionel did.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Brother David - So, what you're saying is that he lied to ++KJS?

Brother David said...

I do not know if he lied, but he definitely did not confess to the whole truth!

The point that I am making is that she did not receive somone into the ranks of the ordained with knowledge that he had been involved with a minor(s), but with an older teen, an adult whom he taught in the chorister and choir master relationship. A lesser offense that she believed he had overcome.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Brother David - Got it - AND - it does raise the fuzzy area - well, for some - between "child", "older teen experimentation" and "young adult". I think, if he's under 18, he's not a "young adult" but an "older teen".

Yes, everyone knows that "older teens" are sexually active and, as long as they are with each other, most everyone looks the other way. If it's with an adult, the adult is culpable under the law.

It makes it worse that this "older teen" was a student of his in the choir b/c that is an abuse of trust and power. It can not - must not - be tolerated. Even once.

That Parry seems to have 'finessed' the truth he gave to ++KJS is even more disturbing. Most disturbing is the questions it raises about forgiveness and our ideas of confession, repentance and amendment of life. It's really a risk all 'round, isn't it?

Parry seems to have amended his life - no incidents or allegations the whole time he was an Episcopal Priest - but the law is unforgiving of his past and the fact of his not-so-full confession.

Ugly stuff.

Grandmère Mimi said...

David, the PB took far too long to respond to the Bede Parry story, months too long, which gave the story legs for a longer period than was necessary. Plus, she did not take the opportunity to offer help to anyone who might have been abused by Parry or any other employee or volunteer serving in the Episcopal Church.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hi, Mimi. I'm going to jump in here and say that, in retrospect, it may be easy to say that the PB took "far too long" but I'm sure she was balancing what she believed about Parry with what TEC center lawyers were telling her about her own liability and that of TEC.

Could it - should it - have been handled differently? Well, no doubt, but that's easier to say after the fact, isn't it?

It's all so messy and ugly because of this issue with "older teen" vs. "young adult" (Parry apparently confessed to her that it was not with a child) and the whole, complex, sometimes predatory nature of male sexuality.

(Some see part of what we call 'romance' and 'sweeping a woman off her feet' the 'pursuit of love' as the socially acceptable parts of the predatory nature of male sexuality. It's fine if it's wanted. When it's not, it's 'stalking' - something that has legal consequences. We've gone through this with one daughter, whose 'suitor' claimed, "I'm just so in love with her". Yeah. Crazy love.)

Add the legal system to a religious system that says it believes in repentance and amendment of life and ....well...you get the mess ++KJS has found herself in.

I'm not in any way defending Parry - and, I'm not a huge fan of ++KJS (and, I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that she doesn't have a wide fan base) - but, as someone who has been in a position of leadership in the church, I'm just saying that the whole things was - and is - an ugly mess.

Where I absolutely agree with you is that she could have said what she said and did what she did AND THEN said, "If - child, older teen, young adult or adult - had a relationship of a sexual nature with Bede Parry while he was an Episcopal Priest, please come forward and know that you will be tended to and cared for".

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Elizabeth, I'm certain that KJS genuinely believed that Parry was not a threat when she permitted him to become a priest in the church, and it seems he was not.

Anyone in a position of authority working with an older teen should know that even if the teen makes the advances, sexually suggestive words or actions are out of bounds.

When bishops heed the advice of lawyers above their own good moral sense, they fall into a trap. Witness: the Roman Catholic Church.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Agreed, Mimi. I only hasten to add two things: (1) In the cultural climate of the RC church at that time (and, in some places, still), that kind of behavior was not seen as abnormal. It was happening all around him. To Parry's credit, he did come to see the wrongness of his ways - it was a breach of trust and an abuse of power whether it had been with a child, older teen, young adult or adult - and, in so far as we know, there really was true repentance and amendment of life.

(2) The intersection of "morals" and "law" is complex and complicated. To wit: OWS protesters are being treated as criminals while corporate types are robbing us blind. The church's complicity with and our benefit from corporate greed sickens me.

Even Shakespeare had one of his characters say, "First, kill all the lawyers".

Brother David said...

GM, you have voiced your personal expectations of what the PB's response should have been loudly and widely at every opportunity and as often as possible. If the issue had legs, they were yours. You are entitled to your opinion and expectations, but for me, an outsider in a daughter Anglican church to TEC, you have continued the clamor, as if by devine right as the one who sets the standard. We heard you loud and clear the first time, and very publicly. By the 50th time, for me it became overkill, to the level of overblown self-importance.

Madre, being a gay man, one who has trained in psychology, sociology and human behavior, as well as one who has intentionally studied human sexuality, I like to consider myself at least on a par to have a handle on much that can occur in the realm of budding adolescent homosexuality vs closeted adult homosexuality. I know from personal experience that young men on either side of that often arbitrary line to minority vs majority, exhibit that predatory nature that you mention. And are prone to use it to their advantage. I am also very aware of the loneliness of many gay adults and their suseptibility to the nature of young men. It is indeed messy, or certainly can be. As far as the PB and those others leading Dio Nevada at the time, they knew what they were told and were unable to ferret out anything more with the tools at their disposal at the time. I have to believe that +KJS and her follow Christians in Dio Nevada took the steps they took believe that Bede had truely confessed and had amended his life. Regardless of the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, I believe that she honestly did her best and would have made a similar descision given similar circumstances in the life of another had it arisen at that time in the life of the church. I have to because of my own Christian faith and my respect for her office as a fellow Anglican.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, David. I am well aware of Mimi's position on this matter. I do not feel as strongly as you do about it. I happen to believe that she and others who hold this position come to it from (1) the horror that what has happened in the RC Church could "infect" and tarnish the name of TEC, (2) the overreaction from the Right and the way they used this to continue to beat the drum that TEC is going to hell in a hand basket (so progressives have to come out strong and critical of ++KJS) and (3) that some of ++KJS's positions - especially with LGBT people standing in a 'crucified place for a season' while the rest of the church catches up - have seemed, at the very least, insensitive.

As I say, I'm not big fan of ++KJS. That being said, as I look at the information in front of me, I don't know how ++KJS could have done anything differently - except, as Mimi notes, offering an open door and pastoral care to anyone who might have been abused while Parry was an Episcopal Priest.

So far as we know, Parry did, in fact, have true repentance and amended his life. That he is no longer able to be an Episcopal Priest because of what he is charged with doing as a RC priest seems punishment enough.

Maybe this is a bigger story than I originally thought.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Brother David, if you check out my posts on the subject, you will find that I almost always include quotes from other media sources, and I only wrote about the matter when new information was published. When the PB issued her statement, I accepted her words and stopped writing about Bede Parry.

In addition, I must give credit (or blame?) to my partners in "crime", Jim Naughton and Ann Fontaine at The Lead in giving legs to the story. The readership at The Lead greatly outnumbers that of my wee blog.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, Mimi. My personal view is that I think the story got "legs" at The Lead because, as the leading progressive voice online, they had to respond to the clamor being caused on the Right.

As I said, this is an UGLY story.

Brother David said...

It is certainly a story with perhaps more emotion than is healthy at times. I want to give leaders the benefit of the doubt because I think that is what Christians should do. They hold their chrism in earthen vessels. Yes, we should ask questions of our leadership, however, I do not think we should colapse a leader's issues together. If you have issues with PB regarding how she handles GLBTQ situations, then I think that in fairness you should work extra carefully in keeping those feelings from coloring how you treat her regarding a fully separate issue, such as the one with Father Parry.

In the venues on the web where I venture, I could predict with great accuracy who would be commenting on the issue of +KJS and Bede Parry. For me, as I have said, it became overkill.

Brother David said...

As for the Lead, GM, i found Jim more prone to a moderate stroll down the middle than either you or Mother Ann. And I again stress, mine is the viewpoint of a lone Anglican from outside TEC. I can only wish that my fellow Mexican Anglicans would be interested in issues outside Mexico.

Lionel Deimel said...

This has been an interesting discussion. From everything I have been able to determine, I believe that Katharine did nothing wrong, though she probably knew she was going out on a limb.

It does strike me that TEC conservatives have the same relationship to Katharine as Republicans have to President Obama. They are looking for any excuse to complain. It is more or less impossible to do the job and not create opportunities for taking offense. Life is unfair.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Lionel - I think life is exponentially more unfair for Christians who take a role of leadership in community.

We seem to believe so much in resurrection, we also seem to believe in crucifixion.

Stan Theman said...

Do you have ANY heterosexual clergy?
What's the attraction for gays to be clergy?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

More than 90% is my guess, Stan.

I think there's a deep connection between spirituality and sexuality.

Many people who have known oppression and prejudice - including LGBT people - put that experience into leadership.

That won't be a satisfactory answer for you, Stan, but I'm not going to put any more energy into it than that. Because, as they say, if you have to ask the question . . . .