Monday, June 19, 2006

Bishop Schori is the new PB

Incidentally, I've met Bishop Schori. A good friend used to work in the Nevada Episcopal Diocese, and on one my visits there he took me to meet his boss.

As a Catholic it takes somewhat of an adjustment to get used to a lady in a Roman collar. [And no doubt, many Catholics are thrilled at the prospect of a woman bishop, period.] Of cousre, it was a pleasant meeting. My friend describes her as an able pastor (a quite firm) administrator. So, yes, congratulations, Madam Bishop!

Now what the fallout of having a woman Primate is, given that many provinces do not ordain women to the episcopate, will be interesting to see. Indeed, as Ruth Gledhill of the Times (UK) writes, Bishop Schori is known for her revistionist and progressive theological views, and has spoken out in favor of same-sex unions and the like.

And of course, traditionalist Episcopalians won't be happy. Gledhill quotes one traditionalist site:
"To change the metaphor and to look back thirty or forty years, we need to bear in mind that the trajectory of the Episcopal Church was established by the General Convention in the 1970s, and it was profoundly shaped by the revolutionary social and cultural changes brought into American life at the end of the 1960s. That trajectory has been consistently confirmed and strengthened, tuned and fine tuned since then, as innovation upon innovation in worship, doctrine, morality and polity have been introduced into the Episcopal Church. In real and practical terms, this 75th Convention of 2006 has acted like its predecessors since 1970, and has effectively and publicly made a renewed commitment to the trajectory."
More reactions at titusonenine (a conservative Episcopalian site, run by Canon Harmon of the Diocese of South Carolina). Dean Phil Linder of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Upper South Carolina) is happy about the election of Bishop Schori. He writes, "I believe Bishop Jefferts Schori will work to hold our denomination together and within the Anglican Communion." Now, I certainl hope he is correct in his belief. From what I gather, and from what many conservative Episcopalians are writing, this is just anothe step towards a break with the Anglican communion. Schism is in the air. In slow motion. And almost a reality on the ground. But, in my opinion, inevitable.

And, I suspect, like each successive decision in the past decades that has moved the Episcopal church away from traditional Christianity, this will cause many conservativ Episcopalians to swim the Tiber. (Or go East.)

And any real chances of unity, of serious, substantive dialogue with Rome, or the Orthdox, just recede away into the mists.

5 comments:

assiniboine said...

That would be "My Lady Bishop," not "Madam Bishop." At least, one doesn't refer to "Mr Bishop," that I know of. Of course the Episcopal primate has in recent years somewhat upgraded his honorifics to quasi-archbishop style to correspond with those of other Anglican churches worldwide. So perhaps she is actually "Your grace."

Gashwin said...

My Lady Bishop sounds way too monarchist for the Republic. :)

Even in Catholic circles, in the US, one just refers to one's Bishop as "Bishop." I've never heard anyone say "Your grace."

It's that ultra-informal-thingie of American culture. : )

Napoleon said...

How about "Your Excellency," I'm pretty sure that's a non-gender term and is used in many circles to refer to a Bishop.

Gashwin said...

Actually, Napoleon, that's the proper formal way to refer to a Catholic Bishop. In letters from the USCCB (which I'm sure you've seen a lot of in your line of work :)), or from the Vatican, that is how a Bishop is addressed. I don't know that it's used in speech except on a formal occasion.

[Hmm. Is a blog "speech?" :)]

assiniboine said...

But not an Anglican bishop, who is "my lord" or "my lady," if a bishop, or "your grace" if an archbishop.