Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Long, Slow Slide To The Bottom Rung

The newly-elected 26th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, of Nevada, speaks to the House of Deputies after her confirmation vote Sunday, June 18, 2006, in Columbus, Ohio. Image Credit: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

The long, slow slide to the bottom rung of respected, tradition based, organized religion ladder in America.

I was raised in the Episcopal Church and I have fond memories of the tradition, being an acolyte, becoming confirmed, and how I used to crack wisely to my Catholic friends - Episcopalians are "Catholic Lite" ... No Latin & half of the ritual!

Not anymore, as a respected version of the global Anglican Communion tradition, the American "Province" is now only one of three worldwide (37 overall) to have and allow women to serve in leadership positions.

Tradition means adhering to traditional values and with its latest move, the American Episcopal Church clearly has no interest in tradition.

Hey! Why don't we just make it up as we go along? Yea, that's the ticket!

Excerpts from AP via Yahoo! News -

Episcopalians elect 1st female leader
By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer - 22 minutes ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman elected to lead a church in the global Anglican Communion when she was picked Sunday to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. It was another groundbreaking and controversial move for a denomination that consecrated Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop just three years ago.

Standing before cheering delegates to Episcopal General Convention, Jefferts Schori said she was "awed and honored and deeply privileged to be elected." Outgoing Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold was at her side as she was introduced after closed-door balloting.

The choice of Jefferts Schori may worsen — and could even splinter — the already difficult relations between the American denomination and its fellow Anglicans. Episcopalians have been sparring with many in the other 37 Anglican provinces over homosexuality, but a female leader adds a new layer of complexity to the already troubled relationship.

Only two other Anglican provinces — New Zealand and Canada — have female bishops, although a handful of other provinces allow women to serve in the post.

Still, there are many Anglican leaders who believe women should not even be priests. Those opposed to female clergy often cite the unbroken tradition of male priesthood in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, and in the Anglican Communion until about 30 years ago.

"I will bend over backward to build relationships with people who disagree with me," she pledged at a news conference.

Whether that will be enough will play out in the days ahead. Andrew Carey, a British-based commentator on Anglican affairs and son of the Rev. George Carey, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002, called Jefferts Schori "the most liberal of the lot" of candidates.

"I think this fully shows a noncompliance of spirit with rest of the communion," he said in an interview.

"I can't help but consider the peculiar genius our church has for roiling the waters," said the Rev. Eddie Blue of Maryland. "I am shocked, dismayed and saddened by the choice."
The new leader will inherit a fractured church. The Pittsburgh-based Anglican Communion Network, which represents 10 U.S. conservative dioceses and more than 900 parishes within the Episcopal Church, is deciding whether to break from the denomination. The House of Bishops recently started a defense fund that will help fight legal battles against parishes that want to leave and take their property with them.

Membership in the Episcopal Church, as in other mainline Protestant groups, has been declining for years and has remained predominantly white. More than a quarter of the 2.3 million parishioners are age 65 or older.

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This is really going to go over well with that 25% who have enjoyed the Episcopal traditions for almost all of their 65 plus years.

If one does not like the tradition, go build a relationship at another church ... I did, but I am not 65 plus.


Pyrthroes said...

Fifty-two years ago, I asked an austere old New England minister, Episcopal to the core, "Do you believe in God?" (I was fourteen). He answered, "I don't know." So there it was, he had taken out a spiritual Life Insurance policy. Maybe some Nineteenth Century divine would have said the same... somehow I doubt it.

Women ministers are like women in combat: Sit back, push buttons, let someone else (eighteen-year old males) fight and die. Serve time, claim pensions, never having endangered oneself or exercised genuine leadership in adverse circumstances-- denying on fact what "adverse" even means.

We have had female pastors exert their presences in local halls. Not once, over the years, have I ever heard one address issues of doctrinal substance. "God" is not even an option. As for spiritual guidance, no serious seeker would trust them for a moment-- untried, untrue, describes these verbalizers' pretentious pietistic attitudes.

The Episcopal Church, USA, is moribund, its sentimental value rapidly depreciating. Uncanonical, anti-Semitic, far-left politicized in the worst collectivist, defeatist tradition, the hierarchy panders to marginal constituencies without regard to core beliefs or practices. "Revised" hymnals, dumbed-down prayer books, Biblical texts re-written with egregious PC bias... why bother with such a "church" at all? Maybe there's a vibrant, reality-based, scripturally serious Episcopal communion out there, but if so, it's going to have to proselytize in the USA from scratch.

ecj said...

I have met only one female Pastor. She works at our church and is our Childrens' Pastor ... and she is great.

My biggest issue is that it is hard to see a centuries old English tradition institution go down in flames as it tries to, as you put it, marginalise itself.

Denominations are made made institutions. If man makes it, I suppose man can destroy it.