Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori smiles while greeting congregants after her investiture as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church at the National Cathedral in Washington, November 4, 2006. Schori is the first woman to head a national branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion in its more than 450-year history. Image Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)
It's Official, The Long, Slow, Slide Of Tradition Is Complete!
Yesterday, the Episcopal Church, in its OWN wisdom, decided to throw all sacred tradition aside and complete a process it started back in 1974 when it first bucked original tradition with the ordination of its first woman priest.
This from The Washington Times -
The bishop presiding is a woman
By Julia Duin - THE WASHINGTON TIMES - November 5, 2006
The Right Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori was installed yesterday as the Episcopal Church's first female chief pastor, a job that will include shepherding a denomination on the verge of a historic split over homosexual clergy, same-sex blessings and biblical authority.
Bishop Jefferts Schori made one allusion to the potential split facing the church. About one-tenth of the 2.4-million-member denomination has been threatening to leave since the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, an active homosexual.
"If some in this church feel wounded by recent decisions, then our salvation, our health as a body, is at some hazard, and it becomes the duty of all of us to seek healing and wholeness," Bishop Jefferts Schori said.
She also called on her listeners to find "the will to make peace with one who disdains our theological position -- for his has merit, too, as the fruit of faithfulness."
The two-hour investiture service yesterday made Bishop Jefferts Schori the highest-ranking woman in the 77-million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is one part.
The service opened with chants by Paiute, Shoshone, Ute, Sioux and Chippewa drummers. They led a lengthy procession of about 180 bishops and priests into the cathedral at 11 a.m., carrying vessels that burned an incense "prayer offering" of sweetgrass, sage and cedar.
Liturgical dancers followed, waving green, red, gold and purple banners and streamers as they escorted a stream of interfaith visitors representing Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim traditions.
She then was presented with symbols of her office, including a book of the Gospels, water symbolizing baptism, bread and wine and oil. When Bishop Griswold presented her with an ornate silver primatial staff at 11:25 a.m., thereby transferring the power of his office over to her, the congregation erupted in cheers.
"Katharine Jefferts Schori is a marvelous successor," he said after the service. "I look forward to her leadership."
Newark, N.J., Assistant Bishop Carol Gallagher, hobbled by a sprained ankle, said she made a special effort to attend the ceremony for the first female presiding bishop.
"I could not miss this," she said. "I just had to be here today. It has meant the world to all of us."
None of the bishops at the gathering appeared to include those from seven Episcopal dioceses that have refused to accept Bishop Jefferts Schori's leadership as presiding bishop and have appealed to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for an alternate. The archbishop has said the matter will be addressed at a meeting of the world's Anglican archbishops in Tanzania in February.
Before her investiture, Bishop Jefferts Schori extended an invitation to four Anglican bishops -- who opposed her June 18 election as presiding bishop -- asking them to meet with her when they visit the United States in mid-November. There is no sign the Anglican prelates, who are meeting with conservatives from the seven dioceses in Northern Virginia, responded.
What A Metaphor -- for the present day Episcopal Church, when Bishop Jefferts Schori's female counterpart, Newark, N.J., Assistant Bishop Carol Gallagher, hobbled to attend the ceremony -- "Of A Hobbled Church".
Well, there is always the Catholic Church ......... ?
I'll take my Christian faith worship evangelical style, thank-you. It is easier to take than to see Episcopal/Anglican tradition slammed to the floor as it has in the church that had introduced me to Christian worship in the first place.
It was very interesting to note the phrase in the story "escorted a stream of interfaith visitors representing Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim traditions" when this Church was busy dissin' TRADITIONS through this very ceremony.