Monday, November 19, 2007

Episcopal leader seeks to mend church rift

Feature article in today's Los Angeles Times:

In the face of defection threats, the bishop urges members to look beyond divisive issues and focus on helping people in need
By Rebecca Trounson,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 19, 2007
SAN JOSE -- Anxiety crept into the priest's voice as he addressed the leader of his unsettled church. Was she finding a way to bridge the widening rifts in the Episcopal Church and its parent Anglican Communion? he asked. Or was it an impasse?
Standing recently in the airy sanctuary of a small San Jose church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori was direct, her low voice calm, as she offered her own, more nuanced view to the priests and lay leaders before her.
"I'm not sure it is a stalemate," she said. "I think this church and others may just be becoming clearer about who they are."
And she reminded her audience that small groups of believers had previously left both the Episcopal Church and the global Anglican fellowship, and both entities survived.
Read the rest here ... and give thanks for the ministry of new Bishop of El Camino Real, Mary Gray-Reeves, pictured above at her November 10th consecration. (Photo credit: Tony Avelar/Associated Press)


Allen said...


"Just a few". "Only 45 parishes". "A vocal minority". But: to the mathematically literate, this is deepest denial. Truth: At least 4, perhaps 6 dioceses are leaving. Thousands of parishioners are gone, followed by at LEAST another 10,000 currently in separation mode (including courts), and then there are the uncounted others who will jump once the courts start rulings against TEC. And then, there is the majority of the Anglican Communion scowling towards 815 in New York.

All is well.

Bateau Master said...

Perhaps, Jefferts Schori said, if all sides in the current debate over sexuality and Scripture could "hold their truths more lightly," they might yet find a way forward -- together.

What truths is she willing to hold more lightly? What truths are You willing to hold more lightly?

Is a lightly held truth a truth at all?

Anonymous said...

Sorry allen - dioceses can't leave. Bishops may leave and members may leave. A new bishop will chosen, new members will come and go and come again and life will go on.

Anonymous said...

I think this church and others may just be becoming clearer about who they are.

I think that if you were to just change "church" to denomination, I'd agree with her completely.

I'm all for clarity.

Is there some way that I can do this without a google account. I do so hate to be annoymous!?

Brian F said...

absolutely bateau master - it seems an incredibly shallow statement to suggest that anyone should hold their truths more lightly when we are talking about the eternal nature of things: of God, humanity and salvation; which have been revealed to us in Scripture.

Frair John said...

Your numbers are off. I doubt that most of the people in those diocies don't want to leave - they have been told that they do, but they will come back as soon as they learn that they have been lead astray.
I, for one, am looking forward to a renewed life in many of these places.


anonymous 7:36 -- If you don't want to register for the Google thing then just do what some of our commenters do: post "anonymously" but sign your name ... or A name ... to distinguish yourself from the ANONYMOUS anonymous posters!

Anonymous said...

couldn't resist sharing this comment on the same article over at T19 this morning for those "moderates" who think there's some hope of negotiating with the schismatics. Clearly there is NOTHING short of complete capitualtion that will do for them, so I say "full speed ahead!"



1) Immediately drop the lawsuits
2) Adhere to Lambeth 1.10 as the standard of teaching withing the Communion
3) Refuse to consent to the election of non-celibate gay bishops
4) Refuse to allow same sex marriages or blessings of other same sex unions, civil or otherwise.
5) Nominate your 2 members to the Pastoral Council

IF these things are not done, it is clear to the world that you are not interested in reconciliation. The path is before you. Take it or walk your own.

Hiram said...

Bp Schori seems to be inviting conservatives to a negotiation of some sorts. But what will SHE "hold lightly"? She has said (in San Francisco, just after the HoB meeting), "we are not going back."

She may think that she is trying to mend a rift, but what we conservatives hear is, "'Won't you come into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly."

I will believe she is serious about mending the rift if she does what Fred copied from Titus 1:9.

Anonymous said...

It's "my way or the highway" with theh conservatives. They WANT the liberals out. They have no interest in compromise or coexistance.

It is pretty obvious from the outside that if the liberals were the same, then there would be more gay bishops and a rite for gay marriage. There isn't. That there isn't, suggests an effort at compromise and the middle ground.

But that's weakness, to a conservative.

Of course it also proves it's all about the homos. They aren't calling to abolish women priests or divorced and remarried bishops, now are they?

john said...

I like the PB (better than her predecessor, certainly) and, although she had a rocky start, I like the way she's doing her job, but comments like this still make me a bit nervous, because they betray a lack of complete comprehension of a fundamental truth:

"Perhaps, Jefferts Schori said, if all sides in the current debate over sexuality and Scripture could "hold their truths more lightly," they might yet find a way forward -- together."

Tell me, how am I supposed to hold the immutable truth of my own sexuality "more lightly" in the face of those who claim in constitutes an impediment to my becoming a full member of the Christian community?

Anonymous said...

The conservatives that remain or *try* to leave will be treated no better than Katerine's mother was by her daughter. She left TEC in the 70's (and abhorred the idea of women's ordination, by the way) and
was denied an Orthodox Christian funeral by her priestess daughter. Expect no better treatment, and go now.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 10:39 am

What are you talking about?

FrMichael-- another non-Google type

Anonymous said...

There were many opportunities to compromise. REAL DEPO would have done it. Parallel provinces might have done it. But all we heard were the canons don't allow it. Property was more important to 815 than possible future reconciliation. Positions harden over time and have reached the point where it is unlikely reunion will ever be possible. The historic example you folks like to use is that of the Continuing Anglican Churches. A truly bad example. There are whole provinces in the AC that have turned their backs upon TEC. Foreign primates have offered support and shelter. Nothing like that has ever happened before. Keep telling yourselves that the numbers are small, that dioceses can't leave, that most Episcopalians don't care. And while you are at it, ask Comrade Chancellor if he has legal partners who specializes in bankruptcy - moral, spiritual as well as econimic.

Anonymous said...

Father Michael said . . . .

"What are you talking about?"


Ms. Schori's mother became disillusioned with the TEC, and not wanting to go back to Rome (she was raised Catholic) was chrismated into the Antiochian Church. In her will, she specified an Orthodox funeral, but her daughter claimed the body and performed the Episcopal burial ceremony in an Episcopal Church.

The Pilgrim

Anonymous said...

FrMichael, Just that. Katherine Schori's mother became a layman in the Orthodox Church in the late 70's. When she died, having been disabled for several years, the daughter, now ordained (1997) did the funeral, denying her an Orthodox service. There was no question at all of there not being an Orthodox cleric available.

Allen said...

Sorry Anonymous,

815, General Convention, strategists, pressure groups, and even the Presiding Bishop will not decide this one. In Virginia Judge Bellows will decide who gets to leave with what. Word from observers in court indicate that Judge Bellows isn't amused by TEC's claim that they own what they didn't pay for occupy, or maintain.

Stay tuned. The truth won't be held lightly.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of truths being held to be self evident, but what kind of morally confused person holds a truth lightly

Anonymous said...

I would rather KJS had said "hold their truths more HUMBLY", which is what I think she meant. In other words, we all have a tendency to think that we are right. It's good to remember the words of the Mad One, "Of Course I Could Be Wrong" (Poor Maddie, last thing he wants is to be advising bishops). At any rate, we will find out eventually, and we hope that God forgives our dunderheadedness if we are wrong.

BTW, Anons, if you don't want to sign up for Google/blogger, just add your sig to the post.


Anonymous said...

I don't know any details about how KJS buried her mom, and I'm totally on the other side from her, but having lost my mom at an early age and really screwing up her funeral... let's give her some slack and assume good intentions. I am absolutely sure that God has made this OK. People do really stupid things when they're wrapped up in grief, and I'm not sure that we should be judging their actions during those times.


Anonymous said...

Oh! look! anonymous swift-boating! My the conservatives ARE showing their flags, aren't they? And here they denied they were all trained roveian-rethuglicans.

I would put it to you that no one knows the situation better than the family, and regardless, it's none of ours (yours included) business just how bp schori's mum was buried.

You gossip-mongers should be ashamed of yourselves.


Anonymous said...

IT, I have a historical reflection for you. Around 50 years ago, the Bishop of Olympia was William Lewis. In that era, there were alot friendlier ties between Anglicans & Orthodox. Some Orthodox laymen in the Seattle area even received communion, wrongly, in Episcopal churches. The local Orthodox clergy wrote Bishop Lewis asking that his clergy not allow this, as it is against the teaching of the Orthodox Christian faith. He told his clergy that they were expected to respect Orthodox teachings on this matter and not knowingly commune Orthodox laity. The Orthodox clergy held Bishop Lewis in quite high regard for this. Fast forward to 1997. My mother died, as did Katherine Schori's. It never occurred to me *not* to give my mother a funeral in her Episcopal parish. It never occurred to Katherine *to* give her mother an Orthodox funeral. Of course, I don't have a PhD or seminary training. Would that she could have had the wisdom, the common sense of Wiliam Lewis.
Now for the fun contrast. Bishop Lewis was Bishop of Nevada before coming to Olympia. Katherine Schori was also in Nevada before her meteoric rise.
My conclusion is that they don't make Bishops of Nevada like they used to. They sure don't make Bishops of Olympia like they did! But that's what TEC wants, and it's what they get. Not a swift boat, just the facts.

Anonymous said...

If this burial story are true, that torpedoes what little respect I had for KJS. My own elderly father isn't Catholic, and will be buried not by me but by a cleric of his own denomination as is his choice.


Anonymous said...

Having just recently buried my much loved mother, it never occurred to me to bury her other than at her own church (Anglican) among her own church community. The fact that I am Presbyterian was completely irrelevant.

I wonder what did happen here to make KJS bury her mother away from her mothers faith tradition and family? I can't conceive of a reason for it to be done other than logistics like they could not find a orthodox priest, but presumably there was one. I just hope it was not that she held her own mothers' faith lightly


Anonymous said...

"You gossip-mongers should be ashamed of yourselves."

For reporting the truth? I don't think so.

There is nothing judgemental in either the post from myself, or from "anonymous." I stated the straight facts, and anon added a few more details, with absolutely NO pejorative modifiers or negative adjectives. Fr. Michael asked for the facts in the incident, and we provided them. Deal with it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, may God bless us each and every one; not only in this magnificent country, but all over His creation.

--The Pilgrim