Friday, November 16, 2007

Say WHAT??????????

OK ... even given that The Washington Times has the same reputation for "fair and balanced" that Fox News has and even though reporter Julia Duin has a well deserved reputation for twisting the facts on the ground to fit the story in her head, today's article on the Virginia property disputes hit a new low for everyone involved.

Bishop says she made diocese
sue 11 churches
screamed the headline.

"Wow!" I thought. "How'd she "make" them do that????"

And then I read the actual quote from the deposition our Presiding Bishop gave in regard to the matter under dispute:

"I told Bishop Lee I could not support negotiations for sale if the congregations intended to set up as other parts of the Anglican Communion," Bishop Jefferts Schori said, referring to the 77 million-member worldwide body of which the Episcopal Church is a part.

So I've got the same question EpiScope is asking: Can someone explain how you get from "I told Bishop Lee I could not support" to "says she forced"?

While we're waiting for the answer, let's focus on what +Katharine actually DID say:

Bishop Jefferts Schori defended her actions "as a means to preserve assets of the Episcopal Church for ministry and the mission of the Episcopal Church." Efforts by overseas archbishops to set up competing churches for disenfranchised conservatives "violates our integrity as a church," she said.

And let's give thanks for a Presiding Bishop hanging tough when she needs to.


Anonymous said...

...although she has no problem with the churches being sold to "Methodists or Baptists".

Brian F said...

I wonder if she would have any problem with parish buildings being sold to Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox congregations, since they also have bishops with parallel jurisdictions.

It is very curious that she seems to have all authority (to determine who is a suitable buyer in a supposedly open market place for Episcopalian assets) and yet no authority (to agree to an Alternative Primatial scheme). Either she is very forceful, has some powerful legal clout behind her, or Bp Lee is very weak. Who knows what her body language or tone of voice was like or who was standing behind her when she spoke with Bp Lee about not supporting the sale of Episcopalian assests to departing congregations.

Bp Lee should have simply told her to butt out, she has no authority over a diocesan bishop. Bp Lee should have told her that he had a perfectly acceptable process to settle the property claims of the departing congregations in Virginia, that was none of her business; and then these legal disputes would not have been necessary and so much more money could be devoted to ECUSA's core mission (the MDG's)

Even +Rowan Cantuar and +Peter Abuja are still diocesan bishops even while they are primates of their provinces. What is +Schori's See? nothing. Still - that's not her fault, just ECUSA's "polity" Is she truly a primus inter pares among her fellow bishops as +Peter Abuja and +Rowan Cantuar are, according to historical Anglican tradition, or is she gradually advancing her position to be more like a pope of an international denomination with un-Anglican polity. But then even the Pope is still the Bishop of his own See (Rome)

Strange that she whines about foreign archbishops violating the integrity of ECUSA when its integrity has already been violated from within.

Let us pray that she will always be gracious, even to those in disagreement with her, not one who hangs tough.

Jim said...

Rev Russell:

I think there is a level of meanness here on the part of the PB that does seem to indicate a vindictiveness strictly towards those leaving for continuing Anglican churches.
The fact that she said she would have no problem selling the buildings to "Methodists" would seem to be evidence of that.
As I have said I am one who believes those of us who disagree should simply leave without property I find her admission rather startling in its tone.
Sounds like the bishop was ready to fashion an amicable resolution when PB stepped in and derailed it. Although, if Bp. Lee had any cajones he would have defied her (as one of her equals) and gone ahead with a peaceful, non civil settlement.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim from Michigan

David said...

You ask this lowly Canadian to name the two greatest gifts to our blessed Communion in these times?
Isn't it obvious ++Katherine Jefferts Schori and +Gene Robinson.
With living blessings like these we just might stand a chance of becoming a true and living embodiment of the Body of Christ.
So thanks indeed for ++Katherine
And again I say Amen.

Allen said...

A note of caution to all those heading to General Convention 2009 in Anaheim:

You'll be faced with slick talk from all sides of any debate. Your fellow delegates (maybe even you yourself) tend to me more liberal than those in the pew. You may even flatter yourselves into believing that you are more prophetic than our partners around the world.

Whatever your strategic agenda, remember that this Church is already in its death throws as evidenced by the Virginia trials, and schisms all over the United States.

Don't be the ones known to have killed this Church off for good.

BabyBlue said...

Or turning them into a saloon.


A.S. said...

um-- didn't she de facto tell him to sue- she told him to cut off negotiations with the dissident's. What am I missing here?

Anonymous said...

I pray for +Katherine who has been such a target. Its sad that people speak so disrespectfully about her and then demand, with the same tongue, that she be ever so gracious and "respectful" (as they define the word). I wonder how different it would be if we all held ourselves to the same standard?

Anonymous said...

Why not sell them to the "Methodists or Baptists"? Admittedly, those denominations are not very welcoming, but they don't have quite the elevated level of hatred as do Iker, Duncan, and the like.

Anonymous said...

Well, if given the choice between a saloon and a bunch of fundamentalists, I'll take the saloon any day. And I expect I'll find more Christians there too.

Anonymous said...

+Katharine didn't force +Peter Lee to do anything. Canonically, she> can't. But she does have the ability to persuade; she used it, and> +Peter paid attention to good counsel. Good for her. Good for him.

Sell the property to the Methodists or Baptists and there's a good chance they won't use the property to whine about and undermine the people who sold it to them instead of furthering the Gospel. Sound logic.

Meanness? Horse hockey. You all sound> [truncated by sender]

seamus said...

I interpret the pb's comments differently, as a defense against the absurdity of a foreign province with whom the Episcopal church is supposedly in communion, trying to absorb into its province Episcopal congregations and whole dioceses.

Furthermore she finds indefensible the attacks against the comprehensiveness of the doctrines and theologies of the Episcopal church which is the essense of Anglicanism and it is to her credit that she stands firm against these outlandish and quite frankly misoginistic attacks by reactionary forces.

She is proving to be a force to be reckoned with because the pb's toughness comes from her attempting to be"as wise as serpents" then anything having to do with Bishop Lee's genitalia or lack thereof.

JIm said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

I would simply add, and this will be my final word on this, that when you contrast the actions of the "separatist" dioceses with TEC there is a startling difference.
In every case, so far, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, the provisions of the diocese/bishop are that any TEC parishes who want to retain their property and remain within TEC if and when the split occurs may do so.
On the scales of justice, that we are all so fond of talking about, which is the more just?
My only prayer is that the polarization will eventually result in a Christlike move (on both sides) to negotiate a peaceful divorce, one that while it won't honor Jesus, will not be such a terrible witness to the world.
Bp. Lee was on the right track, negotiations were close, but it was lawyers - not theologians - who decided to derail the work.
Had those negotiations gone forward and been completed all this anger, debate and waste of money - again lawyers - could have been used for mission work by both sides. We also wouldn't be talking about it today.
How are the MDGs advanced when millions are being spent to fight for luchre?

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim from Michigan

Anonymous said...

I think your Presiding Bishop learned a lot from her soujourn in the halls of academe as a woman scientist. She clearly knows how academic politics is played. (I've said before that your church politics has enormous similarities to the sacred grove of academe). She was a good choice for a leader, says this woman scientist.


seamus said...

Gee Jim,
I'm sure faithful Episcopalians are saying "Thanks for letting me keep what's mine."
What is so unchristlike about the rule of law?
A good lawyer can protect you from a bad theologian.
Bishop Lee was making a bad move on a faulty premise and wised up fast.