Episcopal Church’s Katharine Jefferts Schori will not seek re-election

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Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Photo courtesy of The Episcopal Church

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Photo courtesy of The Episcopal Church

NEW YORK (RNS) Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected to head a national branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, announced Tuesday (Sept. 23) that she will not seek a second nine-year term in office.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Photo courtesy of The Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected to head a national branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, announced Tuesday (Sept. 23) that she will not seek a second nine-year term in office. Photo courtesy of The Episcopal Church

Her departure will likely set off debates over her legacy and the future of the 2 million-member denomination.

“I believe I can best serve this church by opening the door for other bishops to more freely discern their own vocation to this ministry,” Jefferts Schori, 60, said in a statement. “I will continue to engage us in becoming a more fully diverse church, spreading the gospel among all sorts and conditions of people, and wholeheartedly devoted to God’s vision of a healed and restored creation.”

Her 2006 election was celebrated as a breakthrough for women leadership in the church; delegates sported pink “It’s a Girl!” buttons after the vote. She remains the only female primate in the Anglican Communion, but last year the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America followed suit and elected its first female presiding bishop.

Jefferts Schori’s current term will end at the conclusion of the Episcopalians’ General Convention in Salt Lake City in June 2015. Church membership during her term has dropped by 12 percent, according to the most recent statistics available from the denomination.

Jefferts Schori’s time as presiding bishop has been lauded by theological liberals and bemoaned by conservatives, but both breakaway Anglicans and Jefferts Schori were instrumental to one another’s rise.

Jefferts Schori, a trained marine biologist who previously served as bishop of Nevada, served as the 26th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Some conservative bishops who were planning to exit purposefully voted for her because they saw her as the most liberal candidate. They wanted a strong contrast between the leadership of the Episcopal Church and the leadership of what would become the Anglican Church in North America.

Earlier this summer, ACNA, which broke away from the Episcopal Church in 2009 because of sharp differences over human sexuality and the authority of the Bible, elected Atlanta Bishop Foley Beach to become their new archbishop. ACNA counts 112,000 members in 983 churches across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

While ACNA has been embraced by conservative Anglican archbishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America, Jefferts Schori received a cold shoulder from many other Anglican leaders, some of whom harbored reservations about her status as a female bishop.

Those affiliated with ACNA led an exodus of theologically conservative Episcopalians under the watch of Jefferts Schori, who upset conservatives with theological statements on things such as salvation. In an interview with Time magazine, she was asked, “Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?” She replied, “We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.”

In 2009, Jefferts Schori denounced “the great Western heresy — that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God,” which angered evangelicals and church traditionalists.

Before Jefferts Schori took office in 2006, then-Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold had a hands-off policy on litigation against departing parishes, leaving those decisions to local dioceses. Under Jefferts Schori’s leadership, however, the national church spent millions of dollars in litigation against five dioceses in church property fights. In most cases, the national church won.

The controversial election and consecration of the Episcopal Church’s first gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, was in 2003, three years before Schori was elected. Under her leadership, the denomination adopted a provisional rite for the blessing of same-sex unions in 2009 and added “gender identity and expression” to the church’s nondiscrimination canons in 2012, declaring that transgender persons could not be excluded from any ordained office of the church on those grounds alone.

She also presided at the 2010 consecration of the church’s second openly gay bishop, Suffragan Bishop Mary Glasspool of Los Angeles.

A nominating committee is expected to present the church with five nominees to succeed Jefferts Schori. Likely candidates could include Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut, Bishop Shannon Johnston of Virginia and Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina.

Under church law, presiding bishops must be able to complete a full nine-year term before hitting the mandatory retirement age of 72, limiting candidates to those under age 63 at next year’s convention.

KRE/MG END BAILEY

  • Nick Porter

    Here’s the hoping that the General Convention will elect a Christian this time.

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  • Church membership during her term has dropped by 12 percent, according to the most recent statistics available from the denomination.

    As someone once said of contracts voted down by Teamster members, “and that’s with the union officers counting the votes”.

  • Maunalani

    The Barack Obama of religious leaders.

  • Fr Murse

    The controversies embroiling the Episcopal Church USA precede the election and episcopacy of Archbishop Jefferts-Schori (another title for PB). Many of the heterodox beliefs and practices of what has become known as Progressive Christianity have found a home in both the PECUSA and ELCA but not for the reasons so often cited. It is past time for women in all spheres of leadership in all cultures, religions and global economies to be recognized for the gifted leaders they are. Many of us who are not gay or lesbian nevertheless support the inclusion of LGBT persons in leadership as well. Both of these– inclusion of women as validly ordained clergy and persons of all genetically-determined gender variations– belong in the universal, catholic church at all levels.

    Sadly for me, however, is something much more basic and destructive to the Episcopal Church for the last century or more. None of the above “issues” are worth the press they generate. Rather, the simple question, “What do you think of Jesus?” has led to theological deception and a whole new language alien to the understanding of the early apostolic church. I seldom use the term Christ anymore because it has been hijacked to mean something so different from the orthodox understanding of Jesus as the Messiah-King and uniquely God-Man. You have to do some amazing unhistorical and neo-mythologizing search through the Scriptures to get to the Jesus beloved by many Episcopal, ELCA and Methodist bishops and other post-Jesus Seminar thinkers. A sizable portion of us choose to remain in the “multiple universe” of today’s Episcopal Church, however, giving quiet witness to the eternal Lordship of Jesus incarnate through the virgin Mary, bodily resurrected (albeit a glorified one), and who reigns now until the great transformation of the Cosmos, divinized creation. Every generation has struggled to understand the question “Who is Jesus?” but not all are willing to accept the uncomfortable orthodox answer which drives us to our knees in adoration like simple Christians before us.

    I recognize the brave decision our Katharine made to accept being the first female PB, and the criticisms she has endured. At the same time, I am hoping the next PB will be more like the current bishop of Rome in how he/she sees Jesus…. but keeping an Anglican openness to all the other issues cited above. Yes, it is all tied to how you see the Word of God, written and incarnate, after all.

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  • Robert Bohler

    Which dissident, then-TEC, bishops voted for Jefforts Schori as presiding bishop?

  • Jim Webster

    Good observation, Fr Murse. I despair at the un-Christian charity displayed by so many others who comment here and on other online fora.

  • Jeff Walton

    Robert, Bishop John-David Schofield, past bishop of San Joaquin, was one. Considering that his diocese did not ordain women to the priesthood, his vote for Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop was counter-intuitive.

  • Susan Russell

    Wow! Tertullian would never have uttered the words “See those Christians — how they love one another!” if he’d stumbled across the comments on THIS one!

    Suffice to say, I am grateful for Bishop Jefferts Schori’s leadership as our Presiding Bishop and looking forward to the continued work and witness of an Episcopal Church firmly rooted in its Anglican ethos and willing to be a prophetic voice in the 21st century.

  • Bishop Katharine is, in my humble but undoubtedly correct opinion, the best thing that’s happened to Christianity since the resurrection of Christ. Her worldview has always been centered on the idea of radical inclusion, respect for the dignity of all people, justice, peace, and stewardship of creation. She speaks often of “shalom”— that is, God’s dream for humanity: a perfectly reconciled world where everybody eats, there is no poverty or greed, and nobody studies war anymore— and our role as children of God in helping to usher in that dream of God’s Kingdom coming and God’s will being done on earth as it is in Heaven.

    She has served under tremendous theological, social and financial pressures with grace and style, intelligence and wisdom, all of which is obviously steeped in prayer, discernment, and enormous spiritual depth. She is unflappable, which seriously annoys those with serious theological, social and financial differences. Her leadership has been nothing short of prophetic, and has never had a problem calling [expletive deleted] when she sees it. In other words, she’s a badass. And, like most prophetically ill-behaved women, she’s hated and demonized by many who feel insecure around strong women who refuse to be silenced.

    Like many faithful Episcopalians, I grieve for her departure. However, at the same time, most of us also know that serving in such a difficult office for eighteen consecutive years (two full terms) would be enough to put anyone in their grave. That’s especially true in this case, given what a controversial figure Katharine is and the amount of [expletive deleted] she’s had to take from so many people about everything from her gender to her politics to her theology to her gender… oh, and did I mention her gender… and given the difficult season in the history/life of the Church that we are currently in.

    Grace, peace, and mercy to you, dear Bishop. May God bless whatever your next adventure might be. Shalom.

  • Sarah

    RE: “Tertullian would never have uttered the words “See those Christians . . . ”

    Yep — he would have recognized that some of the people commenting here didn’t share his faith or the same Gospel and thus wouldn’t have even taken note of whether they “loved” one another. So he wouldn’t have even said “see those Christians!” ; > )

    At any rate, as a happy member of The Episcopal Church, I will be pleased to not have Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of course — the combination of smugness and vacuity was quite a strain to read, but she’ll continue on emoting as she finds the time I’m sure so those who like that sort of thing will be able to continue hearing her.

    But I’m not under any illusions — most of the House of Bishops is frankly unbelieving and there won’t be a good replacement for her by any stretch. I found the Presiding Bishop’s frank and public expressions of unbelief to be refreshingly honest, and do commend her for that as it made communications amongst Episcopalians who believe the Gospel and remain in TEC so easy and clear. Those who couldn’t stomach it left TEC, and those of us who could stayed on, well aware of what kind of religion she held. That meant she and her words and ideas had no power — they were simply tuned out by one group, and held up to the light and admired by the other.

    That is the great gift, I think, that she brought TEC — clarity about the deep and broad chasm between the two groups within TEC. You couldn’t read her as a believer in TEC and not say “wow — she really doesn’t share the same faith or foundational values.”

    And that was a helpful thing, I think, for both groups. She has been a living icon and demonstration of the radical division between two antithetical and mutually opposing foundational worldviews that exist within TEC.

    Sarah, the Blonde Buddhist

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Although I find it sad to see other mainstream Christian churches virtually self-destructing, I find myself not too upset if the Episcopal Church elects a leader who chops another 12 percent off Episcopal Church membership–especially if those former Episcopalians “swim the Tiber” to escape a church less and less in tune with the Tradition of the Church Fathers and the Bible.

  • Geoffrey Peckham

    Schori is not an archbishop, no matter how badly she might want to be one. By the Constitution and Canons of the Church she presides over meetings of the House of Bishops and of General Convention, and outside of those responsibilities she is really nothing more than an administrator. It’s been that way since 1789.

    Recent canonical changes make eliminating those she does not easier for her to accomplish. But even those left in TEC see how dangerous someone so vicious and hungry for power could be; they would likely see it for themselves one day when the opponents are run out and there hierarchy turns on its own to satisfy its taste for destruction. I can’t see even the current “faithful” ever going for that.

    If there is still such a thing as TEC if/when the PB’s position is turned into an archbishopric the end of TEC will be only a matter of time, and not much time at that.

  • tpaine

    Let us objectively look at Schori’s record:
    First time entire dioceses have seceded from the national church; most ever parishes leaving the national church; first time EVER the national church has sued fellow Christians(WWJD indeed); the loss of HALF the communicants during one Presiding Bishop’s tenure, and the denouncement of 2/3’s of the Anglican Communion of the ‘true faith.”

  • tpaine

    We’re STILL talking TEC here. They’ll elect another pro-homo, pro-transgender relativist just like Schori only this time a male, apparently. About as close to “the vision of Christ” as Machiavelli.
    I pray for the few remaining Episcopalians, I really do.

  • tpaine

    Well, you have an ENTIRE “church” to call home. Not that it believes in anything truly Christian, but they are an “established” church “legally” and THAT is important??
    PS The ACNA is the fastest growing “church” in North AND South America for a reason. “God’s word is eternal.”

  • tpaine

    “Anglican ethos” like Henry VIII declaring himself “Head of the Church” so he could get a divorce the Pope wouldn’t grant?
    As St. Thomas More so eloquently said before his beheading: “The King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
    Too bad the TEC is filled with relativists and not saints. Such is our “fallen nature.”

  • tpaine

    Let us, objectively, look at Schori’s record:
    First time entire dioceses have seceded from the national church; most ever parishes leaving the national church; first time EVER the national church has sued fellow Christians(WWJD indeed); the loss of HALF the communicants during one Presiding Bishop’s tenure, and the denouncement of 2/3’s of the Anglican Communion of the ‘true faith.”

  • tpaine

    No, she and the churches’ “attorney” sued local parishes whose blood, sweat and tears went into building “their church” without a single dime from the Diocese let alone the “national church.”
    She won those fights against these poor, underfunded, unprepared and badly represented attorneys, but also assigned herself to the never ending, frozen pits of Hell in the process and those who financially supported those efforts.
    Nothing I would write home to Grandma about for sure.

  • tpaine

    So if you can read and understand Scripture, you are “un-Christian?” That about sum it up?

  • tpaine

    Obviously, “suing” fellow Christians is the first thing Jesus would think of!! Are you reading and understanding what you say? As a fellow Christian, I hope not.

  • Problem is, Sue, we’re talking here about Christians and Episcopalians. Which are completely different things.

  • Hail Katharine, full of grace, Anna?

  • FW Ken

    Would that be Catholic Tertullian? Or Montanist Tertullian? I suspect that one could find some ripe comments from him before or after his conversion.

    The thing is, Christians in that era had no problem calling out heretics. Who was it called Marcion “first born of satan”? That was earlier than Tertullian, but later you have St. Nicholas (that Jolly Old Elf) in jail for hitting Arius.

  • dominic1955

    Humble, yet undoubtedly correct opinions… hmm, me thinks you know not the meaning of the words your strung together up there.

  • Diogenes

    You sound utterly confused.

  • Sarah

    Nah — I think I was clear enough. ; > )

  • Kurt Hill

    ” I despair at the un-Christian charity displayed by so many others who comment here and on other online fora.”

    AMEN! This un-Christian attitude is particularly displayed by the self-described “Evangelicals.”

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

  • As a former Episcopalian and now an eight year member of the ACNA, I can only marvel at the rife politicalization of this former great church institution having been perverted by the secular world view of its leadership to serve a utopian agenda bereft of the one true faith. Intellectual pride cometh before a fall.

  • wmpaul

    But the evidence is that gays are not genetically determined. Like the rest though.

  • Father Bill

    I have read these comments with a mixture of joy and revulsion. It is indeed a good thing to read the passionate musings of other followers of the Way. I am a TEC priest, one who holds formly to biblical orthodoxy and the Thirty-nine Articles, also known as the fine print in the back of the BCP. Bishop Kate has not been a positive force in our church, at least in terms of embracing or articulationg anything remotely resembling historic or biblical Christianity. Jesus for her is one path among many. I remain in TEC perhaps because I am too stubborn or afraid to leave, but also because, as of this writing, I am not being strong-armed by my bishop to preach according to the “faith” or dictates of 815 or Diocesan House. While Bishop Kate and other more liberal clergy might cross their fingers when they recite the Nicene Creed, I have learned to hold my nose and pray silently when they pontificate about the need for “justice”–a misundestanding of the difference between man’s sense of justice and the justice God offers. Bishop Kate, like Bishop Frank before her, will enjoy a luxurious retirement financed by the Church Pension Fund, perhaps write a book or two about saving the environment or the ned for greater diversity and inclusion in the church, and then, like each of us, stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Thankfully, he is a merciful Judge.

  • Crabby Conservative

    Crystal clear Sarah. I’m sure Diogenes meant to reply to Anna – bless her heart.

  • Palamas

    Behold the very model of a graduate of our public school system–a nitwit who thinks that history started around the time she was born, or maybe a few years after that.

  • Catherine S. Salmon

    @Robert Bohler, several retired and at least a couple of [then-]sitting bishops voted for her with the express goal of pushing the Anglican Communion to the breaking point. As @Jeff Walton noted, John-David Schofield was one; I know for a fact that FitzSimmons Allison was another — he admitted it to my father, who was absolutely furious and really tore him to shreds over it. I believe Robert Duncan and Jack Iker did, as well. (Personally, I think those bishops who voted for her with that goal in mind violated their consecration vows.)

    You may also recall that she won by 2 votes.

  • FrMurse

    Ah, Fr Bill, nice to see another TEC presbyter “coming out” as an orthodox believer who understands exactly what PB Katharine is not: it ain’t PC for the PB to not include all other ways to the Father/Mother/It. Since universalism seems to have eclipsed Trinitarian theology in much of the House of Bishops, Jesus is just one of the ways to the Divine. A prophetic child of a god of our understanding who became God for his followers several months after his death? **sigh** Yes, I too ignore such devolving faith when I dare to worship and thank the unique Son of God at Mass. I choose to remain in TEC without fear, however: my pension is intact! Strangely, to misquote Ps 23, I find some ironic peace in walking through”the valley of deadly heterodoxy. I don’t fear its evil discord, for the Lord is with me” (and, I am humbly reminded, with those who no longer believe in the unique divinity of Jesus). I do miss my friends who have sailed with ACNA and are praying for me. I pray for all of us.

  • Bruce Bevans

    I am also a conservative, orthodox priest who chose to remain while so many friends left for ACNA. I have wondered why the PB doesn’t seem to mention ever the holy Name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. It disturbs me, quite frankly. And not to mention the millions of dollars spent on law suits, that really bothers me, money that could have been well spent for mission and new church plants. And lastly, the PB’s changing the office into to that of a de facto Archbishop. Very sad, very sad.

  • DNBell

    In response to Fr Murse’s emetic fawning over “his” Katherine’s ascendancy to the position of “Presiding Bishop” (the canons of TEC explicitly do NOT use the term Archbishop, as they also choose “Episcopal” for the denomination’s name as “Anglican” would have not been acceptable in the post-Revolutionary War climate wherein all broke their oath of obedience to the English Crown …. this required that they go to the Scottish Episcopal Church to find a Bishop who would elevate the first American clergy to be the Bishop who would consecrate the clergy & Bishops of the new American church). Fr Murse is perhaps overlooking the well documented frauds she committed on her resume so that she would appear to meet the established/advertised requirements for the position of Bishop (let alone the PB): falsely claiming to have served as a Vicar of a congregation; falsely claiming to have served in a position of significance in an Anglican Theological Seminary/College (at an institution which did not exist!). These falsified credentials are so blatant that it is inconceivable that they were not discovered during the vetting process by the respective selection committees, so surely there must have been some degree of malfeasance involved by their members.

    Not since Adolf Hitler appointed the obscene vulgarity of Ludwig Muller as his first Reichsbischof (Reich Bishop for the forced consolidation of all mainline Protestant churches in the Third Reich) has such a blatantly unqualified individual been politically elevated to the episcopate (note: she generally used the same falsified/fraudulent resume to become Bishop of Nevada as well as PB).

    Such abominations occur when politics become the determiner of qualifications instead of personal holiness & genuine orthodox clerical offices.

    Over her term so far she has by her own admission antagonized & impeded the relations between the US Church and the other members of the Anglican Communion, as well as sought conflict with any dissenting members or branches of the US Church, for whom she confiscated their properties in a kangaroo-style legal process reminiscent of the Nazi confiscation of the properties of their concentration camp victims.

    Then of course – reading Anna’s post stating that KJS is “the best thing that’s happened to Christianity since Christ’s resurrection” …. but that of course would be a resurrection that KJS has denied actually happened ….. These people have “drank the koolaid” but will still be required to submit to the throne of Judgement, just as their heroine will, for their heresy &
    apostasy come the hereafter.

  • Fifendrum

    The Episcopal Church is a Reformation Church, a Gospel oriented Church
    and the Gospel has been and is very well taught by it. Of the great Mainstream Christian church participants , Episcopal clergy are among the most highly educated. We are great lovers of ‘Bible Study’ and sound theology taught by educated teachers.

  • Fifendrum

    Bunk. God is incomprehensible to mankind. The Episcopal Church teaches the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth well. Jesus, the untamed tiger, the one who knew that God is near. Interestingly, all communication depends upon the receiver.

  • Big Cajun

    Wrong. It’s that the “future” will continue long after people of your generation are gone. Our elders have brought not only the church, but the entire world to the materialistic, sick, war-torn hell it has become.

    Anna’s generation (and mine), as well as those who are coming after us, are going to be cleaning up your mess, LONG after you’re gone. We know our history quite well, thank you very much. Unlike most of our older counterparts, we’re trying to learn from that history, and not repeat its stupidity.

    We seek to bring a fuller, relevant, unrestrained Christ to the world; a Christ that the historical church kept boxed up in order to control people. By the Grace of Almighty God, that tyranny, is ending.

    Pax Domini, sit semper vobiscum.

  • Robert McDonald

    Wow, what a terrible burden it must be to know so well the mind of God. Oh well I would rather eat with the tax-collectors and prostitutes. They tend to make better companions then those so sure of their own holiness.

  • Marsha ‘praying in the desert with Jesus’

    The last time that I checked, God’s word [Jesus] has not changed neither has God, Creator of the Universe. People try to make Him into what ever they choose, yet not accept Him as the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the World. Because of His sacrifice, we are here breathing vs on the road to hell being tormented by the devil [whom many think is an idea]. Yet, we love our idols of thought and refuse ‘lay them down’ in the face of the presence of God himself. What in the world are we doing?????
    – A person who falsifies their qualifications should be disqualified for any position. How can you trust them as a leader? You don’t know what else that person will falsify. Faithful in little, faithful in much. Faithless in little, faithless in much. Luke 16:10. A leopard cannot change his stripes, yet Jesus can change his direction. He will change us if we allow Him too – more peace filled!

    – Hebrews 3:10-11 – wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, Always do they go astray in heart, and these have not known My ways; so I sware in My anger, If they shall enter into My rest — !’)
    —— who Do we Think that we are dealing with??? We have grandiose ideas and get ‘wound up’ in them and they are wound around heads like a fortress. Do we not see that it is God ‘leaving’ that person in the wilderness not entering His blessed rest and peace… Jesus, help us see ourselves before you return and repent!

  • We are reformed Catholics, but we’re not part of the protestant Reformation. That’s a common but false myth. The earliest BCP’s found elements of Luther, Calvin, & Zwingli but those were all eliminated in The Great Settlement. If what we pray is what we believe, it will be very hard to retrace Reformation theology in the BCP. Praxis might be a different story given the way people break rubrics though.

  • One cannot hold to a material reductionistic account of gender and think like a Christian since we believe in formal causes, ie ‘souls.’ If indeed things are genetically “determined,” then we are saying we’re committed to dualism, in which case, the body of a man on a cross cannot save the soul. This is a new iteration of an ancient heresy, which is to say contradictory. Plus our various sciences do not make a claim to genetic determinism. Genetics often points back to psychology for help.

    I completely agree that folks have constructed a new “Jesus” through “demythologizing” which has done nothing but create a new but false Jesus myth. I fear seminarian education and clergy practice has left off The Prayers. If folks recited the Apostle’s Creed in daily Morning and Evening Prayer as the BCP states we ought to as the regular services of this Church (BCP; 13) we might find the classroom to be a place to investigate what we pray, instead of investigating cultural pop…

  • Our parishes and members would have to be deeply rooted in the character building activities that are Anglican in order for us to be deeply rooted in the Anglican ethos. One cannot separate character, who we are, from what we do. But that is not the case in most places. Most of our clergy and laity have no idea how to lead Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer which the 79 BCP says are the regular services of our Church.

  • This is not true. There are relativists everywhere in the Western World but plenty of Episcopalians are not relativists. As evidence I just wrote an article three weeks ago for Episcopal students called “Relativism is Irrational, Full Stop.”
    http://ecuga.org/2015/02/03/relativism-is-irrational-full-stop/
    Second, just because members think one thing, does not mean that the Head, Christ, is somehow in danger. Of course the members are going to sin or think silly things, Holiness is in the Head. The rest of us are in a state of becoming.

  • Episcopalians are Baptized, that means they’ve been made one with Christ through the waters of salvation. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that wrong thinking, wrong passions, or wrong appetites can somehow undo the strength of an act by the Triune LORD. We say that Baptism is an indissoluble act. Are our sins greater or more powerful than God? Holiness is in the Head, no the members. Sacraments, that is God’s grace, makes us Christians, not our thoughts, not our acts, not our appetites. One might be a “bad” Christian, but a Christian nonetheless.

  • You’ve made Christ contingent on yourself, “We seek to bring a fuller, relevant, unrestrained Christ to the world;”

    Second, I’m not sure you do know that history. You’ve asserted you do but I’d like to see evidence for the claim, “a Christ that the historical church kept boxed up in order to control people.” You’ll have to do at least several years, if not a lifetime of reading to validate that. And that reading will have to be situated within some authority. Then you’ll have to sift out what’s restrained and unrestrained. Is the Incarnation restraining? A well developed Trinitarian theology? Almsgiving? Penance? Most of these are ancient and part of a complete package. You’ll need to be more specific about this project you’re seeking.

    What do you mean by “history?” That would be my first question. This term often denotes a material reductionistic account of causality that goes back 500 years in popularity, but over 2500 in its articulation. You’ve got your work…

  • Indeed a win in court…

    “When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer* and another, but a believer* goes to court against a believer*—and before unbelievers at that?

    In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers* at that.

    Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! (1 Cor…

  • I think you’ve nailed a question on the head. In all these debates nobody has stopped to ask, “What do you mean by Justice?”

  • Do you have a link to these falsified credentials? I’d never heard about this before.

  • Betsy

    Thank God!!!
    This woman is the very reason I left the Episcopal Church! She would be far better as a community organizer for the likes of Al Gore than as an interloper in the Christian faith!
    Her preposterous and laughable rhetoric during her tenure is not only absurd but inaccurate. Outlandishly eccentric and contemptibly worthless! The woman is a fraud!!

  • Betsy

    Amen!

  • Betsy

    Well stated!

  • Origbless

    God does not care by what name he is called (per Avatar Sathya Sai Baba).
    All of the world’s compassion religions were created by Him.
    God has both male and female attributes. God is incomprehensible to
    mankind.
    Would we expect God to be anything but surprising?

  • English Lass

    Most Episcopalians would find that to be pleasingly so.

  • Origbless

    There is no lack of love for Jesus of Nazareth by today’s Episcopalians.
    There is no lack of love for God by today’s Episcopalians.

  • Origbless

    His mysterious ways – no doubt.

  • Origbless

    Excellent, Anna. Thank you.

  • Origbless

    A secular world view or a love of the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth and
    a love of God.

  • Surprised by God

    God is all. God is the fire in every cell, the energy in every rock.
    God is incomprehensible to mankind.
    Thankfully, the Episcopal Church does not like to make a lot of rules.

  • Hmmmm

    You sound like a Republican.

  • sskihj

    The average age of an Episcopalian Church is 63, they believe Christ isn’t the way and truth, and the last Episcopalian has already been born.

    A rich empty church which will soon be a dead Church. Their wealth has allowed them to hold onto buildings while dioceses have left. ACNA has a 13% rise while the ECA has a 12%drop.

  • sskihj

    Genetically determined gender identity? It’s personally determined. They’re calling themselves whatever they want to with no genetic basis whatsoever. A man in a dress with male sexual organs and biologically capable of fathering a child calls himself a woman or a ‘they’ and expects everyone to follow their lead.

  • Gustavo Nystrom

    When Bishop Katharine came in, I was really impressed by her background, her intelligence and her leadership skills. I am a RC, so have not followed her trials and those of the Episcopal denomination. But I still believe that she is to be praised for the challenges she struggled with and the successes that came along the way.

    I wish Bishop Katharine and our Episcopalian brothers and sisters that they continue to work with and for the total church over the next nine years.