Monday, June 19, 2006

A woman for Presiding Bishop! Yowee!

Yowee. My intuition was way off on this one. I expected Parsley or one of the other male candidates to be elected, as a peace-keeping move. There were some good choices among the men, but Katherine Jefferts Schori looks like she's got the spirituality, the brains and the chutzpah for the job.

She's going to have a tough one.

I've been thinking and praying about it since I got the news Saturday. I'm convinced this is, indeed, the work of the Holy Spirit, affirming what she's doing in the world.

I think The Episcopal Church is standing firm on faith.

Of course, the right-wing bloggers are foaming at the mouth. Virtue seems to have some paranoid fantasy where a "cabal" of dissatisfied right-wing and left-wing bishops, led by L.A. Bishop J. Jon Bruno, got together and brokered Jefferts Schori's election. It makes no sense.

Virtue's vitriolic attack ends with "Some very liberal bishops also voted for Schori to stick it in the eye of the Anglican Communion."

Hmm. Substitute Network or AAC and Peter Akinola, and maybe he's got something there, but it's more of making a stand than sticking it in the eye. Not a stand that will make the Network bishops happy.

So what are they going to do? Ask for ALPO? Ikers is already pleading his case to the ABC for alternate province oversight -- basically, leaving the Episcopal Church, but keeping the property. How will the ABC respond to that? How will The Episcopal Church respond?

Politicat, of "Talk is cheap. I'd rather have tuna" fame, is sticking his claws in my knee and saying, "Remember? I told you.
I wouldn't mind if the church just coughed them up like a hairball and got rid of them." But he's only a cat.

Our own Central Florida Bishop John Howe issued yet another fence-straddling letter, praising Jefferts Schori and downing her at the same time.

It reads:

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Katherine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada, was elected on the fifth ballot this (Sunday, June 18th) afternoon. I have known her for the past five years, and interestingly enough, we sit side by side at our round table in the House of Bishops during this Convention. This noon, at lunch, between the third and the fourth ballot, we found ourselves having nowhere else to sit except at a table for two. (Nice conversation about our families.)

What can I tell you about her? She is an extremely gracious person with a truly brilliant mind. She is a marine biologist (PhD), with a very laid back personality. She is married to a retired professor of mathematics. They have a daughter who is a pilot in the Air Force. (Katherine herself is a pilot with instrument certification.)

She led the voting on every ballot except the second, when she tied with Henry Parsley of Alabama.

She "wowed" the nominating subcommittee that visited her in Nevada, and she pretty much "wowed" the Bishops last March at our meeting in Kanuga.

My concerns are that her experience is quite limited. She has never been a rector; she has been a Bishop only five years; and her diocese is very small. Many parts of the Communion will have difficulty in accepting her on the basis of gender. She voted to confirm the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire at the last General Convention.

Nevertheless, I have promised her my support, and I have asked her to visit Central Florida at her earliest convenience.

I wish her well, and I hope you will too.

John W. Howe
The Right Rev. John W. Howe

Sounds like he's still waiting to see which way the wind will blow.

Ah, well. Life goes on.

1 comment:

Talitha Koum said...

She's an Aries. She can take the heat.