Monday, September 11, 2006

Surely they jest

When I first read it, I thought it was a joke gone awry. You know, one of those tongue-in-cheek satirical pieces that got picked up and treated as real. But I keep seeing it, and the Connecticut Six don't seem to have much of a sense of humor.

No, this is really the Network case against Bishop-Elect Katharine Jefferts Schori. It came from the Connecticut Six Web site ( The article's called "AN APPEAL TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: MUST READ!" by the Bishops of Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, San Joaquin, South Carolina, and Springfield (20 July, A.D. 2006)

The bishops believe, "There are effectively two churches under one roof. The common roof is called the (Protestant) Episcopal Church in the United States of America."

No joke. Things they indict Schori with are the things for which I admire her!

You can read the whole schlmiel over there, but here's the Schori indictment:


Concerns about the Presiding Bishop-elect

1. We are concerned that the Presiding Bishop-elect embodies the majority's disregard of the
Windsor Report:

• She voted for the consent to V. Gene Robinson
• She permits rites of blessing of same-sex unions
• She has sharply criticized the Windsor Report's "ignorance" of ECUSA
• She has indicated that she will continue on the current path
• She has called the status of resolution B033 into question

2. We are concerned that the Presiding Bishop-elect does not represent our views to the
• She has a disregard for the views of the Instruments of Unity or Communion
• She has been sharply critical of members of the Primates' Meeting
• She does not share a clear commitment to the Archbishop's vision of a Covenant
• She has inadequate regard to the consequences of "walking apart"

3. We are concerned that the Presiding Bishop-elect holds theological views that are at
variance with the historic tradition:
• A problematic view of Jesus
• A confused message on the place of Jesus in the Church
• A partial understanding of the Reign of God (Kingdom of God)
• An exclusively social justice view of the mission of the Church

4. We are concerned that the Presiding Bishop-elect has indicated a hostile attitude toward the
minority's faith and witness:
• She attributes their opposition to the prevailing direction as of "the Evil One"
• She has indicated a confrontational stance with respect to these bishops

1. Disregard of the Windsor Report:
On consent to the bishop of New Hampshire
"I participated in the vote to consent to his election. ... I believe that the people of New
Hampshire have the right to choose the person they believe is best suited to their particular
ministry needs. I recognize that this election will cause deep grief and pain to a number of
people in this church, and I deeply lament that reality." (Pastoral Letter, Aug 2003)
On blessing same-sex unions
"The nature of blessing a relationship, whether a marriage or a same-sex partnership,
means that the community who stand with the couple also promise to bless them." (2003
Diocesan Convention Address)
"THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That the 33rd Annual Convention of the Episcopal
Diocese of Nevada, desiring to support relationships of mutuality and fidelity which mediate
the grace of God between those persons for whom the celebration and blessing of a marriage
is not available, does hereby recognize that ceremonies to celebrate the relationships of such
persons who are baptized members in good standing in this diocese may be conducted by
clergy in the diocese, with the approval of the bishop, respecting their pastoral discretion."
(Resolution adopted by Diocese of Nevada, 2003)
"I said that a parish wishing to do so would have to get the congregation to agree, to show that
it was not an isolated event, divorced from the rest of its activities. The couple would also
have to receive counselling, like anyone getting married." (The Guardian, Jun 2006)
On the Windsor Report
"The Windsor Report contains some significant misunderstandings and errors of fact. It does
not clearly recognize how the polity of the Episcopal Church varies from that of most other
parts of the Communion" (Speech in Seattle, Nov 2005)

On the present course
"I am fully committed to the full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians in the church."
(Episcopal News Service, Jun 2006)
On B033
Concerning the possibility of consents for a partnered gay/lesbian candidate for the
"[Louie Crew:] 'You don't get much of a choice if a diocese elects a lesbian or gay
"[Jefferts Schori:] 'That's right, and if God brings us to that day, I think we will act according
to how the Spirit moves us. I am sorry not to be able to be more direct.'" (The Witness
Magazine, Apr 2006)
In the House of Bishops, she said, "This resolution will have to be reviewed very soon."

2. Concerning the Communion:

On the Instruments of Unity
"I don't think Jesus is as interested in instruments of unity as he is in whether or not we're
serving his brothers and sisters or feeding the hungry. The Episcopal Church and the Anglican
Communion are going to survive if we manage to work together at healing the world."
(Address, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Nov 2005)
On ECUSA being, as one reporter put it, "thrown out of the Communion"
"It will be unfortunate if we don't have partners, but the reality is lived at the level of local
relationships, at local levels: folks from Nevada going out and helping in Kenya."
(The Guardian, Jun 2006)

On the Anglican Communion
In an interview: “ … the Anglican Communion is a gift to be cherished, and a gift that needs
to be increasingly valued and appropriated through our own sacrifice, albeit not at the cost of
what this church believes to be faithful response to the gospel." (The Living Church, 2006)

On what she will say to Peter Akinola
"I will ask him what encourages him to see some of God's children as less than human and
less worthy of the dignity that our liturgy believes is the right of all human beings."
(The Guardian, Jun 2006)

On the decisions of General Convention on sexuality
Interview: "[But] these decisions were made because we believe that's where the Gospel has
been calling us. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has come to a reasonable conclusion and
consensus that gay and lesbian Christians are full members of this church and that our
ministry to and with gay and lesbian Christians should be part of the fullness of our life."
(Time Magazine, Jul 2006)

On the Covenant idea
"[The Archbishop of Canterbury is] very clear that we're not going to see an instant solution.
He's also clear about his role: it is to call people to conversation, not to intervene in diocesan
or provincial life—which some people have been asking for." (Time Magazine, Jul 2006)

On the Windsor Report
"All of this is a very long way of saying that neither this [Lambeth] commission, nor the
Archbishop of Canterbury, nor the gathering of primates, can make rules or laws that bind the
Episcopal Church." (2004 Diocesan Convention Address)

3. Theological Views:

On Jesus
"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." (Time Magazine, Jul 2006)

On the message of Jesus
"The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings, and that's certainly the great
message of Jesus - to include the unincluded." (CNN, Jun 2006)

On her reference to "Mother Jesus" in her sermon after election
"Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation - and you and I are His children."
(Episcopal News Service, Jun 19, 2006)
"It was very deliberate and conscious. I was wrestling with the image of blood on the cross,
the image of labour. It's medieval imagery actually, Julian of Norwich. It seemed appropriate
to the text and the hard work we are trying to do in this place." (The Guardian, Jun 2006; NB:
she did not cite the reference of any sort to this phrase in her sermon.)

On the Reign of God
Integrity (reporter): "Can you tell me about the reign of God?"
Schori: "I think of the scripture from Isaiah read by Jesus in the synagogue, the blind see,
the lame are healed. ... Our vision is one of social justice like the vision enshrined in the
Millennium Goals. The Millennium Goals are our vision of the reign of God." (ENS News
Conference, Jun 18, 2006)

On Revelation
We believe that revelation continues, that God continues to be active in creation, and that all
of the many ways of knowing — including geology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and
arts such as opera, punk rock or painting — can be vehicles through which God and human
beings partner in continuing creation.

On the place of doctrine
"[Q] 'What is your prayer for the church today?' [A] 'That we remember the centrality of our
mission is to love each other. That means caring for our neighbors. And it does not mean
bickering about fine points of doctrine.'" (Time Magazine, Jul 2006)

On doing theology

"Our heritage and context shape our theology. The ways in which we understand scripture and
appropriate gospel response to social realities are shaped both by our roots and our current
circumstances." (Speech in Seattle, Nov 2005)

On making faith decisions
"Making any kind of faith decision is based on accumulating the best evidence one can find -
what one's senses and reason indicate, what the rest of the community has believed over time,
and what the community judges most accurate today." (The Witness Magazine, Aug 2005)

4. Hostile attitude toward the minority:
On characterizing the minority
"I think it is the Evil One who is at work here, distracting us from our central focus, which
ought to be on feeding the hungry, relieving the needs of the poor, healing the sick. This
obsession is keeping us from doing that. To focus on issues of sexuality when people are
dying is a distraction from our mission."

On the minority in the House of Bishops, called 'dissenters'
"I think they need to be challenged, more so than they have been. I see signs of hope in
the House of Bishops, an unwillingness to continue to put up with bad behavior. We
haven't seen any action yet, but I think it is coming." (The Witness Magazine, Apr 2006)
When asked if that would be a 'verbal rebuke'
"It won't be enough in some cases, I am sure. But I have the sense that there is some desire to
hold each other accountable for actions that are not canonical, for actions that have the
appearance of being downright schismatic." (The Witness Magazine, Apr 2006)

1 comment:

Bill said...

Hope you don't mind my making a comment. It seems to me that that it's not just the Episcopal Church and orthodox believers in the USA. I think that there are two different churches globally that are roughly the same size (around 70,000,000) are coninuing to move in different directions. Is this a bad thing? I think that each side perceives the other as wrong but the reality is that soon down the road the Anglican Church as we have known it will split into two churches, both calling themselves Anglican and both identifying their roots as coming from the English Reformation in the 16th. Century. Is there room for two? I don't see how it can be otherwise because both will claim it and who's to stop that. I think when that happens the CofE will also fracture since there is a very strong evangelical presence in the English church. Here, the majority is traditional TEC going on their path; the minority wants to go the other way. But they are such totally different groups. So what's the answer? I'm curious to know what you think ... if you care to answer. :)

I've heard a lot of positive things said by conservatives about +Schori as well the things you list. I think, thjough others might disagree, that the main issue they have with her has to do with #3. At least, that is my position. I'm pretty orthodox but I think the whole thing is terribly painful and wrenching for all sides ... at least those who think about it.

Bill .... again hope you don't mind my voice. Have a great weekend.