Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November 1, Evening posts -- including +Schori interview transcript

In turbulent times, a new Episcopal leader

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:24 pm

“She has gone out of her way to say that she’s strongly in favor of the new position the church staked out in 2003,” says the Rev. Kendall Harmon, of the South Carolina diocese. South Carolina is among a small group of dioceses and parishes in the US that has formed an Anglican Communion Network opposed to the convention’s actions.

Last month, 20 of the 38 primates - those of the developing world where 70 percent of members live - met in Kigali, Rwanda. Their communiqué stated their intent to help build a new structure of Anglicanism within the US, acknowledging the “serious implications of this determination.” Anglican rules preclude bishops from interfering in other jurisdictions, but some US parishes are allying with leaders in Africa and elsewhere. Recently, one of the largest US parishes - Christ Church in Plano, Texas - separated from the Dallas Diocese, paying it $1.2 million for the property. The church informally put itself under oversight of the bishop of Peru.

The Kigali communiqué also said some leaders would not sit at the table with Jefferts Schori in February, and called for another bishop acceptable to US traditionalists to be invited to the meeting.

This puts the Archbishop of Canterbury “between a rock and a hard place,” Dr. Harmon says.

Williams is looking to a Communion-wide process involving prayer, communication, and careful listening - to fellow members and the Holy Spirit - to bring about reconciliation. The “Windsor process” also calls for developing an Anglican Covenant to provide a common confession of faith and mutual accountability. Developing-world leaders are working on a draft covenant, which would be discussed at global meetings in 2008.

Episcopalians on both sides of the divide express admiration of the capabilities of the new “chief pastor,” who has been bishop of Nevada for five years.

Read it all.

A Transcript of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s recent NPR interview

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 7:45 pm

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was interviewed by NPR’s Here & Now program on October 18, 2006. Our friend and colleague “Binky” at Classical Anglican Net helpfully transcribed the interview. The link to the audio and the transcript from CaNN follows below.

Audio link [requires the free Real Player software, which you can download here.]

Note, the Bishop Schori excerpt begins at about 21 minutes into the program, and runs for just under 10 minutes.


“What are you: a Unitarian?!?”
October 18th NPR interview with +Schori
Transcribed by the CaNN News Editor

(Starts at 21:00)

RY: I’m Robin Young: it’s ‘Here & Now.’

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, a former oceanographer, and a pilot, is slated to become the first woman to head The Episcopal Church of America– that will happen on November 1st.

She’s inheriting a church divided on the ordination of homosexuals, and the blessing of same-sex unions. Her own election has precipitated a double-crisis over the role of women. In the American Church, some Episcopal dioceses have asked to leave because they don’t accept a woman as leader; and international Episcopal churches have also said they can’t accept a woman as head of a national church.

For her part, Bp. Katharine has been quoted as saying that if her opponents leave the table, she will rise to follow them to continue the dialogue.

Bishops Jefferts-Schori joins us now: welcome!

KJS: Thank you.

RY: And– boy!– as I read some of the recent history of the church, it does sound like a somewhat tough row to hoe [laugh] that you’re entering.

KJS: Well, I think all ages have their challenges: this is simply ours.

RY: Now, well, when you were elected Primate, that is, head of the U.S. Episcopal Church, you were quoted as saying “We’re not here to argue about matters of sexuality, we’re here to build a holy community”.. but as you know, there are people arguing about sexuality– what are you going to do to heal that?

KJS: Well, we’re going to keep conversing, we’re going to continue to ask people to met gay and lesbian Christians, and to begin seeing some of the fruits of their ministry.. uh, we’re going to continue to wrestle with these issues–they are the issues of our day, and the issues of recent generations have been about the place of women in the church, and the place of african-americans in the church, and the place of immigrants in the church, and I simply see this as our current ..uh.. our current growth into a larger.. communion.

RY: Because why? Why do you believe so firmly that’s the right direction for the church?

KJS: Well, as a scientist and as a person of faith, I– I understand that sexual orientation is a given, for almost all people; it’s not a matter of choice, and in that case, if this is how people are created, then our job as a community of faith is to assist people in finding holy ways of living in relationship, and, uh, that’s what we’re about.

RY: What do you say to your congregants who say “Well, I also, you know, understand that there are people who might be gay or lesbian, but I just don’t want them as my bishop, as Gene Robinson is now in New Hampshire; or to be married in the church that I also attend.” What do you.. what do you say to them?

KJS: Well, it’s a challenge. But I think God calls us into challenging situations, I think that’s how we grow. The Early church dealt with it.. the place of gentiles in the church, do new gentile converts have to be circumcised, did they have to live by Jewish dietary laws, or could they be welcomed as they were? There will be another group after gay and lesbian Christians– I don’t know who it will be, but there will be another one, because that’s who we are as human beings.

RY: You mentioned that you were a scientist. I remember recently I was on a little field trip with A.O. Wilson, the scientist–

KJS: Oh, my..

RY: — and he calls himself a secular humanist, and he just says that as a scientist, he just has looked and looked and looked, and he’d be–he’s said ‘I’d love to be the one to prove there was a God– wouldn’t that be the greatest sceintific discovery?” But he can’t see the proof. How about you? As a scientist, and scientists want to see proof of something, how do you– how are you then also a person of faith?

KJS: I came back– I was, uh, raised, you know, in the church– and I came back to the church as an adult when I was in graduate school, and began to read the physicists, who talk about mystery– Heisenberg, and Bohr, and Einstein. Here were people who were going down the same kinds of roads that I had gone down, saying “No, there’s something innately mysterious about creation, something beyond what we can deal with in scientific terms.” Hard science asks questions about ‘how, and ‘what’; and faith-traditions ask questions of meaning: what does it mean to be a human being in this world? How can I live a live that is good? Uhh…

RY: TIME Magazine asked you an interesting question, we thought, “Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?” And your answer, equally interesting, you said “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.” And I read that and I said “What are you: a Unitarian?!?” [laughs] What are you– that is another concern for people, because, they say Scripture says that Jesus says he was The Light and The Way and the only way to God the Father.

KJS: Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. Umm– that is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through… human experience… through human experience of the divine. Christians talk about that in terms of Jesus.

RY: So you’re saying there are other ways to God.

KJS: Uhh… human communities have always searched for relationship that which is beyond them.. with the ultimate.. with the divine. For Christians, we say that our route to God is through Jesus. Uhh.. uh..that doesn’t mean that a Hindu.. uh.. doesn’t experience God except through Jesus. It-it-it says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their.. own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships; and Christians would say those are our experiences of Jesus; of God through the experience of Jesus.

RY: It sounds like you’re saying it’s a parallel reality, but in another culture and language.

KJS: I think that’s accurate.. I think that’s accurate.

RY: Bishop Katharine: you have a fascinating life-story. Your Dad was a physicist, your Mom had a degree in literature, and became a biologist. You, as we said, were an oceanographer, grew up in Seattle, you have a daughter who’s a 2nd Lieutenant, and a pilot in the Air Force– by the way, is she serving?

KJS: Uh, she’s serving stateside, and she’s a 1st Lieutenant.

RY: How about you? Do you still pilot a plane?

KJS: I do– I flew from Reno to Henderson yesterday.

RY: What kind of plane do you fly?

KJS: A Cessna 172.

RY: What does that do for you?

KJS: [silence]

RY: ..besides get you from A to B..

KJS: Oh. Oh.. that’s the easy part. Uh.. it’s, for me, an encounter with the vastness of creation, and the Creator.. it’s a reminder that I’m a very small piece of it.. that I’m constrained by human limits… uh, and it gives me a very different perspective on the world.

RY: Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, slated to become head of the Episcopal Church of America on November the first. Thank you for speaking with us.

KJS: Oh, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you.


Fr. Christopher Cantrell has the text of Beers letter to Fort Worth

November 1st, 2006 posted by kendall at 7:45 pm

According to Fr. Christopher Cantrell in the diocese of Fort Worth, this is the text of the letter sent by Episcopal Church Chancellor David Booth Beers to the dioceses of Fort Worth and Quincy:

Several persons have told me recently that they believe that your diocese, within the past few or several years, has amended its Constitution in some way that can be read as cutting against an “unqualified accession” to the Constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church. First of all, could you please send me a copy of your Constitution so that I can have first-hand knowledge on this score.

Second, if your diocese has indeed adopted such an amendment, then, on behalf of the Presiding Bishop, I want to express the hope that your diocese will promptly begin the process of amending its Constitution to declare clearly an “unqualified accession” as Article V of the Church’s Constitution plainly requires. If your diocese should decline to take that step, the Presiding Bishop will have to consider what sort of action she must take in order to bring your diocese into compliance.

With warm regards,

David Booth Beers

Read it all to see what Fr. Cantrell has to say about this.


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