Tuesday, 1 January 2008

BBC interviews Presiding Bishop

Updated Wednesday morning

Christopher Landau interviewed Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the BBC Radio 4 programme PM today, Tuesday.

Hear the interview here, go forward 45 minutes into the recording. This link will only work for one week.

Update Here is another place to listen to the interview, which should be more permanent, and doesn’t require going forward first.

Read the related news report: US Anglican head in sexuality row:

The head of the Anglicans in the United States has accused other churches, including the Church of England, of double standards over sexuality.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, told the BBC her church is paying the price for its honesty over sexuality…

Update

The Associated Press reported this story as Episcopal Leader Defends Gay Bishops and the report has therefore appeared on hundreds of US newspaper and other websites (including the Guardian) overnight.

It’s not yet reported in any of the London newspapers.

There’s a partial transcript of the interview in the comments of this thread at T19.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 at 6:38pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

I don't want to be funny but I wish the BBC had asked me to ask the questions, or several people who post here. What is it about reporters that they cannot ask the really important questions.

Right - she was being diplomatic to the nth degree, but I noted a hint of frustration. Right, question 1. How does she regard the agenda of the Lambeth Conference based on the Advent Letter.

Now be diplomatic about that. And if she was so diplomatic I'd have a follow up question or three.

No question took account of most recent developments either.

It is called journalism.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 at 8:35pm GMT

Not to worry, denial and pretend will continue OPERATING and you will be ignored for speaking about REALITY...afterall, evem you don't REALLY exist for most of the puritan zealots and you're a heterosexual, un-divorced, married person.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 at 8:44pm GMT

I note with personal frustration the inabilityh of the media to understand the difference in polity between the CofE and the churches in North America (i.e. TEC and ACC) whose bishops are ELECTED by due and proper canonical process not APPOINTED as the interviewer continued to imply. It is this significant difference in being the church in NA that the Presiding Bishop made reference to in terms of how decisions are made in other parts of the communion.

Posted by: Rae Fletcher on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 at 10:32pm GMT

In considering what questions might have been asked, you need to bear in mind when the interview was recorded. This item is at least ten days old, and was originally scheduled for broadcast last week. It got bumped because Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. But it had been recorded earlier than that.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 at 10:33pm GMT

The conservatives seem to be upset with this interview because our primate openly stated "the Emperor has no clothes". BRAVO!!! One has to ask with the other provinces blessing gay relationships and bishops living in same-sex unions around the communion in secret - why are they picking on the American Church? A Canada diocese actually AUTHORIZED blessings yet the focus always seems to be on the US. As an American, I am often embarrassed at what my country does in this world. We do alot of stupid things. Our president does a lot of stupid things. We also do and have done alot of great things. I think the bashing of the Episcopal Church is done simply because it is American and we get thrown into the mix with the diplomacy of the US Government and the Bush administration.

Posted by: whb on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 at 11:19pm GMT

With regard to the duplicity of challenges to TEC, regarding its willingness to be honest about same-sex relationships, from some Provinces of the AC which actually have many covert same-sex relationships, whb had posted: "I think the bashing of the Episcopal Church is done simply because it is American and we get thrown into the mix with the diplomacy of the US Government and the Bush administration."

I feel it is more complicated than that, but I do not deny that hatred of the resurrected "Ugly American" is one of the factors.

But, more importantly, I believe that whb needs to "follow the money," as Jim Naughton has brilliantly done, and he/she will find that the radical right in the USA is determined to fund attacks on any mainstream/mainline US Christian denominations which dares to speak truth against power.

The radical right funders (among them Scaife and Ahmanson, and their ilk) are not only angry about challenges to their "hero" George W. Bush, they also have a major homophobic undercurrent to whet their appetites at crushing the traditional broad Episcopal Church.

Furthermore, the funding is not only within the US to encourage division and destruction of TEC, but is passing across the seas to encourage (or even dictate, witness the use of African mouthpieces) seemingly legitimate AC Provinces to put down all who dare to "stray" from an ultraorthodox line, which they are happy to define.

TEC is merely target #1.

ACC is undoubtedly target #2, and it is merely a matter of time before Scotland, and Ireland, and Wales, and even Mother CofE, are in the cross hairs of the new Puritan Fundamentalists.

It's much more than simple hatred of Dubya.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 1:29am GMT

I share the frustrations expressed by whb above.
I too strongly suspect that the Yanks are being singled out for collective punishment for the policies of the neo-imperial swine who rule us. Let's face it, beneath that all-purpose figleaf known as "discretion," the C of E is as gay as a man-purse full of rainbows.
The post colonial resentments of some in the Global South are being exploited and manipulated by Anglo-American parvenus determined to destroy the Episcopal Church and the religious comprehensiveness it represents.
Yes, our Presiding Bishop is quite right to complain about double standards. Kudos to her for saying so quite forthrightly.

Posted by: counterlight on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 2:54am GMT

The nice part is it is now out in the open concerning CofE .... there should be no difference between TEC and CofE or any other part of the Communion .... if it wrong for a practicing gay to be a priest or Bishop in America based on Biblical teachings then it should be wrong everywhere .... if homosexuality is a Sin in America, it can only be called a Sin everywhere ..... period ....

Hopefully, the AC will work to clean this up everywhere .... the only right way to go ....

Posted by: hartley on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 3:45am GMT

What frustrates me is how little the MSM know about
religion. So many newspapers have cut their staff, even at the local level and assign staff reporters to cover a story. I emailed our local Burlington, VT paper's reporter after his coverage of the PB's visit to Vermont for our diocesan convention, to correct some blatant errors in his reporting.

Posted by: Jay Vos on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 5:59am GMT

How about the fact that TEC is presided over by a gracious, articulate intelligent woman priest, who unfailing embodies the inclusivity of God's love? Do you really think they'd have even dared this if the PB was one of 'the old guys?'

But the death rattle of the patriarchy can only go on for so long. A new day's a coming- to quote the spiritual. Praise God! Praise God!

Posted by: David@Montreal on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 7:12am GMT

I think she handled the interview very well. She didn't go into suppositions or presume to know more than what she did nor that she had more influence than she did.

Nor did she go into scoring points at any other parties' expense.

She worked hard to keep the dialogue open and affirmative, whilst diligently affirming the legitimacy of Gene Robinson and her church's chosen actions.

Bravo. Well played.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 7:38am GMT

"She didn't go into suppositions or presume to know more than what she did nor that she had more influence than she did."

In her very first press conference, immediately after havinig been elected, she impressed me by answering a complicated and loaded question [which I've forgotten] by saying, in effect, "I don't have information about what you're asking about. Come back and ask after I've had a chance to do some research."

I thought - now that's smart!

How many politicians, in-the-limelight clerics, and others can resist the opportunity to bloviate?


Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 1:20pm GMT

Simon said
There’s a partial transcript of the interview in the comments of this thread at T19.

Hm, well there wouldn't be an impartial one there, would there?;-)

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 1:41pm GMT

I think Bishop Katharine did an excellent job & that TEC is blessed to have her. She was clear that the issue is honesty. As I've said before, the gays in the church in this country are simply not going to be willing to stay in the closet, no matter what any bishops say, here or elsewhere. There is no point in pretending otherwise. There is also no question that it is going to cause problems when engaged with cultures without that level of transparency.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 2:33pm GMT

PB Katherine draws big fire from most realignment con evo sources, so she must be doing something right after all. The whole business about bishops being elected simply emphasizes that VGR was known and discerned locally, among the people, by the very diocese which called him, and that others consented to the diocesan election once it was duly certified as proper and accurately done. TEC is an openly broad church, containing the likes of New Hampshire or California rubbing shoulders with the likes of Fort Worth or Pittsurgh. We're even still rubbing shoulders with San Joaquin even though they claim they are no longer part of the evil TEC. I recommend that Pluralist or CherylC get to interview Rowan Williams, next. Then Akinola, then Schofield, then Venebles, then back to Canada, then ....

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 3:42pm GMT

Comments on T19 and elsewhere focus on the PB's comments about there being partnered gay bishops in England. They think she is lying or deliberately inventing the idea to protect TEC and/or +Gene.

Their comments show that they live in ignorance. Anyone who has been involved with the churches of the Anglican Communion in the northern hemisphere for the past 50 years and hasn't discovered that the church ordains men who are gay (and now lesbians as priests but not yet as bishops in England) has lived at a distance from reality and from the Church of God as she really is.

Some of these gay priests and bishops live with partners, some have partners but don't live with them, some are married and gay, some give themselves permission to be sexually intimate or active.

They remain in the closet, hidden from the wider church, because of the prejudice and hostility and abuse they would encounter if they were as open about themselves as Bishop Gene Robinson.

Graduations of honesty/discretion, knowledge/ignorance, about these priests and bishops by other priests and bishops, in their parish or diocese, varies widely. It varies in degree according to the culture of different dioceses and the stance of individual bishops.

Katherine Jefferts-Schori knows perfectly well what happens in England and the USA. Those who are shocked by the news will be even more shocked when they discover that some of those they are associating with are also partnered and gay. But that reality is going to take them some time to discover, given how carefully such people hide themselves in the closet.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 5:50pm GMT

Bishop Jefferts Schori is the greatest asset that TEC could possibly have....obviously a woman who would rise to the top in any walk of life.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 6:32pm GMT

I just don't understand what planet some people are living on. The news that the PB "revealed" that there are closeted gay bishops was on the front page of the commuter news sheet here in Boston this morning. Well, duh, was my articulate response. This is news? Denial is an amazing force, isn't it?

Posted by: Priscilla Ballou on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 7:45pm GMT

Colin Coward
"Some of these gay priests and bishops live with partners, some have partners but don't live with them, some are married and gay, some give themselves permission to be sexually intimate or active.

They remain in the closet, hidden from the wider church"

Hm, years ago we moved to a new parish and we had to be housed temporarily in a vicarage in a parish in vacancy. One of the congregation was wickedly delighted in telling us that it was probably the first time ever that heterosexual rudies had taken place within its walls.....

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 9:34pm GMT

"The news that the PB "revealed" that there are closeted gay bishops was on the front page of the commuter news sheet here in Boston this morning. Well, duh, was my articulate response."

Indeed! I imagine those who are shocked/surprised/in denial of this "revelation" are going to get an even bigger surprise when it is revealed that the sun rises in the East.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 4 January 2008 at 3:36pm GMT

An interesting follow-up tidbit was revealed in the January 13, 2008 issue of The Living Church, were reporter Steve Waring claims that Presiding Bishop ++Schori has appointed three bishops to "consult" with the ++ABC about extending an invitation to +Robinson for Lambeth.

They are +Edward Little of Northern Indiana, +Thomas Ely of Vermont and +Bruce Caldwell of Wyoming.

Called somebody's bet I'd say.....sorry, I don't have the hyperlink.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Saturday, 5 January 2008 at 1:46am GMT
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