Updated Friday evening
The Church Times reports on last Sunday’s service at Southwark Cathedral, in a sidebar to the story headlined Bishops criticise USPG cuts.
Doffed: the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, was asked by Lambeth Palace not to wear her mitre when she visited Southwark Cathedral last Sunday. As a consequence, she carried it under her arm. In her sermon, she spoke of the fear of strangers: “There’s something in our ancient genetic memory that ratchets up our state of arousal when we meet a stranger — it’s a survival mechanism that has kept our species alive for millennia by being wary about strangers. But there’s also a piece of our make-up that we talk about in more theological terms — the part that leaps to judgement about that person’s sins. It’s connected to knowing our own sinfulness, and our tendency toward competition.” She urged the congregation to lose the “defensive veneer that wants to shut out other sinners”.
In a letter to The Times, a group of 15 clerics in the Southwark diocese, mostly conservative Evangelicals, criticised the invitation: “We seriously question the judgement of those who have not withdrawn their invitation to her after her recent consecration of Mary Glasspool,” a partnered lesbian. She also spoke at the Scottish Synod, where she talked of her Church’s “radical hospitality”. At the USPG annual meeting, she was upbraided by the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba: the support for same-sex partnerships had communicated “a measure of uncaring at the consequent difficulties for us”
In a related story, the Church of England Newspaper has this report by George Conger Bishop Jefferts Schori rebuffs Dr. Williams’ call for restraint. It includes this:
The June 2 public letter follows upon private communications between Bishop Jefferts Schori and Dr. Rowan Williams about her continuing role in the councils of the Anglican Communion.
The press officer to the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council has confirmed to The Church of England Newspaper that Canon Kenneth Kearon hand delivered a letter from Dr. Williams to Bishop Jefferts Schori at the April 17 consecration ceremony of Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut.
The chancellor to the Presiding Bishop, David Booth Beers, told bishops attending the May 24 to 28 Living Our Vows bishops’ training programme at the Lake Logan Episcopal Center in North Carolina that in this letter Dr. Williams had asked the Presiding Bishop to consider absenting herself from meetings of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee and the Primates Meeting in light of the Episcopal Church’s violation of the moratoria on gay bishops and blessings, those present tell CEN.
Speaking to a group of bishops during an informal after dinner session, Mr. Beers stated the Presiding Bishop had rejected the Archbishop of Canterbury’s suggestion, observing that he had no authority to remove her from the Primates Standing Committee as she had been elected by the North and South American primates. She also objected to Dr. Williams’ claim to have the authority to ban her from the councils of the church.
One of the bishops at the evening encounter told CEN that speculation on the future structures of the Communion was also shared by Mr. Beers with the bishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s press office did not respond to requests for clarification on Mr. Beers’ comments, while a spokesman for the Presiding Bishop declined to comment on “speculation and conjecture.”
Diana Butler Bass at Beliefnet Mitregate: The Anglican Crisis Over Women’s Hats
Maggi Dawn Mitregate: the latest church row
Friday evening update
According to the American Anglican Council in an article headlined Jefferts Schori: “We were not asked to withdraw” the following exchanges took place at the press conference following the Executive Council meeting in Maryland today:
Robert Lundy, American Anglican Council: Presiding Bishop, my question is in regards to the election of a new representative for The Episcopal Church to the Anglican Consultative Council. Was that new representative Bishop Ian Douglas and if so, will you and Bishop Ian Douglas be attending the next Standing Committee meeting of the ACC?
Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori: We expect those elections to happen this afternoon and yes I expect the representatives of The Episcopal Church to be present at that meeting.
President Anderson: We’re looking forward to the election. We have two candidates in both positions that are open. . .
David Virtue, Virtue Online: My question is for the Presiding Bishop. In light of events recently concerning the Archbishop’s Pentecost letter and the TEC being asked to withdraw several ecumenical leaders from the ACC, will the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council consider cutting the 40% budget of the ACC? Has that been discussed?
Jefferts Schori: Your first observation is not accurate. Members of Ecumenical dialogues were removed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. We were not asked to withdraw. We were not asked to withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council. There has been no discussion here of reducing our offering to the Anglican Communion Office.
Mary Francis Schjonberg, Episcopal Life: At the beginning of this presentation this morning, what was your general sense that the way he (Kenneth Kearon) sees things may not be the way The Episcopal Church sees things. At the end of the session, do you think there was any greater understanding on his part or on the Council’s part about the situation in the Communion?
Anderson: I’d like to say in response to that one of the comments that Secretary Kearon made in his opening remarks struck me particularly where he mentioned that some of the issues that they have identified in the Anglican Communion and one of them, a presenting issue, is diversity. In the first place, I don’t think that The Episcopal Church sees diversity as an issue in the same way in which Secretary Kearon presented it of being seen from his viewpoint. I did not see any change in that by the time we had finished talking. I didn’t see any concrete evidence that there was a particular newly developed line of understanding becoming perhaps both ways.
Jefferts Schori: I think we look forward to the possibility of…upon further reflection that all participants in the conversation this morning they have had their understanding increased.
And two more #mitregate articles
RNS Daniel Burke It’s hats-off to female bishop, and not in a good way
Ruth Gledhill Mitregate: The Sequel