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June 18, 2006


Patrick Rothwell

Could be worse. The House of Bishops could have raised one of the felines from the EpiscoCats calendar to the Episcopate and named it Presiding Bishop.

William in Texas

As far as I am concerned, this creates enormous problems for ECUSA (as if it did not have enough already!).

Although I'm now Roman Catholic, I was a long-time Episcopalian, and I know for a fact that there is a small but significant number of ECUSA priests and bishops who will not consider any ordinations or consecrations performed by this woman to be valid. Added to that is the fact that many Anglicans around the world do not recognize female priests and bishops, period.

Then, to compound matters, as Amy wrote, Schori is radically liberal in her theology and her views of human sexual morality.

I'm just glad I got away from ECUSA when I did. Nonetheless, what is happening to this historic ecclesial body is tragic beyond words.


Comparing the new presiding Bishop to a cat is . . . well, catty. Given the many problems that exist in the Catholic Church and the U.S. Catcholic Church, we aren't exactly in a great position to be commenting on the ECUSA. I don't know of any ECUSA diocese in bankruptcy because of lawsuis over sex scandals.

I think we should wish her well as she attempts to avoid a schism.

Mark Andrews

Barry, one is led to wonder if the ECUSA IS a sex scandal.



Patrick is either a) a convert to RC from the Episcopal Church or b)still Anglican in some form. I'm sorry, Patrick, that I can't remember!!!!

My point: He's not exactly an outsider to the issue.

Patrick Rothwell

I think that if ECUSA were seriously interested in avoiding "schism," they would not have elected this woman as "Presiding Bishop." Basically, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church just told the rest of the Anglican Communion to go fuck themselves.

As it is, I doubt that there will be a major schism within ECUSA, since the conservative wing has never had the wherewithal to simply leave even after 35 or more years of provocations. I'm pretty certain, however, that the Anglican Communion itself is pretty much finished as an intact communion.

Patrick Rothwell

Amy and Barry,

I am a convert to the RC Church, but was raised Episcopalian, first in a broad-church parish, later joined an Anglo-Catholic "shrine parish" and also participated (unpleasantly) in a continuing Anglican parish. Obviously, I still follow what's going on in the Anglican world even though some of it is beyond my ability to comprehend or care about, like meaningless GC resolutions on Windsor or whatever.

My comment was catty to be sure, but then it was meant to be.

charles R. Williams

I wonder why so many people (including myself) take this small, odd sect so seriously. In my case I think it's because I spent quite a while gazing through the pretty picture window before moving on to the Catholic Church.

There are appealing elements of Anglicanism - especially, the Anglo-Catholic brand. Because "catholicism" is a sect within the Anglican Communion, Anglo-Catholics have been very intentional and articulate about what the liturgy is and how it should be done. They have been engaged in a valuable catholic-evangelical dialogue for over 170 years withing Anglophone Christianity. Often they are better at the superficial aspects of "catholicism" than Catholics are.

In any case, Anglicanism in North America is crumbling before our eyes and Anglicanism in Britain is about 15 years behind America.

Other people have entertained hopes about progress in ecumenism with the Anglicans. Whatever foundation these hopes had is the past is crumbling as well.

Jeb Protestant

I say "good" that they have elected a liberal woman. Now do any of the so-called "conservatives" who remain in this apostate "church" have any excuse to stay? Of course, most will remain and say "but if the do x then will leave."

Dan Crawford

It's ten years from now - the newly elected PB and her "life companion" process down the main aisle of the National Cathedral, reverence the high altar, and offer incense to the statute of the Goddess on the altar. One conservative Episcopalian turns to another and says, "One more thing and I'm outta here."


Well, I'm an Episcopalian now but only attend now and then. Because of today, I'm going to church the next two Sundays: next Sunday will be to my Episcopal parish to tell them I'm leaving, the following Sunday to this Tridentine rite parish I've checked out recently.

Paula L

We should be concerned for the Episcopal Church because where they go the other mainstream Protestant sects soon follow.
Also it should sadden us to see any Christian body suffering. And I can tell you that those in the Episcopal Church who hold fast to the teachings of the Scripture are suffering.
They are in mourning. For them to see the Episcopal church go headlong into heresy is as watching the death of a beloved. Pray for them.

theology student

"Barry, one is led to wonder if the ECUSA IS a sex scandal."

Am I to understand that you're saying that the appointment of a woman to a position of church authority is analogous to sexual assault and/or pedophilia?

As a Roman Catholic woman, I'm more than a little offended by that.

Tim Ferguson

The new presiding bishop was born and raised as a Roman Catholic until her parents became Episcopalian in 1963, when she was in fifth grade. I believe this is the first convert (albeit at a young age) to become presiding bishop of the ECUSA, let alone the first former Roman Catholic.


"Barry, one is led to wonder if the ECUSA IS a sex scandal."

Well, since Henry VIII's unruly member contributed at least in part to its founding, perhaps the ``sex scandal'' thing isn't so far off the mark. As for:

``I wonder why so many people (including myself) take this small, odd sect so seriously.''

IMHO (and take it for what it's worth) I think it's because we know that once upon a time there was a Catholic England, and the C of E was a valiant, if doomed, attempt to keep the Catholic appearance without the substance. England was Catholic for longer than our nation has existed.

Though most Catholic immigrants to America came from non-English-speaking countries, we all speak English here now, and thus are the stepchildren, so to speak, of the English culture. (That includes the Irish, though they won't thank me for saying so.) We spoke the language but didn't share the religion, but that didn't stop us from feeling linked to the place in a way we wouldn't to Naples or Warsaw or Lviv. St. Ethelreda's in London (built in the 13th century, lost at the Reformation but reclaimed by a Catholic congregation in 1879) is heart-lifting. York Minster has been around in one form or another for over a thousand years, and is beautiful, but sad: it's been cut off from us for a long time now. And the church of which it is part is dying a slow and very public death, and even for those of us on this side of the Tiber, it's painful to watch.

Hope the foregoing makes sense. I wrote it with a great many interruptions from my 8-year-old and it was hard to keep my train of thought on track.


I personally felt hopeful when I heard about this election. I am a convert from the Episcopal "ecclesial body", and I am grateful that the GC has shown it's true colors. I hope the Christians within her are not colorblind. I hope and pray that many will come home to Rome.


PS If the anglo-catholics come over en masse, we may have found the answer to some of our liturgy woes!


I have to say your comments have completely confirmed my poor opinion of the way the Catholic church regards women. If you object to her theology, that's one thing, but the comments here, and on other Catholic blogs, object principally to the fact that she's a she and nothing else. If I am mistaken, please do correct me.


Who's "your," Karen?

List the comments after the post that are objecting to her "only" because she's female.



Just one minor point. I am not sure we should count against her the fact that she never served as rector of a parish. I do not believe that Benedict XVI did either!


Annalucia, your comments make sense to me. I loved my visit to Etheldreda's, and hope to take in a Mass there when I return to London this summer. There is a similar beauty in Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland, a medieval monastery that is now Catholic. I too find it very sad to be in the grand cathedrals and old churches in the UK that are not Catholic - I get such a palpable feeling of our separation. I can appreciate their beauty but feel so sad. The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy is on my summer reading list.


In the context of the Episcopal Church and their leadership, I think it is pretty unusual to elect a Presiding Bishop who has never been a rector of a parish (and with this individual, has only been a priest for 12 years and a bishop since 2001). Some on the boards I am reading are wondering if that has *ever* happened.

George C.

Yes, this bishop has 37 parishes in her entire diocese of Nevada. Probably 5000 or even less Episcopalians, about the size of ONE large exurban Catholic parish. And she has been a priest for 12 years, and before that was a government scientist. It suggests what the ruling elites (both bishops and lay, they are elected) have in mind for their dwindling band of 21st century Christians. Liberal technocracy. Like their isn't enough of that everywhere else.

She was baptized and raised a Catholic until the fifth grade, when her parents (also scientists) moved to New Jersey and became Episcopalians. She also attended convent school before the move. This is a bit of a minor trend among the liberal Episcopalians, being a former Catholic. It makes the conservative Episcopalians shudder--liberal AND Catholic.

Her lack of experience as a rector/pastor kind of relates to a peculiarity of the Episcopal system. Rectors are called by parishes AND appointed by bishops. The lady bishop has been a curate (associate or parochial vicar), a priest-in-charge, a vicar, but not a rector. A priest-in-charge is a temporary pastor appointed by a bishop during the search for a permanent rector. Usually the period is one or two years, but it can be longer. A vicar is a priest appointed to a mission that has not reached parish status.

Episcopalians were called "God's frozen chosen" for their WASPy demeanors in the mid-20th century. Now they are Christianity's beta testers, trying out almost every new fangled idea thrown at them.

Marco, Triumphalistic Papist

John Shelby Spong! What a train wreck of a "bishop," a total joke. "Bishopess" Schori sounds like a real humdinger. If anyone else knows of a church hellbent on committing suicide other than ECUSA, then alert the AP and UPI, it's big news! What ashame that a once-respected church slides into hapless irrelevancy, soon to be another weirdo sect one step removed from a strip-mall salvation chapel. It won't be long before ECUSA "ordains" a transgendered bisexual dwarf as "bishop." My sister's pet cat is more qualified! ECUSA---R.I.P.


Just to add that I've actually met Bishop Schori (a good friend used to work in the Nevada Diocese). Very personable and all that. Heard that she was a firm administrator, and flies around her Diocese in a Cessna.

Anyway, yes, this is a gauntlet to the rest of the Anglican Communion. It's rather sad.

[As a Roman Catholic, these are all "outsider" comments!]


I too believe that more conservatives will make the move to RC. I can understand why some are concerned that other mainline protestant churches follow their lead. But, that's ok. I believe our current pope said "Truth is not determined by majority vote". Perhaps more people will open their eyes and seek the truth. That would be a good thing. The greatest thing that ever happened to me was God's grace in opening my eyes to the truth before me. I hope other experience that grace.

Thomas Dunbar


there is the comment:

Submitted by Bob Koch at 6/19/2006 12:49:00 AM

The new PB already has had dealings with the Orthodox -- Her mother was a layman in the Orthodox CHurch. I attended church with her in Seattle. When her mother died (I might add, her mother detested the idea of women's ordination) her daughter had been ordained. She denied her mother a funeral in the Orthodox Church and did it herself. She dismissed her mother's conversion in her eulogy as she would a hobby. Her mother was a brilliant woman, PhD in microbiology from Rockefeller. I think the new PB will treat conservatives in the Episcopal Church no better. She didn't honor her mother, and she won't honor anyone else who believes. To any conservatives who are unhappy with ECUSA, for the next ten years the Orthodox have a good invitation: If you're unhappy in the Episcopal Church, do what the Presiding Bishop's mother did; become Orthodox.


The new PB sounds like a thorughly despicable reprobate, at least in the way she treated her own mother. Maybe that transgendered bisexual dwarf Marco alluded to wouldn't be such a bad thing!


The Columbus Dispatch used the phrase "tightly-held convictions" with respect to conservative Episcopalians. "Tight" seems often used in conjunction with conservatives in the media, but is an adjective actually more applicable to the progressive Episcopalians, who not only have equally tightly-held convictions but feel the need to impose them with a kind of wanton brazenness.

Mark Windsor

I come from the ECUSA as well. My departure was rather elongated over a decade, but by the time I was in high school I'd pretty much given up. I spent several years trying to figure out what I was and where I should go. It's no exageration to say that my wife (a cradle Catholic) and JPII saved me from a life of spiritual meaninglessness.

What's happened to the ECUSA is a shame, but it's been a long time a comin'. The theological emptiness began long before I left. It's very sad, but it's far from the saddest part of this story.

What I've noticed on the EC blogs are a fairly vocal group of people who are now spiritually homeless. They don't feel, for a variety of reasons, that the Catholic Church offers them any refuge. The objections are mainly the usual ones; Marion issues, papal infalability, ect.

There are a large number of people that have been cast adrift without so much as a life jacket or a rope to hold onto. I know what the feels like. It's not much fun. You feel as though you have no where to turn. It took me 18 years to find a home once I realized that the episcopal church I grew up in was a house of straw, and that a strong wind would blow it over. That strong wind was Gene Robinson, but the gale has been building for decades.

It's sad that the ECUSA has self-destructed, but it's even sadder for those that don't feel they have anywhere to turn.


"If you object to her theology, that's one thing, but the comments here, and on other Catholic blogs, object principally to the fact that she's a she and nothing else."

Yep. As a Roman Catholic woman I object. Female bishops are an oxymoron.

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