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Making the Numbers
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 7/19/2005 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 07/19/2005 3:06:26 PM PDT by sionnsar

Frank Griswold hangs up his crozier next year and if you think this department won't be more than a little upset by that, you're wrong.  When Frank's successor is named, I'm thinking about mailing him a copy of my book inscribed, "Enjoy your retirement, Frank" and a bottle of 18-year-old Glenmorangie.  Okay, the 18-year-old Glenmorangie part's absolute blithering idiocy and I have no idea why I typed it but I am thinking about sending him the book.

Veteran Piskie-watchers have already begun handicapping the ECUSA Presiding Bishop field and an interesting name that comes up from time to time is Rhode Island's Geralyn Wolf.   Would the Episcopal Church pick a woman as the Primate of the official Anglican church in the United States(assuming ECUSA still is the official Anglican church in the United States next year)?

She'd have lots of positives.  She's suitably liberal and correct on homosexuality.  The selection of a woman to lead what the media will still consider to be a prestigious church, even though it isn't, will give ECUSA the same sort of gushing press run and secular adulation it got when it gave Robbie a pointy hat.  And unlike her totalitarian neighbor to the west, Wolf gets along well with her diocese's few conservatives:

The House of Bishops’ plan for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) has received near universal condemnation from those who are in “serious theological disagreement with their diocesan bishop,” but the proposal is nearly identical to a long-standing one in the Diocese of Rhode Island that has been widely praised. The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf believes she enjoys relatively good relations with the handful of conservative parishes and clergy in her diocese because she has created space so that they can honor their beliefs.

“Every group in the Church that feels alienated needs to be able to connect with others of like mind,” said the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf. “Here in Rhode Island there are not too many parishes that would sympathize with the theology espoused by the [Anglican Communion] Network. I could understand why they would want to connect with them.”

Last spring when the New England Convocation of the Network met in Rhode Island, Bishop Wolf said she offered to greet participants at the start, but only if her presence would not cause controversy. After consulting with the conference organizers, she was assured she would be welcome.

“I wanted to show that I respected them and their need to be in relationship with others like them,” she said. “I didn’t stay to spy on them. There has got to be room for a variety of opinions on [human sexuality]. This controversy is not likely to be solved any time soon.”

Any negatives?  A couple.   Wolf gets along well with her diocese's few conservatives.  She doesn't appear to think conservative Anglicans are evil, want to demonize the Anglican Communion Network or blather on about plots to break up the Episcopal church.  And on one rather important issue, she is fiercely opposed to ECUSA's hard left:

The bishops of Northern Indiana and Rhode Island are calling on Episcopalians to reject proposals for selective divestment of companies that do business with Israel. Executive Council, the legislative body that oversees the Episcopal Church Center budget and implementation of General Convention resolutions when it is not in session, is scheduled to consider the matter when it meets in October.

The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana, and the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of Rhode Island, have sponsored a petition “to reject all proposals which seek to remove church investments from companies that do business with, or in, the State of Israel.” The bishops, both of whom were raised in Jewish homes, are specifically encouraging laity to become involved.

“Any action that we take as a Church must be based on a realistic understanding of the situation and hold both parties accountable,” Bishop Wolf said. “Unless the Arab world and Palestinians in particular are willing to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, I don’t see how you can have the foundation for a lasting peace.”

“Divestment singles out Israel as the ‘culprit’ and lacks an Anglican sense of nuance,” said Bishop Little. “Divestment picks one side in the conflict and fails to take into account the complexities of the Middle East. It is startling to me that we single out Israel and ignore grievous human rights abuses elsewhere. Selectively singling out nations for punishment does not become us as Christians.”

And both bishops have lent their names to an online anti-disinvestment petition

Since Frank has repeatedly demonstrated that the Presiding Bishop has no real power, Wolf's negatives can be easily overlooked.  If the rest of the church doesn't like Wolf's views, they'll just ignore her.  But that part about encouraging the laity to question ECUSA's decisions has probably killed whatever chance Geralyn Wolf had of becoming Presiding Bishop.  All things being equal, I would be extremely surprised if she got the nod.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 07/19/2005 3:06:26 PM PDT by sionnsar
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