Skip to comments.Hope Over Experience
Posted on 02/07/2006 6:12:17 PM PST by sionnsar
A while back, Living Church hoped that one of the candidates for ECUSA's next Presiding Bishop would be a "reconciler." Taking a look at the list of candidates provided, TLC cannot hide its disappointment:
The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop has had more than two years to prepare a slate of nominees for the election of the Churchs next primate at the 75th General Convention in June in Columbus, Ohio. Perhaps it needed more time. The committee has put forth a group of four bishops who will be nominated to succeed the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold. The bishops who will be voting in Columbus will not have much of a choice.
Throughout its 127-year history, The Living Church, while maintaining its independent status, has attempted to represent the Anglo-Catholic perspective in its editorial stances. In considering the background of the four candidates, we find that none represents the perspective or the theology of Anglo-Catholic Episcopalians and others who uphold traditional Anglican beliefs.
Surprise, surprise. Even the one "moderate" in the field isn't much of one.
At first glance, the Bishop of Alabama, the Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley, would seem to be a satisfactory candidate based on his vote (unlike the three others) against consent for the consecration of the Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire in 2003. But Bishop Parsley has not been a friend of traditionalists in Alabama, and has attempted to prevent such organizations as the American Anglican Council and the Anglican Communion Network from operating there.
ECUSA seems to want the Browning-Griswold trend to continue even though it has been and will probably continue to be slow-motion suicide.
The other three candidates presented by the nominating committee would seem to represent the theological positions of the past two Presiding Bishops. During those administrations, the Episcopal Church has lost many of its conservative members. We would expect such a trend to continue if any of the committees proposed nominees would be elected.
And the experience of the candidates leaves a lot to be desired.
The slate as presented does not offer much of a choice to the bishops who will elect the 26th Presiding Bishop on June 18. Three of the candidates are from dioceses in Province 4 (southeast). All four of them are in their 50s. Two of them have never been rectors. Three have been bishops for fewer than seven years. At the 74th General Convention in Minneapolis, three of the candidates voted against a resolution that in effect affirmed the authority of scripture. All four are known to possess pastoral abilities and to be likable, friendly, and prayerful.
But Living Church is not willing to give up on its write-in suggestion.
As we mentioned in a recent editorial [TLC, Jan. 22], given the current condition of the Episcopal Church, a bishop known to be a reconciler would be a desirable candidate. While all four candidates probably have achieved reconciliation at one time or another in their dioceses or in previous ministries, none stands out as one who is known to be skilled in this ministry.
This would seem to be a time when a nomination or two from the floor would be in order. Such a strategy is not unusual, for in the last election of a Presiding Bishop, an additional candidate was proposed following the presentation of the official nominees. That person finished a strong second in the election. Additional nominations must be received by April 1 in order that there be sufficient time to conduct background, medical and psychological examinations required of all nominees.
We suggest that a bishop who upholds a more traditional Anglican theology or one who at least has been pastoral toward Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals ought to be among those being considered. While the chances of someone like that being elected are slim, at least it would offer a choice and make an attempt to show its members the Church really is inclusive.
This, of course, assumes that (1) the situation can be reconciled, (2) ECUSA wants to reconcile it and (3) ECUSA wants to include orthodox Anglicans. If one side thinks Robbie should get a pointy hat while the other thinks giving Robbie a pointy hat is an abomination, it is difficult to see how that circle can be squared. And more importantly, for three years, ECUSA has shown no indication that it is willing to back away from or modify its 2003 actions in any way whatsoever, which means that any "reconciliation" would be a sham.
I know one of them, and he ain't. He's mean, a bully, and a heretic.
Just about right for PB of this church. I bet he gets elected, at which point I'll say "I told you so."
Two of them have never been rectors.
All four are known to possess pastoral abilities
If you've never been a rector (vicar/priest in charge), how do you demonstrate pastoral abilities? It's the nitty-gritty of being spiritual advisor for 50 or 100 people for a few years that proves your pastoral abilities. Being a great guy in meetings or being a spiritual advisor for a few like-minded people in a diocesean or provincial office doesn't cut it.
This is what Chris Johnson over at Midwest Conservative Journal writes:
I'm normally not one for conspiracy theories but is the Katharine Jefferts Schori fix in? With her rather, uh, thin experience:
Jefferts Schori first moved to Corvallis in 1974 to work on her masters and doctorate degrees in oceanography at Oregon State University. Through her involvement at the Good Samaritan church, she eventually felt a call to ministry, attended seminary and was ordained as a deacon and a priest in 1994. She served six years as the churchs pastoral assistant before her election to serve in Nevada as the youngest bishop among nearly 300 in the national Episcopal Church.
At the time of her election as bishop of Nevada, Jefferts Schori was assistant rector at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis, Oregon, where she also served as pastoral associate, dean of the Good Samaritan School of Theology, and priest-in-charge, El Buen Samaritano, Corvallis. She was ordained deacon and priest in 1994.
Her unabashed leftism and the fact that the rest of the field is as undistinguished as it is, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that someone in ECUSA leadership REALLY wants Schori to get the Big Miter.
Does that answer your question? This woman has never been a Rector...she served as a pastoral ASSISTANT & was the priest-in-charge of an Hispanic mission for that parish. If it's anything like the Hispanic mission associated with a local ECUSA parish, she was the "priest-in-charge" of a migrant worker congregation that consisted of about 25 men, women & children even at the height of the picking season. Ergo...she has pastoral experience, but never a Rector. Didn't stop her from being given the miter, of course. No reason it should stop her from getting an even bigger miter as the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA...LOL!
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