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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Nominees for Episcopal Church presiding bishop.

[UU readers may look the other way while I indulge the, um, palian side of my Unipalianism in this post.]

Today Mrs Philocrites and I got to attend church together because one of the bishops was visiting the Episcopal church where my wife leads the programs for childen and families. (Normally I can't worship with her because she's either leading the "children's chapel" during the first half of the service or assisting with the eucharist.) At a church forum after the service, the Rt. Rev. Gail Harris answered questions from the congregation, and naturally the congregation was very interested in the tensions that have torn the Anglican Communion following the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. Harris served on the denominational nominating committee that spent the last three years (!) identifying candidates to run for the office of presiding bishop, the head of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Not having closely followed religion news last week, I hadn't heard that the nominating committee announced four candidates on Monday. Instead, I listened to Harris introduce them. They are the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, bishop of Atlanta; the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. "Ted" Gulick, Jr, bishop of Kentucky; the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, bishop of Nevada; and the Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley, Jr, bishop of Alabama. (Don't you love that there are two juniors in the group? How Episcopalian!)

Not being the closest follower of Episcopal Church politics and knowing that an endorsement from a UU is good news for no one, I'm going to refrain from picking a favorite. This may, however, be the summer in which the Philocrites household ends up at two different denominational conventions. Oh joy.

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 29 January 2006 at 6:22 PM

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Steve Caldwell:

January 30, 2006 12:56 AM | Permalink for this comment

For what it's worth, the American Anglican Council (a conservative Episcopal splinter group) released a statement that all four candidates were unacceptable to conservative Anglicans.

Apparently, none of these four candidates (in the eyes of the AAC) " ... clearly adhere to the authority of Scripture, affirm the apostolic faith, and commit to the immediate cessation of ordination/consecration of non-celibate homosexuals as well as the blessings of same-sex unions."

Also, the AAC is " ... deeply disturbed that the list of nominees does not include any candidate who is representative of orthodox Anglicanism."

The entire press release can be read online here (with blog comments):

I suspect that the convention debates here will be much fiercer than anything happening at GA.

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