Sunday, June 18, 2006
Episcopal Church elects woman bishop as new leader.
Mrs Philocrites called a few minutes ago from the floor of the House of Deputies at the Episcopal Church General Convention to tell me that the Rt Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori has been elected the church's next presiding bishop. Schori will be the first woman to lead a national church in the Anglican Communion. (Most Anglican provinces, including the Church of England itself, do not currently allow women bishops. That should make Lambeth fun!) Here's the AP report.
My money was on Alabama's moderate and widely respected bishop, which is why you should never ask me for gambling advice. If Schori is as impressive a leader as my wife has heard from delegates in Columbus, the election will change the tenor of the church's homosexuality debates. Bishops in the U.S. like the Rt Rev Robert Duncan and would-be pontiffs like the Rt Rev Peter Akinola of Nigeria have readily employed a divide-and-conquer strategy around homosexuality that simply won't get them as far when their opposition to ordained women pops back into focus. Complaining about deviations from "tradition" is easier when we're just picking on gay people, but when it involves dismissing women priests and bishops in a church that has become increasingly grateful for their leadership, I think the number of willing culture warriors drops off. It will be illuminating for people to see just how conservative the schismatics are.
(I don't actually know if Duncan still opposes the ordination of women, by the way, but many of the traditionalists in his network definitely do — and soon I think it will be worth finding out what the Anglican Network folks really think about women's leadership.)
Mrs Philocrites, by the way, is having a wonderful time at her first General Convention.
Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 18 June 2006 at 4:31 PM