Wednesday, June 02, 2010

KJS Responds to Rowan

And now we have the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church responding to Rowan’s letter. I have often been critical of our Presiding Bishop and her writings, but you’ll hear no criticism from me for this letter. It is gentle and yet quite firm – even poetic and expansive. “We are who we are.” “We invite you into deeper engagement.” It seems to me that she hit this one out of the park. Please take time to read her letter in full.

It seems to me that Rowan’s “Pentecost” letter and Jefferts Schori’s letter present what our worthy opponents often describe as two Gospels. Rowan seems to return to the old Babel, in which he wants all the Anglicans to speak with one mind so they can build a tower into heaven. KJS seems to be speaking about Pentecost – in which there is room for people to speak their own realities.

How did Rowan respond to TEC’s action? With a call for more discipline, more rules, more strictures, more centralized power in the model of the Roman Catholic Church, with its few white guys in the center of power. His desire is to cut off and cast out.

And how does Katharine respond? With humility and a statement that we may not be right, with a call for fuller and deeper engagement, and with a recognition that different people in different cultures may faithfully live out the Gospel in different ways. Her desire is to gather.

It seems to me that the Gospel is rather more on her side, while the Roman curia is more on Rowan’s side.

It seems to me that Rowan’s letter seeks rules whereby he can cast people into Gehenna, and Katharine’s points toward to the New Jerusalem.

Rowan wants to cast out. Katharine wants to gather.

I think I have a sense of which side Jesus would be cheering.

Compare and contrast.

I have never been more proud of our Presiding Bishop. Thank God that – while she spoke with humility and openness – she neither quibbled nor cowered about who we are as the Episcopal Church!

“Choose this day,” indeed. Do you want to be part of Rowan Williams’ New Roman Catholic Church? Or do you want to be part of Katharine Jefferts Schori’s diverse and traditional Anglican Communion? For me, it’s a no-brainer.

Thank God for this letter from our Presiding Bishop!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite the ovarian fortitude there! She appears to be a much stronger, more thoughtful leader than the present ABC.

6/02/2010 10:52 PM  
Blogger James said...

"Ovarian fortitude" - I like that term.

Yes, she certainly told Rowan how the cows eat the cabbage as my granny would say.

6/02/2010 11:01 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

I heard a strong strain of -- "you have gone too far" in her letter.

6/02/2010 11:26 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad to hear you're hearing it as I did.

Ann, I do hope that's there.

6/02/2010 11:40 PM  
Blogger Kirstin said...

She's infuriated me many times--but she found her spine here. I love this letter.

6/03/2010 1:13 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Ditto, Kirstin. I hear her preaching Gospel with humility and courage. I think that's a powerful mixture.

6/03/2010 1:29 AM  
Blogger Leonardo Ricardo said...

Ditto, Kirstin and Lisa,

Some of the lofty ++talk has gone away...I like that, ¨we are who we are¨´s so, well, uncodependent and´s responsible and willing to let the chips fall where they may, TRUST comes into play...I think that´s where we are, being who we REALLY are (which oddly helps reflect who others REALLY are too). True, I´ve disliked some of her actions (strongly) but common sense is emerging and the spiritually healthy line that has been drawn is welcome...straight forward accountability.

6/03/2010 9:14 AM  
Blogger Wormwood's Doxy said...

And yet the usual suspects are calling it "shrill and defensive." ("Shrill" of course, is a word only used about women who dare to speak a contrary opinion.)

I think her letter was brillian. The only thing that concerns me about it is that I question the meaning of this:

We look forward to the ongoing growth in partnership possible in the Listening Process, Continuing Indaba, Bible in the Life of the Church, Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, and the myriad of less formal and more local partnerships across the Communion

Does that signal that she is going to give in to +Rowan's "request" that we step down as full participants in ecumenical dialogue and the IAFUSCO (or whatever the hell that stupid "Anglican Inquisition" is called)? I hope not. After showing that TEC is more Anglican than the +ABC, it would be a shame to give in to his little temper tantrum.


6/03/2010 9:21 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

No Doxy - I think she is referring to the fact that our ties in the AC are not limited to the ABC but reach out to many -- we do not go through him or the "instruments" to have partners - other relationships exist in the AC.

6/03/2010 9:47 AM  
Blogger Caminante said...

You should have seen her smile at the Long Beach consecrations. I like to think something happened there that empowered her to write this forceful response.

6/03/2010 10:37 AM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

The two Gospels. Compare and contrast. Never have we had such an opportunity to see the two mindsets side by side. If I were Rowan, I would look at Katharine's letter and hang my head in shame at the failure of my words to express in any way the Spirit of Pentecost. Of course, I am not Rowan, and who knows what he thinks of Katharine's letter? He may well view the missive with the same contempt that he views the Episcopal Church.

Brava, Katharine!

6/03/2010 3:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Doxy, like Ann, I do not at all think +KJS is talking about acceding to Rowan’s “request;” I don’t think she’s addressing it all. I think her point is that – no matter what Rowan says, and no matter what others might say, believe, or wish – we are engaged in the life of the Communion. I know for a fact that TEC units are working actively even in some provinces that claim they are “out of communion” with us. And, of course, there are TEC dioceses and parishes that support GLBT ordination and SSBs which have partner relationships in provinces with the most vocally strident anti-TEC primates. I believe that’s what she’s addressing in that sentence.

BTW, I would say a hearty “amen” to the need to be engaged in TEAC. [Read more about it here. Current members of the TEAC Working Group are listed in this report.] Many, many priests in the “Global South” don’t even have the equivalent of a high school education, much less any systematic theological education. I know from first-hand experience that many do not understand what metaphor is; you can just imagine what this does to their ability to do basic scriptural exegesis. Mind you, they absolutely do love Jesus and are people of deep faith. They have much to teach us in that. But I believe much of our current unpleasantness arises from a very uneven level of theological education within the Communion.

Hope this helps.

6/03/2010 8:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for that observation, Caminante.

6/03/2010 8:02 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Amen, Grandmère.
Maybe he'll have a "come to Jesus" moment ... as we Southerners say.

6/03/2010 8:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

This just in from the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department: Hie thee over to Chez Caminante to see how the Dead Sect {tsk!tsk!} has characterized the PB's letter.

6/03/2010 8:12 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

("Shrill" of course, is a word only used about women who dare to speak a contrary opinion.)

And mocked as mere ad hominem if used to characterize one of their conniption fits.

6/03/2010 10:46 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Indeed, Mark. That's also a reason I sometimes enjoy characterizing men's posts at SFiF, T19, ACI, etc. as "hysterical." Wicked of me, I know ... but I just can't help myself.

6/03/2010 10:49 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

One of the things I've noticed - since you bring up "hysterical" - is that they go into turbo-rage if you refer to one of their "men's" rants, but they almost always use "hysterical" to characterize a rant, or passionate statement, by a gay man.

6/03/2010 11:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Yep, I've noticed the same thing, Mark. That's why I like to point out some of their "man rage" posts as "hysterical." It drives them crazy.

BTW, you do know (I assume) that the root word for "hysteria" derives from "womb."

That's why it makes them crazy.

6/03/2010 11:13 PM  

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