Sunday, June 18, 2006

ECUSA: Now Literally a "Broad Church"

"Bishop" Katherine Schori: ECUSA's New Presiding Bishop

The First Church of Tolerance and Innovation (ECUSA) has elected Nevada priestess Katharine Schori as its prime alter Christus. According to Fox News:

The Episcopal Church on Sunday elected Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the first female chief pastor of the denomination and the first female leader in the history of the world Anglican Communion...Only two other Anglican provinces — New Zealand and Canada — have female bishops, although a handful of other provinces allow women to serve in the post. Still, there are many Anglican leaders who believe women should not be priests. Schori was elected during the Episcopal General Convention, where delegates have been debating whether to appease Anglican leaders by agreeing to stop ordaining gay bishops — for now. In 2003, the Americans angered the Anglican world by electing the first openly gay bishop — V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

It added another dirty secret about the Church of Tolerance and Diversity:
Membership in the Episcopal Church, as in other mainline Protestant groups, has
been declining for years and has remained overwhelmingly white. More than a
quarter of the 2.3 million parishioners are age 65 or older.
One is instantly reminded of C.S. Lewis' words on "Priestesses in the Church":

I am tempted to say that the proposed arrangement would make us much more rational “but not near so much like a Church.”

...The sense in which [a woman] cannot represent God will perhaps be plainer if we look at the thing the other way round. Suppose the reformer stops saying that a good woman may be like God and begins saying that God is like a good woman. Suppose he says that we might just as well pray to “Our Mother which art in heaven” as to “Our Father”. Suppose he suggests that the Incarnation might just as well have taken a female as a male form, and the Second Person of the Trinity be as well called the Daughter as the Son. Suppose, finally, that the mystical marriage were reversed, that the Church were the Bridegroom and Christ the Bride. All this, as it seems to me, is involved in the claim that a woman can represent God as a priest does.

Now it is surely the case that if all these supposals were ever carried into effect we should be embarked on a different religion. Goddesses have, of course, been worshipped: many religions have had priestesses. But they are religions quite different in character from Christianity. Common sense, disregarding the discomfort, or even the horror, which the idea of turning all our theological language into the feminine gender arouses in most Christians, will ask “Why not? Since God is in fact not a biological being and has no sex, what can it matter whether we say He or She, Father or Mother, Son or Daughter?”

But Christians think that God Himself has taught us how to speak of Him. To say that it does not matter is to say either that all the masculine imagery is not inspired, is merely human in origin, or else that, though inspired, it is quite arbitrary and unessential. And this is surely intolerable: or, if tolerable, it is an argument not in favour of Christian priestesses but against Christianity.

...The Church of England can remain a church only if she retains this opaque element [belief in revelation over "common sense"]. If we abandon that, if we retain only what can be justified by standards of prudence and convenience at the bar of enlightened common sense, then we exchange revelation for that old wraith Natural Religion.

...Only one wearing the masculine uniform can (provisionally, and till the Parousia) represent the Lord to the Church: for we are all, corporately and individually, feminine to Him. We men may often make very bad priests. That is because we are insufficiently masculine.

As if to demonstrate Lewis's prophetic insight, and that past is prologue, the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shendoua III, wrote in his book on Homosexuality and the Ordination of Women:

After being ordained as bishops, it was still insufficient. Then, women began to ask the question: Is God a Man or a Woman? Of course gender is not found in Divinity. But they began to say: "Why do we say: `Our Father who art in Heaven?' Why do we not say `Our Mother?'" And this was a problem in many meetings of the World Council of Churches, and some tried to compromise and say `Our Parent who art in Heaven.' If we try to trace all the verses in which God is mentioned as Father in the Bible, we'll find so many! This suggestion means that we have to change the Bible! If we change the Bible, what will be said of us by other religions? They will say that this Book is not the Book of God; you are trying to make alterations, and these are not the words inspired by the Holy Spirit in the Holy Bible!

His words are simple, almost childlike, rather than the scholarly sophistry offered up by the (Ir)Religious Left. He concludes, "I think it is better for a woman to remain a woman, to work in services, and handle responsibilities which are more suitable for a woman."

Which is to say he, Lewis, and the whole of the Orthodox Church hold to the universal paradosis on the priesthood: that one must be a male to be ordained. This is not a matter of sexual discrimination, merely a recognition of the distinct roles God has bestowed upon each gender.

As much as my Byzantine brethren may deride the "simplistic" argument as a product of the "Western captivity of the Church," the Western requirement of "form, matter, and intention" is useful shorthand (though by no means exhaustive of the position of the Church, nor of the West). The proper matter for ordination is a baptized male Orthodox Christian. A woman, however holy, cannot be ordained a priest any more than beer and pizza can be consecrated as the Eucharist or taurobolium can substitute for baptism.

While the Episcopal Church USA has settled the matter of female ordination, in contravention of its own historical praxis, it now questions whether to suspend another heretical innovation "for now." Here, too, the battle is ultimately settled: ECUSA will do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, and ultimately it will expel and seize the property of those intransigents who dare oppose them. Against this background, Metropolitan PHILIP said two years ago: "Let me assure you, once again, that the Orthodox Church will never permit the ordination of women to the priesthood."


Blogger gadflea said...

COLUMBUS, OH: Fort Worth Appeals To Communion Leaders And Panel For Alternate Primatial Oversight


A Statement from the Diocese of Fort Worth, Read on the Floor of the House of Deputies this morning, June 19 "The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth appeal in good faith to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative primatial oversight and pastoral care, following the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church."

"This action is taken as a cooperative member of the Anglican Communion Network in light of the Windsor Report and its recommendation."

Read by Judy Mayo, Deputy

9:01 AM  
Blogger Jean-Michel said...

"as I said elsewhere" :-)

I first got the news from the Greek newssite. I thought "well, we all guessed they would make the choice of the gay bishop, so they took the lesser of the 2 bad solutions.
But I'm wrong.
A gay can repent of being gay, and problem is solved. A woman cannot "repent" of being woman. Ok, she can resign, that's another problem. Or solution.

all the news in French :

Kyrie eleison


11:37 AM  
Blogger SisterMcCoy said...

Perhaps Bishop Jefferts Schori will be able to redirect the ECUSA away from its current obsession with sex and gender toward the issues that really matter to God.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Inquisitor Generalis said...

Perhaps you should consider this ECUSA's gift to the WRO?

12:42 AM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Gadflea, so others in the Anglican communion believe women can be priests, just not bishops?

JM, they're all symptoms of a church that has substituted modern zeitgeist for the Gospel.

Sister McCoy, I checked out your blog, and my knee has not stopped jerking. ;) The debate will likely end, as anyone with any sense will realize such as Schori have forced them out of their church.

IG, one of many.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

You have no idea who I am and I don't know who you are. I just stumbled on this blog, while Googling things pertaining to the Episcopal Church.

I don't get what you are trying to say out of this post. Is it that women aren't fit to be ordained into the priesthood of Christ? Are they not equal to men in religious worth and spiritual zeal?

I, am personally happy that there is an egalitarian church that allows itself to evolve and still retain the traditional rituals, spiritual practices, prayers and Scriptures of old.

And concerning gay bishops, I really still don't see a problem. Every person has the right to be an Apostle of God, and to show this apostleship through ordination.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Hello Eric (and a pleasure to make your acquaintance).

I daresay the point made by C.S. Lewis, the Coptic Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, and me, is fairly clear: the tradition of the Church for 2,000 years has been that only a man can be a priest -- and as we all explicitly state in this very post, that has nothing to do with women's "religious worth and spiritual zeal."

You wrote that you were glad TEC retained "the traditional rituals, spiritual practices, prayers and Scriptures of old." Would that be Rite II, Rite III, Rite IV, or baptism in the name of "Mother, Lover, and Friend"?

Finally, you wrote: "Every person has the right to be an Apostle of God, and to show this apostleship through ordination." On the contrary: The priesthood is not a civil right, even to those qualified; otherwise, every baptized male in my Church would be a priest. It is a calling to be discerned by, through, and within the Church -- and defiantly, obstinately living in violation of Christianity's clearest commandments without a twinge of guilt or desire for repentence reads one out of the process.

I hope as you read more widely, you'll allow His commandments and historical faith to guide and (re)shape your opinions.

4:40 AM  

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