Monday, June 19, 2006

American Episcopalians elect woman bishop

NYTimes article

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 18 — The Episcopal Church elected Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada as its presiding bishop on Sunday, making her the first woman to lead a church in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Many Episcopalians gathered here for the church's triennial general convention cheered the largely unexpected choice of Bishop Jefferts Schori, 52, the lone woman and one of the youngest of the seven candidates for the job. Her election was a milestone for the Episcopal Church, which began ordaining women only in 1976.

She takes on her new responsibilities at a particularly fraught moment in the history of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Anglican Communion, the world's third-largest church body, with 77 million members. She was elected to succeed Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, who will retire in November when his nine-year term ends.

At the last general convention, in 2003, the church consented to the election of an openly gay man, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire. The decision deeply offended some Episcopalians in the United States and many Anglican primates abroad, who saw it as blatant disregard of Scripture.

Since then, some United States congregations have left the Episcopal Church, and primates overseas have threatened schism. Bishop Jefferts Schori supported Bishop Robinson's election in 2003, and the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada permits the blessing of same-sex unions. Moreover, that Bishop Jefferts Schori is a woman could further strain relations with three dioceses in the United States and many Anglican provinces that refuse to ordain women as priests and bishops, critics of the vote said Sunday....

9 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

"many Anglican provinces that refuse to ordain women as priests and bishops

I guess fundamentalism comes in all flavors :)

Matt said...

I am certainly proud of the Episcopal Church - we're definitely not a group that is languishing in the past. This marks another positive step for us, although it will most definitely pose challenges for some in the Anglican communion...

Chuck said...

An interesting addition from the CNN account I read this morning. I certainly rejoice with Matt, but it is also clear that many do not welcome the present and future into their faith tradition...

"Still, there are many Anglican leaders who believe women should not even be priests. Those opposed to female clergy often cite the unbroken tradition of male priesthood in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, and in the Anglican Communion until about 30 years ago."

jim said...

She sure has a tough job ahead of her.

By the way Presbyterians (that is of the PCUSA variety) have had female elders and ministers for General Assembly moderators for a couple of decades already.

Our GA Moderators of course are not anywhere near as powerful as presiding bishops are in the ECUSA!

Deb said...

As a woman in the Methodist denomination seeking ordination, I will be in prayer for her. The Methodist have been ordaining women and breaking the tradition of "male priesthood" for fifty years and yet I just recently resigned from a church staff position because of the competitive nature of the lead pastor. Some say they accept the ordination of women - but their actions don't line up with their words - yet...

I live for the day when we are not so caught up in controlling who can serve but our time and energy are going toward how to support and empower them. "On earth as it is in heaven" kingdom building stalls out in the midst of the power struggle.

Rick said...

I am proud to be an Episcopalian.

I appreciate the willingness to go to those places that many won't.

kimmy said...

Kudos to the Episcopalians! It is notable that so any folks find fault with the Muslims for omitting women in areas of religious service and we forget that it has been (and still is) a struggle for women in many Christian traditions. Thanks for giving me something to think about :)

kimmy said...
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kimmy said...
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