ECUSA's election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as its new Presiding Bishop "was greeted with whoops of joy by pro-women campaigners," according to the UK Telegraph.
The New York Times likewise tunes in on the gloating.
"I'm thrilled," said the Rev. Susan Russell, the president of Integrity, an advocacy group for gay and lesbian Episcopalians. "I'm a cradle Episcopalian. I remember when there were no women priests. I remember when they said the church was going to split over the ordination of women. What we're giving as a Father's Day gift to the Anglican Communion is a woman primate, and that is wonderful."
In the important ways, all this is stale news. We saw the same "identity politics" in action, also successfully, during the 1989 election of Barbara Harris as bishop, and again three years ago at the Minnesota convention that elected Gene Robinson. Said the NYT in July 2003: "About 200 of the bishops and delegates who will vote at the convention have agreed to wear buttons saying, 'Ask Me About Gene,' and to offer testimony about his worthiness."
The problem with identity politics is that it succeeds too well: it invests the personal resentments of the insurgents with the dignity of politics, while stigmatising the conceptual hesitations of their opponents as bigotry. Once in office, however, those elected by identity politics find themselves crippled. Elected by intimidation disguised as reparation, they must govern by intimidation disguised as consensus. Because the ruse is as hateful to implement as it is to endure, both governor and governed come to loathe one another. The governor's appeals for "trust" are rightly understood to be -- and rejected as -- a plea that the defeated party ignore the subterfuge that occasioned their defeat. That's why identity politics always ends up denying its own existence.
The all-conquering Gene Robinson pouted last year, "My diocese may be the only diocese in the Anglican Communion that is not obsessed with sex" -- to which New Hampshire's traditionalist Episcopalians may ruefully reply: Ask Me About Gene.
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Posted by: Patricia -
Jun. 23, 2006 11:09 AM ET USA
So women who want to be priests are lesbians or just see themselves as able to assume the roles of men? How about this one: Since seminary classes are graduating fewer and fewer men, how about helping along the idea that people deserve the sacraments? If no one cares about that then it`s okay to close parish after parish, which is happening as we speak.
Posted by: Gino -
Jun. 20, 2006 8:39 PM ET USA
This is where our liberal Catholic bishops and their followers want to lead the One, Holy and Apostolic Church. God save us from these people!
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
Jun. 20, 2006 7:39 PM ET USA
"The hatred for and contempt of homosexuals in these comments is amazing." Far from it. I am making an act of personal conscience in imbibing a drink. Certainly my private enjoyment of alcohol, even if some view it as vice, cannot possibly affect the public or private behavior of others toward alcohol. Next someone is going to tell me that I am influencing others by my flippant comments. Of course, some view it as ironic that a recovering alcoholic would lecture others on obsession.
Posted by: JW -
Jun. 20, 2006 5:24 PM ET USA
The hatred for and contempt of homosexuals in these comments is amazing. Do not forget that those afflicted with that particular condition live in a culture that tells them all the wrong things about how to deal with it. They need to be prayed for and evangelized rather than mocked and ridiculed. And yes, that includes those unfortunate clergy who experience homosexual feelings and don't understand or accept the Church's teachings on the matter. Some you can't talk to, but you can pray!
Posted by: Ross Dee -
Jun. 20, 2006 2:38 PM ET USA
I am so happy that all the homosexuals and lesbian, those who want everyone to identify them by their "orientation" have a place to go and feel accepted.The Episconpalians are so generous that I want them to have every homosexual and lesbian that "claim to be Catholic" join them. I would even be happier, if Catholic Bsps.and Priests that condone & expose themselves as homosexuals, join Bsp. K.J. Schori with the white collar and pink shirt. Why not? they can "feel inclusive and accepted",
Posted by: -
Jun. 20, 2006 10:24 AM ET USA
Methinks many Catholics (the proponents of the “Spirit of Vatican II”) are deeply saddened by this apparent schism among the Anglicans--if only because it will make the Vatican’s pursuit of (false) ecumenism that much more difficult. But don’t sweat the details; I’m sure one of the red hats in Rome will dream up some way to reach an accommodation with the Sodomites. Can’t we all just get along here?
Posted by: -
Jun. 20, 2006 9:40 AM ET USA
I agree completely with Eleazar. The American Catholic Church is in dire straits. I hope Benedict has a real heart-to-heart with Archbishop Wuerl come June 29th, when the archbishop gets his pallium. There may be some reason for hope, nonetheless. That is, the rise of the bloggers. It is no longer possible for renegade bishops and professors of theology to do as they once did, without being called out on it. Also, remember that all of the Vatican congregations, as well as the Pope, have email.
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
Jun. 20, 2006 9:33 AM ET USA
"My diocese may be the only diocese in the Anglican Communion that is not obsessed with sex" I'll drink to that.
Posted by: parochus -
Jun. 20, 2006 9:03 AM ET USA
According to Reuters, Jefferts Schori was "raised a Roman Catholic and graduated in marine biology with a doctorate specialization in squids and oysters." http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2006-06-19T193318Z_01_N19347151_RTRUKOC_0_US-RELIGION-EPISCOPALS-BISHOP.xml&src=rss&rpc=22
Posted by: -
Jun. 20, 2006 8:59 AM ET USA
PS: Here's an interesting link on Bp Pike, which provides historical background for the degeneration of the Anglican Communion: http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment/crypt/cry_20011114.shtml
Posted by: -
Jun. 20, 2006 8:51 AM ET USA
The toppling of the Anglican "big tent" has been in the making for many years. Those of us from California can hearken back to Bishop Pike's liberal peregrinations in the desert. I would give the tent no more than 6 months.
Posted by: patriot6908 -
Jun. 20, 2006 8:06 AM ET USA
It is still painful to watch the death instinct in action as decadence assumes its total control over these moribund liberal Protestant denominations, or to use the hackneyed phrase, "communities of faith".
Posted by: Eleazar -
Jun. 20, 2006 8:05 AM ET USA
“…all this is stale news.” While I agree Uncle Di’s comments on identity politics, I think that we’re watching an event of historic proportions; the destruction of the Anglican Communion, wrought by an apostate American Church. It is a foreshadowing of what could happen to Roman Catholicism if BXVI does not step up, discipline the forces of heterodoxy and dissent, and lead.