Friday, June 4, 2010

Rowan Williams and Katharine Jefferts Schori: Anglican Smack-Down

From Beliefnet-

Like most Christians, I don't pay attention to missives from church leaders. This week, however, dueling pastoral letters issued for Pentecost from Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, and Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, caught my attention--because one so rarely witnesses a first-class theological smack down between tea-drinking Anglican primates.

Unless you've been sleeping in a cave, you are probably aware that the Episcopal Church (of which I am a member) has been arguing about the role of LGBT persons in the church. Along with the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church has opened itself toward full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians. Here in North America, this has caused some defections (fewer than at first predicted), some legal suits (most have been settled in favor of the Episcopal Church), monetary fallout (hard to separate from general economic downturn), and bad feelings (which, sadly enough, remain). But what is most surprising--and I regularly hear this from bishops, clergy, and congregational lay leaders--is that things are much less tense in the Episcopal Church now than they have been in recent years. Folks are moving ahead in their local parishes doing the sorts of things that Episcopalians are pretty good at doing--creating beautiful worship, praying together, and feeding hungry people.

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