Wednesday, June 16, 2010



Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori carrys her mitre as she processes in Southwark Cathedral

From Episcopal Life:

She did so in order to comply with a "statement" from Lambeth Palace, the London home of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, that said "that I was not to wear a mitre at Southwark Cathedral," Jefferts Schori told the Executive Council June 16 on the first day of its three-day meeting here.

In the week before her visit, the presiding bishop said, Lambeth pressured her office to provide evidence of her ordination to each order of ministry.

"This is apparently a requirement of one of their canons about the ministry of clergy from overseas," she said.

The presiding bishop said both the ordination and mitre issues put the Very Rev. Colin Slee, Southwark's dean, "in a very awkward position."

She called the requirements "nonsense" and said, "It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre."

Yes indeedy.

Thanks to Ann for the photo.


  1. The requirement to provide evidence of ordination is standard when an overseas priest wants to minister as a guest in the C of E. It's one of the reasons I only once presided at Holy Communion in my father's parish after my ordination. I couldn't be bothered to go through all the rigmarole of getting permission from Lambeth.

  2. As much as I'd like for TEC to chuck the AC & strike out on its own, I think the Holy Spirit would want us to act like adults in response to Rowan's petty, childish nonsense.

  3. I'm a little puzzled over what the fuss is all about. If anything, I think her tour of the UK demonstrates how much support she and the Episcopal Church enjoy among the English and Scottish pew-sitters. Her visit appears to have been a great success. Women bishops are still an unresolved issue for the Church of England, and so there was bound to be some difficulty with The Powers That Be over there.

    I think the real insults (and the real scandals) were at Dromantine and Dar Es Salaam when our Presiding Bishop and our church were snubbed at the altar.

  4. Remember that Women Bishops issue is absolutely the crisis epicentre for the Church of England right now, Mimi. The FiF-UK gels, who Rowan is working hard to placate (sound familiar?) would have gone APE-DOO had KJS had worn her mitre at Southwark (not saying this would have been good or bad - top-rate opposition hissy-fits have a charm of their own). This is one factor.

    That female bishops are not at this point recognized in the C of E is also a valid point. For close to 20 years TEC "priestesses" could not legally - and, the C of E being the established church, I mean "legally" - preside in Anglican churches.

    Finally, this, coming on top of KJS's very successful UK tour (Australia and New Zealand - so more games of "pin the mitre on the bishop" - still to come) has provided excellent positive PR among potential sympathizers throughout the Anglican Communion - positive PR out of all proportion to the incident itself.

    That she carried this off without smirking - which few very of us could have managed successfully - is too the good as well.

  5. The strict adherence to protocol over the mitre seems petty to us in the US. On the other hand, if the business of proof of papers is in the canons...although England reminds me a bit of Arizona.

    Episcopal Bear, I don't think we should strike out on our own. I once did, but now I realize that our staying in the Communion is important, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of those in other provinces.

    And Counterlight, you're right. The greater scandal was being snubbed before the altar of the Lord.

    Lapin, at least +Katharine showed that she HAD a mitre. Perhaps she smirked right after the snap.

    Katherine shows the wider world that she's not the ogress that some make her out to be. Finding the humor in the situation seems the best way to go. As she said, "It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre."

  6. I tend to agree with Lapin, this tour was a major publicity coup for +KJS. The protests by the evangelicals and the perceived slights by ++Canterbury only enhanced the success of her visit, and strengthened sympathy for her, and for the church she represents.

  7. In today's "Times", Ruth Gledhill notes that "of the annual ACO budget, 80 per cent comes from The Episcopal Church and the Church of England, about half each". A fact perhaps not unrelated to Kearon's visit.

    Until now, Kearon has been pretty-well anathema to the Radical Right, particularly since he told Henry Orombi to shove it in May of last year, when he (Orombi) attempted to seat Phil "Blow Things UP" Ashey, CEO of the Schismatic "American Anglican Council", as a Ugandan delegate to the Anglican Consultative Council - none of whose meetings Orombi himself, you may recall, has bothered to attend.


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