In contrast to what they say about Las Vegas, what happens in one branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion rarely stays there. And no one knows this more than the former Episcopal bishop of Sin City, Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is now presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has forcefully defended her church’s embrace of gays and lesbians and firmly rejected efforts to centralize power or police uniformity in the Anglican Communion.
In her talk to open the Episcopal Church’s triennial convention in July, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori denounced the “great Western heresy” of individual salvation and contrasted it with the convention’s theme of spiritual journey in community. Seven weeks later, noting public criticism from evangelical figures, she elaborated.
Calls for patience from restive Episcopal majority
Mar 20, 2007
Pleading for patience from her church’s restive majority, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged the Episcopal Church to refrain from ordaining gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions “for a season,” so it can contribute further to the drafting of a covenant among the world’s 77 million Anglicans.
Conservative Episcopalians’ steady exodus from the Episcopal Church accelerated before Christmas as eight Virginia congregations—including two large, historic parishes—voted to leave the national body.
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori knocked three times on the door of Washington’s National Cathedral early this month, and the Episcopal Church welcomed her as its new presiding bishop—the first woman to lead a national church in the history of Anglicanism.
Hoping to stave off schism within the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church has agreed to “exercise restraint” before electing any more openly gay bishops. The 11th-hour resolution at the triennial Episcopal General Convention last month in Columbus, Ohio, urged Episcopal leaders to refrain from electing bishops whose “manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams reached electronically across the Atlantic to express to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to be elected as presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, his “good wishes as she takes up a deeply demanding position at a critical time.”
One woman from Nevada and three southern men have been nominated to lead the Episcopal Church for a nine-year term as the badly divided denomination faces an uncertain future and threats of schism after decades of fighting.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.