By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY
NEW YORK — Every time Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori dons her personalized vestments, there’s a vision of sunrise.
Colors of the “new dawn,” cited so often by the prophet Isaiah, are sewn into her personalized mantle and bishop’s hat — an orange glow rises from a green hem to a dawn-blue band below purple heavens.
Jefferts Schori herself stands for a new day in her church:
• The first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
• The first and only female primate, head of one of the 38 national and regional churches, in the world’s largest non-Catholic Christian denomination.
• The leader who faces a costly fracture among the faithful, a crack radiating across the Anglican world.
Since her election in June and installation in November, a tiny but influential number of churches from Virginia to California — “one-half of 1% of the 7,200 congregations,” she says — have spurned her leadership and the liberal direction of the Episcopal Church to align with Southern Hemisphere traditionalists.
Her stats are rhetorical propaganda. Sure, of the total number of congregations (sic: what a terrible word to use! we have ‘parishes’) it may be .05%. But were the numbers to be run for determining total dollars contributed as well total attendance (and frequency!) the conservative parishes would swell the numbers substantially and more accurately describe the devastation of their withdrawal.
Notice the straw man in the paragraph: “strict interpretation of the Bible.” I, for one, only want an apostolic, Traditional interpretation of Scripture. The article and KJS’s ilk make it sound like we want a “Left Behind” or a “TULIP” or a “Once-Saved-Always-Saved” kind of interpretation–which couldn’t be further from the Truth.
Or consider “all her pastoral experience” which is an exaggeration of a huge magnitude…
Now, on another level, look at the theological controversy that’s skirted in the differing answers of “Bishop” Sisk and Fr. Anderson. What we’re reading about in this article is merely that KJS is the current lightening rod for most of what’s wrong with tec.