Bishop Jefferts Schori said in her opening remarks that her June 13 homily at Southwark Cathedral in London, England, had been controversial. Later, in closed session, she revealed that Lambeth Palace had ordered her not to wear her mitre (because the Church of England is still debating the consecration of women bishops) and had required her to provide evidence of her ordination as deacon, priest, and bishop. Providing this evidence is a standard requirement for overseas clergy who apply to officiate in the United Kingdom.
Recent tensions have affected the way that the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations plans to address ecumenical relationships. At an afternoon meeting of the world mission committee, Breuer reported that the commission wants to maintain ecumenical conversations with other church bodies, “even if the Anglican Communion Office does not.”
The committee has proposed that approximately $15,000 should be taken from the Episcopal Church’s Anglican Communion Office funding to strengthen the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical relationships. Breuer said the intention would still be to work through the Anglican Communion Office “insofar as possible,” but that “We will not say [in our ecumenical conversations], ”˜We have no need of you’ because the Anglican Communion Office says to us ”˜We have no need of you.’”
The proposal to redirect funds met with some skepticism. “I think we’ll produce massive confusion if we say, ”˜If we can’t do our international conversations one way, we’ll take the money from the Anglican Communion Office and do them another way,’” said the Rev. Canon Mark Harris of Delaware.
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