Given the collegial atmosphere and expectations, therefore, it comes as a bit of a shock to learn that the leadership of ECUSA has arranged a slightly different agenda for the 2011 spring meeting of the House of Bishops. That agenda includes an indoctrination of the attendees into what President Ronald Reagan once memorably called “the soft tyranny of low expectations” (and which George W. Bush changed into “the soft bigotry of low expectations”). Again, we have this eyewitness account (I have added the bold emphasis):
After a challenging address by the PB to “show up” in the various challenging venues of today’s world, we had a report from a committee on changes in governance of The Episcopal Church, concerns about the new Title IV Canon revisions (clergy discipline), a report from the committee on same gender blessings, and from a group looking at devising a process for the “reconciliation or dissolution of a pastoral relationship between a bishop and a diocese!”
Wow! For the new bishops: welcome to your new role!
“Welcome to your new role,” indeed. Bishop Epting (now retired, but attending in lieu of Bishop Scarfe of Iowa, who is on a sabbatical) may not realize how close he has come to hitting the nail on the head. While the number of new bishops in the House of Bishops not politically significant, and is at best a dozen or so among a total of about 130, it is essential that the new bishops be, in the words of Oscar Hammerstein, “carefully taught”.
And what better subject for the “teachers” than the newly created metropolitan authority of the Presiding Bishop herself?…