Notable and Quotable

“It just makes it clearer that the group of bishops is finding that the number of congregations in The Episcopal Church who want to affiliate in that way is shrinking and they are looking for partners with similar philosophy and theology outside The Episcopal Church. I think it would be remarkable if they could all gather into one body. They have such a history of splitting that it would be a sign of the Spirit’s moving if they could gather into a coherent whole…”

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori speaking of Common Cause.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

38 comments on “Notable and Quotable

  1. jeff marx says:

    “it would be a sign of the Spirit’s moving if they could gather into a coherent whole…”
    Well if Common Cause continues it would appear that even the PB recognizes it is the work of God!
    Now my question for her: if the Spirit is moving prophetically among the American bishops why are they so reluctant to speak openly and honestly about what they are doing? Why all the word play and misdirection?
    Division is awful, but it is a fact because TEC has turned its back on the faith. Ironically,the way the PB spins things: if people stay in the church that proves that there is no problem, if they leave individually that proves there is no problem, if they leave as entire parishes or dioceses that proves there is no problem.
    I would like to now how she thinks her words will help.

  2. Sidney says:

    I have my doubts about the accuracy of that quotation. I’d like to see some substantiation for it.

  3. samh says:

    2: So the Living Church is making up PB quotes now?

  4. Sidney says:

    #3: I don’t know. I’m not familiar enough with Living Church to know how much to trust them.

    Was it from a personal phone interview? Press conference? Webcast? Can I find this anywhere else? When did she say this?

  5. RalphM says:

    I think the quotation was really “I think it would be remarkable if they could all gather into one body given that we’re trying to destroy them by the misuse of Canons and by suing them in court”.

    At least that’s what I think she meant…

  6. Bob Penn says:

    I can’t find the quote anywhere. That said, even a diocese as conservative as Pittsburgh there are those who will not be able to stay together even in a common cause partnership. At one section (deanery) meeting there were snide remarks made be some men about the ministry of women, one was my former rector. She’s excellent and very close to Duncan. That didn’t keep her from hearing “I don’t recognize her ministry or that of any woman.”

    Quote or no quote there are many who believe that women in the ministry is strictly forbidden by scripture.

  7. DonGander says:

    I would think it remarkable if, once the panic from the implosion of TEClub occurs, that more than just a very few congregations remain undivided in TEClub.

    They have such a history of splitting that it would be a sign of the Spirit’s moving if they could gather into a coherent whole,” Schori said.

    Balam’s animal spoke the truth.

  8. Bob Penn says:

    Also, I’ve heard some evangelicals clergy who find Anglo-Catholic practices such as the rosary, transubstantiation, exposition of the blessed sacrement, benediction and reposition plain foolish or biblically unsustantiated. Personally I don’t know how we’ve stayed together this long. The Reformed Episcopal Church had problems with candles on the table and found High Church practices intolerable. Better yet, who’s going to be the new primate? After seeing the politics in TEC I have to wonder.

  9. John Gartrell says:

    #2 and #6
    The San Francisco Chronicle had this article with a very similar quote.

  10. Don Armstrong says:

    The silence within the Episcopal Church House of Bishops should not be interpreted as agreement with KJS but fear of her reign of terror…

  11. Ed the Roman says:

    I’ve often marveled at the objection to candles on the altar. Did these worthy gentlemen’s ancestors dine in the dark as well, then?

  12. John B. Chilton says:

    Let’s break down what she is saying. Her key insight is in the first sentence, “It just makes it clearer that the group of bishops is finding that the number of congregations in The Episcopal Church who want to affiliate in that way is shrinking and they are looking for partners with similar philosophy and theology outside The Episcopal Church.” In other words, she is saying Common Cause has lowered the bar for membership (similar will still mean not as close) because it could not find a viable number of congregations interested in membership from within TEC. Lowering the bar for membership results in more heterodoxy of beliefs (low church to high church; women’s ordination; etc.) and more competition for headship (who will be the uber-bishop). With all that baggage, and their history of splitting rather than reconciling, it will be remarkable if they hang together. Remarkable despite their common enemy and their self interest in being a larger rather than a smaller group. It would take something like the Holy Spirit working.

  13. Sidney says:

    #9 Thanks. That convinces me.

    Her inexperience in congregational leadership really shows through here. It sounds like trash talk before a boxing match.

  14. rob k says:

    No. 8 puts his finger on the deeper problem within Anglicanism, the lack of Catholic ecclesiology of the Evangelicals.

  15. wvparson says:

    I do hope the PB didn’t say this. It is not so much that it is extraordinary to suppose that the Common Cause coalition will fracture or that some of its present members will not find the internal will to sign on, but that it exhibits just that sort of cynicism which deepens devision and creates a playing field at swamp level.

    The more cruse the invective the further one is from any attempt at godly discourse.

  16. Brian from T19 says:


    Balam’s[sic] animal spoke the truth.

    I think you have demonstrated nicely who the real jackass here is.

    [i] Don’t start, Brian. [/i]

    -Elf Lady

  17. Brian from T19 says:

    Elf Lady

    Same question as I asked in another thread: Since the rules of the blog have obviously changed so that posters may call reappraisers any terrible thing they want, why doesn’t this apply to reasserters?

    [i] If we’re online, we try to temper everyone. There are certainly occasions when we miss things. If you find an offensive comment,
    PLEASE email us with a head’s up. [/i]

  18. Charley says:

    No. 1, Fr. Marx, division is not really awful, what with winnowing fans and eyes of needles God himself has promised an eternal division.

    Some people just won’t be dragged kicking and screaming into heaven. Time to let loose of their shirt collars and just put your arms around those who will walk happily toward the light.

  19. Br_er Rabbit says:

    Regarding the authenticity of this quote: My guess is that it came about in a phone call to the PB from reporter Steve Waring or Timothy Roberts as an attempt to bring both sides (from TLC perspective) of the issue into the article. As such, it was probably an informal conversation and may well be a paraphrase of her remarks. Lacking a recording of the call, we may never know what exactly she [i]said[/i]: what we have here is the perception by the reporters of what she [i]meant[/i].

  20. Dale Rye says:

    I have no real trouble imagining that the PB might say this. With her emphasis on diversity, I doubt that she has any opposition to reasserters as such, so long as they don’t try to impose their position on reappraisers. Her history as a diocesan shows that she is not in favor of persecuting those who differ from her (unlike some other bishops we could all name). The problem reasserters have with her is precisely that she [b]is[/b] tolerant, not only of them, but also of those whom they cannot recognize as orthodox Christians.

    She obviously recognizes that a significant number of reasserters are going to leave, although she underestimates the numbers, I think (as evidenced by her belief that there won’t be enough of them to form a viable denomination without the Common Cause partners). Although the PB would like people to stay within The Big Tent, she has no objection to those who feel conscientiously bound to leave, so long as they don’t try to take property with them that belongs to the TEC parish or diocese and its continuing members.

    If they can grow and prosper, more power to them; she wishes the separatists no ill will, any more than she would wish Episcopalians who have departed for the Antiochian Orthodox or Foursquare Gospel Churches any ill will. All these churches appeal to a different sort of person than TEC does, so their growth will hardly come at Episcopal expense. People who have left TEC to join another denomination are simply no longer part of TEC’s life, and (as Gamaliel said) any success they enjoy will be evidence that the Spirit is at work in them.

    She doubts, however, that the separatists will prosper. The history of the 1970s-era Continuing Anglican Movement was of one split after another, even though they shared substantially identical Anglo-Catholic views about theology and worship. The Common Cause group is far more diverse, running the spectrum from Calvinism to pre-Vatican II Catholicism; oddly, one of the few things that unites them is their dislike of diversity. If they can hold it together, it really would be a miracle of the Holy Spirit at work.

  21. VaAnglican says:

    Dale, I think you would be right but for her insistence that those who do buy property as they depart be legally bound never to affiliate with another Anglican entity. That suggests she does view the departing reasserters as a threat, or that she wishes to grind them into the dust–or both. I do think she has laid down a challenge to us all though with respect to unity. I hope we can prove her very wrong indeed, but her history with respect to the continuum is spot on.

  22. Cousin Vinnie says:

    Dale, I think you misperceive the PB’s “tolerance.” When did she ever feature a strong reasserter with the same prominence she gave to the heretic “Bishop” Spong? Was Bp Iker ever invited to address the assembled Nevada clergy under her watch?

    No, I think she is tolerant of the reasserters if they sit quietly in the back and keep writing those checks.

  23. Pb says:

    I agree that the number of parishes is shrinking. The number shrinks every time one leaves.

  24. Billy says:

    #20, Dale, you stated, “The Common Cause group is far more diverse, running the spectrum from Calvinism to pre-Vatican II Catholicism; oddly, one of the few things that unites them is their dislike of diversity.” I could not disagree with you more. What CCG is united in is its belief that what has been known as sinful for 3000 years is now not only being called “normal” and “right” but also being celebrated. And what they are united in is opposition to interpreting scripture to fit in with trendy secular notions. Yes, they oppose making bishops (and priests, I hope) of folks in non-celibate unmarried relationships. What other diverse (and possibly perverse) persons do they oppose or dislike? Give me some support for your statement that CCG is united by its opposition to diversity.

  25. Rolling Eyes says:

    Brian: “Since the rules of the blog have obviously changed so that posters may call reappraisers any terrible thing they want, why doesn’t this apply to reasserters?”

    Blah blah blah. Spare us your crocodile tears, Brian. Where are you when your a reappraiser calls reasserters “bigots” or worse? What a pathetic display!

    If you were really concerned about civility, as opposed to revenge, you would start by chastising your friends first.

    [i] This elf will be equally inclusive in requesting the comments stay on topic. [/i]

  26. Dale Rye says:

    #21: I think the following is her thinking behind the prohibition on departing congregations affiliating with another province. I could be wrong, and I do not necessarily agree with the argument, as you certainly will not, but I think it is worth the effort to try to understand.

    From roughly 1534 to 1998, Anglicans considered themselves to be a fellowship of churches with historic ties to the Church of England, each of which was free to make all its own decisions within wide boundaries. The boundaries of intercommunion were roughly defined in 1888 by the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, although each church was free to follow any reasonable interpretation of those four standards without affecting the mutual communion within the fellowship. Beginning with the Toronto Anglican Congress of 1963, the churches also were considered to be bound by “ties of affection” that defined their mutual interdependence and responsibility.

    Following the 1998 Lambeth Conference, a majority of the national churches made it clear that MRI prohibited individual provinces from taking steps unilaterally that affected the health of the Communion as a whole. A series of pronouncements by the Instruments of Communion and commissions established under their authority listed three specific things that would strain or even tear the bonds of affection: (1) Consecrating a sexually-active gay or lesbian bishop; (2) Authorizing the blessing of gay or lesbian sexual relationships; (3) Initiating or encouraging the performance of episcopal acts by one bishop within the diocese of another without that bishop’s consent. You may regard two of those demands as more important than the third, but the fact remains that all three demands have been made.

    Whether you (or I) agree or not, the PB [b]thinks[/b] that TEC has complied with (1) by making it clear that the American bishops with jurisdiction will block the consecration of unacceptable bishops-elect and with (2) by making it clear that the House of Bishops will not concur in any effort by the House of Deputies to authorize blessing rites.

    I think she is trying to comply with (3) as well by not only not “initiating or encouraging” but actively discouraging, efforts to cross the diocesan boundaries recognized by the majority of the Communion. While a change to non-geographic dioceses and provinces is certainly possible under the fourth branch of the Quadrilateral, it is not up to TEC to implement that decision before the Communion as a whole has accepted it. Acting unilaterally is exactly what got TEC in trouble in the first place, and the PB should quite properly feel no more free to violate (3) by facilitating border-crossing than TEC has been free to violate (1) and (2).

    #22: Tolerance does not equal agreement and does not require granting equal time to both speakers one agrees with and those one disagrees with. Can you imagine Bp. Iker inviting Bp. Spong or even the PB to address his assembled clergy? Would Bp. Iker even accept an invitation to share a platform with a woman whose sacramental ministry he cannot accept? It seems like a pretty basic concept that people in a democratic society (including a church that selects its bishops by ballot) may be asked to tolerate positions they do not share, and that toleration does not equal endorsement. Admittedly, one of the forces driving the current crisis is the inability of many people–from Philadelphia to Fort Worth–to make that distinction.

    Re #24: You make my point. The group has almost nothing in common aside from its opposition to the approval of homosexuality and the theological developments within TEC that have made that approval possible. Once they have to start defining themselves in terms of what they are for, rather than what they are against, there are going to be some very serious problems.

    It is all well and good to say that Anglicanism should be more of a confessional church than it has been of late to exclude unbelievers, but what happens when people sit down to write a confession and one draft looks like the Westminster Confession and another like the Catechism of the Council of Trent? What happens when a woman priest from Pittsburgh shows up at a Common Cause concelebration in Fort Worth?

  27. Ross says:

    #24 Billy:

    Your description of the Common Cause Partners is telling: they’re united in what they oppose. That can work to hold people together for a while, but history suggests that it’s pretty shaky in the long run.

    Other than a common enemy, what is it they actually hold in common? And that they do not hold in common with half a hundred other conservative denominations with whom they are not seeking partnership?

  28. Billy says:

    Nos. 26 and 27, I can’t tell if you purposefully missed my point or are too bent on making your own point. The question was Dale’s statement that CCG dislikes diversity. The point is that they are diverse in many ways and that has not kept them from uniting. Bp Iker had no problem staying within TEC as long as TEC did not force him to ordain women. Bp Duncan ordains women in Pittsburgh, but he isn’t going to tell Bp Iker he has to do that in Ft Worth, nor does Bp Iker tell Bp Duncan he shouldn’t ordain women. Neither of these bishops, nor any others in CCG, are asking homosexuals not to be members of their churches, nor are they not trying to respond in pastoral ways. But they do oppose consecrating those persons in non-celibate relationships that are not married. Yet TEC is forcing them to be in an HOB with one in that situation, and forcing them to accept VGR as a bishop of their church. Before GC2003 there was a live and let live continuum in place, which allowed all the diversity in the church that was there and allowed all to accept it as being a part of the church. After GC2003, diversity in TEC is no longer allowed; there must be mandatory acceptance of WO and HO (homosexual ordination and consecration). CCG accepted diversity of other dioceses before GC2003. Only after GC2003 no longer accepted the diversity within CCG did things change. You have to realize who moved from acceptance … it wasn’t CCG. CCG is in the same place it was before GC2003. TEC is the one that moved to no longer accept CCG.

  29. John B. Chilton says:

    #10 – Reign of terror? Such as? Get real.

  30. Bob Penn says:

    Did you look at the picture of the CCG gathering. It was all white males. Pittsburgh had recent clergy training in anti-racism. The group was asked to think of a time when they were discriminated against. Oddly, most of the white men couldn’t find such an event unlike the women or clergy of another race. I’m not convinced from what I’ve heard that Duncan won’t give up ordaining women. I’ve also heard two women in this diocese who will sacrifice their orders to preserve unity.

    As I said before to have candles or not? To believe in transubstantiation or not? If this group is to come up with a common theological statement, good luck! Personally, I believe in transubstantiation and I find Exposition and Benediction a great time to just sit and be still. I miss daily services be they MP, EP or communion. We having very little in this diocese.

    Reign of terror struck me as very severe too. We all know the PB powers are limited. If this were truly a reign of terror Ducan and Iker would be deposed. This isn’t a Roman Church.

  31. Billy says:

    #30, did you look at the picture of the HOB gathering. It was almost all white males. Doubt many of them could come up with a time of discrimination either. That is still beside the point. Acceptance of diversity is the point. Now CCG may not be able to come up with a common theological statement; who knows. My point was and still is, prior to TEC shoving HO and WO down the throat of those who believe it is wrong, all lived together under a broad tent; all attended HOB meetings and Eucharist together, including Iker and Duncan. They haven’t changed. TEC changed. Iker and Duncan would still be living in their dioceses with acceptance of the inanity going on in other dioceses, except for GC2003 and GC2006.

    I thought reign of terror too strong, also. But the fact that KJS has admitted that any diocese can sell a building to any organization, other than an Anglican organization, smacks of harsh treatment for those who disagree with TEC. It is not even smart financially; cuts off TEC’s nose to slight its face. And it certainly isn’t loving and generous in spirit, as we are called to be as Christians. I mean, think about it. She (and DBB) are saying, “We’ll let the Baptists or a nightclub, or a bank, or anyone else take the building and property you and your family helped to build and maintain for decades. But we are not going to let you have it, even though your heart is broken to leave what you have supported so long.” Now what kind of Christian is that?

  32. Frances Scott says:

    If those of you who think Common Cause is not united should care to visit and scroll down to Common Cause Partners, you will find the covenant to which all members must subscribe. This will be an enlightening experience; do give it a go.

  33. Bill C says:

    It is very encouraging to know that at the recent CCG meeeting in Pittsburgh were not only the 5 primary common cause bishops present (or represented) but that the “.. bishops from the Anglican Missions in the Americas, the Anglican Province of America, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church of Uganda. Also joining in the partnership were three retired Episcopal bishops and Bishop Suffragan Henry Scriven of Pittsburgh.”
    Tolerance between members of Common Cause are of two types:
    1. Non-salvific issues such as the basic one of the range from no candles to bells and smells should not be divisive issues but determined accommodations of personal belief and tolerance. I think (but I’m not sure) that this was how broadness within the development of the Anglican Church was originally perceived. None of the 39 Articles and Anglican belief in the Authority of the Scriptures affected the fundamental core of Anglican broadness.

  34. Bill C says:

    2. The only salvific issue is the one of Women’s Ordination and I am not even sure how much this is seen as a salvific issue as a very serious disagreement. But even here there is agreement to disagree without impairment of communion between the dioceses represented. I don’t know how this applies to the other groups beyond CANA and aMiA such as the Reformed church and the others. There the issue of WO becomes far more significant. Yet all of these groups must come to the understanding that binds the CCG together if there is ever to be a fully intergrated Anglican presence in North America.
    Dale’s comments that CCG dislikes diversity, but diversity within the parameters of of traditional Anglicanism is diversity that ought not to be critical, important yes, but ctitical no. CCG already deals with diversity by mainatining communion despite the issue of WO.

    I think that KJS is counting and expecting a splintering that will not occur despite many birthing pains. The separation of ECUSA from Christianity and its consequent implosion will see to that.

  35. chips says:

    Mr. Chilton – I think it is quite clear from 815 that any Bishop who does not toe the line will get smacked – that is the only real explanation for +Lee’s behavior that does any justice to +Lee. +KJS has a reign of terror through the courthouse – I think every parish that is looking to jump should just call her on it and raise the ante by heading for the exits. However, I think that there is a real desire among the Common Cause to come together – maybe the Holy Spirit is on the move (perhaps it does not wish to be associated with the new thing) – I hope +KJS will regret her choice of words in the months and years to come.

  36. Irenaeus says:

    “KJS has a reign of terror through the courthouse”

    ECUSA’s kangaroo courthouse. So far she hasn’t done notably well in the secular courthouse.

  37. rob k says:

    This evening went to a joint service of Anglican Evening Prayer and the LaSallean World Day of Prayer at the big church on the campus of St. Marys College in Moraga Ca. St. Giles, the local ECUSA parish in Moraga was celebrating its 25th anniversary of worship in that very church, with combined service of choir members from the ECUSA parish and the college. ECUSA clergy and Christian Bros. clergy and brothers presided. Reception afterwards. Thinking of no. 34 above, I’m struck by the realization that the Christian Bros., who work at and administer St. Mary’s, would not think that ECUSA is “separated from Christianity>’

  38. rob k says:

    Re no. 37 above, joint message of blessing sent by the liberal ECUSA bishop of California and the rather conservative RC bishop of the Diocese of Oakland.