The Episcopal Women’s Caucus recently announced plans to target at least 11 dioceses of The Episcopal Church for visits not at the invitation of the local bishop under its expanded Angel Project.
“New times create new opportunities,” wrote the Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton, EWC president and rector of St. Paul’s Church in Chatham, N.J., in an article on “listening” in the latest issue of the Ruach, the EWC newsletter. “The caucus board has conceived of a new incarnation of this project. Based on communication we have received, we have identified 11 dioceses that are decidedly hostile to the ministry of women, lay and ordained. There are, no doubt, many more.”
The dioceses to be targeted are: Albany, Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy (Illinois), the Rio Grande (New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle), San Joaquin (California), South Carolina, Southwest Florida and Springfield (Illinois). Diocesan officials and female clergy from at least three of the dioceses named were amazed to learn that their diocese was included on the list.
“That’s ridiculous,” said Peter Frank, director of communication for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “We have women clergy at all levels of leadership, including our senior staff officer in charge of clergy placement. If this is what hostility looks like, they really don’t have much to worry about.”