"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

An Interview with PB Jefferts Schori

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio network has an interview with the new Presiding Bishop that is well worth reading. In addition to the comments quoted below on property disputes and the Communion, pay careful attention to what the "central mission" of the Church is according to the PB in the section I haven't quoted (hint--it is not proclaiming Jesus Christ as Savior). But on the property question, do these comments from Jefferts Schori indicate that she does not intend to fight tooth and nail for the property of the orthodox dioceses, even though her chancellor has been writing threatening letters to our bishops?

Stephen Crittenden: Do you see a decade ahead perhaps of property battles and legal battles as being the inevitable outcome of this dispute in the church in America?

Katherine Jefferts Schori: I sincerely hope not. There certainly have been instances in which individuals in a parish have wished to leave, and sometimes large numbers of individuals, and there have been gracious accommodations achieved in a couple of places around this church. I think it would be a sorry state indeed if we got to the point of squabbling over property without paying attention to what the centre of our mission is.

Stephen Crittenden: But I think what is it? Seven diocese, or is it nine now, who have asked Rowan Williams for alternative oversight? What's going to happen?

Katherine Jefferts Schori: I believe it's six, and I think the reality is that no one knows what alternative primatial oversight means. I think one of the things that the Archbishop of Canterbury's been very clear about is that his role in the communion is as Convener, and it is not as one who intervenes. His position is to call people to continue in conversation and relationship with each other.

Stephen Crittenden: Bishop Jefferts Schori, what about the idea of the church as the mystical body of Christ, if you end up with a loose federation of churches which are more or less in communion with each other?

Katherine Jefferts Schori: This body has been evolving as long as it's been in existence. When churching in America, when we had our revolution and clergy here could no longer swear allegiance to the crown, we found ways to move beyond that, and eventually we discovered a way to have bishops in this church that didn't involve swearing allegiance to the crown. That was the beginnings of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has evolved in fits and starts and it's clear that in this season there's an opportunity for us to grow into a new stage of relationship. What that's going to look like ten or twenty or fifty years down the road, I don't think anyone knows. The Archbishop of Canterbury has certainly done some conjecturing about what one possible route might be, but I think he's also been very clear that he doesn't think that there's one clear answer at this point.


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