April 4, 2011

Stepping Back and Viewing the Forest

A good preacher can offer surprising insights and make them sound completely obvious. This thought occurred to me while reading Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s recent book The Heartbeat of God: Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything. In a chapter titled “Opening Doors to Women,” she comments on the current struggle to allow women bishops in the Church of England. In this passage, she illustrates just how ridiculous the whole dispute really is:
The English queen may wear a different kind of hat than a bishop’s miter, but it is the hat of respected and authorized leadership. An Englishman remarked to me recently that he thought the difficulty with female bishops in Britain was that British men didn’t want to be under the authority of women. Well, in England they have accepted the leadership of Elizabeth II—one of her many titles is “Defender of the Faith”—for more than fifty years.
Queen Elizabeth II


  1. What is needed at the Church of England/Anglican Communion is manly/homely female vicars to become bishops and ease into the transition of tiresome expectations--it certainly worked well for effeminate/pretty men who aspired to wear fancy mitres...neanderthal resides in the eyes of the beholder.

  2. FWIW, England has been ruled by women for 190.5 years since the First Prayer Book of Edward VI in 1549.

    * Jane Grey - 9 days
    Mary I - 5 years 3 months 29 days
    Elizabeth I - 44 years 4 months 7 days
    ** Mary II - 5 years 10 months 15 days
    Anne - 12 years 4 months 24 days
    Victoria - 63 years 6 months 2 days
    Elizabeth II - 59 years 1 month 29 days so far

    * Jane Grey's title is disputed. If one does not accept her claim, then her nine days would be added to Mary I.
    ** Mary II was coregnant with her husband, William III.

    (If one is of a Jacobite inclination, the total would be only 110 years or, for those who believe that Mary Queen of Scots should have had precedence over Elizabeth Tudaor, 94 years.)

  3. Bishop is the only remaining job where the incompetent can be sure they do not have to fear competent women. Of course they do not want that to go away.



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