KATHARINE IN WONDERLAND

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 | Uncategorized

Each year, St. Paul’s College, a Roman Catholic institution for Paulist seminarians in Washington, DC, hosts what it calls the Hecker Lecture.  This year’s speaker was the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Organization, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.  And I cannot remember the last time I read any sort of message about anything at all that fell completely apart in the very first sentence:

We are the respective heirs of different strands of western Christianity.

No “we’re” not.  “We” were all one big happy family until the 1500′s when “we” Anglicans decided to go it alone.

I will not begin with the Reformation, but with a much earlier, indigenous Christianity in the British Isles.

And herrrrrrrrre we go.

Roman soldiers appear to have taken the Christian tradition with them when they were posted to the frontiers of the Roman Empire – at least by the second century.

An alternative theory suggests that British Christianity was kept alive in Middle Earth by hobbits and that Frodo is Elvish for Jesus.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it; if the Presiding Bishop can live in a fantasy world, so can I, consarnit.

That tradition remained when the Roman Empire receded, but the faith continued to grow and develop in its new context.

Sort of makes one wonder why the western Church sent all those missionaries to the British Isles.  Why did Columba leave Ireland and set up Iona?  And just what was he telling the Picts anyway?

If we would look for a modern parallel, we might point to the development of the Three Self Movement in China, with roots in the various colonial plantings of Christianity in the 16th to 19th centuries.

Awkward analogy, that, insofar as, whatever its origins, Three Self was at one time shot through with Communists who didn’t believe all this supernatural crap, becoming, in effect, a sort of Episcopal Organization backed by fiercely-atheist state coercion.

Gregory sent Augustine to 6th century Britain, and challenged him at least in part to bless the best of local tradition in recognition that God had already been at work there.

I believe that would be Pope Gregory and does the fact that Pope Gregory sent Augustine to Britain suggest anything to you, Kate?

Paul himself sets the example in his great speech on Mars Hill.

Um..what?  Last time I read that speech, Paul was not blessing “the best of local tradition in recognition that God had already been at work there.”  He was addressing pagans and he was telling those pagans that their “local tradition” was, well, wrong.  Has anybody in the Episcopal Organization ever read Acts?

The tradition planted in the British Isles did grow and develop in ways that diverged from the Mediterranean tradition – as did the tradition planted in Gaul and other parts of the ancient world.

Except that these didn’t consider themselves seperate and autonomous “traditions” but as parts of a whole that was still working out its theology and liturgical practices.

Without entering a lengthy reprise of Christian history

Which we all greatly appreciate since you’ve pretty much botched it so far.

the next major point of difficulty or stress between one indigenizing faith and another comes in the 7th century at the Synod of Whitby. Originally called to fix the date of Easter, it’s the point at which the Roman desire for uniformity began to impact the diversity in Celtic lands.

Except that Oswiu, the king who convened it, was a Saxon and his decision doesn’t seem to have overly troubled much of anyone until the legend of an independent, free and happy “Celtic church” needed to be invented.

It’s important to spend some time looking at our history, because many people erroneously believe that the big conflict came at the time of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.

Because it did.

The differences between Roman and Anglican Christianity have certainly solidified since then, but the roots are much older.

No they’re not.  See hobbit theory above.

I certainly recognize that formal statements from the Roman Communion deny the validity of some other Christian responses to this challenge

The fact that you consider yourself a bishop, for example.

A bright line has been drawn by the Roman magisterium about what sorts of Christian companionship are permissible and which are not, particularly around sacramental fellowship.

It’s called doctrine, Presiding Bishop.  Look into it some time.

Yet even in that context there is the possibility of sharing baptismal fellowship, for we both recognize the validity of Trinitarian baptism.

Even if it’s a reality to you and professional jargon to us.

One of the surprising developments in Anglican theology in recent decades has been a recovery of a theology of vocation and mission rooted in baptism, rather than primarily in sacramental priesthood.

That’s why we gave Robbie a pointy hat.  Get a little water sprinkled on you and as far as we’re concerned, you’re golden.

It reflects an understanding of the early church that each disciple is called into Christ-like living and transformative participation in the coming reign of God.

No we don’t really mean it, thanks for asking.  Ever had to listen to Louie Crew whine?  Sucks big time, let me tell you.

It’s not revolutionary in that sense, but radical, in returning to our Christian roots.

Because the early church just WUVVVVVED consecrating unrepentant sinners DIS MUCH!!

I’m going to expand on that, but I want to touch on what I said about an Orthodox sense of sacramentality before we move on. One of the charisms of Orthodoxy is the sense that God is active in far more than we recognize, that rather than two or seven sacraments, there are dozens or hundreds and even more than we can count or know.

Anybody else creeped out by the Presiding Bishop feigning respect for Orthodox Christianity?  I know I am.

There is an obvious and necessary tension between seeing only God as ultimately holy and being willing to look for holy fingerprints on all that God has created. At the same time, once we note that God has shared God’s own being with us in human flesh in the Incarnation, it is perhaps easier to begin to see that God’s presence may be encountered in the hills and forests, or Leviathan, whom God made for sport (Ps 104:26).

Jesus called Him Father, Kate.  Just sayin’.

There is also a patristic root to this sacramental understanding, particularly in the theologizing of Athanasius and Irenaeus, and the doctrine of theosis or divinization to which it gave rise. Perhaps the best shorthand summary is, “God became human in order that we might become divine.”

If you’re a Mormon.  You a Mormon, Kate?

for the patchwork that is Anglicanism takes all those various threads and at least theoretically encourages them to find life of different colors and textures in the soil of different nations and peoples.

And that’s why Robinson and Glasspool have pointy hats, bitches.

We share a common belief in the reign of God, in the sacramental presence of God in the earthly realm,

Nuh-uh.

and in the necessity of human participation in God’s mission.

Okay.  I’m the creator of everything that exists.  As far as I know, and, well, I know everything, human beings can’t create universes.  So explain to me why I need “human participation” to fulfill my “mission.”

The why question is more deeply rooted in an eschatological vision of a healed creation, whose healing has been advanced in novel and unique ways in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of God Incarnate.

Good of you to acknowledge that, Presiding Bishop.  But since Kate’s not able to leave well enough alone…

The tension around this question in Christian history has frequently been rooted in the location of that eschatological vision – is it this-worldly or other-worldly?

Guess where the Presiding Bishop is going?

The Gnostic error is to push all of it into the spiritual realm, denigrating God’s good creation, yet even if we don’t go that far, there have been a variety of Christian or quasi-Christian strands that have attempted to insist that this-worldly salvation, healing, or wholeness (same root for all!) is not all that important.

Insofar as one’s temporary and the other’s permanent, I’m thinking that maybe…

Jesus’ own ministry gives the lie to that deferral of healing into an afterlife.

Does it now?  So that whole Cross business was only a little first-century political theater?  Jesus died the most agonizing death it is possible to imagine in order to hype his “own ministry?”

His work was profoundly incarnate, feeding the physical hunger of people around him, healing them in body, mind, and soul, as well as teaching about the false lords of this earth and God’s desire for justice and peace in a healed and beloved community.

True.  But that’s not all it was.

Let’s move to the question of who should be concerned with this labor, ministry, or co-creative action. Who are the partners in God’s mission? It’s God’s mission, after all, not ours, or the church’s.

Then why do you keep prattling on about the necessity of human participation in God’s mission?

If God is acknowledged as the creator of all that is, I’m going to insist that God has been at work in contexts and cultures beyond the outwardly Christian ones.

Of course you are.

If we take seriously God’s omnipresence and omnipotence, we have to be willing to see the divine action in unexpected places. Vatican II was able to say that there is salvation beyond the church.

I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that Vatican II asserted that there was salvation in other bodies that called upon the name of the LORD and not in religions that deny Him or don’t recognize the need for His coming at all.

We commonly acknowledge the saintly behavior of those who do not know or profess Christ. My point is that when we see a parallel vision of the goal of creation – that great eschatological dream – being enacted by non-Christians, I think it’s our missionary duty to seek out those partners. It might even be acknowledged as that mysterious sin against the Holy Spirit to deny that reality.

That’s a bit of a reach, Presiding Bishop, since nobody denies it.  If I have a work to be accomplished while I still live–the eradication of the scourge of abortion, say–I don’t particularly care whether my coworkers in this task are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, Shintoists, Zoroastrians or profess no religion at all.  I’m funny that way.

God is going to use whatever means necessary or possible to lure us into partnership toward that healed creation. It is a truly catholic duty – and joy – to discover God’s ongoing creative work in those we haven’t yet recognized as brothers or sisters in Christ.

Apples and oranges, Presiding Bishop.  While anyone lives, he or she is deserving of our respect, our help and our love, whether they acknowledge Jesus as Lord or not.  But they are not our “brothers or sisters in Christ” until they acknowledge who Christ is and why He came to Earth.  Not before.

Entering a missional context with that kind of urgency is expected of us over and over: two were in a field, one was taken and one was left. A man found a pearl in a field, sold all that he had in order to possess it. A woman swept her house repeatedly in order to find a lost coin. It’s an attitude that’s not always easy in wealthier, privileged, or powerful contexts, yet it’s at the root of what it is to know oneself as creature rather than creator.

Mix them metaphors, Mrs. Schori.  You go, girl!

So, what does the contextual have to do with how we engage God’s mission as catholics?

Which I ain’t one of.

At the least it insists that a common vision informs the work in which we partner – that dream of a beloved community, that understanding of the reign of God, the city set on a hill, the light to the nations. Something about our work has to engage the universal, whether it’s caring for the least of these in feeding the hungry, delivering prisoners, or building a society where the powerful are not advantaged at the cost of the weak.

How does that Cross thing figure in here?

To be quite particular, participation in God’s mission is likely going to mean that we look for partners in other faith traditions and Christian communities, as well as groups outside the formal religious world.

Once again.  Nobody’s disputing that, Presiding Bishop.  It’s when we start bottom-lining everything that we run into problems.

Creative solutions to resource challenges might define the experience of the Hebrew people wandering in the desert. We are supposed to think in ways beyond our immediate prejudice about what is possible or even proper. Certainly God’s preferential option for the poor

God is no respecter of persons, Presiding Bishop.  Rich or poor.

is an expression of that – need is meant to be served first, and God is willing to use younger sons, women, foreigners, and even the evil of this world in the service of salvation.

True enough.  But that doesn’t excuse us from proclaiming what we know.  And it also doesn’t mean that the Cross is an option for men to take or leave at their discretion.

In the last few years The Episcopal Church has been deeply invested in the Millennium Development Goals as a proximate image of the Reign of God.

Peace and blessings be upon them.

I’ve seen highly particular examples in this very city, as Episcopalians and Romans have badgered various administrations and Congress to attend to the poor and to make peace in the wider world.

Romans, Kate?  Really?  What, you can’t spell papists?  At this point, Mrs. Schori continues on for several tedious paragraphs about the usual leftist issues and talking points so I think I’ll shut it down right here.

88 Comments to KATHARINE IN WONDERLAND

Dale Price
January 27, 2011

“Vatican II was able to say that there is salvation beyond the church.”

No, it wasn’t. What it said is we can’t be sure who’s outside the Church. There is exactly zippo salvation outside of Christ.

But it’s nice to see she botches contemporary history, too. At least there is symmetry.

Daniel Muller
January 27, 2011

Anybody else creeped out by the Presiding Bishop feigning respect for Orthodox Christianity? I know I am.

[Raises hand.] And it only gets worse when she talks about things that she actually should be expected to know about.

Kate, get your oven mitts off my soteriology, kthxbyeee.

Truth Unites... and Divides
January 27, 2011

KATHARINE IN WONDERLAND

First two letters in “WONDERLAND” is WO.

There’s your problem.

Which is a manifestation of a deeper problem.

qwerty
January 27, 2011

This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder why so many traditional Anglicans head for Rome without even considering Orthodoxy.

I remain Anglican (I’m not some undercover Orthodox apologist) and have a generally positive view of Rome, so please understand that I don’t have any axe to grind here.

But wouldn’t it be frustrating to leave TEO only to have The Presiding Heretic invited to speak at your new church’s seminary (and the former Muslim-Episcopal priestess teaching at another) ? Maybe the Orthodox have this problem too — I’m not familiar enough with their own internal politics to know — but it’s odd that more people don’t at least consider going East.

dwstroudmd
January 27, 2011

“there have been a variety of Christian or quasi-Christian strands that have attempted to insist that this-worldly salvation, healing, or wholeness (same root for all!) is .. all that (is) important” – like me, for instance. See below.

Kate would qualify at best for quasi-Christian status from her own words here and everywhere she has uttered inanity (= everywhere she has spoken).

But the richest fudge in the world is her attempt to consolidate the NEW THANG (TM) Episcopal Kommunion Rel”I”gion with beign catholic in any Roman or Orthodox sense. Truly, deconstruction has achieved its goal – total absence of meaning.

Jesus is kyrios, period. YES or NO.

And what exactly was it Kate that happened to the MDG budget in the EcUSA? Hmmmm? Suborned to litigation costs. Never know when David might need a new BMW or that “Personal Litigation Assistant” a raise.

That’s Kate! Bringing in her kingdom in this world.

Dale Matson
January 27, 2011

“once we note that God has shared God’s own being with us” I don’t mind saying ‘Who for us [men] and for our salvation’ but it bothers me when she purposely avoids a gender reference to God the Father. She also gets right up alongside Pantheism.

Robb
January 27, 2011

One of your best fisks to date CJ. Well done.

MargaretC
January 27, 2011

As someone with an actual degree in medieval history, please take my word for it that more bosh and twaddle has been written about “Celtic” Christianity than any other subject, with the possible exception of the Knights Templar.

qwerty
January 27, 2011

RE: Ms. Schori’s feigned respect for Orthodoxy, hopefully the esteemed Prof. Tighe will see this post and remind us of the sordid details of Ms. Schori’s refusal of her own mother’s wish for an Orthodox funeral.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
January 27, 2011

Actually Johnson, I believe that the phrase “God became human in order that we might become divine” is rock solid Orthodoxy. I will first confess that I do not understand what they mean, but I can almost G-U-A-R-A-N-T-E-E you it is miles away from what Kathi means.

And for the love of Mud! What were they thinking at St. Paul’s???? Kathi gets herself an invite to speak at a Catholic (Real Deal) seminary and THIS is what she has to say???? O-M-G! O-M-G! O-M-G!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
January 27, 2011

“…remind us of the sordid details of Ms. Schori’s refusal of her own mother’s wish for an Orthodox funeral.”

As her mother was Orthodox it was not just a wish but her right. It was also her daughter’s obligation to respect that!

godescalc
January 27, 2011

“God became human in order that we might become divine.” – this is actually from the Church fathers – a quick check indicates Athanasius said this, and Gregory of Nazianzus said something similar. There’s nothing Mormon about such sentiments; they’ve been part of the Christian tradition for a long time now, although Mormons try to annex such quotes as support for their own theology.

As for why an omnipotent God would require human participation for His plans… who knows? But it’s the testimony of the Old and New Testament that He does, in fact, make human participation a major part of His designs, and even puts His reputation in the hands of fallible humans, who tend to besmirch it horribly (“because of you, My Name is blasphemed amongst the Gentiles…”)

“Anybody else creeped out by the Presiding Bishop feigning respect for Orthodox Christianity? I know I am.”

Not so much “creeped out” as “not even remotely convinced”.

Laura R.
January 27, 2011

That woman should NOT be allowed out in public trying to talk about church history.

Chris, I’m afraid I’m with godescalc on God’s requiring human participation for His plans; Mary’s “be it unto me according to Your word” comes to mind. Otherwise, fantastic fisk!

John
January 27, 2011

The first Christian British martyr was St Alban. He was executed in 304.
There is a long well documented history of Christianity In Britain prior to Augustine’s arrival in 597. For example- In 314 three British bishops attended a church council in Arles in France.
It would appear that PB Schori knows her history.

Alasdair
January 27, 2011

Christopher:

You have to remember that –KJS is in big with RC academia as she actually did most of her ‘Theological’ education under them, only doing a year at CDSP and tranfering in the credits to get her MDiv. Think it was a sort of combo of the ‘Reading for Holy Orders’ and ones fairly standard 3 year MDiv. She did most of her stuff with the Jesuits somewhere in the Pacific Nth West before coming to CDSP for the year I was there.

She should be good on History as The Rev’d Prof. Rebecca Lyman was the Church History Professor. Alas you can kiss New Testament and Liturgy out the window as the respective professors for those were L. William Countryman and Louis Weil.

Personally I am no longer surprised by anything that comes out of KJS’s mouth. Can’t wait for whatever splurge she will do on Irish Celtic Christianity upon her return to the USA. I will leave that fisk up to our friendly Irish colleen over the pond.

Meanwhile I would suggest that a nice wee dram of Balvenie Double Wood would provide more truth in Celtic Christianity than anything the the PBess spouts forth on this topic. There is a reason whisky is ‘water of life’ in Gaelic.

FW Ken
January 27, 2011

qwerty -

Well, I used to know a guy who left the Episcopal Church, tried a local Catholic parish and found the RCIA more modernist than the Episcopal parish he left. So he ended up with the Orthodox, which is when I knew him. A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with some friends who knew him from the Orthodox parish; turns out he left his wife and kids and is now “married” to another man. Go figure.

There is no ecclesial nirvana. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant all have their heretics and sinners. If you are inclined to do so (and I don’t read you as being so inclined), you can always focus on the bad. We Catholics regularly roll our eyes when speaking of colleges “in the Catholic tradition” or, worse “in the Jesuit tradition”. But for Georgetown, there is a Christendom College. For the goofy Sisters of this or that cultural fad, there are orders such as the Dominican Sisters of Nashville, the Religious Sisters of Alma, Mich. and so on.

Which is why we look to theology and doctrine. What does this or that ecclesial entity teach. Do I believe it? Could I believe it? Actually, conversion is more complex than just intellectual factors, but it’s basic to the rest.

As to the event at hand… the Paulists are among those I would put in the “modernist” camp, so I’m not too surprised. One would hope the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington would weight in, but there you go.

In any case, it’s worth remembering that Bp. Schori has no more theological education than most of the people who heard the speech. Had she been talking about squids, her claims might have some authority.

The Little Myrmidon
January 27, 2011

Does anyone know what this was actually about? Just skimming along, I really can’t figure out where she was going with this. Is it just me?

Smurf Breath
January 27, 2011

There is a long well documented history of Christianity In Britain prior to Augustine’s arrival in 597.

So John, do you consider Pelagius to be part of orthodox Christian history?

qwerty
January 27, 2011

FW Ken,

I partially regretted my comment after posting it because I really don’t have much interest in criticizing the Catholic Church, and in fact would tend to point enquirers in my community to a certain Catholic parish that I know to be sound instead of my own Anglican one.

I agree with you that there’s no ecclesial nirvana. Unfortunately, I think that a healthy dose of Romeward-bound Anglicans truly think they’ve found it, and are going to be in for a shock when they discover that a lot of “Catholic” institutions are as heretical as their Episcopal counterparts. In some parts of country, they’re leaving one ecclesiastical ghetto for another. And while you’re right that we should consider what a church formally teaches, for the most part even the Episcopal Church looks reasonably mainstream on paper — the really heretical realities are strictly “off the record.” The Orthodox Church is not without its own variety of dysfunctionality, but — again, from my outsider perspective which may be wrong — their disputes seem to revolve more around ethnic and jurisdictional squabbles than anything of a creedal nature.

Please don’t take me as suggesting that Anglicans ought to become Orthodox instead of Catholic; more as wondering out loud why the former is never seriously explored by most battle-weary Anglicans before becoming battle-weary Catholics. :-)

tjmcmahon
January 27, 2011

This is probably a sort of “scared straight” tactic by the Catholic Church. You let all your seminarians see what they could become if they stray too far from the teaching of the Church.

Smurf Breath
January 27, 2011

The Gnostic error is to push all of it into the spiritual realm, denigrating God’s good creation, yet even if we don’t go that far, there have been a variety of Christian or quasi-Christian strands that have attempted to insist that this-worldly salvation, healing, or wholeness (same root for all!) is not all that important.

Hard to believe someone could be this ignorant (or deceitful). The gnostics believed that matter is evil. She is confusing the dialectic “this-worldly vs other-wordly” with the issue of gnosticism, which has nothing to do with it.

The New Heavens and the New Earth will be physical. Therefore, one can have hope in them without being a Gnostic. One could also be a gnostic while denying there will be a second coming, by asserting we merely enter into a disembodied state.

Everytime liberal theologians talk this way they sound like atheists trying to con people with double talk. “You don’t want to be gnostic, right? That’s heresy. So you must only be concerned with the things of this world. The things that are perishing. Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

His work was profoundly incarnate, feeding the physical hunger of people around him, healing them in body, mind, and soul, as well as teaching about the false lords of this earth and God’s desire for justice and peace in a healed and beloved community.

He was able to feed thousands and heal those far away from him physically. Clearly the incarnation did not limit his powers in this respect. So why didn’t he heal and feed everyone on Earth, and do it continuously? And why doesn’t he heal all diseases, and, and… why couldn’t God just have skipped the whole era from the Fall to the Second Coming?

Schori also forgets John 6 and the annointing with the valuable spikenard.

Clearly His priorities are not as aligned with Schori’s as she’d like one to think.

It might even be acknowledged as that mysterious sin against the Holy Spirit to deny that reality.

She desires conservative institutions to work with profane ones, so that the conservative ones will be compromised and eviscerated spiritually. What if the non Christian institution has practices that are abhorrent, in addition to any good works that they do? Christians can act charitably within a Christian context, without having to “partner” with any organization that endorses corrupt practices, such as the U.N.

In the last few years The Episcopal Church has been deeply invested in the Millennium Development Goals…

It used to be .7% of the budget. What is it now? 1%? 2%? Her guilt trip would be more convincing if TEC weren’t so hypocritical about how it spends its money.

tjmcmahon
January 27, 2011

qwerty,
I think a lot of us might opt for Orthodoxy, except that in a whole lot of the rural part of western world, the closest Orthodox Church is in another state. We do have an Othodox Church here, but it is the only congregation smaller than the TEC parish. Between them, they are the size of the local RCC choir. And then there is the learning Greek part. I could be at the closest Anglican Rite Orthodox Church in 7 hours, I think, if the Lord keeps the highway patrol busy with something else.

LaVallette
January 27, 2011

I wonder when I will be invited by the Senate Froeign Affairs Committee to give them an analysis of American foreign policy since the Monroe Dcotrine and point out that it had its origins in the Persian/Hellenistic Wars. I don’t see why not since I have absolutely no qualfications in the field but it sounds like a grand theory. By the way I did appoint myslef the Vice Chancellor of my own university tho.

William Tighe
January 27, 2011

Querty wrote:

“RE: Ms. Schori’s feigned respect for Orthodoxy, hopefully the esteemed Prof. Tighe will see this post and remind us of the sordid details of Ms. Schori’s refusal of her own mother’s wish for an Orthodox funeral.”

This seems a bit superfluous to me. However, and always eager to oblige as I am, I will remind the readership that the reason Elaine Ryan became Orthodox was due to her opposition to WO. (Why the Jefferts family left the Catholic Church for the Episcopal Church in 1963 I do not, but fain would, know.)

Whitestone
January 27, 2011

When Shori says this, “rather than two or seven sacraments, there are dozens or hundreds and even more than we can count or know,” all I can think of is VGR’s alphabet of orientations.

Surely the Orthodox don’t teach what she said.

Brize
January 27, 2011

John wrote “It would appear that PB Schori knows her history.” Nope. The three British bishops in Arles were Celtic bishops. The pagan Anglo-Saxon invasions of the fifth century pretty much wiped out the native Celts, and their church,in England. Augustine came to a country largely inhabited and ruled by pagans.

FW Ken
January 27, 2011

querty -

I didn’t take your comment as critical of the Catholic Church. Heaven help any dewy eyed converts! I think my Baptist parents prepared me well to be a Catholic. It was never about the preacher, as wonderful as he might be. There was always a tinge of cynicism about things, or perhaps skepticism. I don’t know. Anyway, to me it’s all about Jesus, the Son of God. He uses us poor humans to do His will, but we always carry this treasure in jars of clay.

Actually, on another thread the other day, I encouraged a fellow (an Anglican minister) to consider Orthodoxy before swimming the Tiber. When the honeymoon’s over, it’s best to have looked around and considered your options, I think. That’s probably true whatever course you take.

The young fogey
January 27, 2011

Nice job fisking this.

Anybody else creeped out by the Presiding Bishop feigning respect for Orthodox Christianity?

Yup.

The Pilgrim
January 27, 2011

“God became man so that man might become a god.” (St. Athanasius, De Incarnatione 54:3, PG 25:192B; also Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 460)

So in terms of Divinization(what we Orthodox call Theosis), she was preaching to the choir.

Para 460 of the Catholic Catechism says:
“The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.

The Pilgrim
January 27, 2011

Whitestone:

“When Shori says this, “rather than two or seven sacraments, there are dozens or hundreds and even more than we can count or know,” all I can think of is VGR’s alphabet of orientations.

Surely the Orthodox don’t teach what she said.”

Like much of what she says, there is just enough truth in her misstatement to make it sound correct.

Orthodox use the term “mystery” instead of sacrament, and the Orthodox theologians rarely speak of the rigid number SEVEN that you all got from Rome. Now there are definitely seven sacraments, but Orthodoxy talks of more in a more fluid sense than the western theologians. I have heard the number nine, and twelve mysteries, but her “hundreds?” Never. She definitely overstates the theology, and hence gets it completely wrong and yes, the thought of her quoting Orthodox theology REALLY weirds me out!

Donna
January 27, 2011

The “Hecker Lecture” is named for the founder of the Paulists, Fr. Isaac Hecker, who seems to have been a saintly soul and a tireless evangelist, until he was stricken down with the leukemia which eventually killed him. Unfortunately, his Paulist sons have been trashing his legacy for a while now.

HV Observer
January 27, 2011

By the way, did you hear, according to Damian Thompson, that dear Miss KJS thinks polygamy is sort of OK in Africa?

Maureen
January 27, 2011

It’s weird to have a whole lecture on Church history, including Whitby and St. Aug of C, without once mentioning Saxons. I mean, it borders on the surreal or the anti-Saxonic.

Ed the Roman
January 27, 2011

Goodness. Does this woman not know that there really are Anglo-Saxon Chronicles? With, like, historeez and stuffs in dem?

I think Anglicans go to Rome because of the things that Western Christianity has in come that differ from the East: the Methodists at my wife’s church all think Orthodoxy is Strange when it’s just Eastern. On the reasons that the Orthodox were annoyed with the Pope, the Methodists are largely on the Pope’s side without even knowing it.

AnnieCOA
January 27, 2011

Romans? Seriously? That had to go down well with her hosts. How totally arrogant and dismissive.

Dale Matson
January 27, 2011

HV Observer,
So maybe we now have a hint at the next letter in the Alphabet initiative. GLBTP. Maybe the FLDS folks would consider joining TEC.

Maureen
January 28, 2011

Weeeeeel, I think ye’re a bit late wi’ that and a bit restrictive. P for “poly”, sure. But “polyamory”, not “polygamy”.

And yes, the former word mixes Greek and Roman roots. But for that particular practice, it’s actually appropriate to create such a misbegotten mix.

Galletta
January 28, 2011

The PB seems to be using the word context or any of its other forms. Drives me buggers.

Galletta
January 28, 2011

Someone please tell me about the “Roman Communion”.

Mark
January 28, 2011

Orthodox use the term “mystery” instead of sacrament

There’s no important difference. St. Jerome, who was as Orthodox as anybody who ever lived, translated the Greek word mysterion into the Latin word sacramentum. Ever since then, languages influenced by Latin have had a word similar to sacrament. Modern English Bibles tend to translate directly from Greek, and so render mysterion as “mystery”.

English-speaking Orthodox do tend to prefer the Greek-rooted “mystery” rather than the Latin-rooted “sacrament”. And the two words have different connotations for English speakers. But English speakers are a negligible portion of Orthodox Christians worldwide. A Greek or Russian speaker, I believe, would have no idea what we were talking about, as “mystery” and “sacrament” both translate to similar words in those languages.

I’ve never heard of any serious theologian laying any great weight on the difference between the Greek and Latin ways of expressing this one concept.

Sinner
January 28, 2011

Orthodox use the term “mystery” instead of sacrament

Orthodox also use the term “heretic” instead of presiding bishop…

[...] Go here to Midwest Conservative Journal to read the hilarious rest.  You know, I think I would rather have Christopher Johnson defending the Church any day of the week, than the Paulists who thought their seminarians had anything positive to learn from Kate the Confused. share: Blog this! Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Buzz it up share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Print for later Bookmark in Browser Tell a friend Tags: Apologetics, Christopher Johnson, Midwest Conservative Journal [...]

Athanasius Returns
January 28, 2011

From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion; from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment; from the dense, dangerous, manipulative, evil vapidity of “leaders” such as epitomized by Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Good Lord, deliver us.

captainyips
January 28, 2011

Intriguing speculation by her about the Roman Army bringing Christianity along with it. So many unresolved controversies there. Before Constantine, there were brisk debates about whether a Christian could be a soldier – killing, and so on. And then, at that time, the Army had to sacrifice to the Deity of the Emperor. Awkward, that. The question is pretty unsettled. The Army did, however, have slaves, and the slaves could well have brought Christianity with them. That’s one of those unprovable possibilities.

Then there is the very obscure origins of British Christianity. Such scant early archaeology as we possess – altar furnishings and so on – is not, as I recall, associated with military sites. There was probably some degree of Christianization by the beginning of the 3rd century. Even before the Roman Conquest in the middle of the 1st century, there was a brisk trade between Britain and the Continent, which increased after the conquest. By the middle of the 5th there was certainly a Pelagian Christian Church that Germanus of Auxerre crossed the Chanel to correct. Whatever Church grew up in Britain before Germanus’s visit (429), it was certainly Celtic in the general sense but not in the popular sense KJS wants to use. The somewhat fictitious “Celtic Christianity” of current common use refers to the Irish-influenced Christianity deriving from St. Patrick, developing in supposed isolation from continental Europe – St. Patrick may have been part of St. Germanus’s staff. But historical accuracy (which in things involving Roman Britain often means saying “I dunno”) doesn’s suit her purpose – whatever it is.

MarylandBill
January 28, 2011

Just a couple of thoughts.

1. The Bishopess is right in the fact that Rome brought Christianity to Britain. But as others have pointed out, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes all but wiped it out in the part of Britain that would ultimately become England, which thus required St. Augustine to bring it back.

2. There was a “Celtic” Christianity that was around the same time being reintroduced by Irish Monks. It would be a mistake though to think this was somehow a different strand of Christianity. They were Catholic Christians who just happened to have some of their own distinctive traditions and a special emphasis on monasticism. All of this was a result of Ireland essentially having extremely limited communication with Rome in the 5th-8th centuries.

3. Pelagius came from Britain, but so did St. Patrick. Heretics can and do spring up all over the place in Christianity.

Old Guy
January 28, 2011

Very funny, thank you! Such humor probably helps accelerate the separation between Orthodox and Liberal Anglicans. The key question will be what we Orthodox, under God’s grace, can achieve with our separation. Usually, great opportunity comes with great risk.

Fuinseoig
January 28, 2011

Oh, Katie. Katie, Katie, Katie, why do you do this to me?

First I thought this was a re-print of her speech from last year, but no – it’s a brand new 2011 speech and she’s still trotting out the Synod of Whitby line.

This half-makes me wish I was in Dublin to bring herself on a tour of ‘Celtic Christian’ sites (since she’s so keen on the history of Christianity in the British Isles) and do the whole “This is Christchurch Cathedral, founded in 1028 by the Viking-Irish king of Dublin, Sitric Silkbeard, and Roman Catholic until the Reformation when you lot took it over forcibly” and so on and so forth (after all, she is a representative of the Anglican Communion in contradistinction to the Roman Communion, is she not?)

:-)

“Vatican II was able to say that there is salvation beyond the church.”

No it wasn’t and no it didn’t; it said that outside the Church there is no salvation, but God is not bound to act only by what we consider to be the law, and that God can give the grace of salvation to those not members of the visible Church (as far as we can see).

Kelso
January 28, 2011

You see what happens when you change prayer books and start shaking hands in the middle of the service? You get a Presiding Oceanographer instead of a Presiding Bishop.

Fuinseoig
January 28, 2011

“Why did Columba leave Ireland and set up Iona? And just what was he telling the Picts anyway?”

(a) Columcille undertook this as penance for his part in the responsibility for the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne

(b) “I wish I was back in Ireland” see the poem attributed to him as “There is a grey eye weeping”:

“How delightful to be on Ben-Edar before embarking on the foam-white sea: how pleasant to row one’s little curragh all round it, to look upward at its bare steep border, and to hear the waves dashing against its rocky cliffs.

“A grey eye looks back towards Erin; a grey eye full of tears.

“While I traverse Alba of the ravens, I think on my little oak grove in Derry. If the tributes and the riches of Alba were mine from the centre to the utmost borders, I would prefer to them all one little house in Derry. The reason I love Derry is for its quietness, for its purity, for its crowds of white angels.

“How sweet it is to think of Durrow: how delightful would it be to hear the music of the breeze rustling through its groves.

“Plentiful is the fruit in the Western Island—beloved Erin of many waterfalls: plentiful her noble groves of oak.

Many are her kings and princes; sweet-voiced her clerics; her birds warble joyously in the woods; gentle are her youths; wise her seniors; comely and graceful her women, of spotless virtue; illustrious her men, of noble aspect.

“There is a grey eye that fills with tears when it looks back towards Erin. While I stand on the oaken deck of my bark I stretch my vision westwards over the briny sea towards Erin.”

;-)

Daniel Muller
January 28, 2011

I see that there is a grand total of seven students at St. Paul’s “College,” a house of studies. I feel better already.

Anne B.
January 28, 2011

Fuinseoig, if I ever get to Ireland, will you take me on that “Celtic Christian” tour? It sounds as though it would be fascinating even if the world had never heard a word from KJS.

Fuinseoig
January 28, 2011

“I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that Vatican II asserted that there was salvation in other bodies that called upon the name of the LORD and not in religions that deny Him or don’t recognize the need for His coming at all.”

Christopher, the relevant document from Vatican II would be “Lumen Gentium”, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (emphases mine):

“16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.

On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”, the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.”

This is looking back to the first Vatican Council and the Pope who convened it, Pius IX, who in his Encyclical of 1863, “Quanto conficiamur moerore”, said:

“And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom ‘the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior,’ (Council of Chalcedon, Letter to Pope Leo I) cannot obtain eternal salvation.”

What it boils down to is this – it’s the old question about some guy living in the jungles of Borneo or in the middle of China who has never even heard that there’s such a thing as Christianity, but who nevertheless attempts to live a decent life in accordance with whatever precepts of God or the gods that he knows – will he be damned irrevocably, or is that unjust? How can God who is Justice act unjustly?

And the answer is that God is gracious and acts in ways unknown to us; whosoever does an act of mercy, though he does it in the name of Tash, it is accounted to him as if he did it for Aslan. But it’s better to know Aslan from the first. And anyone who knows of the Church and denies it culpably – that’s a different case. Basically, it’s the difference between the Religious Council for Reproductive Choice and a Buddhist in Thailand who adopts babies that survive abortion. Who is nearer to doing the will of God irrespective of religious affiliation?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
January 28, 2011

“His work was profoundly incarnate, feeding the physical hunger of people around him, healing them in body, mind, and soul, as well as teaching about the false lords of this earth and God’s desire for justice and peace in a healed and beloved community.”

This seems to be close to the heart of Kathi’s heresy, IMO. There is really nothing here about eternal salvation. She focusses on physical issues, not spiritual. She has said before that we are saved when we feed the poor, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless. Her view of salvation is clearly divorced from Faith. Salvation by works alone – even Catholics and Orthodox clearly reject this.

Whitestone
January 28, 2011

Fuinseoig,
Don’t forget to mention my personal favorite CCC841: “The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

Whitestone
January 28, 2011

Fuinseoig: “And anyone who knows of the Church and denies it culpably – that’s a different case.”

Aye, there’s the rub. It’s a matter of focus.

The statement above should be: “And anyone who knows of *CHRIST* and denies *HIM* culpably – that’s a different case.”

Dale Matson
January 28, 2011

Daniel Muller,
“I see that there is a grand total of seven students at St. Paul’s “College,” a house of studies. I feel better already.” A little Levens the whole lump.(Gal. 5:9)

Undergroundpewster
January 28, 2011

I am just getting around to reading this post after having been away for a few days. The PB seems to pile error upon error as everyone has pointed out in the fisk and comments. After reading her “sermon” I felt a bit like Ezra in Ezra 9:3-6 and “I tore my cloak and my mantle, plucked hair from my head and beard, and sat there stupefied.”

Hard to beleive that KJS has strayed this far from the teachings of the Church. History was obviously not her major.

I guess I have not “contextualized” her yet…

William Tighe
January 28, 2011

John wrote:

“The first Christian British martyr was St Alban. He was executed in 304.”

Perhaps; but a good case can be made also for 209, when the Emperor Septimius Severus was in Britain.

“It would appear that PB Schori knows her history.”

Yes, it does; just as it might appear that a parrot can speak and think to those unacquainted with such fowl. The PF (Presiding Flaminica) can “parrot” her stuff, in History as well as Theology, but without understanding.

Undergroundpewster
January 28, 2011

I think we all know what she is getting at when she tries to use the uncertainties about early Celtic Christianity to get her audience to see the value of the Church gaining much from the “context” or local “adaptations” provided by its various interpreters.

All this is to demonstrate the value of the wonderful adaptations TEc has come up with.

Would that Augustine should return to straighten out her local context.

Donna
January 28, 2011

The library where I work has a copy of the following:
” PERRANZABULOE : THE LOST CHURCH FOUND, OR, THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND NOT A NEW CHURCH, BUT ANCIENT, APOSTOLICAL, AND INDEPENDENT, AND A PROTESTING CHURCH NINE HUNDRED YEARS BEFORE THE REFORMATION ”
That was published in 1838. Apparently this particular variety of deceptive spin has a long, if not distinguished, pedigree.

godescalc
January 28, 2011

‘The statement above should be: “And anyone who knows of *CHRIST* and denies *HIM* culpably – that’s a different case.”’

It is, as you say, a difference of focus. Both statements are true. To know who Christ is, and deny Him, is to refuse salvation; to recognise that the Church He established contains the fullness of His salvation, and reject the Church anyway, is to refuse salvation. As Christ said, “he who listens to you, listens to Me.”

AnglicanXn
January 28, 2011

Every time I read something the PB has said or written, I become more convinced that she regards not only the Bible but also Church History (and any other discipline) as a grab bag of handy quotes, which she can seize and use, without regard for their original context or intent, to further the point she wished to make.

I have never had the misfortune to hear her speak. I suspect that if I did hear her speak, I would fall asleep, start playing games on my phone, or sit there in a daze. It would appear that anytime she says more than one sentence, she become logically incoherent.

When I read what she has said or published, I can see, to some degree, the point she intends to make – but I am hanged if I can see any logic in her argument. Indeed, I am hard pressed to find any truth in her assertions, even in such things that should be common knowledge.

Christopher, I admire your capacity to read what she says and then skewer it. I cannot find any meaning in it at all.

Daniel Muller
January 28, 2011

The library where I work has a copy of the following:
“PERRANZABULOE: THE LOST CHURCH FOUND, …

Oh! A freebie!

I see that “Perranzabuloe” comes from Cornish.

Fuinseoig
January 28, 2011

Whitestone, regarding Muslims, I remain very grateful to a nice young doctor named Muhammed who, in the very early hours (2-3 a.m.) of Good Friday, 2010, diagnosed and relieved my abodominal pains in the Accident and Emergency Ward of our local regional hospital.

:-)

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
January 28, 2011

Whew!!! At first I was afraid that might be saved by virtue of the “invincible ignorance” clause. But then I saw that the remainder of the sentance securely barred that door for her. Oh…not that I don’t pray for her salvation…

Martial Artist
January 28, 2011

Mr. Johnson,

You wrote “Has anybody in the Episcopal Organization ever read Acts?” The answer, quite obviously, is yes. The corollary, of which most readers here may be unaware, is that once having done so, and not having had it scrubbed from one’s memory, the reader is disqualified from the ministry of the ordained in TEC. I believe that this is one of the canons always printed using invisible ink.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Martial Artist
January 28, 2011

@qwerty,

Some of us (or at least I) did consider Orthodoxy. I actively prayed for some months that God would give me (1) an unambiguous signal when He wanted me to leave TEC and (2) where He wanted me to go (which I largely suspected would be Orthodoxy or Rome). Not only did He answer that prayer, but even before the answer came, I suspected that the cultural changes involved in becoming Orthodox might well be a hindrance. The answer I did receive was sufficient to, quite literally, overwhelm my conscious awareness for about 2 or 3 minutes (not certain because I didn’t think to look at my watch).

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Heidi Caldwell
January 28, 2011

And the reason they invited her to speak was……..what???

bob
January 28, 2011

It’s a collection of one-liners designed to pretend to have a history stretching beyond the Eisenhower years. Never did work, won’t now. If ANY ONE of her lines she quotes were taken as seriously as actual members of a historic, Catholic communion she would at once quit her job. Nothing, not one thing in modern Anglicanism treats any of these ideas as anything other than intellectual trivia. Thirty years ago such theology was “optional” to an Anglican, now a person who firmly holds to any of it is an outcast as a layman and it goes without saying would never be considered for seminary. And why exactly would an actual believer attend an Anglican seminary anyway; they believe more than the bishops and professors there. At exactly the same time KJS reads out words she doesn’t believe, you can find wiccans and muslims at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle “opening the four directions” to worship the earth spirits and the wind. Lies. All lies.

Dale Matson
January 28, 2011

bob,
“And why exactly would an actual believer attend an Anglican seminary anyway;” I was with you to this point. Nashota House, Trinity Ambridge, San Joaquin School for ministry come immediately to mind as schools for believers. As vocations officer I am happy to recommend them to those seeking holy orders. EDS, CDSP and GTS, not so much.

Mark
January 28, 2011

Never has Irenaeus’s analogy been more apt: that heretics are like those who take a mosaic made of fine jewels that makes a picture of a king, and rearrange them to make a picture of a dog.

bob
January 29, 2011

Nashotah House produced the current Bishop of Chicago. Several years ago I heard him preach (a family event I couldn’t avoid) on how the Transfiguration was an optical illusion experienced by groggy disciples. I hope he didn’t learn that in Wisconsin, but I’m not confidant. Places like EDS, CDSP, GTS — not so much?? Too generous. To even have them on the radar is wild. Even if one gets into a place that teaches more of the whole faith there are vanishingly few places to serve as a cleric. Virtually no bishop would ordain a person (and I’m assuming males) from these places. Virtually no parishes would know what to do with a priest who taught real faith. You have to pledge to support people like KJS to be a member, much less ordained.

Diane
January 29, 2011

Whitestone: You can’t have the Lord without having His Church, too….not possible.

Dale Matson
January 29, 2011

bob,
If you want to identify Anglicanism with TEC then I suppose you can dismiss 65 or so million Anglicans as non Christian. To identify one individual that that came from Nashotah as representing their teaching says more about you than Nashotah.The phrase not so much is a negative but you already knew that didn’t you.

Diane
January 29, 2011

I don’t have any expertise in this area so please help me…if the Legion brought Christianity to Britain before Augustine, it was still likely pope-connected…right? What evidence is there of popeless Christianity prior to Augustine?

The Little Myrmidon
January 29, 2011

AnglicanXn:

“Every time I read something the PB has said or written, I become more convinced that she regards not only the Bible but also Church History (and any other discipline) as a grab bag of handy quotes, which she can seize and use, without regard for their original context or intent, to further the point she wished to make.”

Obviously, this well worn quotation applies to KJS’s remarks at St. Paul’s

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
January 29, 2011

“When I use a word,” the archbishop said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said the Presiding Bishop, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said the archbishop, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

…and of course, Lewis Carroll was an Anglican deacon.

Smurf Breath
January 29, 2011

Now I finally think I understand what makes pomo bozos like Jacques Derrida and Brian McLaren tick. They derive their philosophical worldview from Humpty Dumpty. A surreal pericope by Lewis Carroll flapping its wings in the 19th century creating a hurricane of deceit, self delusion and confusion in the late 20th century.

R.C.
January 29, 2011

Yes, yes, Kate Schori is a heretic. What else is new?

Now, granted, her thinking is so fuzzy that she may not be quite capable of understanding the notion of heresy well enough to be morally culpable for being a heretic. I am reminded of Professor Kingsfield in the 70′s movie/series The Paper Chase: “You come in here with a skull full of mush….” I don’t know whether she came into seminary that way, but unlike Kingsfield’s students, she certainly left that way.

She parrots politically correct nostrums then scoots away, octopus style, squirting a cloud of quasi-theological academic jargon to mask her meaning. The hearer or reader attempting to piece that meaning together struggles like a C++ compiler given a haiku for source material: All the symbols are unrecognized and the syntax does not parse.

Truly C.S.Lewis had her number in The Great Divorce: She is the very embodiment of the “Clerical Ghost.”

Don Janousek
January 29, 2011

Shori is wrong, wrong, wrong. Western Christianity began when Guthammer the Unwashed, a Viking convert, was swept away by an Atlantic storm, landed in what is now New York and wandered across the country to what is now Nebraska, where he established the indigenous western church. Recent excavations beneath the football stadium in Lincoln have revealed ancient Guthammer writings which seem to confirm that Omaha is the “New Jerusalem” described in the Book of Revelation. And then….

Hey, this is at least as believable as the tripe being put out by that Shori woman!

The Pilgrim
January 30, 2011

@ Bro AJK

The article is correct: a man with multiple wives is allowed to keep those wives after he converts. BUT, the Church also stipulates:

1: The man can only have relations with wife #1, he must not have relations with the junior wives.

2: The man may not hold any church office while the junior wives are still alive, or in his care.

3: The man may not receive Communion until the junior wives are either deceased or moved into the home of a married child willing to support them.

For the wives to be abandoned or kicked out of the house would be a death sentence for them and their children. They have — usually — no education, no means of support and would starve to death. That is why the church has made this accommodation to polygamy.

Tonestaple
January 30, 2011

It’s a shame so few people fisk any more. This is a brilliant example of the art form.

FW Ken
January 30, 2011

Pilgrim -

Why can’t he receive Communion if he isn’t sleeping with the other wives? If they are cared for and he is functionally (so to speak) monogamous, where the mortal sin?

Allen Lewis
January 30, 2011

I noticed that the PB did her best not to have any mention of the Cross or Christ’s completed work on it. That is why US Episcopal Bishops focus on the physical part of Jesus’ ministry – the healing, the feeding, etc., etc. – rather than the Cross and its meaning for the Church and for Christians.

Odd that she should do so in a seminary named for Paul the Apostle who made a career out of preaching about the “folly” of the Cross of Christ.

The Pilgrim
January 30, 2011

Mark:

“There’s no important difference. St. Jerome, who was as Orthodox as anybody who ever lived, translated the Greek word mysterion into the Latin word sacramentum.”

This is not the point of my response. I never denied that Mysterium and Sacramentum may be interchangable, but that is not germane to this conversation.

Whitestone expressed amazement that the Orthodox may have “hundreds”, I believe, of sacraments. I would not place the number quite as high as KJS placed it, but I would quote from Matthew Gallatin, a popular Orthodox apologist and contributor to Ancient Faith Radio:

“Any activity which places us humbly in the presence of the Living God and allows us to actively participate in His righteous life is sacramental. The “big seven” certainly afford us this experience, but so do Liturgical worship, fasting, monastic vows, formal prayer, veneration of icons and other practices of the Eastern Church.”

Sheryl D
January 30, 2011

Regarding deification, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”:”For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

The Pilgrim
January 31, 2011

FW Ken:

“Why can’t he receive Communion if he isn’t sleeping with the other wives? If they are cared for and he is functionally (so to speak) monogamous, where the mortal sin?”

Well, I must have been wrong about the communion part, because now I find no reference to it. In fact, I see where the wives and children can receive, so perhaps he — the polygamist — can; if all the conditions are met.

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