The Hubris of Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org

When Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visited Pittsburgh last
week, she made the following comments about Anglican unity, given the
high tension between some of the provinces, the Episcopal Church and
Canterbury.

Ann Rodgers of the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” garnered these answers from questions she posed the Presiding Bishop.

Q. Do you think the Anglican Communion will hold together?

A.
Yes. It’s stronger than it was 10 years ago. There are more missional
partnerships and more relationships and they are deeper than they were
10 or 15 years ago. People go back and forth between different part of
the communion to serve God’s mission and they are learning more about
each other’s s contexts. They are learning what it’s like to be a
Christian in Pakistan and Bangladesh and what it’s like to be a
Christian in Los Angeles or New York or Western Kansas. That is how we
come to know each other and how we come to be more effective parts of
the same body of Christ.

Q. You do have some really populated churches in places like Nigeria and Uganda that have kind of thrown down the gauntlet.

A.
The Archbishops have. But at the same time there are relationships
between parts of the Episcopal Church and parts of each one of those
provinces. There is an ongoing desire, hunger, to be in relationship
with parts of the Anglican Communion that are very different. And I
think that’s enormously healthy.

So the Presiding Bishop honestly
believes that all is well and all manner of things will be well. This
is a deep and profound fiction.

Consider the following:

*
The orthodox Primates of the Global South who represent fully two-thirds
of the Anglican Communion will never again sit down in the same room
with Jefferts Schori. They demonstrated that by not turning up in Dublin
earlier this year. What about that doesn’t she understand?

* The
ordination and consecration of an openly avowed lesbian to the
episcopacy was a deliberate snub of the Windsor Report and demonstrated,
once again, that the Episcopal Church has absolutely no interest in
doing anything that is not in its own “best” interests. Her elevation to
the episcopacy was another nail in the coffin of Anglican unity.

* The Episcopal Church will never sign off on a Covenant with a disciplinary clause. Hell will freeze over before that happens.

*
Does she really think that a diocese in the Province of Nigeria that
accepts money from TEC will in any way influence Archbishop Nicholas
Okoh? What world is she living in? Ditto for the Anglican Provinces of
Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Some of the African bishops, such as the
Sudan, will accept TEC’S money to keep their people from starving or to
ward off diseases, but they will never ever compromise on pansexuality
or be influenced by anything TEC has to say about how the Anglican
Communion should be run or what are its core beliefs.

* Jefferts
Schori denied the necessity for personal salvation at GC2009. That is a
red rag to an Anglican bull. It is precisely “personal salvation” that
is making the Global South grow and the lack of it that is causing TEC
to wither and die.

* The “missional partnerships” are attempts by
The Episcopal Church to buy loyalty by providing funds for various
projects in distraught parts of Africa torn by disease and war. They are
helped in this endeavor by Trinity Wall Street, the wealthiest church
in the world. It won’t work. “Can’t Buy Me Love”, a song composed by
Paul McCartney, is a record PB Jefferts Schori might want to put on
endless replay in her office.

* TEC believes that it can
influence and ultimately persuade some African provinces that the
differences between them can be explained by culture and a gospel
defined ONLY by social concerns that feed the poor and heal the sick
without a transcendent gospel. Not true. Jesus saves not MDGs.

*
No African Anglican province has been more influenced by TEC than the
Anglican Church of Southern Africa. TEC has poured millions of dollars
over the years into this province successfully creating a clone of
itself. The sexual dynamics of TEC have been replicated in this province
with recent revelations that homosexual abuse has been going on among
the clergy since the 70s with nobody daring to oppose or expose it. One
lonely solitary Anglo-Catholic priest was deposed recently for daring to
tell the truth and now faces universal ostracism. Exposing sexual sin
comes at a very high price. The present Primate, Archbishop Thabo
Makgoba is following in his predecessor’s footsteps by ignoring it all.
His predecessor, incidentally, ran off and left his wife virtually
penniless when his term as archbishop ran out.

* Sydney
Archbishop Peter Jensen warned recently that the apparent lack of any
decisive action by the liberal leaders within the Anglican Communion was
in fact a calculated strategy to stall for time in the confident
expectation that the majority of church members would gradually come
around to their viewpoint which is shaped by modern culture rather than
by the authority of Scripture.

He is right. The truth is The
Episcopal Church is a dagger in the heart of Anglican orthodoxy. Unless
the orthodox Primates act quickly, and time is running short, the
pansexual and liberalizing tides will sweep like a tsunami over the
whole communion. Archbishop Rowan Williams will be powerless to stop it.
In fact, he might even embrace it.

Jensen went on to say that
unless Christians act now to defend the church and the true Gospel,
liberal forces that preach a false Gospel would prevail within 10 years.
He gave this assessment as General Secretary of the Fellowship of
Confessing Anglicans (FCA) in South Africa, recently.

FCA leaders
are meeting now in Nairobi to forge a way for orthodox Anglican unity.
They have reaffirmed the Jerusalem Declaration which gives a theological
and historical framework to their faith not the Covenant of Rowan
Williams. GAFCON is committed to the work of reforming, reshaping and
renewing global Anglicanism, they said.

They also said they will
work to recognize and encourage faithful Anglicans in regions of the
world where there is no biblical Anglican voice or presence. If that
isn’t a black eye at TEC what is?

They also said they were
building a global partnership of faithful Anglican churches who are
committed to Biblical faith as described in the Jerusalem Declaration.
Again no mention of the Covenant.

What they are saying is this – a
whole new world Anglican order is coming. Get ready. Time is running
out for a besieged Anglican Communion. Western pan Anglicanism has lost
the biblical and evangelical plot. If the Anglican Communion is to be
saved only the Global South can save it.

END

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