Admiral of Morality: Presiding Bishop speaks about the recently concluded House of Bishops meeting

Monday, March 26, 2007

Presiding Bishop speaks about the recently concluded House of Bishops meeting

In a video at Episcopal Life Online, Deputy for Communication Jan Nunley speaks with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori for an update on the recently concluded House of Bishops meeting in Camp Allen.

++Katharine fields a number of incisive questions about the meeting, the resolutions, and the upcoming teaching and listening period planned for the whole Church. She envisions this teaching period as a way of engaging the whole Church in the decisions that "may or may not be made in September."

Her answers are clear, straightforward, and direct. She characterizes the meeting of the bishops as "truly a conversation of the whole."

Here's one exchange, about the pastoral council the bishops rejected:

Rev. Nunley: What is it about this particular proposal that flies in the face of our polity, that would require a change in our canons, that would require a change in our constitution?

++Katharine: I think it's a concern about our polity in several regards. One certainly has to do with the House of Bishops being asked to respond on their own. We understand ourselves, quite clearly, in almost every corner of this Church, as a Church that's governed by General Convention, and not solely by the House of Bishops, or solely by the House of Deputies, so that there is a significant reluctance on the part of most of the bishops to act unilaterally. Therefore to receive a request and respond to that request without consultation with Executive Council at the least, which represents General Convention between General Conventions, seems inappropriate. The other piece certainly has to do with the perception or awareness that constituting something like the pastoral council at least gives the impression that something beyond this Church governs the life of this Church....There is significant resistance to act as though we were part of a larger hierarchy beyond this Church, to do anything that gives credence to that idea.

On the mission of the Church:

Rev. Nunley: What's your sense of what God is doing with the Church right now?

++Katharine: My sense is that God is calling us back to the center point of God's mission, which is about healing the world, and our differences disappear in the light of the radically deep needs of people around the world.

Sound words, to me.

The communications office of the Church has been doing a fine job since the General Convention, in improving its communications to the entire Church and in delivering them in a timely way. Regular and ongoing communications, easily accessible, from ++Katharine and the rest of our national Church, are essential. They are all to be commended for the quality and commitment of their work so far.

Click here to watch the whole thing (about 15 minutes).

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