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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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Bishop Katharine Schori – No Hope for Catholic & Anglican Reunion

jeffertsschori1.jpgKatharine Jefferts Schori, the new leading bishop in the American Episcopal Church is a former Roman Catholic.  Her parents brought her into the Episcopal Church when she was “not quite nine” and she attended a Catholic convent school maintained by the Sacred Heart Nuns.  She is fluent in Spanish and active in outreach to Hispanics, pretty much all who were formerly Catholic.  She is a liberal who voted for the consecration of the openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, three years ago.  She also supports the blessing of same-sex unions.  She is a scientist, only ordained a priest in 1994.

Victoria Garvey, one of two sergeants-at-arms who escorted Schori to the convention floor after the election, said: “My heart stopped.  A number of people — men and women — were weeping. . . . I’m a former Roman Catholic, and part of the reason I made the switch was over women in the church. Thirty years after finally approving women’s ordination, we now have a woman bishop presiding.”

Schori tells a reporter for THE LIVING CHURCH FOUNDATION:  “My parents brought me into the Episcopal Church in early 1963, in conjunction with their own move out of the Roman Catholic tradition. This was before Vatican II had had any impact on parish life, and as a fifth-grader, my awareness of the difference was of language (from Latin to English) and of community and style (large and faceless to small and intimate). My understanding of faith in this new community was increasingly about the ability to ask questions. The vicar was a remarkable gatherer of people and artistic gifts into warm, challenging, and effective community. I would summarize my experience of the shift as from a religion of prohibition to one of invitation.”

*****

The 75th General Convention has gone and done it.  When I was young I was full of hope that the division between the Catholic and Anglican communities would be healed.  But there is no chance now.  A few churches and individuals may continue to seek reunion; but as a whole, it cannot happen.  The Episcopal church is now solidly in the rank of liberal Protestantism and has abandoned its Catholic and traditional roots.  While claiming Scripture, they have dismissed the pattern that goes back to Christ in his selection of men as his apostles, the first bishops and priests of the Church.  They have also dismissed clear Scriptural messages where we find divine positive law about such matters like the indissolubility of marriage, the evil of fornication, adultery and homosexual acts.  Indeed, with one act, the consecration of Gene Robinson, many of these borders were trespassed; afterall, he had left his wife to live with his gay lover.  His consecration was an indirect but real act of approbation toward these evils.

The trouble with a female bishop, from the Catholic perspective, is the fact that we do not see any concrete biblical or traditional evidence that it is God’s will.  Pope John Paul II even went so far as to say that we do not have the authority to ordain women.  Thus, if the ordinations of men as priests in the Anglican churches were in doubt (because of Orthodox and Old Catholic participation) and in most cases rejected, certainly the sacramental reality is going to be denied completely in regard to women.

There are no priestesses in the Christian religion.

Any priests ordained by women bishops will not be priests themselves.

Any Masses offered by any of them will not be the sacrifice of Christ and will not be the Real Presence!

She calls Catholicism the “religion of prohibition” and in doing so devalues the riches of the Catholic faith, many of which were once shared, even if in a lesser and defective way, in her own Protestant communion.  The Church cannot tolerate anything and everything.  The last convention, the only moral question upon which the Episcopalians could agree was about a prohibition toward landmines.  About everything else they had compromised with a pagan and/or secular modernity.

The new bishop calls homosexuality a gift, not a sin.

Can there be any doubt that she will continue to support the gay agenda and the ordination of openly gay priests and bishops?

The Episcopal churches have already stepped aside regarding the most important issue of the day, abortion.

When asked about the alienation that many feel about her selection, she simply spoke about it as the personal problem of “not knowing another human being.”  But of course, the problem in conscience for many conservative Anglicans is that they have Catholic and traditional views on ministry and morality.  The problem is not something that a greeting and handshake will resolve.

When asked about the tension with communities that do not accept women priests, her answer was not only flippant but targeted the Catholic discipline.  She called the priest an “actor” which is already a far cry from the Roman Catholic view of the priest as an “alterchristus”.  A theatrical actor pretends but the Catholic priest at the altar really is offering the sacrifice of Calvary “in the person of Christ, head of the Church.”  It is this point of identification which is at the heart of the Catholic dispute with Anglican priestesses.  Women cannot stand at the altar as Christ, the bridegroom of the Church.  Anyhow, she moves the question first to so-called “pastoral underpinnings” and then quickly dismisses critics of women priests as donatist heretics who put too much emphasis on the holiness and attributes of the actor.

A sacrament, including Holy Orders, requires legitimate MATTER.  The Catholic Church has determined that such is a “male” human being.  Donatism does not speak to the question of proper matter or intention.  Donatism implies that the minister is already validly ordained.  The heresy of Donatism is in regard to moral failings and the efficacy of the sacraments.  The Church responded to this rigorism by stipulating that the efficacy of the sacraments did not depend upon the worthiness of the minister but on Christ.  Therefore, even a priest in mortal sin can hear Confessions and offer the Mass.  The Lord protects the sacraments for his people.

Schori would extend the heresy of Donatism to those who would exclude women from the priesthood because they are not men.  Good try, but such reasoning does not fly.  Neither can it be applied to the dubious priesthood of others in the Anglican communion.  Being female is not a moral failing and neither is it an accidental.  Men and women are not utterly interchangeable.  Our gender touches the core of our identity.

It is unfortunate that Episcopalians cannot always know if their priests are valid or not, but such confusion is not due to Donatism.  The Catholic Church makes no claim against their degree of holiness and individual faithfulness (where true Donatists take offense); all we are saying is that if you are not a priest then you cannot offer that work priests are empowered to do.

Elements of discipline like celibacy, poverty and obedience are often required of candidates, but failure in regard to promises and the moral life do not negate the sacraments.  While women cannot be validly ordained, homosexual men (given that they are chaste and celibate) can be ordained.  However, the question still arises as to whether it is a good or prudential idea.  Even homosexual priests and bishops in the Episcopal Church might be valid, given the faith to which they subscribe is sufficiently Catholic and the ordaining bishop or bishops possess apostolic succession.  At one time it was pretty clear that all orders in the Anglican churches had become null-and-void and that apostolic succession had been lost.  However, given the presence and participation of Old Catholics and the Orthodox at episcopal consecrations, and the defection of Catholic clergy into the Episcopal churches, the matter is less clear today.

The breakup of the Anglican communion is taking place before our eyes.  Some are seeking primatial support from Africa  and the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Texas has appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other prelates of the Anglican Communion for another primate to have pastoral oversight over the diocese.  (However, the Anglican Church in England is also rushing quickly away from its ancient Christian roots and values and practices.)  I would hope that some would finally come to their senses and call upon their best friend, Pope Benedict XVI.  There are already Anglican-Usage parishes in operation and there is talk that the Pope might even make the concession of lifting the celibacy discipline for future clergy in their churches after reunion.  The presence of married clergy in the Catholic Church who were formerly Episcopalian priests has paved a road to this eventuality.

But the tragedy remains that there will be no worldwide reunion.  Things have gone too far now.  It cannot be fixed.  I am not dispairing of the Holy Spirit, just a realist in regard to how people can place secular values over Church tradition and the Gospel.  We thought we might have the glass glued back together but then it was deliberately fractured again and again.  All we have are splinters now.

Schori opposed the Winsor Report released by the Lambeth Commission on Communion which suggested that the ECUSA make amends and say it was sorry for the trouble caused by electing an openly gay bishop.  The report would also have established a moratorium on ordaining homosexual bishops and blessing same-sex couples. Her election is essentially telling the rest of the Anglican communion, NO DEAL!

Schori’s consecration as presiding bishop will be celebrated at the Washington National Cathedral.  I wonder if the Catholic and Orthodox prelates will stay away?  I hope so, because their presence would only lend credence to a terrible lie– about the health of a church community and about a so-called bishop.

DISCUSSION

J:

And she is also rather creative:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51325

FATHER JOE:

The nominating committee considered her qualifications. Now, it looks like she fabricated a few credentials.

She noted herself as the “pastoral associate and dean of the Good Samaritan School of Theology in Corvallis, Oregon (1994-2000).” The trouble is that no such school of higher learning appears to exist. It turns out, or so she says, this was her name for the adult education program operated by the local parish, over which she was not even rector.

She also wrote that she was the “priest in charge of El Buen Samaritano, Corvallis, Oregon,” which turns out the be the Spanish-speaking parishioners of Good Samaritan Church.

Goodness! She certainly fattened her resume with exaggeration and purposeful deception!

http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4536

PATRICK:

As a member of a rapidly-growing Episcopal congregation and a former Roman Catholic, I am thrilled at the consecration of our new Presiding Bishop, but I also know what a rough road she has ahead of her. She is a woman of God, plain and simple. She is perceived as a threat to so many because she is a woman of God who is leading. Her mere presence as Bishop challenges existing hierarchies. But her great faith and intelligence will lead her and the faithful, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Roman Catholic Church has been very good to the Episcopal Church in recent decades. Half of our parish’s growing membership is formerly Roman Catholic, and we expect that trend to continue. So please by all means keep your hearts and minds closed to the real working of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century, and send your members our way! We welcome them with open hearts.

KATHY SCHORI:

[Note that I have almost no doubt that this person is an imposter!]

Hahaha!

Yes, it is truly the work of the Spirit!

Let the superstitious Roman Church insist upon its cookie worship, we know that fellowship is the most central and Jesus’ words should not be taken too literally.

Let the patriarchal Roman Church deny women their role as priests, we are more enlightened today by psychology and sociology over the chauvinists who are slaves of male tradition, no matter if it does go back to Jesus or not.

Let the bigoted Roman Church persecute gay, lesbian and transgendered peoples, we know that anal and oral sex is right and fun, and that no one, not even that gay-basher St. Paul, has a right to say anything different.

Let the bigoted Roman Church alienate the divorced and remarried, we are happy to fill our pews with your adulterers, fornicators and perverts.

Let the Republican Party-controlled Roman Church scream and holler about abortion, we respect people and the hard choices they make, yes even if it means killing unwanted babies.

We make no argument against contraception, either, and if most papists were honest they would leave the Roman whore and join the Episcopal Church where we have beautiful rituals but never take ourselves too seriously, especially in the bedroom.

Save the whales, ban landmines, these are the real Christian issues of our day!

Yes brother Patrick, we welcome the papists to our Episcopal communion.

May the Spirit of the World lead more and more to our ranks.

Amen, I mean, Awomen!

FATHER JOE:

What’s going on here? Are you guys serious?

I hardly need to make a rebuttal.

Such attitudes might drive the more clear thinking souls back to the Catholic Church.

Goodness me.

PAUL R:

I would like to congratulate you on this excellent article, Father Joe, which is particularly valuable to Episcopalians/Anglicans because it gives a view from the outside. You have hit the main point on the head. The Episcopal Church is forsaking its roots in Holy Scripture and Tradition and becoming increasingly “Post-Christian” and neo-pagan.

Also, while you are correct that the idea of the priest as an “actor” playing the role of Jesus Christ is inaccurate, it may be useful in explaining what I understand to be one of the significant theological reasons for opposing the ordination of women to the priesthood: a woman, no matter how talented an actress she may be, would be “miscast” in the “role” of Jesus Christ in a movie or play about Him. How much more unsuitable would she be as an Alter Christus (or as the Orthodox might put it as a living icon of Christ at the altar)?

Pray for me, Father, as I pray for you.

FATHER JOE:

You have my prayers.

JOHANNIM:

It was only a matter of time since Pope Henry 8th ripped an unwilling English people away from the Catholic Church that the Anglican/Episcopal church would start breaking up. The Anglican church in 2007 is a mere shell of what it once was. Reactionaries, revisionist of the worst ilk now control this faith group from London to Washington from Sydney to Ottawa. The Anglicans in the developing world will have none of it and at their last meeting Orthodox Anglican bishops even refused to share communion with neo Marxist fanatics & pro homosexual bishops from Europe & North America. Whole parishes are returning to the Roman Catholic Church and the trend is increasing. There is even an Anglican rite growing in popularity in the Catholic Church as more and more Anglicans & their priests leave that church. With the advent of Pope Benedict 16th and the recent motu proprio SUMMARUM PONTIFICUM and the resurgence of the ancient divine liturgy often referred to as the Tridentine aka Latin Mass whose roots go back to the 3rd & 4th century of the common era there is a tremendous increase in attendance throughout Europe of (predominantly) Catholic youth attending the ancient Mass, as the Novus Ordo declines millions are returning to the Roman Catholic Church. The same phenomenon is occurring in North America in that where the ancient Latin Mass is offered the churches are literally packed to the rafters with predominately young people. To be an Anglican these days means to believe in anything you want even to denial of Christ’s divinity. The glue that kept the Anglicans together for 400 yrs. is dissolving and that glue was polite civility between the warring factions of Henry the 8th schismatic church. No longer does low, broad or high church Anglicans tolerate each other. The Anglican church today and it’s offshoots like Methodism would even disgust Karl Marx & Adolf Hitler. It’s all very sad. Shalom.

ROBERT HAWKINS:

Roman Church controlled by “Republicans?” The Catholic Church in the United States is overwhelmingly Democrat.  Give me a break.

MISTER SMITH:

First of all the theology that the presiding bishop is wrong!! Of course I am not surprised that the Church will grow!! Most people want to her what they want to her. Same sex marriage, the homosexual lifestyle should be acceptable, she might is well ordain people who steal!! Why? They believe they are born that way; let’s not take that from them too.