Saturday, March 29, 2008

Now We're Talkin'

My estimation of the Presiding Bishop's handling of certain aspects of her job is amply clear to anyone who reads this blog. I stand by my assessment that the way she has dealt with the difficult situation in San Joaquin, including what she is doing today, in defiance of the canons she is pledged to uphold, exhibits ineptitude at best and has the appearance of duplicity. (I reserve judgment on whether that appearance is a chimera or a reality.)

Nonetheless, since I took her to task a couple of weeks ago for reluctance (inability?) to speak of the verities of our ostensibly common faith in language that makes me--and many other Episcopalians--feel like we're actually in the same church with her, it is incumbent upon me to acknowledge when I hear such language, and encourage her to speak that way more often. What she is quoted as saying today to those gathered in Lodi, CA comes under that category:

1) Jesus is Lord. In the same sense that Jesus is Lord, and not Caesar, remember that no one else -- not any hierarch, not any ecclesiastical official, not any one of you, is Lord. We belong to God, whom we know in Jesus, and there is no other place we find the ground of our identity

2) We are all made in the image of God. Even when we can't see that image of God immediately, we are challenged to keep searching for it, especially in those who may call us enemy. There is pain and hurt here to be reconciled, and searching for the image of God in those we have offended and who have offended us is a central part of our reconciling vocation.

I can relate to these words. Others can too. I wish this were not the first time I have heard her speak this way, but I hope it's not the last.


Anonymous said...

Fr Dan, a glorious evening of healing and a re-energized Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin at Convention today. I heard some of the long time clergy, I am sure many who you know, say often that this is how it used to be. You would have been so proud. Yes, things were pretty ugly leading up to this, but now we move on, extend olive branches to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Bishop Rivera's daughter Maria was most poignant as she thanked us for our continuing mission in The San Joaquin Valley. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 11:07

Good luck selling your uncanonical and illegal doings in court. You have no idea what a mess you all have made of your creditibility. I shall pray for you all in the Remain Episcopal diocese, you're gonna need it!

Craig G said...

Fr. Dan -- speaking as one from the Diocese of Nevada, I can tell you that this is not, in fact, the first time she has used such rhetoric.

I can also tell you that any resemblance between what she actually means by these sentences and the interpretation that an ordinary Christian would normally put upon them is highly misleading, and is intended to be so.