There are so many reasons for me to sigh deeply about the Episcopal Church, but the lastest reason is the report that former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey aspires to the priesthood and has entered the ordination discernment process in the Diocese of New York. It is being widely reported that he has applied to General Theological Seminary. One such report from the New York Times can be found here.
This is not about his being gay. This is about so many more unsettling things, including his on-going divorce proceedings following his very public declaration a year ago of extra-marital affairs and unethical behavior in the conduct of his duties as governor. Also, his having been received (the process of joining the Episcopal Church for those baptised and confirmed in another sacramental Christian tradition) only last week. Do we really need another “poster child” for how “progressive” and “accepting” we are? Really?
I also need to point out, the discernment process for ordination is not intended to be a publicity-oriented time. At the outset, it is deeply personal and introspective, and involves one’s own parish priest and leadership, and perhaps a small group of others providing spiritual direction. This is so unusual in so many ways.
I’m also sighing because I’m tired of having to explain to other Christians “what kind” of Episcopalian I am, or hoping to avoid mentioning my denomination. I’m weary of the Episcopal “schizophrenia” – how much longer can such different understandings of the church, of the calling of the Gospel, exist under the same roof?
It just makes me sad.
The head of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, is complaining about Nigerian Anglican bishops coming to Virginia this weekend to formally install the head of the conservative breakaway denomination in this country. Here’s what she said: “Such action would violate the ancient customs of the church.”
I kid you not. The female head of a church with a practicing homosexual bishop planning to “marry” his lover, a church that could accept into seminary the adulterous homosexual governor of New Jersey, a church that embraces splitting open babies’ skulls and vacuuming their brains out, is complaining about violating ancient customs? Wow.