In the upside down world of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church in the United States, was welcomed as an equal by the Primate of [All] Australia, the Most Rev. Dr. Philip Aspinall. Ordinarily that would go without saying, but Aspinall chose to say it.
It seems only yesterday that Lambeth Palace required that she not where her mitre in the UK because the C of E does not allow women to be bishops. Aspinall's welcome was a clear signal that that was not the policy in Australia (whatever the sentiments of Archbishop of Sydney are on the matter).
"The Presiding Bishop is welcome to visit the Brisbane Diocese as were four other Primates from around the Anglican Communion who have visited us in the past year," said Dr Aspinall. "Reciprocal visits by Primates and Archbishops are a common and rich part of our Anglican tradition. Discussions will take place with a number of people on topics including leadership, the Millennium Development Goals and human sexuality."Read it all.
This is an informal visit by Dr Jefferts Schori, who is visiting Australia and New Zealand this month, as the reverberations from her Church's episcopal consecration of a partnered gay woman continue to shake the Anglican Communion. Dr Jefferts Schori's recent visit to England caused a stir when some clergy protested against her invitation to preach in Southwark Cathedral, and she was not permitted to wear her mitre during the service.
Bishop Jefferts Schori is due to preach at Christ Church in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia on 4 July during a two-week visit to Australian and New Zealand.
The PB received an equally warm antipodean welcome in New Zealand.
Following the #mitregate kerfuffle Lambeth Palace quietly revealed the Presiding Bishop was not singled out for special treatment, but fell under the policy that applied to all openly female bishops:
The agreed approach of the English bishops is that women bishops celebrating under these provisions should do so without the insignia of episcopal office so as to avoid possible misunderstandings.In New Zealand Jefferts Schori acknowledged that The Episcopal Church was a "troublemaker" and that is the source of antagonism towards the The Episcopal Church. It is turning the world upside down
“I think it represents the pain and discomfort of people who used to be at the centre, and who are now finding themselves being moved to the margins.Later she spoke to an ecumenical gathering -- ironic given the content of the ABC's Pentecost Letter.
“In my context, 200 years ago the landed white gentry were in control of a monoculture. ‘Now all of these people have come along and messed with that: how dare they?’”