Rev. Matthew Lawrence, rector of the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa, Calif., proffers a bargain to the Vatican: Roman Catholics can have disaffected Episcopalians if we can have disaffected Roman Catholics.
If you have any gay priests, for instance, who might be unhappy about living in the closet, you'll be happy to hear that the Episcopal Church has been ordaining openly gay men since 1990.
Or maybe you have some women on your hands who are unhappy because they are called to the priesthood. No worries. Send them on over to us. We've been ordaining women since 1976, and the current head of our church is a female bishop. She seems very happy.
Or maybe you've got some priests who are unhappy because they've fallen in love and they can't get married. We want you to know that our priests have been getting happily married for hundreds of years now, and everyone is happier as a result.
Or maybe some of your people are unhappy with the amount of money you spent to keep gay people from getting married. Well, they might be happier with the Episcopal bishops of California, who unanimously opposed Proposition 8.
And then there's the folks who might like to feel good about the birth control they're using; or maybe they'd like to make their own decisions about abortion. Well, the Episcopal Church has supported birth control and a woman's right to choose since at least 1967.