Ruth Gledhill reports on the bishop-elect of Northern Michigan praising his ability to meditate as a needed skill for the office of bishop in that part of the world and mystified at those who are all upset about it.
In Brazil, the Roman Catholic Church has excommunicated the mother of a nine-year-old girl and the doctors who intervened to save her life by having her twins aborted. She had been raped repeatedly by her stepfather, who has not been excommunicated.
The Holy See has defended the excommunication, as it has the lifting of the excommunication of an English bishop who believes there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
In Iran, as many as eight women face death by stoning for 'adultery' after they were raped, according to an Amnesty report to be published tomorrow.
And in the US, a priest who believes in prayer and meditation has been elected Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan. You can guess which story is getting the Anglicans most worked up. See our news report of the row at Times Online faith.
But to understand why Forrester will be a great bishop for Northern Michigan, you have to understand the diocese a little. To get even some idea of what kind of country this is, read the novels of John Smolens, PJ Parrish, Margaret Elphinstone. And watch this video of his predecessor, the much-loved 'earth' bishop Jim Kelsey, killed in a car accident two years ago. It is the kind of diocese where you have to be able to drive for miles upon miles through remote and forested landscapes, hardly seeing anyone. From my own small experience of Buddhist techniques of meditation, of knowing how to remain 'still', 'centred' yet wide awake and alert for hours upon end, I'd have thought a bishop who could do that would be perfect in such a diocese.
Gledhill's interview explores Thew Forrester's faith formation and deep Christian spirituality. Read more here and here.
UPDATE 3/10: Episcopal Life reports here.