Tom Jackson writing on the Diocese of California news site:
Yesterday Bishop Catherine S. Roskam stood and preached truth to one of the most powerful men’s club’s of the Episcopal Church: the House of Bishops.
If Katharine Jefferts Schori were a man, Bishop Roskham argued, the bishops wouldn’t be debating a measure to make the job of being Presiding Bishop into a part time post.
One of these currents holds that the church is too expensive, that we can no longer afford this “bloated bureaucracy.” There’s an overlooked and inconvenient truth, one Deputy told me. “If you look at what we spent on the national church in the late 1960s and adjust for inflation, then in real dollars we are spending half as much on the national church as we did back then,” he said. “The irony is that we were talking about the same ‘structural problems’ then as we are here.” Cast in another context, of every $100 our church gathers only $1.50 goes to the national church. “Our budget probelms aren’t because we spend too much. We are in trouble becuase some dioceses who could pay their assessment don’t,”another deputy said. “One Texas diocese paid 5% when the assessment was 19%.” The bishop of that diocese often argues for cutting costs and minizing the influence of the national church.
Another current is amove away from the “Presiding Bishop as CEO” image that some now see in our church leadership. To the extent that image exists it may have been created by requirements established by past General Convention – expectations such as the one that says the Presiding Bishop will visit every diocese during their tenure. Yet others, as the Bishop of California, Marc Andrus, suggested see the Presiding Bishop as both leader and chief pastor.
A third current centers on the Presiding Bishop’s power. Some bishops – who have since left the church – thought electing a woman to lead our church was a masterstroke in their battle against the ordination of women, homosexuals, and anyone who disagreed with them. They thought leaders of other Anglican churches would break off their relationship with our church because our Presiding Bishop was a woman. Worse they believed their own theology that women are weak and submissive. They were wrong on both counts. Not only does Bishop Katherine serve as an equal amongst the men who lead the Anglican Communion, she has stood firm in defense of our church. She has fought those bishops who left and tried to take their diocese with them, arguing a diocese if not the personal property of the bishop. She has fought them in court and mostly she has won. And she has made it clear no bishop will by hook or crook remove their diocese from our church during her term as our Presiding Bishop. All of which makes some current men who lead our chruch a little uncomfortable.
It is no accident that someof our church’s biggest steps towards inclusion of all of God’s children have come when two women were in our top leadership posts. …
Bishop Roskam also reminded the House of Bishops that as the first wave of women bishop retires the church is not electing women as bishops fast enough to maintain the current ration of men and women in that house.
Worse, she reminded them, most of the women elected bishops are not chosen as bishops who will run a diocese. Regularly, some bishops propose that only bishops who run a diocese should be allowed to vote on financial matters. If passed that move would disenfranchise most of our women bishops.
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