Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said earlier this week that Executive Council members “can’t always take General Convention decisions literally.” Asked about this at a press conference today, she offered some clarification. From Episcopal News Service:
When Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council on Oct. 15 that the members “can’t always take General Convention decisions literally,” her comment caused a bit of a stir at least in the social-media world.
What she said was “Executive Council has a responsibility to make ‘thick’ interpretation of General Convention decisions and directives. We can’t always take General Convention decisions literally – in the same way we read Scripture and don’t take it literally.”
Today, she said she does believe that council’s “responsibility is to take the work that’s been done at General Convention and apply it during the coming triennium.”
“A very narrow interpretation or construal of what particular resolutions might say may not fit the context two years down the road,” she said. “In the same way we read the Bible given our current context, understand the context in which it was written and looking at how those things have changed, we have to use our reason as well as the tradition and I think you can look the resolutions of convention as a tradition. I’m expecting members of council to gather the best resources around them to respond to the needs of the church and the world.”