Monday, February 25, 2008

South Carolina: Conclusion of the Clergy Day

From Steve Wood, rector at St. Andrew's Mount Pleasant, on today's meeting with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:

There’s a wonderful little encounter between Alice and Humpty Dumpty in the book, Through the Looking Glass, which best described the day with the PB:
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master - that’s all.’

I haven’t heard such theologically incoherent language since I left the Diocese of Ohio. The epigrammatic moment came at the very end of the day when Ms. Jefferts-Schori gestured dramatically to express her bewilderment over the communication gap that remained, even after three hours of conversation, and concluded by saying, “I am very struck by our inability to communicate.” Of course, the problem, from my limited, sinful point of view, is that the clergy of South Carolina seem to foolishly believe that words have meaning and should convey substance and content.

A couple of people asked me why I didn’t ask her a public question. There were four reasons and one action.

First, as host of the event, I felt obliged to host and attend to the details involved in hosting. Secondly, I was not involved the planning of the day and the people responsible had developed a satisfactory and reasonable process for conversation in which substantial issues were raised. Thirdly, I don’t believe in publicly “jumping” someone, especially if we’ve not had prior personal conversation. Fourthly, Anthony, who did speak, spoke well on behalf of St. Andrew’s.

Now, the action. Please know that for the sake of personal integrity, and for the parish which I have both the privilege to serve and the responsibility to protect, I did have a brief face-to-face conversation with the PB. While the specifics are private, I attempted to communicate to her my observation and belief that The Episcopal Church as currently represented by our national leadership is no longer a Christian Church, has embraced a false gospel, and, its descent into error and irrelevancy has been hastened by her leadership.

I am anticipating that both audio and video recordings of the day will be made available shortly. I’ll keep you posted. . .

Check it out.

1 comment:

robroy said...

Thank you Father Steve for standing firm in the faith!