Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oh, no
Of course I already knew that Dr Katharine Jefferts-Schori has no use for Catholicism and don’t intend to obsess in this blog about that. But I couldn’t keep quiet about this awful New York Times interview with her after Lee Penn sent it to me.

It may be statistically true that education and fecundity are inversely related but the meaning here seems clear. She seems to find the thought of members of the Roman communion, the largest in the great Catholic family, with which I and others pray for reunion every day (I do specifically after every office) reproducing rather distasteful like the sci-fi theology of the Mormons.

Isn’t this the kind of polite racism snobbery the Episcopal Church says it’s trying to get away from? I think back in the 1950s you’d have to give somebody like an Anglican bishop a few drinks at the club to get him to blurt out something like that. (When contraception had been mainstream for at least 25 years.) Now, if you wrap it up in ‘green’ rhetoric, you can say it out in the open.

(I’ll choose the Catholic witness of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity instead, thanks.)

Of course she believes her church is better or truer — that’s why she’s a member of it and not a Roman Catholic! I respect that. I’m also fine with theistic evolution, her belief as a scientist. The Catholic faith says you can believe in a six-day creation but don’t have to. Good stewardship of God’s creation/conservation/not wasting things? No problem!

But this objectionable bit is entirely different to the sparring I enjoy online with Roman Catholics and others, in the spirit of the university, over what the church fathers believed and practised regarding Roman primacy, or over the horrors of Vatican II liturgical revision, or the lack of tolerant conservatism... you know, the kind of conversation you might expect from somebody with theological training who’s now the Episcopal supremo.

What’s really frightening is she’s not at all unique in thinking and speaking this way about population or about the holy, Catholic, apostolic and Roman Church.

Then there’s the attitude of Fr Jake’s fans towards ++Cape Town vs ++Abuja, or ‘we like African prelates when they think just like us’.

The former see used to be held by Geoffrey Clayton, a Catholic from England who helped start the anti-apartheid movement.

They don’t make Anglican primates like they used to.
DEUS, qui beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, Spíritus Sancti habitáculum, hodiérna die in templo præsentári voluísti : præsta, quæsumus ; ut, ejus intercessióne, in templo glóriæ tuæ præsentári mereámur. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Update: It seems that this story has been confirmed (get past Owen’s tone and though he’s obviously not a fan Dr William Tighe is not known to lie online); this attitude towards Western Catholicism extends to Eastern. I’m left speechless so with that I’ll stop.

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