All God's Children and Purple Primates
A Satirical Essay
By David W. Virtue
December 26, 2012
An Exclusive Interview with Katharine Jefferts Schori, The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop.
VOL: Things and events are not looking too good for The Episcopal Church these days, Presiding Bishop...
KJS: (interrupting) Things couldn't be better. We are rapidly weeding out those Neanderthal orthodox bishops who insist on living in the 19th Century, when they should be in the 21st and getting on with the mission of God.
VOL: What exactly is the Mission of God, as you understand it, Presiding Bishop?
KJS: It's Millennium Development Goals and the Five Marks of Mission; anything that will eradicate poverty, stop the slavery of women and girls having unwanted babies, contraceptives for all and making sure that all God's children, regardless of their sexual proclivities, are accepted and can reach up to all levels of the church hierarchy... In this way, we are bringing about the Kingdom.
VOL: But your church seems to be coming apart at the seams over gay Rites. You have just lost another diocese - South Carolina - its bishop and most of its priests... and it was one of the most successful, growing and prosperous dioceses in the country.
KJS: Bishop Lawrence renounced his orders and I accepted them.
VOL: He said he didn't, Presiding Bishop...
KJS: (Interrupting)... He renounced his orders because I said so and I am unanimous in that opinion.
VOL: He said you and the national church are spreading a "false Gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity." Would you agree with that?
KJS: God loves absolutely everybody. I learned that from Louie. After all I allowed and admitted a former Roman Catholic monk Bede Parry to become an Episcopal priest even after he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor for heaven's sake. How much more inclusive do you want me to be?
VOL:...and a psychiatrist testified that Bede Parry would act out again if given the opportunity.
KJS: That's his opinion.
VOL: What's next for the Diocese of South Carolina?
KJS: I plan to put in a transitional bishop of course; then sue the miter off of Lawrence to reclaim the diocese (I can't mouth the word 'bishop' any more), depose all the priests, then fight to get all the parishes back, and make sure that I get any endowment there might be. Their asses are mine, if you get my drift.
VOL: I think we do, Presiding Bishop. A truly Christian thing to do right around Christmas.
KJS: Christmas has nothing to do with it. Jesus may have made a few mistakes. After all, he was only human, not divine. As he never rose physically from the dead, Christmas is mostly symbolism. We need to focus on the poor and needy, not on giving expensive gifts to one another. I told Richard, my husband, that for Christmas he could take our single-engine Cessna 172 for a trip around Nevada and that when he flies over the gentleman's club called Bella's Hacienda Ranch in Wells he should drop a few New Testaments out the window for the ladies and gentlemen below. I told him he couldn't drop the new TEC gay translation, as it might not go down well. When I told Gene Robinson my plans, he told me he wouldn't be seen dead at Bella's. Really.
VOL: The Episcopal Church is going into a time of serious thinking and discussion about restructuring the church as you seem to be running out of people and money. How do you interpret this?
KJS: We are entering a new Reformation period and there are bound to be bumps along the way. We are going to reach out, reach up and reach in, turn on, tune up and tune in as we explore the new world order that is opening up before us in this electronic age.
VOL: How do you propose accomplishing the Mission of God when the mostly 700,000 Episcopalians are in their 60s and concerned more with Social Security and Medicare, in short their own survival, than saving the world for God?
KJS: We are looking at the Big Picture and the long term. There is a new Reformation coming and I want to be in the vanguard of that Reformation.
VOL: Rowan Williams is leaving and Justin Welby is going to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury. He's an evangelical with deep roots in HTB. How are you going to deal with that?
KJS: What's HTB? - Homos Turning Back?
VOL: Ah no...Holy Trinity Brompton.
KJS: Well, we are working on him. He's already been to our House of Bishops once and said wonderful things about us. I see that only getting stronger. It'll take time to bring him around to the New World Order of The Episcopal Church. So far he is doing nicely. We'll slowly wean him away from his fundamentalism and bring him into the world of inclusivity, diversity and pansexuality. It may take a little time, but he will be firmly in our camp ere long. Mark my words...
VOL: We noticed that Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz had a chat with Welby recently about not recognizing the ACNA and Archbishop Bob Duncan. How does that make you feel?
KJS: That was my message to Fred before he left town. Fred always consults me on such issues. He does as he is told. We gave his province $1 million once before and we may have to do it again. I think you get my drift.
VOL: Oh, we do, Presiding Bishop. Now do you see, in this coming year, any hope that TEC will be reconciled with the majority of Global South archbishops and bishops who won't be seen in the same room with you?
KJS: We're working on it. Money talks. We're splashing a lot of it around in the hopes that some of it will stick.
VOL: FCA/GAFCON is a reality. The largest most vibrant Anglican province is Nigeria, but Archbishop Nicholas Okoh won't be seen in the same room with you, hence his (and others) absence last year in Dublin.
KJS: Fundamentalism is an ugly form of religion. I hate it and it won't last. We will. They are living in the Dark Ages; we are Progressives looking to an enlightened future where love, joy and peace reign and...
VOL: You are on record as saying that the Covenant is "past its shelf life". Is that true?
KJS: Yes. It never had a prayer what with the Disciplinary IV section...who the blazes did Rowan think he was talking to or dealing with.
VOL: ...How do you account for the murderous evil that occurred in Connecticut this past week?
KJS: The guy was a nut job who needed a good psychiatrist. It has nothing to do with Christianity and saving the world for God.
VOL: Some of your detractors say you have accumulated metropolitical powers that you have no business taking, what do you say to that?
KJS: Give me their names and I'll take care of business.
VOL: Can you tell us your definition of sin please?
KJS: Yes. Not being nice to me, and then disagreeing with me.
VOL: Do you think you will need to sell 815 2nd Avenue in 2013 to pay David Booth Beers continuing legal bills in 2013? The last General Convention raised that as a possibility.
KJS: There is the possibility I may have to give him my beloved Cessna, but I'm hoping it won't come to that. If we clean up in South Carolina, as I anticipate we will, we'll bring a bundle on home.
VOL: Thank you, Presiding Bishop.
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