"I grew up in the Episcopal church. I hope I don't cry when I talk about this. But the issue is: Are we going to follow Scripture?"
So an anguished Katrina Wagner, a member of the leadership of Truro Episcopal parish, told Washington Post reporters Bill Turque and Michelle Boornstein. They have been covering the sad Christmas story of the breakup of the Episcopal Church in Northern Virginia. Nine parishes have voted to secede from the American church.
What forced the break was the installation at the National Cathedral of Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada as presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church. Schori has blessed homosexual unions and supported the consecration as Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire of V. Gene Robinson, a priest who had left his wife to enter a homosexual union. At last report, Robinson was cohabiting with his gay lover.
Traditionalists have had it with the hierarchy, and the in-your-face elevation of a green and trendy liberal prelate to lead them broke it. Not only have the nine parishes severed ties, with more considering secession, seven of 111 Episcopal dioceses have rejected Schori's authority. Sad as the story seems, however, it produced mirth and mockery from Washington Post columnist Howard Meyerson.
"Whether it was the thought of a woman presiding over God's own country club or gays snuggling under its eaves, it was all too much" for the "Fairfax Phobics," wrote Meyerson. This is "just the latest chapter in the global revolt against modernism and equality and, more specifically, in the formation of the Orthodox International."
And what, exactly, is the "Orthodox International"?
"The OI unites frequently fundamentalist believers of often opposed faiths in common fear and loathing of challenges to ancient tribal norms. ... The OI's founding father was Pope John Paul II, who ... sought to build his church in nations of the developing world where traditional morality and bigotry, most especially on matters sexual, were ... more in sync with the Catholic Church's inimitable backwardness. Now America's schismatic Episcopalians are following in (John Paul's) footsteps -- traditionalists of the two great Western hierarchical Christian churches searching the globe for sufficiently benighted bishops."
The reference to "benighted bishops" is to Archbishop Akinola, who believes, as the 13 colonies and 50 American states did up until the late 20th century, that homosexual sodomy should be a crime. Jefferson, the patron saint of liberals, thought active homosexuals should be emasculated.