anthills–Episcopalians & the Anglican Communion

June 23, 2006


Filed under: Episcopal Church, General Convention — anthill @ 10:13 pm

[Note on 7/11: Going with a Nevada theme, I wish to move to the nickel machines on my prediction in this post. An interview with The Living Church yesterday gave the PB-elect the perfect opportunity to expound a visionary solution to the crisis in the Episcopal Church (USA). Crisis? What crisis? How about seven dioceses and counting asking for KJS not to be their Presiding Bishop.

A direct question about the conjoined twins analogy was not engaged in this weak answer:

The image of two levels of communion has been around for a long time and will probably be around for a while longer. We are clearly in different places about human sexuality, but we also have a lot in common. I would hope that we could focus on poverty and Millennium Development Goals together.

This was a prime opportunity and she blew it. One of her bishop-backers must have gotten to her after her twins speeches and asked, “What in blazes do you think you are doing!”

So take the following with a pinch of Nevada desert sand, not with the punch I began with before.]

The punch of her words could hardly have been stronger. A striking analogy of conjoined twins, given by Presiding Bishop elect Jefferts Schori at the critical moments in both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, may not have been the tipping point. Rather, her personal appeal to give her a chance with the Anglican Communion carried the votes in both houses. But the twins analogy, by all accounts, caused an absolute hush to come over more than a thousand people on the floor and in the gallery.

The image of conjoined twins lingers. I’m going to make a brief, lightly defended, prediction about Katherine Jefferts Schori. While males tend to have the hormonal burden to “take it outside” if necessary, this woman just might have the combination of grace and pragmatism to keep the “different minds” (her quote of a bishop) in this church from ruining each other.

I don’t have an impression of Frank Griswold every admitting a problem anything like conjoined twins living in this church. All was well with the vast “diverse center” (his favorite), even if nagged by pesky fringe people on the right. The insistent fringe people on the left were more organically connected.

But in her first crisis, the PB elect named the obvious diagnosis–conjoined twins, followed by the most vital question–Can they both survive after surgery?

Both twins–the larger “left and center” and the smaller “right” are both saying, “We’re fine with surgery.” Katherine Jefferts Schori may rise to the occasion and find the means to see that the operation has the best chance of success.

Afterwards, the twins can be imagined to thank God that the struggle with each other is over, bless each other, and get on with their callings. The twin on the right may even be able to reduce the Anglican division in the United States, resulting in a net improvement in the divisions of the Body of Christ.



  1. I too was impacted by this analogy…often the decision to seperate is made even knowing that the less vital (not necessarily larger) willn may not survive when the chances of survival of both conjoined twins are impaired and dubious if the separation is no undertaken. That is where i think we truly are. It is time for the so called “right” of center ones of us to let go of the other twins heel and start living on our own basis together.

    Comment by doug — July 7, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  2. Let us hope so.

    Comment by tony — July 7, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

  3. I fear that anyone who thinks this woman is interested in reconciling the two factions
    within TEC at the expense of the New Episcopal Religion is deluding himself/herself. She
    exudes an eerie, serene, icy hubris when pontificating about the NER remarkable even for
    revisionist ideologues. The manner in which she handled her mother’s funeral says
    everything you need to know about Schori.

    Comment by Todd — July 7, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  4. Another analogy–Identical twins usually have close emotional ties as
    well as having the same physical characteristics. They come from ONE egg and ONE sperm
    that splits after fertilization. They develop two bodies with exactly the same genetic
    Fraternal twins develop from TWO eggs and TWO sperms and are nonidentical. Then are
    no more genetically similar than siblings born apart.
    Conjoined twins can be either identical or fraternal.
    Rather than comparing TEC to conjoined twins, I see us as FRATERNAL twins. No more
    genetically similar than siblings born apart. YET we are related and will always be
    brothers and sisters!
    Somehow I can’t comprehend Bishop elect Schori reverting “GRACE” mode! Her
    reconciling the church won’t happen! Her past voting record at GC 2003 speaks for its
    self! Anthill may be out in left field here!

    Comment by Justin — July 8, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

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