Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Learning nothing and forgetting nothing

I read Mrs. Schori's comments on the Virginia situation in the Washington Post yesterday, and my first thought was "Dear God, she's dull!!!!" It's not that I expected any real NEWS in such a statement; this is public relations, after all, and there are going to be lawyers involved soon, so very little can actually be admitted. Hence the cagey distinctions between individuals and congregations, as if people change their essence once they fall under the spell of an Episcopal bishop.

But it was the utter banality of her response that appalled me.
We regret and grieve their departure, and pray that they may continue their journey as Christians in another home.
In the hope that some may decide to return, we intend to keep the door open and the light on.
Like it or hate it, the departure of thousands of souls from the care of their former protector is a wrenching prospect - it should at least produce the same anguish as the dissolution of a marriage. Instead, Schori dispenses trite, breezy cliches, like the host of a TV cooking show waving goodbye until next week's recipe for spinach soufflé.

It's embarrassing to see someone so entirely fail to rise to an occasion. She reminds me Louis XVI, who plodded along dully as the French monarchy collapsed on top of him. On the day the Bastille fell, in his diary he wrote "Nothing", which became almost an encapsulation of a clueless ruler not realizing what was happening around him.* Unlike Schori, Louis had no choice about finding himself in a job for which he was unfit; ECUSA deliberately chose to install a dullard at the head of their organization. Talleyrand said of the Bourbons that they had learned nothing and they had forgotten nothing, but even they would have been surprised to see the nothing that ECUSA has so eagerly embraced.

* I know that it was his hunting diary for the day, but the story has entered history as a parable of a king oblivious to the great events stirring the people, and carrying on business as usual without realizing that everything has changed.


Blogger Kasia said...

Two things:

First, this quote struck me:

"That is the work to which Jesus calls us, and that is the work we shall continue - with a priority of peace and justice work framed by the Millennium Development Goals."

Does that jump out at anyone else? For some reason it put me in mind of the Knights Who Say NI with their demand for a that looks nice, and not too expensive. Not sure why...maybe it was the disjunction between Jesus and the Millenium Development Goals...

Second, does it strike anyone else as odd that she described reconciliation as the primary goal of the Episcopal Church? This is a church that (a) separated from Rome over a divorce; (b) separated from the Anglican Church because of the American Revolution; and (c) has spent the last five years or so aggressively aggrieving the rest of the non-North American Anglican Communion. (I don't think the Canadian Anglicans were particularly upset by their shenanigans, but please correct me if I'm wrong...) It seems disingenuous at the very least. But then, maybe I just didn't get my fair share of Kool-Aid...

10:05 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Kasia, when I hear her say "reconciling the world", I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - the other half of the sentence. Reconciling the world to...what? She never gets there, though. Reconciling the world (or sinners) to God is something I've heard of in Christianity, though I've usually heard it described as something Jesus does. Still, it's a reasonably familiar idea. But for Schori, "reconciling" just seems to stand by itself. The closest I can get to relating it to something I know is the idea of reconciliation in a marriage. If you want to think of a marriage as a unit, and not just two separate people (and leaving out entirely the idea of God as an involved party), reconciling a marriage would mean putting it back in order so that it functions that way it's supposed to. But even there, we have the idea of something that already existed and then is broken and needs to be restored. "The world" is not and has never been a properly functioning, harmonious unit. And there is no grounds in Christianity for believing that it ever can be, unless it first goes through the process of believing in Jesus and turning to God. So Schori's aspirations are just bunk; we put up with such talk when it comes from the UN, because we know that we're not expected to actually believe it, but coming from a church, it's just offensive.

10:45 am  
Blogger Ellie M said...

"We regret and grieve their departure, and pray that they may continue their journey as Christians in another home..."

...but not in their OWN home, mind you, 'cause we own that and we're tasking it back. You hear? We don't care how much money they put into it.

"In the hope that some may decide to return, we intend to keep the door open and the light on..."

... 'cause the door and the light are ours. Ours ours OURS! And we'll sue the pants off anyone who says otherwise! Love, KJS.

7:56 pm  

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