And the Episcopal Church world continues to turn

It seems that the poo-bah’s in the Church of What’s Happening Now Episcopal Curch are finally grappling with the big, important issues that a big, important church should address. Perusing recent posts on George Conger’s website, I came across a bit discussing the recent resignation of the President of the ECUSA House of Bishops, Bonnie Anderson (really, how DID I miss such significant news?) I was especially intrigued to see early in the article that Mrs. Anderson had stepped down after a long-running struggle with the Episcopal Church’s Presiding “Bishop”, Katherine Jefferts Schori, over “political” issues. I was temporarily – if foolishly – heartened. Perhaps Mrs. Anderson was an honest liberal finally fed up with the continuing slide into relativism and ecclesial irrelevance that has gripped the Episcopal “Church” for some years. It was not to be.

It seems the rift wasn’t over any kind of issue- at least not anything that ought to qualify for the label “issue” in a real church. Not same sex marriage, or the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals, or even a good old fashioned liturgical row. Nope. It seems that the two Episcopal muck-a-mucks fell out over a budget dispute:

While sharing many of the social and theological views of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, President Anderson has clashed publicly with the Presiding Bishop’s clericalization of the church – objecting to the centralization of power in the office of the presiding bishop.

The struggle between the competing visions of the church made a rare showing last January in a clash of budget priorities between the Presiding Bishop and President Anderson.

Meeting in Linthicum Heights, Maryland from the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church received a proposed budget from the presiding bishop and her Chief Operating Officer, the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls. The presiding bishop’s budget asked that diocese’s contribute 19 per cent of their income to the national church, and projected a $5.9 million cut in income over the coming three year. The cut in income projected income would be coupled with a matching cut in expenses.

President Anderson’s budget called for a 15 per cent contribution from the dioceses and forecaste a $19.3 million reduction in income and a matching cut in expenses – including personnel cuts at the national church offices in New York.

So we see yet again what are the issues that really matter to the leadership of the so-called Episcopal “Church” – money and budget priorities. And they wonder why membership is shrinking and they’re having the bloody budget problems in the first place. These folks deserve everything they get.

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