US Episcopalian “Bishop” Shori in England, hat in hand

From Damian:

Southwark Cathedral allows woman bishop to carry mitre but NOT to wear it

The Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America, Katherine Jefferts Schori, was allowed to carry her mitre when she presided at the Eucharist in Southwark Cathedral last Sunday – but not to wear it. Why? Not because The Episcopal Church (TEC, the current name of her denomination) recently ordained a lesbian priest. Indeed, the Dean of Southwark, Colin Slee, had to clarify that point at Evensong. The “practising lesbian” issue was irrelevant, he made clear, even though that’s the cause of a formal rift between Lambeth and TEC, and stops American Anglicans from sitting on various committees.

No: the mitre was had to stay folded because Ms Schori is not recognised as a bishop by the Archbishop of Canterbury – yet. Wearing it on her head would break a rule imposed by +Rowan. But carrying it?

Fine. And note the bishop’s shirt underneath her alb. (A quick footnote: until a few decades ago, some evangelical bishops would have their mitres carried in front of them rather than wear them – not because they doubted their episcopal orders, but because mitres as hats as opposed to symbols were popish.) However, Dean Slee (an old mate of mine who wants to see Anglicanism follow the logic of liberal Protestantism properly and quickly) does personally recognise Jefferts Schori as a bishop, even if he’s not ready to pick a fight with Lambeth over headgear.

So, she’s a bishop in Southwark Cathedral, a simple priest in Lambeth Palace, and a lay person masquerading as a priest in Southwark’s Forward in Faith parishes.

There may even be one or two churches which, adhering to the position taken by some Anglo-Catholics in the 1980s, recognise her as a deacon but not a priest. No one has yet denied that she’s a woman. Anyway, Jefferts Schori is cross, though I can’t help wondering: couldn’t she (a) have left her mitre in her suitcase, thus avoiding embarrassment, or (b) quickly popped it on in Southwark, thus affirming her status? I doubt that anyone would have lunged forward and knocked it off her head. Though, with the C of E in its current skittish mood, who knows?


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  1. doanli says:

    We definitely have nicer clothes….

  2. A. J. D. S. says:

    Re: doanli: Sometimes.

  3. Antioch_2013 says:

    Looks like she cut a whole in a throw rug and popped it on over the potato sack she also seems to be wearing.

  4. catholicmidwest says:

    She’s not a bishop. She’s not a priest. She’s not even a deacon. Heck, she isn’t even a decently behaved layperson. Look at that costume, would you.

  5. YoungCatholic says:

    Crazy protestants…

  6. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Oooh, forced to carry her mitre.

    What’s next, the comfy chair or no fruit cup at dinner?

    At the least Elizabethans knew how to deliver the smackdown.

    Yes, I’m feeling snarky tonight.

  7. TNCath says:

    Have you ever worn a hat somewhere, and then when you get home, you have “hat hair”? Well, “Her Grace” seems to have “mitre hair.” I also wonder if that chasuble was a gift from Archbishop Piero Marini? It certainly looks like something he’d have pulled out of the sacristy closet.

  8. dcs says:

    Couldn’t they dig up a vimp to carry it for her?

  9. TonyLayne says:

    Churchill once called the CofE “the flower of the [British] island’s genius for compromise”. I wonder if, were he alive now, he would reflect that there are some things better left uncompromised.

  10. TNCath says:

    TonyLayne: “Churchill once called the CofE “the flower of the [British] island’s genius for compromise”. I wonder if, were he alive now, he would reflect that there are some things better left uncompromised.”

    Yes, look at what happened when Neville Chamberlain compromised. Sometimes I think we have bishops who went to the Neville Chamberlain School of Diplomacy, and look where it gets them.

  11. I once attended a function in New York with a friend who is an Episcopalian priest. One of the speakers at the event was Barbara Harris. As she passed us into the hall in purple shirt with clerical collar he turned to me and said, “Oh, this must be so awkward for you”. When I asked why he explained, “Well, you don’t really think she’s a bishop. Heck, you probably don’t even think she is really a priest!”

    I patted his arms and said, “My friend I don’t even think that YOU are really a priest!”

    Luckily, we were good enough friends that he took it well and laughed.

  12. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    “No one has yet denied that she’s a woman.”

    This line made the story.

  13. marniebcn says:

    “No one has yet denied that she’s a woman.”

    This line made the story.

    Beat me to it Salvatore!

  14. robtbrown says:

    Churchill once called the CofE “the flower of the [British] island’s genius for compromise”. I wonder if, were he alive now, he would reflect that there are some things better left uncompromised.
    Comment by TonyLayne

    A more apt description relevant to the C of E might have been “genius for fantasy”.

  15. jm says:

    1. Barbara Harris is an avowed lesbian.

    2. Even having Schor present furthers the causes she represents, since she gets to play victim/martyr. This is a woman who denies basic Chrsitian doctrine, basic Christian morality, and is catered to and apologized to. Even as she screws orthodox Episcopalians out of their property. Even showing her picture is an offense.

    3. Catholics who think it is an Anglican thing had best hold on to their berettas. The storms are only just beginning.

  16. Thomas S says:

    Jm, I keep my beretta in an underarm holster, thank you.

    Oh, Henry VIII. See what you allowed? You broke with Rome so you could further your desire for a male heir thinking it would preserve your kingdom. Well, Harry, look at your $%!@ing realm now. To quote one of your co-religionists, you put second things first and not only did you lose first things, but those second things as well. Your “church” is a heretical joke and your monarchy is a powerless showpiece.

  17. patrick_f says:

    Rowan Williams isnt too different from a fair amount of current bishops WE have – so hopefully we are watching this bunch closely, and learning what mistakes NOT to make.

    She looks absolutely absurd , and If Rowan Williams has primacy over her (keep with me here i have a point), And she argues it, that just shoes you, that her whole “ministry” is a statement rather then service

    Likewise these so called “Womyn Priests” aside from NOT really being ordained, are simply in it for the statement, nothing more. They are like the Pharisees who walked around and expected to be called teacher, rabbi, master

    The Catholic Church Rightly, are the apostles, sitting on the sidelines, Shaking our heads in amazement at the stupidity that walks by

  18. patrick_f says:

    I just noticed something else about these types … And it demonstrates the influence that has touched them..and its the enemy for sure

    Look at the text of her sermon – “Love has Saved you” …..

    The other day, I was reading about some former episcopal- who came home to Rome, mentioning the Gnostic circles these churches have , one of the descriptions mentions “The Divine Spirit”

    Which makes me have a dual conclusion – The Episcopal Church is both gnostic, and I feel has some demonic influence/corruption – She cant say the Holy name of Jesus, nor did this other church mention the Holy Spirit .

    Only complete wrong avoid those. I am just saying.

  19. Warren says:

    Events like this make me entirely thankful for the Petrine ministry.

  20. Oleksander says:

    agree completely with patrick f with them being gnostics,

    not only are these episcoplains gnostic but also modern nordic lutheran churches and a lot of german lutherans, even in usa, i was reading the largest lutheran church are going to have a major split because of the universalist homosexualism (hmm sounds like a good name for a heresy) that is entangling itself among their leadership

  21. Ludovico says:

    “If Rowan Williams has primacy over her…”

    patrickf — Rowan Williams only has jurisdiction in England. Beyond that he has no immediate authority over Dr Jefferts Schori. Whatever you think of her orders, she’s the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, so presumably she’s able to limit what Williams will wear on his next trip over the pond. The main argument against Dr Jefferts Schori wearing a mitre is that the Church of England does not presently consecrate women to the episcopate, and that her orders as a bishop cannot be recognized as a result. The only flaw in that argument is that she has worn the mitre on previous occasions in England, including the last Lambeth Conference.

    Whatever people here think of matters Anglican, it would be more fitting to see even a modicum of charity on this thread. In various ways, these issues are just as alive in the Barque of Peter.

  22. Ellen says:

    Christopher Johnson’s blog is a good one for all things Episcopalian. It’s ironic – they have everything the progressive wing of the Catholic church wants and yet they are shrinking, shrinking, shrinking in numbers. It seems as though the only faithful ones left are the African Anglicans and they get patronized by Mrs. Schori and her confreres.

  23. asperges says:

    You have to admire the sheer brilliance of the Sir Humphrey solution to an embarrassing problem. Genius. Neither fish nor fowl. Perfect ambiguity, what the C of E excells in.

    If you allow women “priests” it follows that you will end up with women “bishops.” No glass ceilings here then.

  24. Kerry says:

    “…carried the hat”, but did wear her bathrobe.

  25. chcrix says:

    If you’d like to see more pictures of the Episcopal presiding bishop’s interesting taste in vestments try:

    The entry for July 2009 “Do you want fries with that” is particularly nice.

  26. The Egyptian says:

    to see the good pretend bishops taste, go to,

    shield your eyes, looks like old burger king uniform :D

  27. ipadre says:

    I thank the good Lord that I am what I am – RC!

  28. ipadre: Sounds like one of the old berekhot.

  29. wanda says:

    Thomas S, ‘I keep my beretta in an underarm holster.’

    LOL, I love it.

  30. MargaretC says:

    Roman style vestments are a comparative novelty in Anglican churches — it wasn’t so long ago that they would have been considered “popish”. Dr. Schori could have worn choir dress with perfect propriety.
    (See: The Anglican version is at the bottom of the page.)

    Although I swam the Tiber a while back, I still keep checking the Anglican/TEC blogs and websites. (Christopher Johnson’s is especially good.) Things seem to be coming to a head in the Anglican Communion, and it is expected that things are going to get nastier soon.

  31. lofstrr says:

    It is stories like this that remind me. We may have some challenges and ideological struggles in your faith but…

    At least I’m not Anglican! (Sorry Grandma, I’ll keep praying for you and Grandpa.)

  32. Scott W. says:

    Run awwwwwaaayy!

  33. irishgirl says:

    “I keep my beretta in an underarm holster’

    Oh, I second Wanda’s response! Haha, I love it!

    And I like Rob’s ‘snarkiness’, too….!

  34. yeech! is just right…this is not even Christian.

  35. janek3615 says:

    I thought that she was an expert on the lives and fortunes of mussels and oysters? Doesn’t that count?

  36. robtbrown says:

    Roman style vestments are a comparative novelty in Anglican churches—it wasn’t so long ago that they would have been considered “popish”. Dr. Schori could have worn choir dress with perfect propriety.
    Comment by MargaretC

    I think she is a good argument for the burqa.

  37. Andy Milam says:

    This article shows perfectly the inherent problem with a “Church” (more properly, a sect) that has a heirarchy, but no central leadership. The American branch of the Anglicans are not in union with the rest of the Anglicans. The TAC is also not in union, but they have played it out as far as they could, and now the only real answer is to do what they have done, come home to the Catholic Church.

    It seems as though the Archbishop of Canterbury should have some real power, but he has none, really because within his own faith tradition, the Americans are (psuedo) “ordaining” women to positions that he doesn’t recognize as valid. So the lady who would be bishop is bishop some places, but not others, within her own tradition.

    It seems as though the Anglicans have now publicly shown the paradox they are trapped in. The implosion of the Anglican Schism is close to fruition. It is started with the Anglican Use, it has now extended to the TAC, and eventually, I believe that the rest of the English Anglicans. I think that the Episcopal Church in the USA are a separate and distinct denomination from the Anglicans at this point…..

    It is all so confusing….

  38. AnAmericanMother says:

    My Beretta won’t fit in a shoulder holster, since it’s a shotgun.

    I’m a traditionalist; I don’t believe in 9mm. So my sidearm is a 1911A1 or a Sig P245.

    As for my (thank Heaven and all the Saints!) former P.B. . . .

    Comb your hair, woman!

  39. chcrix beat me to the punch….the badvestments blog is hilarious!

  40. jarthurcrank says:

    Gregory Dix believed that the current form of the mitre is actually a direct descendant from headgear worn by deaconesses. See “The Shape of the Liturgy.” If he is correct about that, then it seems that (aesthetics aside) the mitre is the least objectionable thing of the whole sordid mess. I actually almost feel sorry for Dr. Schori as she is, at least in this very small way, getting the short end of a very Anglican illogical muddled mess of a compromise/arrangement. Nevertheless, the fact that my sympathy is tempered by the vindictive authoritarian way she lords over her denomination should indeed go without saying.

  41. Martial Artist says:


    Her specialty as a Biological Oceanographer was squid, not “mussels and oysters.”

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  42. William Tighe says:

    People on this thread may not be aware of it, but this deluded “flaminica” was brought up a Catholic (with her three siblings) by her practicing Catholic parents who, for reasons I have never been able to ascertain, became Episcopalians in 1963, when she was 9 years old. Her mother, Elaine Ryan (d. 1998) was pious and (relatively speaking) “orthodox,” and when the Episcopal Church approved the pretended “ordination” of women (in 1976), she left the Episcopal Church and became (Eastern) Orthodox. Her husband divorced her at that time and, from what I have gathered, is now in his third “marriage.” She (the mother) after some years decided to become an Orthodox nun, but before this could be accomplished she crashed her private airplane (her daughter the flaminica and the flaminica’s daughter are also licensed pilots) and became an invalid. When she died, over a decade later, the aftermath was truly scandalous: her daughter (then an Episcopalian “priestess”) refused to allow her mother to have an Orthodox funeral, and insisted on conducting the service herself, in the course of which (as one of Elaine Ryan’s few Orthodox fellow-parishioners who managed to “crash” the funeral reported to me) she disparaged the (Eastern) Orthodox Church. It has also been reported to me that the flaminica’s father and three siblings seldom, if ever, darken the doors of any church.

  43. Martial Artist says:

    I second the opinionS of AnAmericanMother @ 12:48pm! My only point of departure is that I suspect AnAmericanMother still believes that the abbreviated title for our common (former) P.B. stands for Presiding Bishop. I have caught the lady in question in more than one published (the first of these quoted on in 2008) and demonstrable untruth (and we aren’t talking “little white ones,” either). Ergo, I have unilaterally asserted elsewhere that the “P” stands for Prevaricating.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  44. Between William Tighe’s account and jarthurcank…oh crap! What an absolute mess this is…they better get to sorting out in England what it means for a “person” to be a bishop…and a priest, as well. Heavens!
    I can’t get it all straight about who is what, where, when, and how…”ecumenism”? Not wit’ this bunch.
    Maybe, maybe the Orthodox…but that’s another “hornet’s nest” (sorry!)…
    Jesus, Mary and Joseph (as a good Irish grandmother would say!)…

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