Mitregate Goes Viral

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or you’re a faithful Christian who couldn’t care less about ecclesiastical hijinx (and God bless you), you’ve no doubt by now heard of “Mitregate.”

It seems that upon visiting London’s Southwerk Cathedral Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams asked the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori not to wear her mitre (bishop’s hat). Bishop Schori complied even as she called the request “bizarre, beyond bizarre.” Here is the latest story from Episcopal Life Online.

Asking a fellow prelate not to wear a symbol of office is unheard of. It would be like asking a clown not to wear his giant red shoes to the circus. Not that I’m suggesting that church leaders ever act like clowns or that they wear funny hats. Oh wait…

Even beyond “beyond bizarre” was Canterbury’s request that she show documentation of her ordination to each order of ministry. Unless I’ve been hiding under a rock (certainly not a mitre) I have not noticed an abundance of PB impersonators out there. Granted some of her chasubles would give Elvis a run for his “hunk of burning love” but still. I can’t envision the PB playing to sold out crowds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Presumably the issue surrounds the fact that women are forbidden to serve as bishops in the Church of England. Underlying this is the recent exchange of Pentecost letters between Williams and Schori that highlighted the current tensions in the Anglican Communion.

Nonetheless it’s great that we Episcopalians finally have a “Gate” to call our own. Mitregate brings us ever closer to the mainstream. It aligns us with Watergate crooks, Contragate arms smugglers, Troopergate racism, and Travelgate firings.

Sure there other churchy “gates” — the Vulgate, the Narrow Gate, the Pearly Gates. But thank you to the Archbishop of Canterbury for allowing us to have a gate of our own. We’ve finally made it!


7 Comments on “Mitregate Goes Viral”

  1. Why isn’t this also tagged “Halloween”?

  2. It is time!!
    Time to remove the mitre.
    Time to remove the fence sitting.
    Time to remove our foul folk from the Anglican Councils
    and…time to remove all financial backing from the Archbishop and the Anglican Communion.

    Why can’t the PB and the ERD finance the same work and care for the world as the American Church? We have something to offer other than pretending we’re still living with Victoria (God bless her). Now for the important part…

    I love you web! It’s great to see a real sense of humor. It is not time to give up the big red nose and the slap stick…its what keeps me going.

  3. A little reminder to loyalist supporters of Schori – why some on the other side of the pond aren’t so hip on her teaching our flocks over here – and
    I understand one’s wish for liberty of one’s religion, but in the Church of England, we worship a Risen Christ.

    I understand that in the United States, it’s common to presuppose that power is truth, and that elections are nice shows to bring about the outcomes those in power most desire – but we still value transparency.

    Please don’t send her over here any more!

  4. Solange De Santis says:

    Tim – It’s spelled “Southwark.” Once an editor, always an editor.

    Bring on the floppy shoes, red noses and funny hats.

  5. Bob Chapman says:

    @AES, I read your post. I think you need no lessons on how to twist the meanings of words.

    I believe the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church was invited to preach in England. She wasn’t sent. Again, someone in the Church of England misunderstands the Episcopal Church.

  6. Bob,

    You’re right, she was invited, not sent – Southwark Cathedral invited her, we will always have a few Schori fans in the Church of England, but it wasn’t wise of her to give in to the request considering the situation – she hasn’t yet grasped that her theology is incompatible with Trinitiaran Christianity, but actually she seems to have improved in the last two or so years on that count.

    Teach her, disciple her, help her faith, and then I’d be happy to see her teach us here in the Church of England.

    PS I enjoyed your latest blog posting on the Trinity, and especially the video of Billy Bragg doing Jerusalem – that was new to me, and I’m quite a fan of his early solo stuff.

  7. mitregate 3D – the movie!
    Hopefully with Peter Jackson directing, and Naomi Watts as the Presiding Bishop.

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