Hold onto your seats friends, cause I'm about to serve up a shocker. Are you ready? The Vatican is unhappy!
I know, I know, it seems impossible, but somehow the Vatican has become upset over something that isn't any of its business.
Now, before we go any further, I need to put out a disclaimer. If it wasn't terrible enough that I was a Damned Queer, I fall into an even more evil category. That's right, I'm an Episcopalian. If you need some time to deal with this, I understand. It's never easy to learn that a person is, gods helps us, a member of a welcoming, sensible religion. It's monstrous.
If you feel like you've sufficiently healed, let's move on. So it looks like the English are going to start ordaining female Bishops, like they was people or something. In true CNN style, the article misses a couple of big pieces of information. First, a large part of the Anglican Communion(basically the Church of England outside of England) has been ordaining female priests and bishops for a good couple of decades. In fact, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church(the American bit of the Anglican Communion) is a woman, the Most Rev. Kathryn Jefferts Schori.
(I've actually been blessed enough to be a part of a Eucharist Rev. Schori gave in honor of another pioneer priest. It was wonderful. A friend and I hung around outside her dressing room and got blessings and an autograph. But we're getting off topic)
The next important bit of information missing from the CNN story is this. The Vatican has absolutely no say over the Anglican Church. Zero. We broke off a while back. There was bad blood. We may have sacked a few monasteries. They may have set off a few car bombs. No one's saying it wasn't ugly. As my Congregationalist grandma once told me, a church fight is like a divorce between five hundred people. Ugly.
But the fact remains that while the Vatican can complain as much as they like about anything they like, it's kind of like when the old woman up the street complained about your mom letting you eat pizza in the car as kid. It just doesn't matter.
Well, I guess that's probably not entirely true. I'll bet that maybe ten percent of the CoE will consider becoming Catholics, maybe five percent will briefly call themselves Anglo-Catholics and start talking about the importance of Papal authority, and maybe half a percent will actually become Catholics out of fear of Bishops with vaginas.
It's kinda of a non-story, is all I'm saying. You got almost no coverage for ol' John Paul the Great(as they're apparently calling him these days) saying about the way in Iraq, "The solution will never be imposed by recourse to terrorism or armed conflict, as if military victories could be the solution,*" but you get CNN acting like the Vatican is considering deploying the Swiss Guard to Canterbury.
Why? Why does the news media so love covering struggle in the Anglican Communion? Here's my theory. The Anglicans, especially the Episcopalians, are the only major church where someone is allowed to come to God as they are. Not as the church wants them to be, not as society wants them to be, but as they are, as God created them. Does the Church do that without struggle? Of course not. But we manage to pull ourselves along. And the media loves, absolutely loves, to point out the struggle, and paint that struggle as the Real True Christians standing up against the queers and feminists and other godless trouble makers. Society is fine with the mutants having religion, but only so long as it is a strange, young, meaningless religion. For CNN, the fight must always be painted as one of a new group trying to destroy, and a traditional group trying to maintain. It can never be a fight about who gets to head Christ's universal call.
When folks like me are allowed to get to know and follow Christ in an honest fashion, well, that's far too dangerous for the likes of CNN and the rest of them.