Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Katharine Jefferts-Schori interviewed

[...] BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: With our long-development of an anthropology that says that heterosexual male is a normative human being. We've only begun in the last 150 years to really question that.

And I believe that the wrestling with the place of women in leadership, particularly in public leadership, is directly related to the same kind of issue over the position of gay and lesbian people in leadership, in public leadership.

BILL MOYERS: When you look at what the other side says about homosexuality, and the Scriptural tradition, do you grant them anything?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Absolutely. That has been the traditional way of seeing things. It was also why Galileo got in so much trouble [Ed: but see here.] The traditional way of seeing things was that the sun went around the Earth, not the other way around. If you expect things to be in a certain way, it's hard to see data that ask you to see the world in a very different way.

BILL MOYERS: So you would concede that as people like you want to modernize the Canon, the tradition and the Scripture, the traditionalists who look back and say, "This is our sacred tradition," would not want to come along on that journey.

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Absolutely. But, I would take them back into that tradition to see within it far more complexity than they've been willing to admit.

BILL MOYERS: But can there be compromise and conciliation within the church when the positions are so fixed and the feelings are so strong?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: I think if we're willing to hold our positions a little more lightly. To say, "Yes, this is where we come to as a conclusion out of faithfulness. We understand you may come to a different conclusion, also out of faithfulness. Perhaps we don't have to decide one way or the other immediately." If we're willing to live in that place of a little more humility, yes, we can live together.

BILL MOYERS: But isn't this what liberals say? We would like to talk and have a dialogue and listen. But do you get that coming back from this? I mean, the Bishop of Uganda would not meet with you. Now, you would be willing to meet and listen, but he won't. How can there then be any kind of reconciliation?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Well, the larger structure of the communion did make that a possibility. He was at the table in Tanzania in February with me. We had one or two conversations. And clearly we disagree about matters of sexuality. But we do hold some other things in common. here.

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