Below is a letter to the editor published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Monday, Dec. 17.
I sent it in reply to a letter which repeated the same 'accusation" against the presiding bishop that Bishop Jack Iker and his followers have been using since before she was seated as presiding bishop. They always say this about her in tones that imply that she also kills kittens and sacrifices small children to Satan.
Richard Kahle of Arlington claims the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has said Jesus Christ is not the only path to God.
Here’s a surprise for Mr. Kahle -- the Pope believes the same thing, as does the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Here is the Q&A from the Time Magazine interview shortly after her election as presiding bishop:
Q. “Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?”
A. “We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God would not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.”
This view is similar to that of Vatican II, namely that Jesus Christ is the final self-revelation of God in the world, but that salvation is possible outside of the Christian Church.
In a recent interview with a group of teen journalists, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked, “Do you believe other faiths are valid?”
He replied, “Everyone has a right to their own faith. For example, I have met many Muslims and have learned a lot from them. However, I want people of other faiths to respect my conviction as I respect theirs.”
As for Mr. Kahle’s other statements, The Episcopal Church has never recognized gay marriages, nor has it authorized rites for the blessing of same sex unions. It remains a member of the Anglican Communion, which is not a church but a group of autonomous provinces in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop has no power in or authority over any province in the communion except The Church of England.
In The Episcopal Church, diocesan canons are trumped by national canons, which state that all property is held in trust for the national church. Anyone trying to take that property should expect to be held accountable.
Now the bishop's supporters are escalating to "She [Katharine Jefferts Schori] has denied the divinity of Christ." One man asked loudly at a forum at my parish on Sunday what the rector was going to to do when -- not if -- when she made it canon law that all of us had to deny the divinity of Christ.
Do you detect a note of hysteria here?
One wonders why, if they are so convinced of the Godly necessity of schism, they have to lie about the presiding bishop to shore up their "case."