In a New York Times interview published yesterday, the very liberal and tolerant Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Kate Schori, explains why her church is small and shrinking compared with certain others we know well. It would seem that the venue let her relax a bit too much.
How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?
About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
You’re actually Catholic by birth; your parents joined the Episcopal Church when you were 9. What led them to convert?
It was before Vatican II had any influence in local parishes, and I think my parents were looking for a place where wrestling with questions was encouraged rather than discouraged.So, you see, it's a sign of their ignorance and heedlessness that Catholics and Mormons wax as Episcopalians wane. It's only to be expected that people who really know and care what life is about will refuse to replace themselves, and that people who neither know nor care will more than replace themselves. It's only natural that, in the end, the barbarians will have the field. And those who will have abandoned it should be proud of why they did.
Ah, how broad is the vision of the enlightened.
I'm afraid my talents as a parodist can't begin to match that. Amy Welborn gags, and Diogenes wields the stiletto. Don't imagine that inclusiveness includes everybody. Apparently it excludes most of those believers who will be left by the end of the century.