More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church - Vol. 1

By Christine Firer Hinze; J. Patrick Hornbeck II | Go to book overview

9 Lord, I Am (Not) Worthy
to Receive You

WINNIE S. VARGHESE

St. Mark’s Church-in the-Bowery, New York Cit y

Dignus est.

I am an Episcopalian, a chaplain, and priest.

A few years ago, I attended a meeting in Detroit, Michigan, about our church’s response to a proposal for a “covenant” for the global Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church is a member of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide fellowship of Christians, predominantly the legacy of the British Empire. There were a lot of us around the table considering what The Episcopal Church could do in response to the proposal for a covenant, which many understood to have the potential to establish a single authoritative magisterium for the Anglican Communion. As you can imagine, this was a troubling idea for many. At one point in our deliberations, a representative of the Virgin Islands lightened the mood and made a point by telling us a joke. The joke, which our colleague attributed to the bishop of Honduras, clarified something about who we are as Episcopalians and how we approach the topic of sexual diversity within and around the church. There was a hurricane in Honduras. It was a terrible disaster, and more was coming. A member of the media asks an evangelical pastor: “What does it mean, what is God saying to us?” The evangelical pastor replies, “The people should return to God, confess their sins, and return to God.” He asks the Roman Catholic bishop: “What is God saying to us?” The Roman Catholic bishop responds, “The people should return to the church, confess their sins, and return to God.” Finally, he asks the Episcopal bishop: “What is God saying to us?” And the Episcopal bishop says, “It is hurricane season.”

The discernible realm of nature is a space we live comfortably within as Episcopalians. In seeking truth we, like Roman Catholics, are comfortable engaging the sciences and society’s best tools of discernment in order to discover more about the truths or principles that define creation and thereby reveal to us more of the Creator.

-96-

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