Sunday, June 20, 2010

The dangers of going hatless

Cantuar's recent snub to the American Presiding Bishop is tragicomedy at it's most pathetic. The justification that "this is standard procedure" is collapsing under the weight of photographs of bishops - male and female - with their pointy hats firmly ensconsed. American annoyance at Rowan's rudeness, while perhaps understandable, is swiftly losing perspective.

But I offer two things.

1. Does anyone else think it's ironic that fundamentalism is being advanced by telling a woman that she must NOT cover her hair in church?

2. Going hatless can have severe consequences - particularly in parts of England like Ilkla Mooar.


Sigh said...

Only a left leaning blog would refer to "mitregate" as a snub. Schoris practises a version of the "Bush Doctrine" which is defined as "unilateralism". Which is referred to as " a tendency of nations (read church)to conduct their foreign affairs individualistically, characterized by minimal consultation and involvement with other nations, even their allies." She is the first one to state it is the politics of the TEC but does not give a damn about others politics, as the CofE has their synod and York and Cantur are trying to hold things together - wether that is right or wrong. As for others wearing miters, they were not presiding

Malcolm+ said...

Simple Massing Priest glories in being a left wing blog, of course. But you should at least give me some credit for acknowledging that our American friends were losing perspective.

The entire justification for the mitre rule (which appears not to have been widely known until the last couple of weeks, including by many CofE bishops) is a trifle silly, really. If a bishop can wear a mitre to church when preaching or merely standing about, the suggestion that she can't wear one if she is to preside is pretty bizarre. I can see no rationale for the rule being different. I can see a rationale for telling her she can't conduct any ordinations or confirmations or consecrations / deconsecrations of churches. But the hat is simply pettiness - even if it has been aimed more broadly than her.

(How consistently this newly discovered rule has been applied is still no settled question. It does appear to ostly be enforced against women. And even when it was imposed on +Penny Dunedin a generation ago, many CofE bishops thought it was preposterous and leftb their hats off as an act of solidarity.)

Certainly American unilateralism has exacerbated tensions in the Communion. But then, not much happens in the Communion without exacerbating the odd tension. Whether it was J.M. Neale's unilateral act in accepting the profession of a religious or Bishop Hill's unilateral act of ordaining Li Tim Oi - or (he said mischievously) the CofE's unilateral act to declare that bishop's in central Italy had no jurisdiction. Certainly Rwanda's unilateral act of ecclesiastical invasions predates the events now described as the basis of the fight.