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Bishop Barbara Harris

Well, and Your Humble Blogger is not doing a good job at balancing hatchet jobs with puff pieces, but here's one of the latter.

Bishop Barbara Harris is one of the most heroic people currently involved in public life. She was the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church—heck, she was the first woman bishop in any church that has bishops. She has worked for years and years on a variety of issues in the church and society. She is an inspiring speaker, and an inspiring person. When my Best Reader was confirmed into the Episcopal Church, it was Bishop Barbara who laid her hand on her; it was an incredibly moving moment for my Best Reader, and for Your Humble Blogger as well (as many Gentle Readers are aware, I am not a Christian myself; I hope none of you think that disqualifies me from considering a Bishop heroic).

She has aged a lot in recent years, as people do, but she is still working. She appears to have acted as a mentor to the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson as he sought election as next diocesan bishop of New Hampshire. As anybody reading this is probably aware, Rev. Robinson was elected yesterday by the House of Bishops; the final step in becoming the first openly gay bishop in, you know, any church that has bishops. At the discussion preceding the final vote, she spoke, and I transcribed this from the video the Church has made available:

I remember well the dire predictions made at the time of my own election consent process and consecration. There were threats of schism, impaired communion, and further erosion of our relationship with Rome. And while there as been some impaired communion around women in the episcopate and other issues, the communion, such as it is, a loose federation of autonomous provinces, has held, thirteen, foureen women bishops later.
The process she refers to took place in 1989. As recently as that, it seemed like the consecration of a female bishop would change the world. And, of course, it did, but not in the way people feared. And Bishop Gene Robinson will, I hope, change the world as well; we will all hope that he does as well as Barbara Harris.

Redintegro Iraq,

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