In 2006, amid much fanfare and controversy, Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman elected as head of the American Episcopal Church. Since her rise as the Presiding Bishop, charged with speaking God’s word to the Church and to the world, more pressing social justice issues of poverty and hunger, intensified by a ruthless recession, have eclipsed almost all controversy over her gender. During her first years as Bishop the denomination ordained its first openly gay bishop, a diocese seceded in response to his ordination; and domestic poverty surged. To many Anglican leaders, Jefferts Schori represents all that is wrong with the Episcopal church in America; they see her endorsement of a gay bishop as akin to heresy and her interpretation of the Bible as too liberal. Patt talks with the presiding bishop about her career, the role of the Episcopal Church in today’s society and in debates over issues like climate change and gay marriage.
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