Ooooh, I can hardly wait!

Stand Firm points us to an article in the Church Times the title of which is as follows: "Orombi reasserts his opposition to Dr Jefferts Schori."

The first line of the article is as follows "THE ARCHBISHOP of Uganda, the Most Revd Henry Orombi, will not sit at the same table as the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori." I can hardly wait to have the text for what follows. Of course, since the Church Times is intent on my paying 80 plus dollars a year for the right to read the paper, I won't get it until someone is able to post it elsewhere. Still, I am filled with expectant hope.

The again, maybe not. In England it is perhaps the norm to refer to, say, the Archbishop of Canterbury as Dr. Williams. In the US the fact that Dr. Jefferts Schori's doctorate is in the sciences is hardly the issue. Here she is Bishop Jefferts Schori, or in this case, as Primate she is Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

This would not be of much interest except that no one would ever have suggested that Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold was "Dr. Griswold," even though I am sure he is in possession of several doctorates. No, she is called this because either no one knows what to call a Presiding Bishop by title (the answer is Bishop ...) or it is because no one wants to refer to her as bishop or presiding bishop. Oh well.

So, perhaps the opening line might well have read, "the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Henry Orombi will not sit at the same table with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori." There it is.

It is a bit tiresome to have the press seperate the one as "The Most Revd" and the other as "Dr."

Let's try to get with it, eh?


  1. Well, I write some stuff for the Church Times, and, while I wouldn't presume to speak for the paper, my own view is that an honestly earned doctorate is worth a lot more than "Most Reverend". I really doubt that any slight was intended.

  2. Andrew: You are quite right... I was writing at a late hour here after a long dinner. I was a bit crabby.

    My concern is not about the Church Times per se. I suspect they quoted the Archbishop of Uganda. My snit was regarding the seeming inability of some of the Primates to actually use the titles / formal addresses that apply. It is just plain hard for some to bring her into the circle.

    I too think that an honestly earned doctorate is worth more than "Most Reverend." But the matter is question is not worth but equity.

    By the way... I very much appreaciate your work and am honored that you checked in with this blog. I particularly liked your piece, "The archbishop, we can only deduce, is a humanist mole."

    Thanks for the note.

  3. I don't know what style guide the Church Times uses, but elsewhere I have seen such as this: "the Most Revd Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori."

  4. the Most Revd Henry Orombi, will not sit at the same table as the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA

    What is he going to do? Squat on the floor? Pull his chair off into the corner? Go outside and sulk? The sheer childishness of it all is amazing.

    In other news, the executive director of the Anglican Communion Institute is under investigation for embezzling church funds. I honestly hope this is not true, because it makes the church in general look bad, but this comes after a nine-month investigation, so it seems likely that something fishy is going on.

  5. This happens to women all the time -- e.g. when being interviewed on television and having your male colleague being called "Dr." and you (if you are also "Dr.") being called "Ms" or even by your first name. This has happened repeatedly to a theologian friend of mine and she finally had to make sure before and sometimes during every show that each guest was treated with equal respect. The issue here is equality as well as respect. (I'm all for getting rid of titles, as the Quakers do, but if we are going to use them, then let's treat women and men equally.) (And then of course there's another problem: if women, even gently and politely, remind their interlocutor -- say, a radio show interviewer, or a Church Times reporter -- to keep that equality in mind when using titles, we may be viewed as self-serving and b... and worse.)


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.