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Goodbye, Episcopalians

The decline and fall of American Anglicanism continues unrelentingly:

The spiritual descendants of those early English/Virginia Anglican pioneers are now correcting the divine record. New Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori recently told the New York Times that her fellow Episcopalians are proudly not procreating so as to spare the environment.

The Presiding Bishop was asked how many Episcopalians there are in the U.S. "About 2.2 million," Schiori responded. "It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children."

"Aren't Episcopalians interested in replenishing their ranks by having children," the New York Times asked.

"No," Schori replied. "It's probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion."

True to Schori's boast, the Episcopalians have done magnificently in reducing their numbers and, purportedly, sparing the earth the ravages of an enlarged Episcopalian presence. Forty years ago, the Episcopal Church was over 50 percent larger than today, even while the U.S. population was 40 percent smaller.

Had the Episcopalians maintained the same ravenous membership pace of Roman Catholics, or Mormons, or Southern Baptists, over the last 40 years, there would now be somewhere between six and 8 million Episcopalians in the U.S., rather than the current 2 million.

Undoubtedly, the 2003 election of the Episcopal Church's first openly homosexual bishop has accelerated that denomination's decline, with increasing numbers of conservative church members giving up and walking out. Perhaps those Episcopalians who become Catholic or Baptist will soon thereafter become more procreative.

One day soon all that will be left will be the yellowing pages of fawning NY Times profiles.

Martin originally commented:

Hmmm .. she's thinks their failure to grow is due to having been overbred by less educated Catholics and other groups who have little regard for the environment!? And they continue to run off the orthodox traditional Episcopalians. She really doesn't get it.

For some strange reason, I don't see much potential for future growth under her leadership.

I don't think growth is her goal. The Episcopal Church has been gliding on old money for years now; no reason to think that more butts in pews would even hit their radar screen. Otherwise, wouldn't they have changed course already?


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