Wednesday, August 08, 2007

There's Got to be a Joke in Here Somewhere....

Some of you will have seen the news that the Rt. Rev. Clarence Pope, retired Second Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, has left the Episcopal Church to enter the communion of the Roman Catholic Church - for a second time. The usual suspects have noted this, and you can find a good review of the history at Desert's Child (and thanks to Episcopal Cafe for this).

So, I'm trying to figure out how this parallels the Avignon Papacy. More to the point, is Fort Worth the contemporary Avignon? Both the first and second bishops of that Diocese have left the Episcopal Church, and the third is considered likely. This has involved interference by foreign powers (political in Avignon; ecclesial these days). Both became visible centers of wider controversies. Both involve one Pope submitting to another (sorry, siblings, but I can't resist the pun).

Someone better informed on the histories of both might find more parallels, or simply laugh this away. But, isn't it fun to play with?

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