Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The Hat Not Worn
To me, the biggest story of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the United States has been the lack of any signs of life from the Episcopalian Church USA (a.k.a. the Anglican Communion in the United States).
I mean, The British monarch is the "Defender of the Faith" and "Supreme Governor of the Church of England". She's visiting our country; where are the throngs of giddy Episcopalians lining the streets chanting, you know, "Elizabeth Two, we love you!"?
Now, I know some may say that she is here as a Head of State. But the Pope is a head of state as well as a spiritual leader, and when Popes Paul VI and John Paul II visited the U.S. in years past, Roman Catholics went crazy. It'll happen again when Pope Benedict XVI visits America in the near future to speak at the United Nations.
It just seems odd that as the rift between the Episcopalian Church USA and the Anglican Communion seems to be getting wider and wider, there has been no "visit of The Queen with Episcopalian Bishops" in an effort to make the gap a bit smaller. It has never failed that, just after the World Youth Days in Denver, Paris, Toronto, or Rome, writers from other religious denominations opine how they wish their communities would have such a similiar visit/pep-rally. For the Anglicans, until Prince William begins solo overseas tours (or gains 100 pounds or disfigures his face in a skiing accident), Queen Elizabeth is your highest profile Anglican with indisputable celebrity appeal. This was the golden opportunity.
Her Majesty is obviously a woman of many hats (along with the occasional crown and more than a few tiaras). But her role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith is perhaps the most underworn.