PHOD

Several times, I have noted the ambitions of the President of the House of Deputies of General Convention, Bonnie Anderson. (She is sometimes referred to as “Canon” or “Dr.” Anderson, reflecting an honorary canon’s title or her honorary doctorate from some seminary. It should be noted, however, that she has had no formal seminary training or theological education.)

Some bishops are concerned that Ms. Anderson is leading a campaign equal rights for laity that will stir controversy at this summer’s General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Since “Episcopal” refers to our leadership by bishops who are the successors of the apostles, it is by no means clear that this campaign is orthodox. And given that Ms. Anderson and the current Presiding Bishop seem to agree on almost every issue facing the church, it is not clear that the church would benefit by having two chiefs rather than one.

I note however that recent press releases from church headquarters refer to Bonnie Anderson as PHOD–President of the House of Deputies, like the Secret Service nickname for the President of the United States, POTUS. In my view, “PHOD” reflects a delusion of grandeur that is as dangerous as it is unwarranted. —J. Douglas Ousley

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