Bishop Charles Jenkins retires

Some thoughtful and profound reflections are floating around the blogosphere upon the work and ministry of Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana as he retires from being Diocesan Bishop of Louisiana.


From the Times-Picayune

Crozier in hand, Bishop Charles Jenkins on Wednesday entered his cathedral for the last time as head of Louisiana’s 18,000 Episcopalians, leading a celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany that closed, at least temporarily, a 12-year Episcopal career both ruined and transformed by Hurricane Katrina.

Jenkins’ retirement, effective Wednesday, is coming earlier than it should. At 58, he has stepped down on orders of doctors who diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the storm.

. . .

And having rebuilt the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana after Katrina to reflect his own radical conversion to social justice and racial reconciliation, illness or not, he said he hopes to stay involved in the work of Episcopal Community Services, the new social-justice arm of the diocese, “as much as is appropriate.”

. . .

In 2007, when Episcopal bishops from around the country met in New Orleans with the archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the 70 million-member Anglican Communion, for a showdown over homosexuality that some thought might blow up the communion, Jenkins worked behind the scenes with liberal Bishops John Chane of Washington and Jon Bruno of Los Angeles to fashion a temporary compromise.

And here is what Episcopal Cafe’s lead editor had to say about Bishop Jenkins in the same Times-Picayune article:

“Charles Jenkins was a key, key player in that meeting, aside from being its host,” said Jim Naughton, a liberal Episcopal writer from the Diocese of Washington, D.C. “He was this reconciling figure, and he as much as anyone made that happen.”

From Grandmere Mimi:

“I admired him greatly for making the choice to focus on those who were suffering the worst hardships after Katrina and the federal flood. As always, in the worst of times, “the least of these” have the hardest time of it. Bishop Jenkins looked and did not look away but went to work organizing and working to relieve suffering.

. . .

I admire Bishop Jenkins’ loyalty to the church in which he was ordained a bishop and his efforts at reconciliation amongst those within the church with opposing views.”

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