Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Every Man a Bishop

To my mind, the most interesting part of this piece:
The six dioceses that announced their intention to break away — Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Central Florida, San Joaquin, Calif., and Springfield, Ill. — had long threatened to leave, and they constitute a small minority of the Episcopal Church's 110 dioceses and 2.3 million members.
110 dioceses? Does that strike anyone else as an awfully high bishop-to-parishioner ratio? If you meet an Episcopalian on the street, there's a 1-in-21,000 chance that he's currently serving as a bishop somewhere.

The Catholic Church, in contrast, has approximately 195 dioceses in the United States (mostly Roman Rite, but a few Eastern Rite eparchies of various kinds). Living in those dioceses are about 65 million Catholics, roughly 333,000 Catholics per bishop. To get to the Episcopalian bishop-to-parishioner ratio, the Church would have to add over 2,800 dioceses in the United States; to get to the Catholic ratio, the Episcopalians would have to downsize to approximately eight bishops. Which would make the General Convention a less complicated affair, at least.