Oprah Named Fourth Person of the Trinity
Popular talk show host deemed to be consubstantial and co-equal with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
BY: Beliefnet Staff Reports
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 1 -- Oprah Winfrey has been declared the fourth person of the Trinity, according to an astonishing new theological agreement hammered out by the world's major Christian denominations. Along with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the popular talk show host will be recognized as one person in the sacred and indivisible unity of the Godhead--or Quadhead, as the updated Trinity will now be called.
"We knew that we had to broaden the Trinity's appeal," says the Rev. Robin Griffith-Jones of Temple Church in London. "It was so gender-biased."
"Christianity must overcome its sexism and racism or die," says Episcopalian bishop and author John Shelby Spong. "The revelation that an African-American woman is co-eternal and co-equal with God the Father, uncreated and omnipotent, is something all modern Christians need to hear--and embrace."
Other scholars were less focused on Oprah's gender or race than her impressive TV ratings, which indicate that she's far more influential than most other spiritual leaders.
They also applaud her spiritual innovations. "That gratitude journal thing -- that's inspired," says Catholic leader Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. "And, truth be told, Oprah's Angel Network is bringing way more people to the Lord than anything my Vatican department produces. Clearly, she is divine."
The agreement faced some last minute obstacles when theologians couldn't agree on what to call the new entity. Bishops from Western Europe had proposed "the Quartet," while others preferred "quadrangel."
The change will call for updates not only to theology textbooks, but to children's catechisms and hymns. "It's absolutely worth it," gushes the Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, pastor of Calvary Church in Atlanta. "I can't wait to open next week's services with a rousing chorus of 'Immortal Quadhead, One in Four.'"
Oprah's production company, HARPO, accepted the news modestly. "This just confirms what millions of Americans already know: that Oprah is a goddess--and one completely compatible with Christian faith."
Not all denominations fell into line. The Old Believers of the Russian Orthodox Church question whether Ms. Winfrey proceeds "by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son," or proceeds simply from the Father. "We're also concerned that the current structure leaves no room for the possible addition of Dr. Phil," says Archimandrite Thomas Hopko. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints feels more study is needed on whether Ms. Winfrey is consubstantial with the Father, and has asked