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Via Media

Bishop Gene at RBTE

Starting of Book Day:
There’s discussion here and there about Episcopal Gene Robinson being invited to be present/talk at the RBTE – the Religious Bookseller’s Trade Exhibition, which is being described as a “Catholic” book trade show.
Well, sort of.  But not really.
RBTE is a joint effort of publishers related to what’s called “liturgical” churches. Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, mostly. And, yes, mostly Catholics. But it is not a “Catholic” group. It’s a business coalition, so to speak, which gives publishers associated with and serving these liturgical/mainline churches a place to market their wares – as distinct from, say, CBA.
(Note – the Catholic Marketing Network is another trade group, for Catholics, and formed out of dissatisfaction w/RBTE).
There are different sorts of events associated with the show, a few for everyone – all booksellers or publishers present – but more divided according to denomination.   Robinson’s scheduled to speak to the Episcopalians.  It seems to me last year there was someone equally controversial scheduled (well, perhaps not equally – that would be difficult – but close). Can’t remember who it was.
Here’s the schedule of events. As you can see, most of the dinners/breakfasts/talks are separated by denomination and those that aren’t are business-related. One of the exceptions is the final luncheon, at which the speaker is Raymond Arroyo.
And no, I’m not going – of all years. That would be an interesting scene….

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Marcel LeJeune

posted April 30, 2008 at 10:58 am

Robinson loves having the controversy which feeds the media. The Episcopalians really are in trouble, when he is the most widely known Anglican in the USA.

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posted April 30, 2008 at 5:13 pm

I thought Sponge was the most recognizable? Or is he technically Episcopalian and not Anglican?
Big “W” there anyway.

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The Sheepcat

posted April 30, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Deusdonat, that would be Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, not Sponge. At this point I would guess it’s a toss-up between him and Robinson as to who is better known by the general public.
By the way, Episcopalians are Anglican, at least until such time as the worldwide Anglican Communion decides that The Episcopal Church has taken its “prophetic actions” too far; already, of course, some Anglican Provinces have declared that TEC has put itself in a state of broken communion with them.
Anyway, it sounds as if the participants in this book fair, wherever they stand theologically, could all use our prayers.

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