[March 11, 2011] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offers the following concerning the devastating earthquake in Japan
"The Episcopal Church is praying for the people of Japan, particularly Bishop John Kato, the clergy, and people of the Diocese of Tohoku in the aftermath of this devastating earthquake. We will continue to pray with Japan as she seeks the lost and begins to bury the dead. May they rest in peace, and may all those who mourn find comfort. We know the aftermath will be long and difficult, and we assure you of our solidarity. We are grateful that most other parts of the Pacific have withstood the passage of the first tsunami. May we all be reminded that we live on a fragile earth, in continual process of creation and destruction, and that we share a common responsibility for healing wherever we are able."
I appreciate and share in her appeal for prayer and cooperation by people of good will. Also her attention to the Diocese most impacted by the disaster.
I'm not sure about the moral subtext I detect - the earth itself seems formidable rather than fragile in this event, and I'm trying to decide if the last sentence means healing the human hurt or that somehow there is human agency to blame for the disaster, which makes us responsible for healing the earth's disturbed "process." I would find that a disturbing lapse into the kind of moralizing that Jesus warned against.
The absence of reference to God perhaps mirrors the essential human question in the face of tragedy, "Where is God in this?"