I love telling people that I recently interviewed the new Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., who will be consecrated on Saturday, because many ask, quite innocently, "Oh, who is he?"
Then they discover that the new bishop is not a "he," but a "she." Her name is Rev. Mariann Budde, and she comes to Washington from Minneapolis.
Her election as bishop bolsters yet again the thesis of my recent book, Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling.
Women continue to rise to new levels of leadership in the world of religion. As a Catholic, however, I find myself echoing the prayer: "How long, O God, how long" until we can celebrate such an event? Meanwhile, I rejoice with my Episcopal sisters and brothers.
Rarely have I interviewed a religious leader as impressive as Budde. She built a small, struggling parish in Minneapolis into a growing, vibrant spiritual community. In person, she comes across as a deeply spiritual woman: caring, articulate, knowledgeable, democratic in spirit, with a sense of where she hopes to take the diocese.