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Episcopal Bishop Complains of Snub at Catholic Colleague’s Installation

| October 5, 2012
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The Episcopal Bishop of California said today that he was snubbed at the installation ceremony for his counterpart, the new Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco.

Episcoal Bishop Marc Handley Andrus (Diocal/Wikimedia)

The new Catholic Archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, helped lead the campaign for Prop. 8, the California initiative banning same-sex marriage. The Episcopal Bishop, Marc Andrus, has supported same-sex marriage and written an open letter in which he looked forward to working with Cordileone but also invited Catholics dissatisfied with their new leader to join the Episcopal church.

Invited to Cordileone’s installation at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Andrus was taken to a basement room with other guests including religious leaders, but he left after he was not seated by 2 p.m. when the ceremony began.

San Francisco Archdiocese spokesman George Wesolek told the Associated Press that Andrus arrived late and missed the procession of interfaith clergy who were to be seated up front. Church staff were looking for an opportunity to bring the bishop in without disrupting the service, according to Wesolek. When they went to retrieve him, he had already left.

“We had no intention of excluding him at all,” Wesolek said. “If he felt like because of the wait that was insulting to him, we certainly will apologize.”

Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (QvisDevs)

Andrus disputed that account, writing that his invitation told him to arrive at 1:45 p.m., an assistant dropped him off at 1:30, and he was in the basement with other guests by 1:40. “An archdiocesan employee attempted to escort me upstairs with the Greek Orthodox group, but was stopped from doing so by the employee to whom I had first identified myself,” he wrote.

The Catholic and Episcopal churches have been moving in opposite directions on the issue of sexual orientation. Opposition to same-sex marriage has emerged as a principal theme of Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy. In March, he urged visiting U.S. bishops to beef up their teaching about the evils of premarital sex and cohabitation, and denounced what he called the “powerful” gay marriage lobby in America. And on July 27 he selected Cordileone, who is outspoken on the issue, to replace retiring Archbishop George Niederauer.

Just a few weeks earlier, on July 9, the Episcopal House of Bishops approved ceremonies for same-sex couples. Controversy over the role of gays has divided the larger Anglican Communian, to which the Episcoal Church belongs. The Catholic Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 invited Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining some Anglican liturgical heritage.

In his homily on Thursday, Cordileone mentioned marriage only obliquely. Thursday was the feast day of San Francisco’s patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi, and the archbishop said that St. Francis, too, lived during a time of spiritual unrest, “even to the point of denigrating marriage on the basis that it was purely a material reality.”

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  • Michael

    This is absolutely outrageous. First, the Archdiocese single-handedly tries to end over 40 years of ecumenical amity with the ECUSA. Then, they LIED about it. I think an appropriate response is warranted — protestant denominations should boycott all ecumenical functions and suspend all related dialogue with the RCC until a formal and PUBLIC apology is issued by the new Archbishop, himself. The ELCA, PCUSA, and UMC should stand with our Episcopalian brethren in solidarity against this obnoxious and obviously politically-motivated snub.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      I predict this will have next to no impact, seeing as how the mainline Protestant denominations have shown absolutely no inclination to compromise with Roman positions. Ecumenism that wallpapers over honest disagreement with pretty words isn’t worth much anyway.

      • San Francisco Hugh

        You are wrong about the possible impact of this (intentional or unintentional) slight. Ecumenism with the mainline Protestant denominations is important and some great strides have been made. If the slight was unintentional the new AB should make a public apology.

    • Peter Hung Lee

      We are not interest in doing any work with protestants. Any real ecumenism is conversion; conversion to the one true Church: The Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. Dialogue for the sake of dialogue is a waste of time. The Episcopal communion (and I use this term very liberally, The Episcopalians are not a Church) is disintegrating with no real substance to their doctrine, bending to whatever is fashionable, whatever seems popular. In a few years, there will be no need for ecumenism, because there will be no Episcopal communion.
      Long Live Christ the King, Long live his Vicar, Pope Benedict XVI, Long live Archbishop Cordelione, Long live the Catholic Church, the true Church of Christ!

      • Michael

        You remind me of something Jesus said — Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, pharisees, for you travel land and sea to make one proselyte; and when you do, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

        • Peter Hung Lee

          Well, I guess the truth is never popular. And the sad fact is that the Episcopalians have sold their desire for Christ and the Truth, and now preach a message that is hip and popular (good for them, once a branch separates from the tree it rots and dies)

          Our Lord did tell us that for the Truth we will be persecuted. It is a sure way of making sure that we are preaching him, and not us. You call me a pharisee, and you are entitled to your opinion, but the sad fact remains, dialogue with Episcopalians is a waste of time, because there can be no hope of union between the True Church, the Roman Catholic Church Episcopal communion. They have departed so far from the truth that they can no longer offer anything of substance. It is really sad.

          • Michael

            Tell you what, Peter… you enjoy centuries in purgatory while we Protestants go straight to Heaven.

      • capecodder2010

        Gee, The Episcopal Church is *not* a church?

        Golly, my Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America Book of Common Prayer shows it ratified in Philadelphia, October 16, 1789.

        I guess George Washington, FDR, Gerald Ford and numerous other presidents considered themselves part of a ‘communion’ and not a church?

        Hmmm….national services of remembrance seem to take place in Washington D.C’s National Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul —under the leadership of the Episcopal Church.

        Personally, if you represent the views of your “Pope” and your “archbishop” and stand with the most corrupt (ideologically, personally and hierarchical) “Christian” organization who has abused innumerable children (and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-outs)…well fine.

        I prefer the Truth, Love and Compassion found in churches (yes, Churches) such as the Episcopal Church (which doens’t do things like ‘annul’ marriages for money, doesn’t have a church-wide history of abuse, and yes, loves and respects all who come and are invited to worship and share Jesus’ table).

        • Peter Hung Lee

          A Church has to have the Sacraments, Since the Episcopalians don’t have the Sacraments, because they don’t have a priesthood (The orders of all Anglicans and Episcopalians are ‘null and void’, Apostolicae Curae 1896) they are not a church.

          But the compassion and love you profess has to be imbued by the Truth, and the truth that is contained in the Gospels, the Truth of Jesus Christ, Crucified for our sins. Not our ‘personal truth’ that has no objectivity and makes no reference to the Cross.

          Certain thing like homosexual acts are sin, and whether you believe it doe not matter, it is condemned in Leviticus, in Romans and by Christ when he upholds the dignity of marriage (Mat. 19). The truth does not change because society changes.

          And while its true, some of our pastors have made mistakes, it is only been a 0.01% of priests who have been abusers, the vast, absolute vast majority of them have dedicated their whole life, leaving family behind to serve the Church with Love, Compassion and all for the Truth of Christ, that above all remains in the One True Church, the Catholic Church, united by the Sacraments and the Rock of Peter.

          • capecodder2010

            to use the title of Martin Luther’s papers on the door: Bull. In everything you wrote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.manning.923 Stephen Manning

    I find this very amusing. Perhaps an unconscious (or semi-consciously Roman-style) response to Bishop Andrus’ rather rude letter about the new archbishop. And really, if ELCA/PCUSA/ECUSA/UMC absented themselves from “ecumenical” events –which are mostly just surface PR– whose would be the loss?

    • San Francisco Hugh

      I find the actions of the AB’s staff to be unprofessional and sad. A public apology is called for. I suspect that the public relations spokesman lied about why this happened because the Archdiocese was embarrassed.

  • Sister Mary

    Is this catholic grade school?

    • San Francisco Hugh

      Now now, Mary, let’s not put down Catholic grade schools. The truth of the matter is that The San Francisco Archdiocese screwed up. To make matters worse, spokesman George Wesolek lied about why it happened.

  • http://www.facebook.com/red.murray.56 Red Murray

    In related news, the Bigfoot Society is squabbling with Legion of Leprechauns!

  • gregoryvii

    I don’t think there was a screw-up at all. A non-Catholic “Bishop” publicly trashes the Catholic Church, and then expects to be seated in a position of prominence at the installation of the Catholic Archbishop? If I were Archbishop Cordileone, I would have instructed the staff not to let Andrus in the door of the church. Ecumenism does not mean that Catholics must let non-Catholics insult the Holy Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, which also would be to insult the Divine dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • Michael

      “Publicly trashes the Catholic Church”? Hmm… Let’s read Bishop Andrus’s original statement and see if it constitutes a “[public trashing[.”

      “Some Catholics may find themselves less at home with Salvatore Cordileone’s installation and they may come to The Episcopal Church. We should welcome them as our sisters and brothers.”

      Now that’s about as benign as it gets, yet you see it as “publicly trashing the Catholic Church.” Perhaps you protest too much. Fundamentalist paranoia no longer seems to be confined to fundamentalist churches. I suggest you read Bishop Andrus’s full letter:
      http://bishopmarc.typepad.com/blog/2012/10/letter-to-the-diocese-of-california-concerning-the-installation-of-salvatore-cordileone-as-archbisho.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ronald-Ibach/100001326717062 Ronald Ibach

    Giving the past history of not telling the truth from Catholic Bishops, I’ll take the Episcopal Bishop’s word first.

  • Wayne Peterson

    ….not to worry….SF already has alot of drunks wearing dresses….one more is no big thing!

  • nomanclature

    Mmmm…… Missy just got here and she’s already being a “mean girl”