California Bishop Andrus denied seating at RC archbishop’s installation

By ENS staff
Posted Oct 5, 2012

[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of California Bishop Marc Andrus, an invited guest for the installation of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco Archbishop-designate Salvatore Cordileone, was not allowed to be seated for the Oct. 4 liturgy.

A statement from the diocese said that Andrus “was escorted to a basement room at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and detained by an usher until the time the service began, whereupon Bishop Andrus left the cathedral.”

The Associated Press reported that, according to the Rev. Joseph Mathews, a diocesan spokesperson, Andrus had been in the basement room with other guests but was left waiting after those people had been seated by ushers. He was still waiting when the installation Mass began, Mathews said. Andrus left after the service began, according to the diocesan statement.

San Francisco archdiocese spokesman George Wesolek told the AP that there had been a misunderstanding. Andrus had arrived late and missed the procession of interfaith clergy who were to be seated up front, he said. Church staff members 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.”

Following Wesolek’s published comments, Andrus denied in a blog post that he was late to the service, saying he arrived earlier than required. When one diocesan employee attempted to seat him along with Greek Orthodox clergy, that employee was stopped by another “who appeared to be in a superior role,” Andrus wrote.

A third employee was instructed to remain with Andrus, he said. When Andrus later told the employee that he felt he should leave, the bishop said that the employee responded by thanking him “for being understanding.”

Three days before the archbishop’s installation on St. Francis Day, Andrus wrote to the Episcopal diocese saying he looked forward to working with Cordileone “when and how we can,” despite their differences on California’s Proposition 8 ballot measure which said that only marriages between one man and one woman are valid in the state.

The voter initiative overturned a state Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional to deny same-gender couples the rights to marry. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals later ruled that Proposition 8 itself was unconstitutional and the U.S. Supreme Court is reportedly due to decide soon whether it will examine that federal court ruling.

All of the Episcopal bishops in the state opposed Proposition 8 while Cordileone, who was bishop of nearby Oakland for the last three-and-a-half years, was seen as a major defender of the Roman Catholic Church’s stances on homosexuality and same-gender marriage, and an early organizer of the Proposition 8 effort. He chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Defense of Marriage Committee.

In his Oct. 1 letter to the diocese, Andrus noted that he and Cordileone “share concerns for the treatment of immigrants to this country and reforming the United States’ immigration policies,” and he expressed his hope that the two could work together on those and anti-poverty issues as he said he had with Cordileone’s predecessor.

“In working together with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, however, I will not change my course with regard to the full inclusion of all people in the full life of the church. I hope that public disagreements can be handled respectfully and that criticisms of public statements may be met with mutual respect,” Andrus wrote. “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. Even as we welcome those who may join us and look for ways to work with our Roman Catholic siblings in the faith, we will not be silenced in our proclamation of God’s inclusion.”

Andrus’ experience came just a few days after Diocese of Newark Bishop Mark Beckwith publically criticized Newark Roman Catholic Archbishop John Meyers’ stance on marriage.

In Cordileone’s homily during the installation Mass, Cordileone encouraged the Roman Catholic archdiocese to work for the renewal of the church by imitating St. Francis’ example of personal holiness and conformity to Christ.

He also said that the United States is a land of freedom to worship and where all persons may “express their faith in the public square, primarily through service to others.”

Meanwhile during the service, the new archbishop said that he was grateful for the messages of support he had received from people of different religious and political viewpoints following an Aug. 25 arrest for drunk driving in his home town of San Diego, according to the Associated Press. Cordileone had been scheduled to appear in court Oct. 9 on the charge of driving under the influence, but the AP reported that court record showed he pleaded guilty Oct. 1 to a reduced charge of reckless driving, an option frequently given to first-time DUI offenders.


Comments (80)

  1. Moputo Jones says:

    Perhaps Archbishop Cordileone should have asked himself “what would Jesus do”? Denying Bishop Andrus a seat and then having his spokesperson lie about it is probably not the right answer.

    1. John Kirk says:

      Um, how do you know the spokesperson “lied” about it? How do you know the bishop didn’t lie? And how do you know the Archbishop “had” his spokesperson lie? You seem to be making some leaps here. I’d bet on the credibility of a man who owns up to his mistakes, such as Archbishop Cordileone did when arrested for driving with an elevated blood alcohol level, over that of one whose persistent teachings betrayed the ancient moral tenets of his faith in the areas of sexual morality, such as do Bishop Andrus’. I mean, if he’d lie about the serious sin of homosexual sexual activity, if he would lie about the ability of a woman to ever exercise the priesthood, if he lies about the grave sin of abortion, what’s to keep him from playing with the truth about a little thing like a lie about the time he arrived at church (and if you think I’M the one making assumptions, I invite you to read Bishop Andrus’ arrogant welcome to Archbishop Cordileone).

      1. John Kirk says:

        And someone can forward this to Bishop Marc. It’s more than his screed of “welcome” to the Archbishop deserves, but it at least explains the Catholic position.

      2. Wren Harris Rehm says:

        I was confirmed by Bishop Andrus, and he is an honest & inclusive loving man of God. While I know I can’t convince you, I pray that you will meet him one day and have the opportunity to feel the light of God through him and form your own opinion of him. Peace I leave you.

    2. Thomas Andrew says:

      What evidence do you hold to support the statement that Abp. Cordileone personally directed that Bp. Andrus be denied a seat and that he directed a spokesman to lie? What would Jesus do indeed?

    3. Martha O'Keeffe says:

      You seem to be very sure that the Archbishop knew about this and even planned it in advance. Going by comparing both what Bishop Andrus has said, and the reasons given by the spokesman for the diocese, it sounds like a confusion about times and who was supposed to go where.

      Bishop Andrus says he arrived at 1:30 p.m. and it took him ten minutes to get around the protestors. So he didn’t arrive into the lower room where the other clergy were waiting until around 1:45 p.m. and by then – if you watch the livestream video – all the invitees were seated and waiting in the cathedral proper.

      The Orthodox were not led out to be seated by the usher, they were included in the procession of Roman Catholic bishops who were to be seated on the altar (again, check out the livestream video for where they were seated). Bishop Andrus was not included in this group, so that’s why he was stopped from accompanying the Orthodox bishops.

      I accept that an apology for the mix-up and for keeping him waiting on his own without an explanation should be given, but please -let’s avoid the Dan Brown Vatican conspiracy theories!

    4. Colin Stevens says:

      When we ask “What would Jesus do?” We shouldn’t forget that going wild and flipping tables is a legitimate option….

  2. Fr Ora Calhoun says:

    SIGH!!! I guess the Heavenly Banquet is STILL divided. I wonder if there’s any set place for Jesus?

  3. Ben Baldus says:

    While I’ve historically supported ecumenism, this action by the Archdiocese of San Francisco seems both insulting and intentional. I’ll bet they would have seated Rowan Williams, given his repudiation of the American Church, especially the Presiding Bishop.

    1. Michael Francis says:

      And you don’t think what Andrus said in his letter wasn not insulting and intentional?

  4. Peter Meyers says:

    This is quite simply mind-boggling; but, sadly, not very surprising to me. If this was the misguided act of an officious staff member, it deserves a public apology by the good archbishop himself. If the good archbishop was behind it, not only an apology but a full explanation is required. Not a propitious beginning for a man who has already had to make one public apology in recent days. Please, not yet another cover-up on the part of a Roman Catholic bishop.
    According to the story of Lot in the Book of Leviticus, the Sin of Sodom is the sin of inhospitality to guests who weren’t even invited. Worse at some level might be a sin of inhospitality to an invited guest. San Francisco does not deserve to be tarred with the epithet, the Sin of San Francisco, confusing as that would be in regard to a city that has been of all cities the most hospitable to people whose God-bestowed gift of sexuality has not been that gift in its most common form; so I hope the good archbishop will act swiftly so the sin of inhospitality to an invited guest will not become known as the Sin of Cordileone.

    1. John Kirk says:

      No, it was actually the sin of sodomy. It’s a lie of liberal revisionism that it was the sin of inhospitality, a lie that equates not inviting someone to sit down (certainly impolite) with buggery (an offense that cries out to God).

      1. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

        No, I refer you to Ezekiel 16:48-50.
        48 As I live,” declares the Lord God, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. 50 Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.
        It is fundamentalist revisionism that mistranslates the verb ydh (to know) as to have sex. That verb is never used in that sense even euphemistically anywhere in the Bible.

        1. John Kirk says:

          That’s not a ratification of what the deviants were doing outside Lot’s house…they may well have sinned against hospitality, but they also committed “abominations,” plural. Ezekiel doesn’t list them, but the context of the story suggests one: sexual perversion. Scripture means what the Church says that it means. The Scriptures are the first exercise of Her Magisterium and She, with Scripture Old and New, has long held that the sexual congress affirmed by Andrus et al (seemingly the entire Episcopal Church USA, though I’m sure some are trying to hold fast) is profoundly sinful. You’re free to believe whatever rubbish pleases you. Andrus’ criticism of Cordileone for his support of genuine marriage is, however, entirely unjustified from a CHRISTIAN perspective (he’s welcome to appeal to another perspective), because Christianity has held that homosexual activity (an act of the will, as opposed to orientation, which is not an act of the will) is gravely sinful.

          Further, Bishop Andrus seems to have forgotten this, in the words of the current Holy Father: “The Church does not impose but freely proposes the Catholic faith, well aware that conversion is the mysterious fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift and a work of God, and hence excludes any form of proselytism that forces, allures or entices people by trickery to embrace it.” The Church proposes, seeks to persuade, attempts to convert…she does not force. I assume the Episcopal Church does the same (oh, but wait, I was forgetting the Diocese of San Joaquin, the Diocese of Ft. Worth) and so both Bishops are in the same game….difference is that ours actually represents the Christian faith as it has been recieved from the Apostles.

          1. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

            This just seems like mean-spirited polemics. We are Anglicans and not under the See of Rome. The Bishop of Rome may say whatever he likes. He is not an ecclesiastical authority to us anymore than the Archbishop of Canterbury is for the Roman Catholic denomination. If you don’t like the Episcopal Church don’t join one of our parishes. Otherwise, I suggest heeding St. Paul’s directive to “…give no offense.” When you’re here, you’re in our home. I would not inveigh against the See of Roman for its many foibles on an RC site.

    2. Geoffrey Peckham says:

      More piskie heresy. You can’t explain the sin of Sodom in Genesis 19 without understanding Genesis 18 — the sin of Sodom was the faithlessness of the city of Sodom, especially in the attacks on Lot’s house by the rampant homosexual men of Sodom. And God most completely demonstrated the consequence of faithlessness. Sorry.

      I’ll the archdiocese at its word until someone credible can demonstrate otherwise. Marc Andrus with his nasty letter ealier in the week had a bone to pick anyway, and is probably more enjoying playing the martyr than he would have the installation.

    3. Martha O'Keeffe says:

      Hmmm – so a public letter issued before a new archbishop comes to take possession of his archdiocese, inviting members of his congregation to abandon that church and join one of a different denomination, is not inhospitable, impolite or involving any of the heinous sins of sheep-stealing or border-crossing that I have seen such outcry about by the Episcopal Church?

      Meanwhile, a silly administrative mess-up about times and seating is a sinister Romanist conspiracy intended to be a deliberate insult, all engineered by the Archbishop personally who took time off from all the other pressing matters involved in changing from one diocese to another in order to do some petty point-scoring?

      I see – and I thought the days of Maria Monk and her awful disclosures of Papist plotting were long behind us!

      1. Stephen Stray says:

        I’m not sure I understand how Bp Marc’s letter instructing fellow Episcopalians to offer hospitality to disaffected Catholics is any less insulting than the current Pope’s invitation for disaffected Anglicans to join the personal ordinariate. In fact, it would seem to be merely be following the precedent set by the Holy Father himself.

  5. Lori Lowe says:

    Before even being installed, the new archbishop brought shame, shame, shame on himself and his diocese by this petty and insulting behavior. Who could possibly doubt that this episode was anything but his doing. Bishop Andrus, on the other hand, acted with grace and dignity in a situation that could only have been humiliating, if not enraging.

    1. John Kirk says:

      “Who could possibly doubt that this episode was anything but his doing. (sic).”

      I’ll take “Stupid Questions” for 200, Alex! A lot of people who hold Archbishop Cordileone in high regard? Anyone who thinks anyone else could possibly make a mistake? Anyone whose experience with major social functions might lead them to give the Archbishop the benefit of the doubt?

    2. Martha O'Keeffe says:

      “Who could possibly doubt that this episode was anything but his doing”

      People whose favourite bedtime reading is not “Vatican Assassins” by Eric Jon Phelps?

  6. The Rev. Ronald Lytle says:

    We have been and will probably remain poor second cousins to Rome.

    1. John Kirk says:

      Not at all, Rev. Lytle, not at all. It is our fervent hope that all will someday return to the unity to which Our Savior calls us and for which He prayed to the Father on the night before He entered into the Passion that saves the world, the unity which is inherent in Christ’s Church and of which the Successor to Saint Peter is the visible sign and principal. Like his great predecessor, Pope Benedict has thrown out his nets and will draw in many. His generosity can be seen in “Anglicanorum Coetibus,” in which Anglicans could return to that unity without abdoning the liturgical practices that are dear to them, practices which have in turn enriched the patrimony of the Church. That is not the status of “poor second cousins.”

  7. John Gardner says:

    Thank goodness that Mr Kirk was able to straighten us all out on the issues of: 1) Whether R.C. Archbishops ever lie (ever hear about the reassignment of pedophile priests?); 2) Whether all moral failings of R.C. Archbishops must be forgiven; 3) Whether liberals lie when interpreting the Book of Leviticus; 4) Whether women may be ordained as priests; 5) Whether Episcopal Bishops lie about arrival time at church; 6) Whether homosexuality is a serious sin; and 6) Whether abortion is a grave sin. Gosh, where would we all be, if we did not have Mr. Kirk’s absolute certainty that he knows and understands the mind of God. The exclusionary views of the Catholics are included in my reasons for leaving that church. Another is the tendency of Catholics to put priests on pedestals as if they can do no wrong. If the Archbishop did not want anyone to attend who disagreed with his views, the the Episcopal Bishop should not have been invited. Once invited, the Archbishop had an obligation to treat his guests courteously, and the buck stops with the Archbishop. With respect to Mr Kirk, his views are beyond salvation. Nonetheless, if Mr Kirk believes that gay people choose that life instead of being born that way, then Mr Kirk should return to the 19th century where he belongs. Setting aside insults from archbishops, then Mr Kirk needs to learn that freedom of religion also means my freedom from your religion. Our country is founded on equality, although it took black people and women a long time to achieve it. Gay people have the same rights as Mr Kirk- to love, to marry, to have the companionship of a partner throughout life, and the same rights to avoid abuse from their fellow citizens, such as Mr Kirk. Meanwhile, my hope is that Bishop Andrus will intensify his efforts to fight for the equality of everyone.

    1. John Kirk says:

      Mr. Gardner:
      Goodness, you do read into things some vivid interpretations.

      I’ve not argued in this forum that any hierarch of the Roman Catholic Church is, by reason of membership in that Church nor by reason of being a hierarch in that Church, ontollogically incapable of lying. Were that my argument, your comments about the reassignments of pedophile priests would be germane (though I would also recommend that you, as an Episcopalian, look to your own house before you go casting aspersions on the domestic skills of others). If you gathered a cross-section of American Roman Catholics together, orthodox and heterodox, liberal and conservative, traditional and progressive, whatever term you or they wanted to use, I think you’d find the one thing they all agreed on is that our bishops have not, in the last two decades, exactly covererd themselves in glory. Archbishop Cordileone, as good and orthodox a man as I believe him to be, would be a case in point: driving after you’ve had more than one glass of wine is something over which the prudent should pause; if your host made sure your glass was never empty, you have an obligation to hand over the keys to a designated driver, even if it is your octogenarian mother. My defense of Archbishop Cordileone stems from A) Bishop Andrus ham-fisted rudeness manifested in his open letter of “welcome” to the Archbishop (not necessary anyway, given that Andrus is from Tennessee and Cordileone is a native son of California) and B) the various charges of “lying” and “inhospitality” laid at the Archbishop’s feet when there is no evidence to support such accusations. Let’s be clear about that. I hold priests, all priests, in a certain degree of reverence because they bear within themselves the iconic picture of Christ’s Own Priesthood. I believe, as Holy Mother Church teaches, that ordination alters indelibly a man’s (and yes, that’s a person with a penis) nature. It is that which I put on a “pedestal.” Likewise do I hold bishops in a certain degree of reverence because not only do they possess the very fullness of that same priesthood, they are also successors to the Apostles, to the ones who actually looked upon the Face of the Holy One (in the words of YOUR faith community, the bishop is “called to be one with the Apostles in proclaiming Christ’s Resurection”). That does not mean, however, that I do not recognize that some of them are blistering idiots with the interpersonal skills of a spatula and that others may well be downright criminal.

      As for the rest of your complaint against me, ie, abortion, homosexuality, the ordination of women, etc., the truth about these things is just that: the Truth. Your reaction, or mine, to the Truth has no impact on the Truth whatsoever. It goes on being the Truth whether we rejoice in It or hurl bitter invective at It. I have never asserted that I (absolutely or otherwise) know and understand the mind of God. I am simply aware that I am not smarter than the Church, that I cannot know more than the Church to Whom Christ gave His Authority in Peter in binding and loosing and to Whom He promised the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that would lead them into all Truth.

      I have NO idea whatsoever where you get the idea that I believe gay people choose that life. Nothing I have written could be cited as evidence that I believe such a thing. Indeed, I believe I was careful to distinguish between orientation (nonvolitional) and genital activity (entirely volitional). The Roman Catholic Church also offers no commentary on the pathology of homosexuality, beyond that it is the result of a fallen world. Science has not determined the origin of homosexuality, whether it is a matter of nature or nuture. The Church restricts Herself to saying what She may say: that homosexuality is a disorder in ralation to both the Divine and natural law and that homosexual activity is a grave sin. You may disagree with that. I am unable to do so.

      Your suggestion that I return to the 19th century seems a bit histrionic. Shall I take the overwhelming majority of your own communion with me, on the grounds that they, too, believe homosexual activity to be sinful?

      You speak of freedom of religion. That freedom entails the right of Archbishop Cordileone to persuade as many people as will believe it that we should not alter the traditional view of marriage (which was the view espoused by the entire Judeo-Christian tradition up until a decade or so ago). You can argue on behalf of gay activists that marriage is surely one of the inalienable rights granted by the Founders in the Constitution. You will, however, have to convince a great deal of the citizenry that this is not akin to saying that anyone with a disorder has a right to pursue the resultant behavior attendant on that disorder to its logical conclusion. Just because a man wants to marry a man does not mean that he has a right, in law, to call it what the law calls marriage.

      1. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

        Is the reason you believe you know all this is Truth is because the Roman See tells you it is? Is it all right for the Roman See to invite people away from their own traditions “back” to the Roman Church because it is Roman? One of the major disputes that Anglicans have with the See of Rome is where it places its authority. We are not responsible to the authority of the Church. The authority rests in God alone, so when you tell me that Scripture means what the [Roman Catholic] Church says it means, I cannot go there with you. While it is true we interpret Scripture in community, it is indeed the Holy Spirit who teaches all we need to know. So, all this boils down to the fact that we do not accept your authoritative source. The Roman See has a long history of making up doctrine that is self-serving and so I do not find its “teaching” more authoritative than those of my own tradition. I’m going to anticipate your next Straw Man argument and tell you that all traditions have flawed doctrine so I do not say any one is better than any other. What I am saying is that I do not agree with you based on the fact that your church teaches you these things. I do not think the Roman Church is right when it teaches the things you mentioned.

        1. John Kirk says:

          I shall briefly try to answer you, Mr. McCoy, since we’re striking far afield from the subject at hand (and I acknowledge my own culpability in that, certainly).
          First, on the question of whether or not it was right for the Holy See to invite people back from their own traditions to Rome because it’s Rome. If I understand you correctly (and please correct me if I misunderstand), I would say that yes, it was quite right, though I fully understand from your perspective that it would not be so or at least it would be equally permissible for Bishop Marc to throw the doors of his ecclesial community open to dissenting Catholics. First of all, Anglicanorum Coetibus was aimed at people who were already disaffected from the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion. They did not seem to be people that the Episcopal Church was interested in keeping in the pews, based on decisions made over the last couple of sessions of General Convention, despite the “big tent” spin, the “there’s room for EVERYBODY” facade. One example in microcasm would be the manner in which Bishop Theuner, at the time the ordinary of New Hampshire, treated the Rev. Don Wilson and the majority of the parishoners at the Church of the Redeemer in Rochester, NH, on the issue of The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robison’s ministry as bishop coadjutor (and later, ordinary) despite Rev. Wilson’s assurance that he did not intend to depart from the ECUSA. I do not know what happened to Rev. Wilson and the orthodox members of his congregation, BUT I do know that there were a lot of people in this same boat. The actions of the ECUSA were decidedly at odds with their protest that they didn’t want anyone to leave, so I hardly think ECUSA would be in any position to protest over them coming over to Rome. Also, in order to convert to Roman Catholicism, you have to actually believe what our Church teaches. When people want to convert and have recieved adequate instruction, we give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they really DO adhere to the doctrines, dogmas, faith and morals of the Roman Church. Based on their professed beliefs, we would in good faith have to take them and I would wonder why you, in good faith, would want to keep them (especially since the law is persistently finding that you DO get to keep their property). Finally, on this question, I must confess I don’t get worked up over the charge of sheep-stealing. Perhaps I should. Maybe I should love souls more than I do. I certainly do believe that it is a matter of grave consequence for a Roman Catholic, knowing the Church to be necessary for salvation, to, with full knowledge and discretion of will, depart from the Church. I also, however, believe in integrity, in the idea of “better an honest atheist than a lying Catholic.” Their adherence to the Truth or their refusal to adhere to the Truth has no effect on the Truth, but if they don’t believe, they shouldn’t perjure themselves. Besides, if we were baseball teams, the Catholics would have made out like bandits: We got both Blessed John Henry Newman and Cardinal Manning. You got Fr. Matthew Fox. We got Fr. Steenson, head of the Ordinariate in this country. You got Fr. Cutie. I’ll admit that John Donne was a loss (and out of the same family as St. Thomas More!), but over all, I’d say the Catholics have done better in our ex-Anglicans than you folk with your ex-Catholics. Let’s us know if you want to do anymore trades. We’ll take Bishop Iker and you can have Joanie Chittester, Richard Rohr and the entire Leadership Conference of Women Relgious. You can’t pass up a deal like that.

          Your other question, as I parse it out, is “Do I believe or know something is Truth because the See of Rome tells me so?” You go on to talk about authority, Scripture, and the leadership or inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

          I believe what I believe because I believe in the Resurection. Once that domino is tapped, the others will perforce fall. If the Holy One, Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, can, of His Own Authority and Power, lay down His Life and then by that same Authority and Power, take It up again, if He has indeed risen from the grave, then He’s perfectly capable of doing all the other things He said He would do. Among those things are the authority He said he would give Peter and the Apostles in communion with him, as well as the guidance by the Holy Spirit of His Church into all Truth. If I did not believe that those promises of Christ were the cause of which the Roman Catholic Church was the effect, I would be morally obligated to go out and find that Church which WAS the effect of those promises. If I believe Christ rose from the dead, I would have to find that Church He spoke of. I obviously believe that promise effected what we now call the Roman Church and other sister Church’s who have not so far departed from that Church as to obscure what they DO have in common with Her (and here I mean the Orthodox, obviously). You spoke of the Holy Spirit and the interpretaion of Scripture. Scripture rose out of the Church. The Church did not rise out of Scripture. We know what Scripture is because the Church told us what constitutes Scripture. As Christ caused the Church, so the Church caused the Scriptures. Nothing deemed authoritative is more authoritative than that from which it derives its authority. It was this to which I was refering when I said that Scripture was the first and primary exercise of the Church’s teaching authority, Her Magisterium. You say that authority was God’s solely. I don’t argue with that. I merely believe that Christ intended to delegate that authority and did so.

          You say, “while it is true we interpret Scripture in community, it is indeed the Holy Spirit who teaches all we need to know.” How do you know what you’re listening to is the Holy Spirit? There are numerous bodies that are seperate from the Church of Rome, all claiming, to one degree or another, the leadership and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, from the Anglican Communion to Appalachian Pentecostal snake handlers. Do you concede that the snake handlers might be guided by the Holy Spirit? If so, I don’t see Dr. Williams or Dr. Jefferts-Schori dancing around an altar with a water moccasin. Likewise, I doubt you’re going to convince the Pentecostals that the Holy Spirit is prompting anyone to permit and bless gay marriage. Indeed, the Holy Spirit cannot seem to convince the overwhelming majority of your OWN communion throughout the world that it’s a prudent idea, much less one that finds favor with the Godhead. One assumes that the rest of the Anglican Communion would as vehemently assert that they were listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

          Do I know that something is true because the Church tells me it is so? How could I not? The fine point to that would be that it’s NOT true because the Church says it, but rather the Church says it BECAUSE it is true. She cannot do other than teach the faithful the Truth. She is incapable of doing otherwise, because of the promise of Christ. It has nothing to do with Her of Herself, but with Who Christ Is and What He is determined She will be.

          Rather long, sorry. Hope this answers your questions.

          1. Or, to simplify Mr. Kirk’s perspicacious observations on whom the Holy Spirit is guiding:

            If you believe that ECUSA has been led to its current positions on lawsuits, the redefinition of marriage, etc., etc., etc., and I, following the almost two millenia of teaching of the Church’s magisterium on those same topics, most particularly those teachings on the truth of which you and I hold contradictory opinions, there is only one possible rational conclusion, namely, that at least one of us is mistaken!

            Pax et bonum,
            Keith Töpfer

          2. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

            It’s Rev. McCoy, thank you. Again you ask questions based on the idea that you are correct because of what denomination you belong to within the Christian tradition. How do you know what you perceive is the Holy Spirit? The question is equally valid for you, but you beg the question by assuming that the RC is right and everyone else is mistaken. As for the [Roman Catholic} Church says something because it is so, and cannot do otherwise, you do not really want us to list the things the RC Church has said that were out and out lies do you? Indulgences, Papal Bulls and such? Let us not confuse the way one worships with what one worships. It is the same God no matter what altar in front of which you find yourself. If would be wrong to abnegate anyone’s experience of the Holy Spirit. As for the World Wide Anglican Communion, some are in disagreement with us and with the Anglican Church of Canada, but you misrepresent them when you call them the majority. And so what if the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and others are the minority. The Spirit moves where it will and if we are in error, it will correct us in due time. In any case, I believe it was the founder of The Church who told us not to judge or we would be judged. That is Sin, you see, because when we try to judge others, we are trying to take God’s job and we do not have the qualifications.

          3. John Kirk says:

            Rev. McCoy: I apologize for not giving you the courtesy of your title, but it was not evident that you HAD the title. You simply list your name with your credentials after it. There are lots of lay folk with theological degrees, many of them academics who’ve never been ordained. So it was innocently intended.

            Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you actually want an answer to the question “How do you know what you perceive is the Holy Spirit?”, I’ll do my best to answer again. When a proposition is put to someone, such as “Is abortion a sin?” or “Is homosexuality morally acceptable,” or even “What about indulgences?,” I look to the authority of the one making the proposition or assertion. I ask myself the same question some of the Jews asked the Holy One, “By what authority do you do these things?” (it was a fair question and so’s your’s). Does that person possess the authority, the warrant, for making the proposition or assertion? Christ’s authority was ample to answer the challenge. As I’ve said before, I believe that what the Savior, exercising His Authority, said to Peter singularly and (latter) to the Apostles as a whole (“I will send you the Holy Spirit, Who will lead you into all truth,” “whosoever sins you forgive shall be forgiven them, whosoever sins you shall retain shall be retained against them,” “whatsoever you shall bind,” etc., etc., etc.) gave EFFECT to the Catholic Church under Peter’s successor. You question that authority, certainly, but the fact remains that what that authority asserts is either true or it is not true, and, if Christ was Who He said HE was (ratifying it by His Resurection), that authority is possessed by SOME Church because the One who rose from the dead evidently intended for SOME Church to possess it. If it is not the Roman Catholic Church, which has maintained that it is and was that Church for millenia, then I would be under the moral obligation as a follower of Jesus to seek that Church out. If you believe it to be the Episcopal Church, USA, then you would need to explain to me how you arrived at the conclusion that that body was the Church to which the Words of Christ gave effect.

            That there are people in the Roman Catholic Church that lie and have lied, I have no doubt, from the Chair of Peter down to the most forgetable layperson. I do not believe that the Church has lied, esp. in the areas you cite. Antiquated as anyone may find it, “we” do not know that the Church has lied about indulgences. “We” still believe in the authority of the Church to mitigate the temporal punishment due for forgiven sin. Indeed, HH Pope Benedict has just extended a plenary indulgence attached to the Year of Faith. If you assert that indulgences are a “lie,” to use your word, you would have to explain by what authority you say it. “Bulls and such?” If you could be more specific, I’d be happy to attempt an answer.

            “It would be wrong to abnegate anyone’s experience of the Holy Spirit?” Unless you can answer how we know something is the movement of the Holy Spirit (you disagree with my answer, I understand), then I must think that the Holy Spirit must be TERRIBLY confused. Is your ascertation of the movement of the Spirit based upon someone’s demeanor, their kindness? I know many kind, compassionate people, in and out of communion with Peter, who would disagree with you on the questions of which your faith community has already seemingly discerned the Hoy Spirit’s response. I hasten to add that I know many people, equally kind and compassionate, who would disagree with me as well on any given question. So how do we know that what anyone is experiencing is in truth an “experience” of the Holy Spirit? I tend to think that the actions of the Holy Spirit can only be seen through hind-sight, through “the rear-view mirror,” and that the arbitrator of what is and what is not the action of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, is the Church to whom He left that authority.

            As for “judging,” “taking God’s job,” etc., you seem to be illustrating a problem that lies between us: Can man know Truth? I think we can. You seem to think we cannot or that it is so difficult that discern that it isn’t worth the trouble and offense it’s going to cause. If you’re interested, I believe that Truth is black and white, without shadow of change. People, on the other hand, are grey and God is merciful and I would not presume to lay a limit on the Mercy to which He, in His sovereign Will, might bend. God’s Mercy, however, does not alter God’s Truth… and He is not mocked.

  8. Jason Stylite says:

    If Mr. Andrus really wanted to be there to show some sort of ecumenical solidarity, why didn’t he just sit in the pews with the rest of us plebs?

    1. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

      After being tacitly invited to leave? Would you stay where you weren’t wanted?

  9. Doris Kurzius says:

    We just installed our new rector last night. A woman with a same sex spouse.
    From A Litany for the Mission of the Church:
    Holy Spirit, source of both unity and diversity,
    Have mercy on us.
    From blind hearts and petty spirits, that refuse to see the need of all humankind for your love,
    Savior, delliver us.
    From ignorance, apathy, and complacency that prevent us from spreading the Gospel,
    Savior, deliver us.

    1. John Kirk says:

      You felt the need to mention your “rector,” that she was a woman and that she had a same sex spouse. You go on to quote from a litany for the mission of your church in which is invoked the Holy Spirit. Let me ask you, how do you know any of that is in accord with the will of the Holy Spirit, Third Person of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity? The woman “priest,” the same sex marriage, all of it, how do you know the Holy Spirit has ratified any of it?

  10. Robert Zacher says:

    Excuse me, Jayson Stylite, but the Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of California is the Rt. Rev. Marc H. Andrus, addressed as “Bishop Andrus” or Bishop Marc” or “Sir” or “Father.” Bishop Andrus, like Archbishop Cordileone and other bishops, of whatever denomination, are entitled to the style and dignity of their offices. That would certainly include not referring to the current bishop of California as “Mr. Andrus,” unless a deliberate insult is intended.

    I would like to think that Bishop Andrus, just as he is not a ‘Mister’, is certainly not a pleb. That’s why, reportedly, a seat was reserved for him up front with the rest of the visiting ecumenical dignitaries. By the way, once a church or cathedral is filled for one of these large events, usually by ticketed admission, there are no seats left available among the “plebs” or anywhere else.

    1. Anthony McWilliams says:

      It’s actually bad style to the construction “Bishop N.”, either with the first name or last name. His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury is often called “Dr Williams”. As the Episcopal Bishop of California lacks a doctorate, one would think that “Mr Andrus” is appropriate.

      There is also the theological issue; for Catholics, only Catholic and Orthodox bishops have valid ordination and apostolic succession, and therefore the care of all souls on Earth fall under their jurisdiction, whether members of their churches or not. All Protestant ministers, even those functioning as pastors, are ontologically part of the laity.

  11. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

    It seems to me, I could be wrong but I do not think I am, that Bp. Andrus has his assistant, the Metropolitan, and his entourage, as well as the person who tried to escort him to his seat who can vouch for what he says. As for the archbishop, he may not have known this was going to happen either. I doubt he was in charge of organizing his own installation service. Perhaps there was a problem with the cathedral staff. Maybe, they were trying to figure out how to get him in later when they realized he hadn’t been seated. Who knows? I do think there should be an apology even if this was just a mix up. Maybe no one is deliberately lying. Let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt until we know for sure.

    1. John Barton says:

      I agree with Michael McCoy. As Julian of Norwich said so many centuries ago: “All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.”

  12. Andrus’ letter of “welcome” was a snide, disrespectful disgrace as well as a passive-agressive insult to the Roman Catholic Church and, indirectly, to Cordileone himself. That the Catholics even let Andrus in the door speaks highly of them. Given the fact that the Bishop went public with this instead of playing the man and keeping it quiet, I think the most likely explanation for this incident is that Andrus deliberately chose to perceive a logistical screw-up as a personal insult so that he could both embarrass the Catholic Church and play the public martyr.

  13. Alda Morgan says:

    I’m with Michael McCoy. It sounds like an unfortunate mix-up and anyone who has been involved in planning and implementing a major “do”–liturgical or otherwise–knows how easy it is for that to happen.

  14. Doug Desper says:

    I’m afraid that Bishop Andrus’ hutzpah caught up with him. The “welcome” letter that he wrote to the Archbishop was more of a lecture to “see things the liberal way about sexuality and marriage” than a courteous ecumenical welcome. If you disagree with Catholics don’t be one – but also don’t chastize, dictate, or attempt to re-educate them as part of an awkward “welcome” letter. I’m surprised that Bishop Andrus even went to the Service and, much more, expected a seat after such a letter.

  15. Joseph William says:

    What purpose did “going public” with this perceived slight have?

  16. Kathleen Murff Whiting says:

    My annoyance tempts me to say something like this: “Mr. Kirk, You have said quite enough to tire me out here on this Episcopal News Service Site. I am ready to move on. Perhaps you might consider doing the same. Truly, you do offend.” And then I hear a still small voice saying, “As you leave, may all blessings follow you and may you be reminded that strident accusations and sarcasm will probably never convince other people of your beliefs. Perhaps we could all pray for you to develop a kinder , more respectful heart when you discuss other Children of God.”

    1. John Kirk says:

      Truth often does…offend, that is.

  17. Clyde Dodge says:

    Indeed, He must have, for this vicious bickering is too common these days between what are supposed to be brothers (and sisters).

  18. Gregory Coiro says:

    Having read Bishop Andrus’ account and George Wesoleck’s explanation, and having spoken to someone involved with the Installation Mass, I believe we have no reason to conclude that anyone has lied. Here’s what I believe is the solution:

    It would have been theologically improper and against proper protocol to have had Bishop Andrus enter the cathedral in procession with the Greek Orthodox metropolitan since the Catholic Church recognizes the Greek Orthodox as a “sister church” but not so the Anglican Communion. Since the representatives of the separated ecclesial communities had already processed to their places, the staff people were waiting for a propitious, unobtrusive moment in the proceedings to escort Bishop Andrus to his spot inside the cathedral. It is as unfortunate that no one explained the reason for the delay to the bishop as it was that Bishop Andrus jumped to an erroneous conclusion, left the scene, and was nowhere to be found when the archdiocese sent someone to lead him in.

    1. Gregory Coiro says:

      I have been informed by my sources at St. Mary’s Cathedral that Bishop Andrus had gone to the wrong room on the lower level of St. Mary’s Cathedral and that’s why he missed being in the procession with the representatives of the Reformation Communities (there were designated rooms for the Catholic bishops and archbishops, the Catholic priests, the Orthodox representatives, the separated ecclesial communities, etc. to gather and vest). The entire incident was most unfortunate.

  19. (The Rt. Rev.) Douglas E. Theuner says:

    OY VEZ, Marc, sounds to me like just another example of the current Roman policy of hiding their true intentions behind a wall of deceit and deception.
    Several years ago when John McCormick, the then new Roman Bishop of Manchester, NH was “enthroned” as ordinary here (following a long career as infamous Bernie Law’s right-hand man in the pedophile scandals of the Archdiocese of Boston), I was invited to attend the ritual in St. Joseph’s Cathedral (where I, myself, had been consecrated many years before as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire) and I did so. After being seated with other ecumenical representatives, I was handed a four page document outlining in detail who could receive the Holy Communion (as I recall, the Orthodox and Polish National Catholics) and who could not (Episcopalians and other “PROTESTANT” – you better believe it ! – NON-churched members of “Christian Communities”). Expecting as much, I had attended in only a purple cassock and I left – as surruptitiously as possible – at the Offertory, understanding that it was just rude and not done in ANYBODY’S BOOK to invite people to a dinner party and then tell them they couldn’t eat with the other guests. I was later informed that NH’s then senior senator, Judd Gregg- a CONGREGATIONALIST! – who was, of course, seated in the front row (!) and all his family present received Holy Communion. The Romans must have forgotten that the former Governor, as his like-named father had been before him, was merely a member of a “protestant Christian Community! COME ON! [As Lord Acton, prominent British Roman and supporter of Rome’s place in England, famously said of the pope just prior to the 19th century promulgation of the doctrine of papal infallibility: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.]
    I immediately went home and sent a letter to all of our diocesan clergy requesting that in the future they not wear eucharistic vestments to any place where their eucharistic celebrations where not recognized and that, if invited to Roman eucharistic liturgies, they leave, as I had, prior to the celebration.
    My actions had not been as surruptitious as I thought they might be (I frequently have that problem!) and, shortly after the incident in question the new Roman bishop invited me to a restaurant lunch at which, over a pleasant repast, he so informed me. I politely told him that, if he wanted to be known in New Hampshire, as a catholic, he would do well to behave in a more “catholic” manner.
    The incident took life again briefly some years later at a meeting of the Council of Church Leaders of New England, of which I was President at the time. The aforementioned Cardinal Law and I went at it publically when he accused me of “dissing” the Roman Church by encouraging our clergy “to not wear eucharistic vestments in any place where their eucharistic celebrations were not recognized, etc.” I PROTESTED that I was HONORING the Romans by requesting our clergy to follow rules that had been put in place by the Romans themselves. And the beat goes on….OY VEZ!!!! O well, there’s always the HEAVENLY BANQUET to which I’ll bet our Lord even invites the perfidious Romans! (The Rt. Rev.) Douglas E. Theuner, VIIIth Bishop of NH, Retired

    1. Martha O'Keeffe says:

      “I had attended in only a purple cassock and I left – as surruptitiously as possible – at the Offertory, understanding that it was just rude and not done in ANYBODY’S BOOK to invite people to a dinner party and then tell them they couldn’t eat with the other guests. ”

      Ah, I see the reason for confusion in your expectations, Reverend Theuner. You turned up expecting the buffet meal and then you found yourself attending the most holy sacrifice of the Mass.

      No, the reception would have been held afterwards and I’m sure nobody would have denied you a place at the table! See, this is what happens when the invitations don’t specify what times events take place!

      1. Michael McCoy, M.Div. says:

        Now that is just rude. The Mass is the family meal…or at least it was when Jesus instituted it.

        1. John Kirk says:

          There is an element of eating involved and it was at the Last Supper that the Eucharist was instituted. For Catholics, it is not the events in the Cenacle that the Mass constitutes, but rather the Singular Event on Calvary, made present again.

    2. Thomas Andrew says:

      Merciful heavens! What disappointing and disrespectful behavior. With “leadership” such as this it is no wonder that the denomination is in such shambles.

    3. John Kirk says:

      Now, now, Bishop…”another example of the current Roman policy of hiding their true intentions behind a wall of deceit and deception?”

      As for your narrative of your experience at the enthronement of Bishop McCormick (yes, “enthronement,” because”enchairment” sounds awkward), you certain you aren’t being just a tad disingenous? When you went to St. Joseph’s Cathedral (where you, yourself, had been “consecrated” earlier, presumably at the hospitality of a deceitful and deceptive Roman Catholic bishop), you didn’t KNOW that Roman Catholics don’t practice open Communion? In an ecclessial community where the discussion over whether or not to open your own communion service to the unbaptized is currently going on, where part of the discussion is surely based on historical practice and antecedents, you were, what, innocent of the knowledge that the Roman Catholic Church does not extend a Eucharistic invitation to everyone? For decades, we’ve had a variation of what I assume were the same four pages that you were handed in the front or back of every missalette in every pew in every Roman Catholic parish in this country and you were taken aback that you were cautioned against presenting yourself for Holy Communion? Oh, wait…you used the phrase “expecting as much.” You DID know. You said you thought it was “just rude and not done in ANYBODY’S BOOK to invite people to a dinner party and then tell them they couldn’t eat with the other guests.” Careful, Bishop…between you and Bishop Andrus’ letter of “welcome” to Archbishop Cordileone, people might begin to suspect that disingenuity is part of the job desrciption for an Episcopalian bishop.

      Even if you did not know OUR policy on the reception of Holy Communion, you surely knew your OWN ecclessial community’s view of the Roman Catholic Mass, right? Article XXXI of the “Thirty-Nine Articles?” “The sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.” We still believe that, BTW, that Christ’s One Sacrifice is made present and offered for both “the quick and the dead.” For us, it’s isn’t just a “meal” or “family dinner.” Ms. O’Keeffe’s right: We would have made sure you had a place in the buffet line or banquet table, but that wasn’t a canape the Bishop was handing out at the front of the church.

      As for “perfidious Romans,” well, we have undoubtedly disappointed the Holy One countless times, from Peter’s denial of Him down to Blessed John Paul II (the Great) wholly imprudent and inexplicable appointment of Bernard Cardinal Law as Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. We have not, however, bowed to every last wind that has blown by us.

      Kudos on the “oy vez” thing. I bet you killed at homily time.

  20. Clifford Grout says:

    Perhaps if Bishop Andrus had heeded the advice noted by Ms Whiting in the first place: “…develop a kinder, more respectful heart when you discuss other Children of God”, this tempest in a teapot could well have been avoided. (And yes, compared to the RC church in America, TEC is a teapot. And a rapidly shrinking one, at that.)

  21. David Sellery says:

    St Paul encourages not to dwell on the past-our goal is the Jesus-centered life, leaving our self centered distractions behind in the dust. Through grace we know this is not a abstract, pious platitude. Rather it is a prescription for the good life – both here and now and ultimately in the then and there of eternal life. In the spirit of “straining toward what is ahead” we pray for all here and for the generations to come that all of us may keep our eyes on the prize. Confident that God works through us as we do his work – right here, right now! Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum! 

  22. Joe Parrish says:

    This is probably a God-given opportunity for reconciliation, and neither ‘sinned’.

  23. Adam Bowers says:

    Despite the perception that there are so many disaffected Catholics streaming out of the Church, particularly in a place like San Francisco, Bishop Andrus’ tenure as chief pastor of his flock has been a massive failure in terms of numbers. In 2006, there were 30,000+ Episcopalians in his diocese. In 6 years, he’s presided over more than a 10% reduction in that membership. Even disaffected Catholics seem to completely bypass the Episcopal Church.

    Bishop Andrus has reminded us why the Episcopal Church will soon be extinct. It has replaced Christ with an entirely false idol. Because of that, your churches are empty. Your morality is non-existent. Your tolerance is intolerant. Your liturgy is nothing more than an aesthetic. Your “sacraments” are devoid of grace. Your “love” condemns souls to hell. You make me sorry that I can’t leave the Episcopal Church again. And again.

    But I’m sure that when Grace Cathedral needs to be sold, the Archdiocese might be interested in making it a real cathedral.

    1. Stephen Nicoud says:

      I’m so sorry the celebrant did not make it clear as to who could receive or not receive communion at a Catholic funeral Mass. In my experience the celebrant does do that for funerals and weddings when there is often a significant portion of the attendees who are not Catholic.

      For future reference for your next visit to a Catholic Mass, I refer you to the Guidelines for the Reception of Communion as promulgated by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. You can find the guidelines at the website (search for “Guidelines for the Reception of Communion”). Note especially that “Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 §4).”

  24. Rara Avis says:

    Since you did not see fit to post my earlier comment, let me express myself more clearly and less sarcastically. Bishop Andrus is being petty and childish here. Is that better? Thank you for considering my sincere wish to be part of your discussion.

  25. Stephen Stray says:

    As much as the vitriol in some of these comments pains me, it also illustrates why I am proud to be an Episcopalian. Plenty of other sites would have deleted many of these comments, yet they make it on to a site supported by the Episcopal Church. Let’s all remember that, if we are truly worthy of the title “Follower of Christ”, more unites us than divides us, and that we are fighting over mere details. Jesus died for us all, and none of us has earned the right to rise with him except by his grace.

    1. John Kirk says:

      On the contrary, Mr. Stray, I would take respectful issue with that. The loss of souls, one or a multitude, is serious beyond description. When an entire ecclessial community affirms that people may safely, truthfully, and even sacramentally marry other people of the same gender, may with impunity commit the sin that we have known since the time of Abraham to be one that cries out to God, then that is an abberation, an abandonment of the Faith, so great that we cannot gloss over it (we have those who are members of our own Church who affirm the same, but they are never permitted to believe that it is the true teaching of the Magisterium of Christ’s Church and when they do not repent, they are excommunicated, the final medicine that will hopefully induce them to return). When your community affirms that a woman has a right to kill her own baby, when you ordain and will not silence such as the Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale who teaches that people should thank God for abortion, that’s something that cannot be glossed over with the whistful hope that “more unites us than divides us. We Romans may have much in common with ANGLICANS in other parts of the world and with some in the US, but if Bishop Andrus’ letter teaches us ANYTHING, it’s that far more seperates Holy Mother Church and Episcopalians. We may “see through a glass darkly,” we may stumble and fail miserably. We have not, however, turned the Holy One, Who hung on a Cross between Heaven and Earth to accomplish our redemption, into an ink blot onto which we can project our own personal Jesus, who will affirm our every appetite and inclination. That is not the message of the Gospel. Jesus loves us as we are. He does not leave us as we are.

      1. Thomas Andrew says:

        BRAVO, Mr. Kirk!

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