UPDATED, again: Bishop Marc Andrus denied seating at Catholic archbishop's installation

UPDATED AGAIN - see bold directly below.

SAN FRANCISCO

The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California and an invited guest for the installation of Archbishop-designate Salvatore Cordileone, was not allowed to be seated. He 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.

More information will be forthcoming as it is available.

UPDATED 10/5/12 7:33 a.m. (Pacific)

Bishop Marc has written to clarify his experience of being detained before Archbishop Cordileone's installation yesterday. Bishop Marc was not late and arrived earlier than he had been directed. He was with other ecumenical guests before the service, all of whom were seated while he waited. Read more here (click here).

- Episcopal Diocese of California


See our previous post, Bishop Andrus has a few thoughts on his new Catholic counterpart

Update - 9:47 PM eastern

AP

Interfaith tensions over the marriage issue threatened to mar the Cordileone's day. The Rev. Marc Andrus, the Episcopal bishop for Northern California and a strong same-sex marriage supporter, reported that he was snubbed when he showed up for the cathedral service, which came three days after Andrus had written an open letter offering a spiritual home to any Catholics who felt disowned by the archbishop's views.

Andrus said he was taken to a basement room with other invited guests, then left waiting as ushers showed everyone but him to their seats in the sanctuary, Joseph Mathews, an Episcopal spokesman said. He was still waiting when the mass had started, so he left, Mathews said.

San Francisco Archdiocese spokesman George Wesolek chalked it up to a misunderstanding. Andrus had 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."


Update - Friday, 7:49AM

Bay Area Reporter (reporting Thursday night on its request for information)

George Wesolek, communications director for the archdiocese, told the Bay Area Reporter late Thursday afternoon that he did not know about the Andrus incident.

“I don’t know anything about that,” he said, adding that he should have more information Friday.

Of course Wesolek was able to issue his release last night.

Comments (20)

Grievously obscene.

Yes, well. Obviously drawing the line against LGBT persons and every single one of their/our supporters is far more important than working together on feeding the hungry and social justice for immigrants and other marginalized people. After all, Jesus was always... Oops, Um, didn't Jesus regularly rebuke those who used religion to draw the line against people? Just sayin'

All I can say is that the Episcopal Church welcomes you. Really.

How very, very sad. In my personal experience, no one works more assiduously than Bp. Marc to enhance relationships across the spectrum of religious belief. John XXIII would weep at this development.

In the past, RC archbishops of SF have denied communion to the previous Episcopal bishop, but that was a very different thing than saying 'we have no need for you in our community.'

What's appalling here is that they could have simply disinvited Bishop Andrus if they didn't want him present. Instead they allowed him to come and then physically detained him. Let's not theologize the authoritarian creepiness out of this .

Some say that it is Andrus' invitation to disaffected RCs that is the problem.

This from the DFW Catholic blog:

"Claiming that the appointment of Archbishop Cordileone was met with mixed reactions by San Franciscans of “all or no faith tradition,” Bishop Andrus invited Catholics “less at home” with their new bishop to “come to The Episcopal Church.”"

http://www.dfwcatholic.org/episcopal-bishop-gives-cordileone-frosty-welcome-25714/.html

The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California and an invited guest for the installation of Archbishop-designate Salvatore Cordileone, was not allowed to be seated. He was escorted to a basement room at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral and detained by an usher

Wow. Sad.

I'd be even more outraged, however, had not the Archbishop of Canterbury had the same policy in 2008 towards +Gene Robinson (admittedly, w/ more notice).

JC Fisher

I agree with Jim about the authoritarian creepiness of inviting him, then escorting him to the basement.

You might expect some reaction from the Archdiocese to his statement about disaffected RCs, but this sort of calculated humiliation really is beyond the pale.

I wonder if the Archdiocese will try to explain it away as a communications glitch.

"The disinvitation was in the mail."

Yep, the AP story chalks it all up to a misunderstanding: "San Francisco Archdiocese spokesman George Wesolek chalked it up to a misunderstanding. Andrus had 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."

Hey everyone, let's be gentle, and not stoke the flames here.

I can understand feeling appalled or outraged, but we oughtn't paint a picture of what happened if we weren't physically there. The principle of generosity dictates we should at least give the Archdiocese the benefit of the doubt if they say it was a misunderstanding.

Or: let's say they're lying, and it was an intentional snub. Then we've got a cheek to turn. One potentially good thing that the Diocese of Northern California could do is offer a conciliatory dialogue with the Archdiocese, and pray hearts will melt. The worst thing is to raise the barricades of disgust and silence, or moralize about how much more tolerant a church we are.

As someone who was once denied communion (because of politics), it is among the saddest things an Anglican, Roman Catholic, or Christian can experience. When this happens to you, you don't have much choice but to forgive the church that did it, and humble yourself to the fact that the divisions in Christianity are lamentable, real, and require radical forgiveness -- and attempts at mutual understanding -- by all denominations.

Erik Campano

This may well have been a mistake. If not, how sad that the RC officials couldn't just be honest. In either case, the gospels offer all sorts of advice on how to respond to this sort of a thing and most of them are difficult.

Peace to all!

WHat Erik said.

With bells, whistles, and banners.

It doesn't matter what REALLY happened. It matters whether Bishop Marc and TEC are "the Bigger Person". That's what my mom taught me.

Yah... we know. If they told him he was late.... or not.... doesn't matter.

Sad. But be bigger. Be welcoming. SEt the tone.

--Susan Forsburg

I'd say it all comes down to "detained by an usher": Yea or Nay? [If it did happen, it borders on criminal, nevermind anti-ecumenical!] But maybe it didn't happen. Maybe it was a simple mistake.

*

The trick, as always, is something I long ago (in my Masters Thesis 20 years ago! :-X) called "reaching out with both hands": reaching a hand to Abp Cordileone, while making it clear we're going to extend our welcoming embrace to RC LGBTs/allies (feminists, too!). Two hands extended, simultaneously (refusing also to be dissuaded by naysayers on either side, e.g., "It's Them or Us!").

It's not easy to do (God help us!).

JC Fisher

Perhaps if Marc Andrus had been polite enough to arrive on time he could have been seated with the other interfaith clergy.

Dennis Bosley

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

I mean, really, people- have you ever met a group of Catholic ushers bright enough to take part in this sort of conspiracy?

I've just updated the post again with the information I've just found that statement that Andrus "was not late and arrived earlier than he had been directed. He was with other ecumenical guests before the service, all of whom were seated while he waited. ". The previous two commenters did not have the benefit of that addition.

"Perhaps if Marc Andrus had been polite enough to arrive on time he could have been seated with the other interfaith clergy."
Dennis Bosley

Bishop Marc states that he was indeed on time, in fact early and that he spoke with other invited guests, after which they, without him, were escorted to their seats.

Would you like to try again Mr. Bosley?

Bro David

Wow.

Malice caused by stupidity.

I retract my earlier comment, with apologies to the Cathedral Ushers, who (apparently) are less incompetent than I would normally suspect.

I wonder if the Archdiocese was aiming for a lesser humiliation - something like making Bishop Andrus cool his heels and miss the procession, then quietly slip him into the sanctuary.

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