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I Guess He Really Meant It

Ive been waiting to read that the newly-installed Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has offered a warm and sincere apology to the Episcopal Bishop of San Francisco, Marc Andrus. But as of today, Im still waiting.Heres what happened, as far as published sources have revealed it. Andrus issued a letterto his own people, dated the first of October, stating that he looks forward to working with Cordileone on issues of common concern. He cited global development and immigration as especially pressing subjects on which they wouldjoin in makingcommon cause. He acknowledges their differences over Proposition 8 (gay marriage) and promises that his own stand will remain firm. In light of the obvious disquiet among some over Cordileones appointment, he reminds his people in closing to welcome as brothers and sisters any who might turn up on the doorstep of the Episcopal Church. I found his message charitable, sober, andhonest.Bishop Andrus had been invited to the installation, which was held on October 4 at 2:00. He was told that he must arrive by 1:45 in order to be seated. He arrived, by his own account, at 1:40, and waited, chatting with some Orthodox bishops. The Orthodoxwere led away, and he was told to remain waiting. Two oclock arrived and he was still waiting. It became evident to him that he was not going to be seated. He left. A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese claimed that Andrus arrived late, and was not seated so as to not disturb the ceremony. Andruss own account clearly denies this.The incident has been reported in the Huffington Post, CNN, the website of the Episcopal Church of San Francisco, US Catholic, NCR, and a number of news sources and blogs since that time. Conspicuous by its absence is any statement from Cordileone, clarifying the matter.Now, admittedly there were a lot of people at this event, and big events always include opportunities for underlings to flub things up. If the failure to seat Bishop Andrus was actually a snafu that happened at the installation,with no offenseintended, what would you expect to happen next? I would expect Cordileone to call up Andrus the very next day and say Im sorry; I regret this happened; please forgive this lapse of etiquette; it was all due to some confusion and truly it was not an intentional slight. I would then let the press know that we had made amends, and invite him to another public event soon, so that it could be seen that the Catholic leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco respects leaders of other, long-established religious bodies. They are our dialogue partners and local collaborators in building the Kingdom, after all.But no. As of this writing there has been no word, no explanation from Cordileone. Nothing in the press or on anyone's blog that adds substantially to the story. In terms of the news cycle, that's a long time.Reluctantly, I am coming to believe that the slight must have been intentional.This is shameful, if so. Some have suggested that the letter Andrus wrote to the members of the Episcopal Church of his diocese caused offense to Cordileone and therefore it was right not to admit him. A more puerileargument can hardly be imagined. Andrus was an invited guest. He did not crash the party. If his letter was so egregious, he ought to have been asked not to come, rather than left standing at the door when he arrived.What sort of a leader has been appointed to the Catholic see of San Francisco? What sort of bishop cares so little for ecumenism and public relations that he would sit quiet while all this unfolds? On August 25, Cordileone was arrested in San Diego for driving under the influence of alcohol. He joked about it at his installation, in fact.A regrettable mistake he called it, and of course that is true. The incident with Bishop Andrus at the installation may go down in history as another instance of bad judgment.But there are also worse consequences imaginable here. It may be the beginning of the end of ecumenism in San Francisco. And that is more than regrettable.


Commenting Guidelines

"And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."Luke 14: 7-11 (KJV)

james chichetto10,228 people died in US motor vehicle crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2010, nearly 30 people every day (CDC). If Cordileone had wanted to insert a little personal note about his arrest into his installation, a short, extremely serious statement about not driving while under the influence would have been very impressive. (Later, someone may be able to teach him the "designated driver" concept which many young drinkers learn.) Meanwhile, the state doesn't care about intention, noble motives, or God's view. The Archbishop represented a lethal threat to passengers and anyone else that got in his way, which is why he was separated from the car and detained. Nothing funny involved, whatever his state in life.

"...who is the someone that you are quoting?"Helen,I am quoting Eugenie de Guerin."...a special responsibility to teach by word and action...."The Archbishop is teaching by his capacity to deal with his mistake, to walk humbly under Divine Providence, and to acknowledge his vulnerability. He is full of imperfections (open to grace and repentance), not stuffed with perfection.Our opinions differ, Helen, but as our mind sets, so our opinions.

Ironically, the link that Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz provides above has a sidebar link "Ordinariate/ Anglo-Catholic" which reports on Episcopal parishes joining the Roman Catholic Church under the personal ordinariate.

"Andrus reports what he was told to report no later than 1:45. If he was told this, whose fault is it? "When I was a boy and we were all wearing sand dials on our wrists, the obvious possibility would have been that Bp. Andrus thought it was 1:40 but it was in fact a couple of minutes later, and the ushers thought it was 1:46 but in fact it was a couple of minutes earlier. It's amazing we all can just assume that the whole world is synchronized to within 5 minutes.Whatever the explanation, though, if the Archbishop's office wanted things to be smoothed over, they could have issued a "we don't know how it happened, but we regret the misunderstanding" kind of statement, but they didn't. In any case, now both sides can show how grownup behave by setting aside their hurt pride and moving forward on the many issues they agree on.

"Nothing funny involved...."Jack Barry,That might be. He could have caused an accident. Possibly the Archbishop will address the mistake in the future. Nevertheless, I can still understand the incongruity of it all and the admission that won't lessen the offense, make it any easier. I also think he will draw some advantage from his mistake, especially where he believes nothing can be accidental with God.

Geez, a Catholic snubs an Episcopalian? That's never happened in the history of the world. Didn't the Vatican refer to Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey as a "nice little layman" one time? Yet ABC Carey worked hard at inter-faith relations.Better to be the humiliated party than the one doing the humiliating, I say.I'm starting to find it ironic that so many of us on here feel that the bishops have entirely too much influence, yet their every move and faux pas is reported, effectively feeding the notion that whatever they do is of Great Importance.

I agree with Jean R. Being aged, I remember my eastern US roots where the Episcopalians lived in better neighborhoods with bigger houses, shinier cars, better tailored suits, and married prettier women.My guess is that chancery parvenues were just getting even.

Mollie wrote in part: There are a couple of problems with responding to this by saying that Andrus is just trying to make trouble and get attention for himself. I'm not quite sure what other goal Andrus might have in mind. Perhaps he thought this complaint was a way to get a introduction?

"Didnt the Vatican refer to Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey as a 'nice little layman' one time?"Jean, you don't need to remind us --- albeit, indirectly --- that Vaticanistas should avoid accusing Anglicans of not having valid ministerial orders.I mean, if we look at the ordination rituals in The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (ca. 150 - 350 AD), we will discover that the ordination of presbyter/elder includes NO REFERENCE to performance of liturgical presidership!!! Yet we know that presbyters led Christian/Catholic worship in the primitive churches. Rome wants us to believe --- lack of ministerial ordination in primitive communities notwithstanding --- that these ancestors in the Christian faith did receive the body and blood of Christ at their eucharistic liturgies! But how can this be? Even the emergence of Christian/Catholic priesthood was a historical development that was not part of earliest practice and belief.As high school sophomores might (still?) say, The truth hurts!But the Vatican will have none of it :-)

I am shocked by the bitchiness of the comment at 10/09/2012 - 8:45 pm IMO it should be withdrawn forthwith.

Robert George has a post on Mirror of Justice titled Inviting people in religion B to join religion A if they actually believe the teachings of A and don't believe the teachings of B the closing sentences of which are as follows:

That, it seems to me, is precisely what Pope Benedict did in establishing the ordinariate for Anglicans who wish to join the Catholic Church while retaining certain aspects of their Anglican heritage. Perhaps the San Francisco bishop could create a special community for Catholics in the city who wish to become Episcopalians, but who want to hang on to, I don't know, folk masses and Teilhard de Chardin reading groups.

Oh, Please! Good manners knows no religious boundary. Whether the Bishop did or did not arrive late, the proper protocol is for the Archbishop to apologize for not seating the Bishop, and agree to a nice San Francisco dinner soon.

Joseph, at a retreat not long after my so-called conversion where we were "sharing our faith journeys," I said I'd started as a Unitarian and was baptized as an Episcopalian in my mid 20s. One of my fellow retreatants congratulated me on getting out of "that fake church with its fake priests." I'm not sure why some Catholics can't at least see Protestant denominations as part of their own tradition, even if it is one that is, in some ways, incomplete. We all use the same creed.

Sister Mary, withdrawing the comment you referred to would raise it to the level of being worthy of notice. Some posts on here are like mild tinnitus--irritating at first but easily remedied by turning on some white noise and moving your attention to something more productive.

One of my fellow retreatants congratulated me on getting out of that fake church with its fake priests.Some Catholics claim that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice. But among many Catholics, anti-Episcopalianism is an acceptable prejudice.

I would be more offended at his theologizing that "God put him in his place" with hiw DUI event. He did that to himself!!! And he put his mother and another passenger at risk and others. Thee is no apparent contrition for that and to see it only through his eyes of being somehow "put in his place" or whatever demonstrates his complete narcissism. This is behavior that deserves sanction, not humor... I wonder how he will deal with priests who face simila circumstances.. "Laugh it off, Father..."As far as the Bp. Andrus affiar, it APPEARS, if reported accurattely that he was snubbed and the staffer knew it, but it's all strange. If so, Cordileone owes him a public apology. However, though I support ANdrus positions, I think his lettger was unecessarily and specifically too pointed. Just lay out a welcome and note tha on certain ssues we disagree and I know we will each hold to the integrity of our positions while we find common ground -- as we have in the past -- for collaboration.

Bruce wrote: Im not quite sure what other goal Andrus might have in mind.What I see here is that Andrus has learned the first and most important rule of public relations: "Tell your own story, or somebody else will tell it for you."Imagine what would happen if he left the installation and waited to see what the press made of the event. I can just see the headlines: "Episcopal Bishop walks out" "Insult to new Archbishop by Episcopal prelate" - or even that reports would say what was actually said by Archbishop Cordileone's press officer: "He arrived late" ergo it was his own fault that nobody seated him. So the "goal" might well have been to get on record what actually happened before other people started projecting what they thought might have happened. Whatever else you can say about this event, Andrus had the perfect motivation for telling his story before anybody else did, and it doesn't have to be a sinister motivation in the least. It's self-protection.

"...the bitchiness of the comment.":Sister Mary Wood,I think it was said in benign rivalry. Nothing among men is ever done kindly that is done in rivalship. I know, of course, you could clobber me with that kind of view, but it is an opinion out there. (But it is not "bitchiness," which is used as a strong term of contempt or hostility.)

In September 2010, Archbishop Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church told Anglicans quite clearly why ecumenical dialogue with today's Anglican communion was futile, and it had nothing to do with Archbishop Cordileone: Archbishop Hilarion noted, "The dialogue is doomed to closure if the unrestrained liberalization of Christian values continues in many communities of the Anglican world." Bishop Andrus' nasty letter concerning the appointment of Archbishop Cordileone is yet more proof of the truth of Hilarion's analysis.

Mark Proska: to reply to your comment at 8:45:Yes.

Surely those men pictured with Archbishop Cordileone are not bodyguards (certainly not members of the Secret Service) or are they?

"...bodyguards...or are they/"Helen,They could be bodyguards, giving the public what they want -- protection for the new Archbishop. But if someone wanted to attack him, he/she wouldn't wait for extrordinary circumstances to do so; he/she would try ordinary situations to make a nuisance.

Helen -- You're observant. The positioning, postures, lines of sight, hands free, and uniforms of the four hardly suggest social companions along for the stroll. Cordileone's reputation preceded him and aroused protest on arrival because of his vigorous efforts on Prop. 8.

To those here making light of the dui of the Archbishop, please note that for a bac (blood alcohol limit) of .08 the estimate is three drinks within one hour. The Archbishop's limit was over that so that he might have had four or five drinks per hour. At any rate three drinks is irresponsible while driving and people have been proven to have killed people driving at that bac.FYI the terms are different in New York. The terms DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DWAI (driving while ability impaired) are the terms used in NY. DWI applies to .08 and above. While DWAI points to .05 - .07.

Supposing that the men around the archbishop are bodyguards:Is this saying that the San Francisco police are not sufficient to control the crowd and protect the archbishop? Who is paying for this extra protection?Is this a one time or permanent state of affairs? Inquiring minds want to know.

From a story linked on Whispers in the Loggia six (6) days ago: 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."

If you're not out to assume the worst about people, this all seems like much ado about nothing.

Rita,Will you be including an update on your original post regarding the Associated Press article mentioned in the Whispers post linked by Stuart Buck? It includes an alternative explanation (that seems plausible enough) from the Archdiocese."As of this writing there has been no word, no explanation from Cordileone. Nothing in the press or on anyones blog that adds substantially to the story." Except of course one of the most widely read Catholic blogs and the AP . . . .Thanks,Edward

My apologies. I see now that the Archdiocese comment was mentioned in the post, although I think it's fair to say that the explanation from the Archdiocesan spokesperson is an "explanation from Cordileone."

I have discovered, next to my printer, an ancient Coptic fragment. It was entitled Genesis, Chapter 51. The date of 4004 BCE has been thoroughly authenticated by my friends.Here I will reveal only the relevant parts of the fragment: "If anyone feels he or she has been snubbed, immediately announce such a fact on the internet. The snubbor is then under the obligation to publicly apologize to any snubbees. If this encourages other snubbees to search their repressed memories and come forward to demand an apology, all the better. These apologies are in addition to and not in replacement of apologies for the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc."

James--Thanks for your support, but my guess is that "Sister Mary Wood" is just someone's idea of camp. I can't imagine a real Sister Mary would behave that way.William--In reply to your comment of 1:33 pm, I'm not terribly familiar with the term, but based on this: I can say is, I am not worthy.

Claire (10/09/2012 - 4:30 pm), Joseph J. -- TANGENT ----- Finn's pastoral letter promulgating his expertise on the dangers of pornography is still available today. I expected to see it disappear a year ago if he were wise. Maybe what he wrote was just for other people. Lesson for Cordileone: Make believe history never happened.

Jack: you're right. On the page which I linked to in my comment, his letter appears. But I could swear that it was not there when I looked for it yesterday!

Jack, thanks for the link.Stuart, ditto.That said, I'm now even more confused about the facts. Andrus supposedly arrived on time, indeed, to chat with an Orthodox bishop and fellow clerics before they were whisked off to join the procession to their designated seating. Andrus, however, was asked to remain behind.What gives?Did a cathedral aide screw up? Or did an aide intend to keep Andrus out of the procession? In any event, did Cordileone have anything to do with this episode? (I'd hope he did not.)Perhaps in addition to apologizing to Andrus, the archdiocese may want to inquire what happened out of sight of the folks upstairs in the assembly and share its findings with Andrus.This episode, whether intended or not, is not "much ado about nothing". Regardless of my generally negative feelings and thinking about Cordileone, I'd hate to see this matter derail good will and cooperation between the two churches in San Francisco.

Stuart Buck,We didn't need Rocco to tell us this. The same information was in the link I supplied in my original post. I see you regard Wesolek as the final word on what happened. That's your opinion. Andrus denies that he was late. Thank you, Edward, for noticing that it was in the original post.As noted, the problem is that statement "he arrived late." This is the point that the bishop contends is untrue. Edward, to pursue your point further:I do not know that the statement of the press officer ought to be taken as equal to a statement from Cordileone. He also said they would apologize if offense were taken. Quite evidently, offense was taken, but there has been no apology reported. And later, Wesolek said to Virtue Online that Andrus was looking for a fight. I'd really hate to attribute that comment to Cordileone. But maybe I'm wrong.

Ok, here's my reconstruction. Andrus arrived before his deadline. He chatted with the Orthodox guys. Someone - say, an usher - was sent to fetch them all to get them lined up for the procession of non-Catholic dignitaries. So the usher grabbed the Orthodox guys and stuck them in line. The usher was supposed to then go back and get Andrus - but he didn't. Why not? Probably because it was disorganized chaos, trying to get everybody where they were supposed to be - and in the midst of trying to keep track of 27 other things, the poor guy just forgot.Me, if I were overlooked that way, I'd just walk through the door at some other opportune moment. I'd approach an usher and whisper, "I was supposed to walk in with all those rabbis and imams, but somehow I got left behind. May I just walk up the side aisle and squeeze into the pew with them?"

I see you regard Wesolek as the final word on what happened.If we assume the principles of Occam's Razor and perhaps even a hermeneutic of charity, the most plausible possibility is that there was, at worst, a misunderstanding based on some sort of confusion as to what time the event started or perhaps due to someone's watch being slow. Any breach of ecumenism came first from Andrus's rather cheeky letter, which rather plainly was hinting that Catholics should leave (if anything would be a breach of ecumenism, that would).

Jim Pauwels:You wrote,

. . . [H]eres my reconstruction. Andrus arrived before his deadline. He chatted with the Orthodox guys. Someone say, an usher was sent to fetch them all to get them lined up for the procession of non-Catholic dignitaries. So the usher grabbed the Orthodox guys and stuck them in line. The usher was supposed to then go back and get Andrus . . .

Bishop Andrus says thats not how it happened. He says the usher had begun to grab all of them Andrus included:

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. This person, who appeared to be in a superior role, instructed another employee to stand with me.

Andrus said he had identified himself to that person an assistant to the archbishop, he says when he first arrived, and that the person then spoke to someone through a headset, saying, Bishop Andrus is here.The quotes from Andrus can be found at

Well, Rita, narratives turn into absolutes once they are ventilated like this. Of course, you asked for it. You took the bait to register what "actually" happened and whose "narrative" is the most "veritable," "determinate," "decided," "genuine," "categorical," "unequivocal," etc. Nothing like applying pliability and liberality, but restrained within ecumenical bounds, when two bishops square off!

Archbishop Cordileone has a special responsibility to teach by word and action and he has failed.Helen,On becoming an Archbishop, he did not receive some special ability not to make mistakes. How about a little charity? Also, perhaps he is teaching that after making a mistake, you can move on. With all our background checks, etc. we basically treat people no better than the worst thing they ever did. Thats terrible, IMHO.

Bruce -- In a local case I know, a stupid drinker/driver like Cordileone paid with significant time off the road, enforced without consideration of remorse, contrition, and the hand of God. He had time for meditation on the legal and lethal consequences of DUI before being allowed to drive again. ABC10NEWS found the car the Archbishop was driving "belongs to the church" and was "registered to Roman Catholic Bishops". Whose judgment determines when the Archbishop gets the keys again? His? That has been observed in action and reaction.

"...a stupid drinker/driver like Cordileone....Jack Barry,Wow, you really "like" the guy, don't you? One wonders how the Archbishop would write about you havng witnessed one of your mistakes, on TV. No doubt, it would not be "drunken driving." You protest too much about that. And now you want everything "intelligent" about Cordileone cancelled because of his single error. Thank heavens our saints are characterized by the greatness of their sins and mistakes as by the greatness of their efforts and achievements. I am sure all you dwell on is the greatness of their sins.

james chichetto Note the 2010 death toll in US motor vehicle crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver (10/09/2012 - 9:42 pm). Have you shared your charitable viewpoint with the children, spouses, family, and friends directly affected by those 10,228 violent deaths - or "mistakes", if you prefer?

Jack Berry,There are 900,000 DUI arrests each year and a third are repeat offenders. And I'm sure there are multiple times as many who are never caught. Its no wonder you have a local case you know.

I promised to post the 'rest of the story' on Episcopal Bishop Andrus being snubbed at the installation of Archbishop Cordileone San Francisco.There is 'no' rest of the story. The Catholic San Francisco newspaper today did not mention/apologize or remark about the snub. Maybe some think if it's ignored it did not happen?AD PR guy said Episcopals 'want to fight'. I guess if you don't show up in the ring there is no fight. . SF is very Small in area so these very young bishops have a decade or two to avoid an intermingle. So much for ecumenism on Vat II anniversary. was written up though.

I find it very difficult to believe that Cordileone's mother would let him drive the car if he were obviously impaired by the alcohol which he had imbibed with a full dinner. Nonetheless, I think it was bad form on both sides of the obviously competing denominations. Bishop Andrus did not need to state his well known opinion to his flock at this time, and Archbishop Cordileone should have disinvited Andrus if he later decided that he did not want him there because of the declaration of opposition. Bad form all the way around.

Verity -Agreed. I also think that it would be unlikely that Apb. Cordileone would drive his mother around if he himself thought he was drunk (even though he actually was). Granted, DUI is a very bad thing to do, but it isn't always possible for the one who has been drinking to know he's had too much. It's his laughing about it that gets to me.

"There is 'no' rest of the story. The Catholic San Francisco newspaper today did not mention/apologize or remark about the snub."SOP, apparently, for U.S. hierarchs.Like in KC-St Joe.Nada. Nothing.And dysfunctional leadership goes on.(only in the Church of Rome)Sad.

" would be unlikely that Apb. Cordileone would drive his mother around if he himself thought he was drunk...."Ann Olivier,True enough; but as it was, the Apb.'s mother had to drive herself home that evening after the arrest. The German cleric couldn't, without a license.

James C. --I hold no brief for Apb. Cordileone, but I don't think he should be painted as worse than he is. (I don't know what his mother's driving has to do with this. And I don't know which german cleric are you referring to.)