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Anglican bishop ‘snubbed’ at RC service after gay row

by
12 October 2012

By a staff reporter

AP

In his place: the Most Revd Salvatore J. Cordileone at his installation in San Francisco RC Cathedral on Thursday of last week

In his place: the Most Revd Salvatore J. Cordileone at his installation in San Francisco RC Cathedral on Thursday of last week

AN EPISCOPALIAN bishop in the United States has said that he was snubbed when he arrived for the installation of the new Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, the Most Revd Salvatore Cordileone.

The Bishop of California, the Rt Revd Marc Andrus, said on his blog that he had arrived early for the installation, and was kept waiting, watched over by a member of staff, while other guests were shown to their seats.

He wrote: "At 2 p.m., when the service was to begin, I said to the employee: 'I think I understand, and feel I should leave.' Her response was, 'Thank you for being understanding.' I quietly walked out the door. No one attempted to stop me. No attempt was ever made to explain the delay or any process for seating."

A spokesman for the RC Archbishop has said that there was a "misunderstanding", and that the Anglican Bishop had arrived late, and that staff were looking for an opportunity to seat him during the service. Bishop Andrus denied that he was late.

He had written to his diocese before the installation, saying that he looked forward to working with the new Archbishop, despite a "difference of opinion and support" about gay marriage. He argued that it was his "Christian duty to take stands in public or from our pulpits when others - especially those of our own faith - are in error and trying to suppress the rights of others who, too, have been created in God's image".

After expressing the hope "that public disagreements can be handled respectfully", he extended an invitation to Roman Catholics who did not agree with their Archbishop about gay rights to join the Episcopalians. "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."

At the heart of differences between the two lies California's Proposition 8 ballot measure, which says that only marriages between one man and one woman are valid in the state. Episcopalian bishops have opposed Proposition 8, while Archbishop Cordileone was an early supporter of the measure. He also chairs the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Defense of Marriage committee.

Gay-rights protesters flocked around the RC cathedral during the installation service, but supporters sang hymns to welcome the new Archbishop.

During his homily at the service, Archbishop Cordileone joked about his recent arrest on a drink-driving charge. "I know in my life God has always had a way of putting me in my place. I would say, though, that in the latest episode of my life, God has outdone himself."

He had been due to appear in court on Tuesday, but pleaded guilty earlier to a lesser charge of reckless driving - which normally carries a penalty of probation, and a fine.

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