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
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