Friday, October 5, 2012

So What Happened at Saint Mary Maytag?

 Saint Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, designed by the Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi, and likened by the locals to a washing machine agitator; thus the moniker "Saint Mary Maytag"

Was the Episcopal Bishop of San Francisco, Marc Andrus, not just slighted, but expelled from San Francisco's Roman Catholic Cathedral?

Bishop Andrus arrived at St. Mary's for the installation of the new Roman Catholic Archbishop, and then according to the Episcopal Diocese of California's news site, this happened:

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.
 There are people insisting that this was all a misunderstanding, but these are all on comment threads on blogs and Facebook so far.  One such comment appeared on Grandmere Mimi's blog anonymously in a very hostile tone.   So far as I know, there is no statement about the incident yet from either Catholic or Episcopal authorities.  

Is this a snub, or a faux-pas?  I suppose we shall find out.  On the one hand, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Bishop Marc Andrus are polar opposites on most issues, especially teh gay.  On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that a new Catholic Archbishop would begin his tenure by deliberately alienating the city's Episcopalians.

But then again, it is hard not to see Cordileone's appointment by the Vatican as anything other than a hostile act toward San Francisco, aimed in particular at the city's burgeoning gay community.  Cordileone is one of the most militantly homophobic members of the American hierarchy, and a major force behind California's Proposition 8 that repealed marriage rights for same sex couples.

My friend David Giesen who lives in the Bernal Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, is a former Christian Scientist who knows the local congregation down by Mission Park.  David (who is hetero) says that it is gay men keeping that congregation alive, and indeed most of the churches of all denominations open and alive in San Francisco.  Without them, San Francisco would be as secular as Montreal with closed up churches everywhere.

San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, the concrete cathedral, of the Episcopal Diocese of California; it is built entirely out of reinforced concrete out of concerns over earthquake risk.


The issue remains unresolved.  According to the AP quoted on The Lead, Andrus still insists that he was snubbed while a spokesman for the Archdiocese claims that it was all a misunderstanding.  I'm puzzled that even with a late arrival they could not accommodate an invited guest bishop.


Here is Bishop Andrus' own account of what happened, thanks to Grandmere Mimi.   It looks to me that the bishop, and San Francisco's Episcopalians, got dissed.


Grandmère Mimi said...

St Mary's Maytag is an excellent descriptive.

See +Marc's blog. I don't think Bishop Marc is making stuff up.

Counterlight said...

Well, I'm not clergy, so to Archbishop Cordileone, I say "Vafanculo!"

Ciss B said...

Personally, I believe that the Catholic Church everywhere is so out of touch that they have come to believe that are the only ones with answers.

M.McShea said...

A lot of veneers glossing over the heart of this story. A discussion with a bit of researched links over on this site.