Bishop brouhaha in San Francisco
Salvatore Cordileone was installed as the new Archbishop for San Francisco on Thursday.
October 5th, 2012
04:14 PM ET

Bishop brouhaha in San Francisco

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– Was it a snub or a misunderstanding?

On Thursday the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco held its installation service for new Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in front of 2,000 invited guests at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. A large delegation of Catholic clergy and faith leaders from around the city were there to join the service, processing in.

But those seated in the cathedral noticed one participant missing, Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus, the local Episcopal bishop.

Pacific Church News, the news service from the Episcopal Diocese of California, reported that Andrus "was not allowed to be seated" and "detained by an usher" in the basement until he left shortly before the service began.

Andrus posted what he dubbed as a "clarification" on his blog just after midnight on Friday morning. Andrus wrote he was dropped off at 1:30 p.m. and it took him 10 minutes to get through a crowd of protesters.

Gay marriage supporters in San Francisco protested Cordileone's installation because of his strong support for Proposition 8 in California and his vocal support for traditional marriage, the formal teaching of the Catholic church, while he was the bishop in neighboring Oakland, California.

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Andrus writes in his post that he was told by the archdiocese to be there by 1:45 p.m. Upon arrival, he identified himself and was escorted to the basement where he saw the local head of the Greek Orthodox church and his delegation.

After chatting briefly with the Greek Orthodox group he writes, "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."

By then Andrus writes no one else was in the basement but he and the employee from the archdiocese. The service got under way and Andrus writes, "I said to the employee, 'I think I understand, and feel I should leave.' Her response was, 'Thank you for being understanding.' "

After that brief conversation Andrus said he headed for the door.

"No attempt was ever made to explain the delay or any process for seating. I arrived early, before the time given my assistant, and waited to leave until after the service had begun," he writes.

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A few days before the installation Andrus posted a letter to the Diocese of California. In the letter Andrus noted his opposition to Proposition 8 and support of same-sex marriage but pointed to the long Christian tradition of Christians disagreeing on some issues yet still working together on others. He mentioned issues of poverty and immigration as areas where the two Christian groups had partnered recently in the city.

Andrus also included this line, "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 as our sisters and brothers."

That line could be viewed as either a subtle jab over a contentious issue or a reminder to parishioners over an issue already unfolding.

"We were certainly aware of his letter," George Wesolek, the director of communications and public policy for the Archdiocese of San Francisco told CNN in an e-mail.

"Interfaith relations in San Francisco have always been cordial, working on issues that we agree on (which are many: immigration, global poverty, affordable housing etc.), but disagreeing on other issues – abortion, marriage, etc," he continued.

Wesolek stressed, "We would never exclude an invited guest and collaborator on certain issues of importance to the whole community," when asked about Andrus not being seated and if the letter played any part in the incident.

"Bishop Andrus, our guest, arrived before the 2 p.m. start, but after the interfaith delegation was seated in the front pews of the Cathedral. He was asked to wait in the conference rooms below the Cathedral which was the staging area for the 40 bishops, 2 Cardinals and some 250 priests," Wesolek said.

"A staff member was trying to determine how and when to seat him in a way that was appropriate and would not cause any disruption. When they came to get him and seat him, he had left," Wesolek said explaining what had happened as he saw it.

"There was never any intention to exclude the Bishop. We are expressing our apologies to him for the obvious misunderstanding," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Episcopal

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. writerjerome

    Cordileone was arrested several weeks ago on a DUI charge (Google it). He was about to drop his Mother off, which would have left him alone with a young male student. In the aftermath of the pedophile priest scandal, a Catholic bishop choosing to be alone with a teen boy in his car is, at the very least, showing incredibly poor judgment. Likewise, he showed poor judgment when he snubbed the Episcopal bishop due to that church welcoming gay people. And the Catholic hierarchy showed poor judgment in assigning a reckless and rude anti-gay fanatic to serve in San Francisco.

    November 10, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  2. Catholicism is absolutely T!tanic! Free ice cubes!

    So he wasn't allowed to attend the installation of a drunk driver as archbishop? Why would he want to participate in that and legitimize it?

    October 9, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  3. Samuel

    He looks so smug. Who is the little boy that he is eyeing?

    October 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  4. merridee

    I'm not surprised Bishop Andrus was treated so ill by his Catholic counterparts. Bad form and all that, but hardly surprising as the Catholic Church in America has swung hard to the reich... er ... right.

    October 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  5. Satanluv

    I hate to see men in dresses and pretty hats fighting...btw: why does that bishop or cardinal or whatever in the picture need a secret service agent?

    October 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  6. Fritz Hohenheim

    I guess they should have seated him at the children's table, he would have loved that

    October 7, 2012 at 6:25 am |
  7. Frank McGowan

    Einstein was right once more, and no additional proof need be given than the above article.

    October 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  8. HouseHaunter454

    God bless the Holy Catholic Church. And thank God for Bishops that stand against evil.

    October 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      A hindu evil does not stand for truth as you hind, lie in your hinduism, absurdity, his hat is nothing but sign of hindu, Lucifer, self centered, secular or a pig.

      October 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  9. hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

    Pay attention to Mullah's hat, What is it on his hat? A goat head? please visit secretes of hats ism.com and click on word IHateHats on website to open file to learn secrete of dark secretes of hats, denier of truth ism.

    October 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Andrus – 1; Cordileone – 0.

    October 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 6, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      In one study prayer was proven to have an effect.....for the worse.

      October 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot!

      October 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • truth be told

      In another study the study you are referring to was found to be flawed. Do not study studies, studies can be misleading, study God.

      October 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There is no way to study god as there is no evidence to study, just speculation and conjecture.

      Nothing fails like prayer.

      October 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • truth be told

      Nothing succeeds like prayer.

      October 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why are you such an abject failure, Turd be Told?

      October 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • TR6

      @truth be told: "In another study the study you are referring to was found to be flawed. Do not study studies, studies can be misleading, study God."

      Typical hypocritical Christian. Whine for evidence that there is no god and put their fingers in their ears and go LA LA LA LA LA really loud when they are given some

      October 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • TR6

      @truth be told: "Nothing succeeds like prayer."

      Tell that to Bachman and Santorum

      October 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • truth be told

      They already know the real substantial value of prayer and faith. You are one who seems lost on the concept.

      October 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Fritz Hohenheim

      Proven? Ye I guess, a study has shown a few years ago that praying for the sick actually makes them sicker, so I guess you're right, it changes things.

      October 7, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!

      October 10, 2012 at 11:40 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.