Friday, October 05, 2012

The Mystery of Marc Andrus and the Archdiocese of San Francisco

This much we know - TEC “Bishop” Marc Andrus went to attend the Mass for the installation of the new RC Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, but was detained by staff.  When the service began without him, he left.

But exactly why he was detained, and whether he arrived to the service on time is a mystery.  Andrus’ version from his blog:

I was dropped off at the cathedral at 1:30PM by my assistant. After making my way around protestors and showing my invitation to security guards, I was in the lower level area to which I was directed by 1:40.

The instructions the Archdiocese had given my assistant were that I should be at St. Mary's by 1:45. The service was scheduled to begin at 2.

I identified myself to an assistant to the archbishop, who spoke to someone through a headset, saying, "Bishop Andrus is here."

I saw the Greek Metropolitan, a good colleague of mine, who was in the same room with me, several Greek Orthodox priests, archdiocesan employees and security guards. I greeted the metropolitan and we spoke briefly.

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.

At this point no other guests remained in the downstairs area. The employee and I chatted while waiting. I began to wonder about the time holdup. I checked my phone; it was 1:50PM. I asked the employee standing with me if the service indeed started at 2, which she affirmed.

At 2PM, 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. I arrived early, before the time given my assistant, and waited to leave until after the service had begun.

My intention for attending the installation was to honor our ecumenical and interfaith relations in the Bay Area.

But an Archdiocean spokesman says he was late and then did not wait long enough to be seated:

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.”

I do not know what to conclude except that Marc Andrus had best learn that neither the world nor the church revolves around him, nor any other apostate “bishop”.  And he’s supposedly Anglican.  He should know by now to show up to church early, not barely on time or late, especially for a big service.

But who, if anyone, was at fault here - well, that is a mystery.


Christopher Johnson said...

There are two possibilities here. Andrus is lying, he did, indeed get there late and is covering his narthex. Or Andrus is telling the truth and this was a deliberate snub. Either way, the man still looks like a tool.

Arriving late demonstrates profound disrespect for a sacred event. But if you write a letter filled with very thinly-disguised insults directed at your Catholic counterpart and his church, the last thing you have a right to expect is hospitality.

Anonymous said...

Those who would follow Jesus are admonished to take up the cross, deny themselves, and follow Him.

No matter our station in the church, we are expected to not let anything about ourselves be a stumbling block to someone else seeking Christ.

This particular bishop has chosen to be arrested, chosen to push a political agenda (see his specific criticism of Mitt Romney by name), and now chosen to insult another church and then to create a grant commotion by whining about some perceived slight. Where he has walked is strewn with stumbling blocks and distractions -- ("look at me!"). How unbecoming and how distracting.

May we all in humility seek forgiveness and renewal and strength to serve our Risen Lord.