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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

No Room for the 'In'

By Fr. Wilson ( articles ) | Oct 02, 2003

The situation developing in St Augustine, FL is actually quite humorous. As I noted before, the Bishop of St Augustine, Victor Galeone, has rescinded the invitation to the Episcopal Diocese of Florida to conduct the consecration of their new coadjutor bishop in one of the larger Catholic Church buildings. The reason is that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold, is planning to preside.

The current Episcopal Bishop, Stephen Jecko, enjoys a very cordial relationship with the Catholics. He is one of the Episcopalians who is furious with the leadership of his church over the issue of blessing homosexual unions and endorsing the electio of an openly homosexual bishop in New Hampshire. Undoubtedly, he'd rather Bishop Griswold stay home, especially since he had already been asked by a group of his priests to TELL Griswold not to come.

Bishop Griswold is a study. From the earliest years of his ministry he has had close relationships with Catholics and affected a Catholic style, even while embracing the fuzzy latitudinarianism in faith and especially morality which is necessary for upward mobility in his denomination. He dresses like a Catholic, his liturgical style is Catholic, but he is capable of astonishing howlers such as urging that his flock recognize and embrace a 'pluriformity of truths.' Among orthodox Christians in the Episcopal Church, journalist David Virtue is typical in dismissing Griswold as a 'fatuous twit.'

Nonetheless, Bishop Griswold is VERY into doing things like decking himelf out in a royal purple soutane and meeting the Pope. He enjoys the prestige of his office. To his chagrin, it turns out that the Episcopalians will be perfectly welcome to use St Joseph's Church as long as Griswold doesn't preside. Bishop Jecko has been very gracious and understanding, publicly expressing his esteem for his friend Bishop Galeone. Bishop Griswold, faced with this rejection, has prayed and meditated and concluded that he "must" preside at the consecration. Both sides are trying to figure out the way around this impasse.

I have often had dealings with faithful Episcopalians over the years, including some of their bishops, priests and Religious. There are no finer folk. They are heartbroken at the crisis in their Church, and they are gradually being marginalized and disenfranchized by the likes of Griswold and his "pluriform truths" (for where orthodoxy is not mandated it will soon be proscribed). A tip of the biretta to Bishop Galeone of Saint Augustine!! Whether he realizes it or not, he is supporting and heartening a fine, deserving group of Christians.

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