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 As I noted before, the Bishop of St Augustine, Victor Galeone, has rescinded the invitation to the Episcopal Diocese of Florida to conduct the consecration of their new coadjutor bishop in one of the larger Catholic Church buildings.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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  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2003 11:33 AM ET USA

    WF As usual you "hit all the nails right on their heads" !

  • Posted by: DWB - Oct. 03, 2003 11:10 AM ET USA

    I'm a former Episcopalian, and I share Fr Wilson's appreciation of the many fine Christians still in that denomination. But lending a Catholic church for a (probably) invalid or (at least) illicit "ordination" doesn't seem to be even a close call. WF makes a good point about the SSPX. But here in Dallas, the bishop won't permit the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (in full communion with Rome and completely licit) to use a parish church for old-rite weddings, baptisms, or funerals. Go figure.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2003 8:10 AM ET USA

    Verax, love ya and your comments, but if any of the bishops are in line from Old Catholics, etc. then what we have are schismatics borrowing a church for an illicit consecration. I'm not sure how that makes the situation better. Also, I wonder if Bishop Galeone will be so accomodating when the SSPX wants to consecrate another bishop.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 02, 2003 11:52 PM ET USA

    WF Although I usually am pleased to concur with you [because we so much need "lions" & "tigers" in today's Church], I suggest the following. If the consecrating Episcopal bishop [whoever] has in his clerical "lineage" Old Catholic, Polish National, and/or Philippine Independent, co-consecrating bishops [all recognized as valid by R.C. Church], then it is at least POSSIBLE that a valid consecration COULD take place for the Episcopalians in Florida. I would leave the door ajar just a little bit.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 02, 2003 11:45 PM ET USA

    This is all moving from tragedy to funny to farce! Especially "decking oneself in royal purple soutane. I have taken part in some ecumenical, community projects, i.e., the "Way of the Cross" and Cropwalk. Our local Episcopalian priest is a hoot flying down the street in a red-lined cape and inviting pets to services. Unfortunately, the Catholics here are even worse with an 8th grade boy in his underwear as Jesus on Good Friday. The point is that it's getting beyond boring and insulting.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 02, 2003 10:37 PM ET USA

    I can't imagine what business a Catholic bishop would have lending a Catholic Church for a mock consecration of an invalidly ordained make-believe bishop. It is Bishop Galeone who gives credibility to "pluriform truths" by letting any such charade go on with his blessing. What a sad moment it will be when the Episcopalians pretend to consecrate the Eucharist in front of a tabernacle with the real Jesus. Invalid orders and the Christo-paganism that followed separated us long before homosexuality.