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Friday, April 30, 2010

Here I Stand, I Can Do No Other...But Ask Me Again Tomorrow.

A few years back, Episcopalians were bemused (as this then-Episcopalian certainly was at the time) when the recently retired Bishop of the Diocese of Albany, Daniel Herzog, announced he was leaving the Episcopal Church for Rome; a round trip for him, since he had swum the Tiber the other way many years earlier, leaving the Catholic Church for the Episcopal Church.

The move puzzled me because although Herzog was fairly conservative on most church matters, he was an ardent proponent of the ordination of women, indeed he was ordaining them almost up to the moment he decamped for Rome, seemingly wanting to get as many in as he could before could do so no more. Now it looks as if Herzog has had third thoughts about where he stands; he has returned to the Episcopal Church, warmly received by his successor in Albany, Bishop William Love and none other than the Presiding Bishop herself, Katharine Jefferts Schori.

This is indeed a puzzlement for Bishop Herzog's enthusiasm for women in the priesthood was equaled by his strong opposition to partnered-homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage. I remember a stern letter read from the pulpit one Sunday, written by the Bishop and read at his behest in every church in his diocese in the wake of the installation of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. If I recall correctly, the letter denounced both Robinson's installation and same-sex marriage. That was and is, of course, the polar opposite of the prevailing ethos in the Episcopal Church these days so you have to wonder just what is going on in Herzog's head. He has made this journey three times now. I wonder if he might make it one more time.

(Thanks to William Tighe)

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