Monday, July 07, 2008

Response from Bishop Mathes' office on St. Margaret's comment

After posting this comment from Stand Firm's post on St. Margaret's Palm Springs financial struggles:

I live in Palm Desert and now attend services at a Roman Catholic parish in La Quinta (haven't officially jumped ship yet). Several parishioners at St. Margaret's told me that following the recent California Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, Bishop Mathes quietly has given consent for the blessing of same sex relationships. However, he stopped short of allowing clergy to actually perform the nuptials. Clergy are allowed to bless the civil same sex marriage once it has already occurred. Two weeks ago, Rev. Clark Trafton (retired but assisting clergy) announced immediately after delivering the sermon that he and his partner were recently married. Most of the congregation gave them a standing ovation.

I asked Bishop Mathes if he could comment or clarify this rumor, and received this response by email from Howard Smith, his Canon to the Ordinary:
Dear Anne,

The Bishop has received your email asking him to comment on a rumor. As blogs do not commit to journalistic standards, such as not reporting on rumor, it is not his custom to comment on blogs. With that said, the Bishop is confident that the clergy of our diocese are following his counsel and direction regarding the issue about which you inquired.

Faithfully,

Howard Smith
Canon to the Ordinary for Finance and Administration

I have to agree, I understand the reasoning and appreciate Bishop Mathes's response. I do, however, disagree with the "journalistic standards" criterion, not that blogs have them - they often don't - but that journalists have them - because they often don't. But that's my quibble, not the bishop's!

4 comments:

Matthew said...

So if they are following his counsel and direction, then he is good with what is going on.

Interesting. And not unexpected.

Mike L said...

The questioned asked:
Clarify the rumor that
"Bishop Mathes quietly has given consent for the blessing of same sex relationships. However, he stopped short of allowing clergy to actually perform the nuptials. Clergy are allowed to bless the civil same sex marriage once it has already occurred."
The response was:
"With that said, the Bishop is confident that the clergy of our diocese are following his counsel and direction regarding the issue about which you inquired."
Does anyone really consider that answering the question?

sandiegoanglicans.com said...

Whatever. It's no rumor according to the NYT.

Hey Anne. While you've got central command on the line, ask them if they know anything about that other "rumor" about open communion being offered to the unbaptized throughout the diocese of San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the better questions would have been "Bishop, have you authorized the blessing of same sex unions, partnerships or marriages, on a limited or unlimited basis, by clergy within the Diocese of San Diego?" and "Following your May statement on the California Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage, have you changed the counsel and direction you have given your clergy concerning the blessing of these relationships?" These questions should be asked at every townhall meeting the bishop holds.