Upper South Carolina Episcopal bishop not ready to endorse same-sex blessings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo said he has traveled the diocese over the past two years to discern the thinking of his 28,000 parishioners on the volatile issue, which has divided the national church and the larger worldwide Anglican Communion since the 2003 ordination of an openly [non-celibate] U.S. gay bishop.

Waldo, who calls himself a “radical centrist,” said he has addressed the issue of same gender blessings at a theological council and at congregational forums. He said he has told congregants, “I support the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the church but as bishop, I’m everybody’s bishop, and that I’m in no hurry.”

“It’s critically important, critically important for me, that a space is created for those diverse views,” Waldo said last week as he prepared for the eight-day convention that opens today. “And when I say create a space, part of my journey these past two years is to discern what that space looks like.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* South Carolina

17 Comments
Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. David Keller wrote:

Bp. Waldo came to Christ Church Greenville last month to talk about GC. I was not there, as I no am longer a memeber, but a close friend tells me that when asked directly if he would allow SSB’s he said he would.  According to what I was told, he said he is voting against the resolution, but if it passes, it will be the law of TEC and he will allow SSB’s if a vestry approves. I wasn’t there, so if someone was and can comment further, please do.

July 5, 9:55 am | [comment link]
2. tjmcmahon wrote:

This has been the common strategy of revisionist bishops with fairly conservative dioceses for the last 10 years.  Lip service to traditional viewpoints and a promise to “create a space” for all viewpoints.  The vote won’t even be close (if it is, you will see several of the fence sitters have a “change of heart” and after “deep prayer and discernment” will determine that the “only way forward” will be to “allow the new bishop/liturgy/canon on a trial basis” and then vote in favor), so they can safely vote “no” on the resolution, and then it will be “canon” and they will fully support its implementation in their diocese after the vote.  Likewise here- the bishop is saying that he favors the resolution, but will vote against it on the principal that the majority of his diocese oppose it, but will then permit it as soon as it passes, even though presumably the resolution will give him the option on whether to allow gay marriage in the diocese or not.
So his “promise” to vote against is just a sham.

July 5, 11:17 am | [comment link]
3. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Radical centrist ... what a hoot.  The only truth in that statement is the perversion of the word radical into the PC understanding it is camouflaging.  Truthiness lives!

July 5, 12:40 pm | [comment link]
4. tired wrote:

Of course, ‘creating a space’ means the ‘radical’ exclusion of those who hold to the historic teaching - a teaching TEC once held to be unquestioned in its universal application.  There is no moderation, wisdom, or compromise in the bishop’s endorsement of sin.  There is no centrist position between heterodoxy and orthodoxy.

July 5, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
5. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Waldo said the 64 Midlands and Upstate congregations he represents are of a wide range of views on same gender relationships.

I agree with this statement especially as he was comparing Upper SC to SC in that sentence. Since I have lived in the state(1998), the Upper diocese has always been considered more “mixed” with a wider range of viewpoints. I don’t know how many orthodox are in Upper SC but I suspect the number is less than when we left almost 9 years ago.  Believe me, SC has revisionists of similar views to those in Upper SC, SC just has fewer of them.

July 5, 2:55 pm | [comment link]
6. David Keller wrote:

cat lady—I am certain you are correct. An awful lot of orthodox have left DUSC.  Our population has grown geometrically, but DUSC has no growth.  My impression is the only reason DUSC has not shrunk on paper is because of the influx from the rust belt which has kept the numbers flat.  My old church is Christ Church Greenville.  There are a lot of CC poeple who visit my new church St. Paul’s (PEARUSA), but who will never join officially becuse CC is a Social institution.  I can also assure you my wife and I who left over a year ago are still on the rolls and still on the mailing list. Point being, my guess is DUSC has contracted but there are still orthodox people on the rolls who don’t attend anymore, or who certainly aren’t active.  BTW, as to my #1, I had lunch with a friend who is still in DUSC and he confirmed what I said in the first post.

July 5, 3:44 pm | [comment link]
7. Ralph wrote:

#1 writes (emphasis is mine),

According to what I was told, he said he is voting against the resolution, but if it passes, it will be the law of TEC and he will allow SSB’s if a vestry approves.

What? The ‘law’ of TEC? Not! This is neither a change to the Constitution, nor to the Canons.

Did he REALLY say that?

July 5, 4:08 pm | [comment link]
8. jay 33 wrote:

7, no he didn’t say that.  He made it clear, he would not vote for it, thought the scholarship was lacking, in particular as to sin.  That because the scholarship was lacking today it does not mean that it will not improve or that God will not show the way.  Made it clear that if it passed no clergy or church would be compelled to perform SSB’s.  I honestly don’t remember his putting like 1.  I don’t recall Waldo saying he would allow it.  Probably fair to say you could imply it by his saying that no one would be forced.

July 5, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
9. David Keller wrote:

#7 and 8—I wasn’t there so I don’t know his exact words.  But I have now had two people from two different congregations tell me he said he would allow SSB’s if they pass GC, and the vestry votes to do them.

July 5, 5:03 pm | [comment link]
10. presbyter wrote:

At the Spartanburg meeting he told us that there would be a taskforce formed to look into how to implement SSB.  He said he is personally for it, but he could not vote for it as bishop of the diocese because the theological portion was lacking. At the time he suggested it would require both rector and vestry to consent plus, as I recall, some sort of written justification to perform the rites.  In other words, it wouldn’t be a done deal.  Now, how much of that remains intact after the task force?  No idea.

July 5, 10:01 pm | [comment link]
11. MichaelA wrote:

#8 and #9, why would it matter what he said?  This sort of thing is seen all the time - bishops (even “radical centrists” whatever that means) make the right cooing noises to lull the orthodox, and then go ahead and do whatever KJS requires.

July 6, 12:15 am | [comment link]
12. MichaelA wrote:

“My old church is Christ Church Greenville.  There are a lot of CC poeple who visit my new church St. Paul’s (PEARUSA), but who will never join officially becuse CC is a Social institution.”

Hmmm, priorities are shown in different ways.

July 6, 12:16 am | [comment link]
13. jay 33 wrote:

11, Not so with Waldo.  As loathsome as I find the idiotic term “radical centrist”  there was very little of the babbling placation one has come to expect from the purple shirts.  He threw a couple of skunks on the table.  All of his answers to hostile questions addressed the substance of the question and he answered them with what were precisely his views.  And most of his answers were not what the parish wanted to hear.

July 6, 10:28 am | [comment link]
14. presbyter wrote:

11 - I should like to follow up what jay 33 said. I don’t agree with Bp. Waldo on his views, but, I respect him for being an honest forthright bishop.  If he tells you something, you can take it to the bank, and he will listen to opposing views without cutting you off.  It is a rarity to have a bishop that I like and trust, especially given disagreements I have had with him.  As much as I dislike the term “dialogue” - there is actually real and honest discussion.

July 6, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
15. tjmcmahon wrote:

13 & 14-
You are missing the fault in his logic.
1. There is “insufficient” theology to adopt gay marriage, SSBs, etc.
2. Although there is insufficient theology done, he has accepted that the church should do these things anyway.
3. He will vote against the resolution because of 1 above (unless it is in some way amended to address his concerns, or “sufficient” theological evidence is provided).
4. If the resolution passes, he will allow a rector and vestry who desire to do an SSB/gay marriage to go ahead due to 2 above, if they file with him an as yet to be determined written justification for doing so.

Of course, to come to conclusions 1 and 3, he has to ignore and revise ALL substantive theological work ever done.  The work done by TEC in the last 50 years he deems insufficient, but says in the long run they should go ahead anyway, just not right now.

I’m trying to find what there is there that I can “take to the bank.”  All he is saying is that he recognizes that if he went ahead right away and did what he wants to do, he will loose too many people and dollars to keep the diocese viable.

July 6, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
16. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Hey David. We were members at Christ Church Greenville as well.  CC-G has been a social institution since the founding of Greenville. I am not surprised that some CC-G parishioners are coming to your PEAR parish and remaining on the rolls at CC-G. Southerners are sooo like that. There is a reason that the St. Louis convention happened there and not in some southern city like Charleston.

Anyway, as to what Waldo will do, I guess we all will find out after General Convention when that first couple wants the newrite. That will be interesting to find out which parish will have that first SSB in DioUpperSC.  Any one want to take a guess?

July 6, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
17. MichaelA wrote:

Jay33 and presbyter, I wish you well.  But I have been reading comments like yours for several years now, about various bishops in TEC who follow the same line as +Waldo.  Virtually all of them end in tears.  Be warned.

July 7, 12:48 am | [comment link]
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