Monday, November 30, 2009

Where's Andrew Waldo+?

Andrew Waldo+ appears to have successfully bamboozled moderate folks at our recent walkabouts. I have heard from conservative people who had not studied up beforehand who were likewise fooled by his "march to the middle." Therefore, some reiteration is in order.

In my pre-walkabout evaluation of this nominee for bishop of Upper South Carolina several problems were noted. Rather than direct you to that post, I will copy some of it here.

Old sermons curiously were not accessible from his church's home page, but I was able to dig out an old link using a different search engine and find sermons from 2003-2007, with the interesting note,
"FYI - Since June 2006, most of Andrew Waldo's sermons have been from notes, so PDFs are only occasionally available. We hope in the near future to offer MP3 files of sermons."

I did find a sermon from 01/30/05 entitled "Humility" that had some interesting things: we as individuals and communities define the authority of scripture affects how we believe and act on the current Social Security debate, how we respond to poverty, the war in Iraq, questions around gay marriage, and within the church, how we view the ordination of my old friend and mentor, Bishop Gene Robinson. ."

Rev. Waldo's "old friend and mentor" is +Gene Robinson. Does that leave any doubt as to where we would be headed with Waldo+ in the House of Bishops with his old friend and mentor?

Let's take a look at his answers to the search committee:

Part A - Faith Story:

He honestly tells of his anti-Christian early years, and about his divorce he says,
"An unwanted, soul-crushing separation and divorce from my first wife at the tender age of twenty-five assured me that I was not as in control of my life as I thought."

I had to remind everyone about those verses we don't hear from the pulpit any longer:
1 Timothy 3:1-7
This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Part C - How would you counsel a rector who was asked to bless a same gender relationship and how would you lead us beyond our divisions?
He started out by commenting on same sex relationships,
"I don’t know how the Church will ultimately articulate—in liturgy or in canon law—the status of same-gender relationships without some division."

Sounds like he might be okay with schism.
"We have not however performed any same-gender blessings at Trinity Church because neither the vestry nor the larger parish community has come to one mind."

And what about the rest of the Church, what about the Anglican Communion? I guess it all boils down to the discretion of the rector, vestry and "larger parish community." What about the bishop?
"The guiding principle for such dialogue at Trinity has long been that 'It is more important for us to stand or kneel together as brothers and sisters around a common table receiving the Body and Blood of Christ than it is to be ‘right’ on a matter of doctrine.'”

That tells us where he stands on doctrine. I can almost use this reasoning to justify anything as long as I show up for Sunday service.
"My approach as bishop would continue to follow this pattern—not permitting blessings until the Church has come to one mind..."

Guess what, the Episcopal church has spoken, just ask the Bishop of Eastern Massachusetts who on 11/30/09 was reported to have given approval for same sex marriages to be performed by his priests in accordance with his interpretation of C056.

Waldo+ is clearly in the camp that will go along with the wishes and desires of the General Convention, which are to accept same sex blessings and gay ordinations as "facts on the ground" and it is "time to move forward." Here are his words:
"The answer here must follow from what I’ve said above: that because our Church is not of one mind on this issue we cannot act unilaterally, and I would not therefore sanction such blessings in the Diocese until we have, through General Convention, reached a decision..."

I would be willing to bet that he will permit clergy to perform a SSB in their parish once GC approves liturgies which could be in 2012 or 2015.

And what about D025,the one about ordination of partnered gay clergy? At the walkabout he claimed that if he were at the last General Convention, he would have voted against it. Well, Bill2 who claimed to have been present in Minnesota witnessed, (you can see the comment at the following URL:

" think it was in the run-up to GC 2003. Trinity was going to hire a new assisting clergy person and Waldo was bemoaning how awful it would be if someone were disallowed because they were GLBTQXYZ. He let fly with all the usual shibboleths against conservatives." (Update from Bill2 on 12/1/2009 who adds, "I didn’t witness Waldo whining about excluding candidates based on their GLBTQXYZ status. They were on Trinity’s website, either as the rector’s column or a sermon. So in one sense I did witness it, but they weren’t spoken words I witnessed, rather typed. A fine distinction, but one that needs to be made."

I have to reiterate where I referenced our profile as a diocese:
15. Our current Bishop and the diocese, in
convention, have affirmed that we are a
Windsor Diocese. In that light, I believe our
next bishop should be supportive of the
Windsor Report and the ongoing Windsor

48 % Strongly Agree
20 % Somewhat Agree
26 % No Opinion
4 % Somewhat Disagree
2 % Strongly Disagree

21. I support the marriage of gay and lesbian
persons in the Episcopal Church.

17 % Strongly Agree
11 % Somewhat Agree
7 % No Opinion
12 % Somewhat Disagree
53 % Strongly Disagree

I am sorry, but IMHO Waldo does not match our profile.

How about Q 30?
30. I would like our next bishop to be a strong
preacher / orator, fully committed to evangelism
and outreach to the unchurched.

46 % Strongly Agree
39 % Somewhat Agree
9 % No Opinion
6 % Somewhat Disagree

At the walkabout, I did not hear one word about how he has successfully grown his church or helped grow his diocese. Instead I heard about the closing of their church camp and conference center and his not doing Cursillo because he had heard it was "divisive."

Lastly we have the problem of his practice of "open communion" or "communion of the unbaptised." This may not be a problem that most pewsitters can understand. What should be understood is the manner in which Waldo+ flip flopped on his position. He simply caved under the pressure of his assistant rector and the "wave" that was sweeping the diocese of Minnesota.
Does he fit our profile's requirement that our bishop, "Have a strong theological background, interpreting the Gospel and standing on Christian principles, even if standing alone" (p.33)?

Another thing to consider is what one commenter sent me:
"Someone who blatantly violates Church law should not become a bishop and, in this case, he wantonly and egregiously violates Canon I.17.7 every Sunday. His acceptance of 'open Communion' is on the record and should not be ignored by the voting delegates."

This is the Canon:
Sec. 7. No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.

Could that be a problem in getting consents from other dioceses if elected?

Where is Wadlo+? HE IS LEFT OF DORSEY+!

Where will he leave us? LEFT OUT!


  1. Cesario8:51 PM

    Please stop trying to turn this election into a political election. It is not. It is an act of the Holy Spirit through the people of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. If you do not think Andrew Waldo will be acceptable for us then don't vote for him. But in truth there is no point in postings with your opinions when the other voters are not doing such. It is not your obligation to solely elect our new bishop so back off and let us decide for ourselves.

    Shalom, may the Spirit be with you.

  2. Anonymous6:15 AM

    I, for one, am thankful for the information and perspectives provided by the Pewster. I think all delegates should know all about the nominees among whom they must choose. And I think it is the tradition of the church to reason together on any issue or election. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide our discernment. But I also believe that the Holy Spirit wants us to study, consider and discuss the candidates as a church.

  3. The question of church politics is off topic, but will be a good subject for a later posting.

  4. Anonymous8:46 AM

    RE: "Please stop trying to turn this election into a political election."

    I'm not certain why pointing out the unfortunate beliefs and actions and mentorships of a candidate is "political." Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit who is helping the Pewster by offering people solid information on which to base decisions.

    RE: "But in truth there is no point in postings with your opinions when the other voters are not doing such."

    Of course they are. There are plenty of blogs and websites with other voters opinions out there. This blog just happens to not appreciate Waldo's positions on a number of important issues.

    RE: "It is not your obligation to solely elect our new bishop so back off and let us decide for ourselves."

    Agreed. Posting information for all of us to examine, however, will certainly help us decide for ourselves.

    Thank you Pewster. It's important that people understand the positions of the various nominees for bishop.

  5. Anonymous12:09 PM

    With all due respect, Cesario, I just don't understand how information given about a candidate for bishop is either "political" or is somehow thwarting the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit acts, among other ways, through reason. It is supposed to be a faculty that is respected in the Episcopal Church. If the diocese really wanted it to be totally up to the Holy Spirit (read random), then there would be no search committee, no questionnaires, and no walkabouts. We want to know where these men stand. Are they faithful? Are they holy? These are questions Pewster is addressing. And seems to me, they are well in keeping with what Pewster is posting.