Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Items: Clergy in Trouble and Keillor Quote

Clergy in Trouble

Two clergy of the Episcopal Church recently faced public notoriety by publicity alleging crimes or breaking the rules of the church. We are usually bewildered by such allegations and feel helpless. We think, well the person is guilty until proven innocent, however, the American way, or whatever is left of it, says the person is innocent until proven guilty.

Skillings and Lay of Enron also were innocent until proven guilty. Now that they are convicted of their crimes, I am quite willing to suspend my opposition to capital punishment in their cases. Be that as it may, one item caught my attention when they were originally charged with the crimes some years ago. His rector accompanied one of them, going into the courthouse.

Now that priest was exactly right, he was with his apparently errant church member in a time of crisis. He gave support to his Christian brother and his family when pain, sorrow and exposure were visited upon them. The priest’s job was not to judge the right or wrong but to love and support his brother and parishioner. I’ll bet he prayed for them too.

I recently asked a priest in trouble what clergy were in contact with him. The answer was three in a Diocese of four hundred clergy. The scandal was reported on television, so many must have seen it or heard of it. Yet only three priests responded to their colleague in trouble.

My rule is that when I hear one of my brothers or sisters is in trouble or sick, I send them and email assuring them of my care and prayers for them. It is so easy with email, no handwriting, no envelopes, stamps and trips to the post box. If one has no email, a simple note or card is so much appreciated.

I have had a couple of major surgeries and a number of public fights with the bishop and news media. Cards and emails of support and prayers were most heartening and welcome.

Here's a quote from a Garrison Keillor column.

Having been called names, one looks back at one's own angry outbursts over the years, and I recall having once referred to Republicans as "hairy-backed swamp developers, fundamentalist bullies, freelance racists, hobby cops, sweatshop tycoons, line jumpers, marsupial moms and
aluminum-siding salesmen, misanthropic frat boys, ninj, dittoheads, shrieking midgets, tax cheats, cheese merchants, cat stranglers, pill pushers, nihilists in golf pants, backed-up Baptists, the grand pooh-bahs of Percodan, mouth breathers, testosterone junkies and brownshirts in pinstripes."

I look at those words now, and "cat stranglers" seems excessive to me.

The number of cat stranglers in the ranks of the Republican Party is surely low, and that reference was hurtful to Republicans and to cat owners. I feel sheepish about it.


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