Friday, May 8, 2015

Resolution in Orlando

The incredible grace-filled parents of Baby Jack met with the Bishop of Central Florida and agreed that Jack will be baptised this summer.

You'll recall from earlier this week that  one of Jack's fathers reported on Facebook that Jack's scheduled baptism was cancelled 3 days before it was to happen:
The Dean shared there were members of the congregation who opposed Jack’s baptism and although he hoped to resolve the conflict, he was not yet able to ...After probing further the Dean said “the issue is with you and Eric being the first two men who will baptize their child at the Cathedral.
Well, after a furore on Facebook, it's back on:
The Bishop acknowledged he learned the Cathedral set a firm date of April 19 for the baptism, but did not support postponing the baptism. He genuinely wanted to learn about us and expressed his apologies for how it had been handled. Most importantly, he was clear he is supportive of Eric and I, two dads, baptizing our son at the Cathedral and offered to be a part of it. We are appreciative and are looking forward to the baptism to take place this summer.
The Orlando Cathedral's notice is a little less grace-filled:
"It is important to note that the Dean and Cathedral have always intended to baptize this child. No one, including the Bishop, "denied" this baptism. We regret the delay, apologize for it and are working with his family on a revised date that will accommodate their schedule and respect the sacrament of Holy Baptism of their child. " 
Regret the delay?  There didn't have to be a delay, just some courage to do the right thing.  Nothing changes that they cancelled (or postponed indefinitely) because some people didn't approve. All in all, much egg on face.

Interestingly, the Facebook page of the Diocese of Central Florida has managed to allow discussion of this quite civilly allowing posts to its page and comments on its posts.  The hard working and also grace-filled moderator reports that the only posts s/he had to block were those from opponents of Jack's baptism who became intemperate or abusive.  By contrast, the Cathedral of St Luke's facebook has removed comments and blocked the ability to post on the page. 

Interesting  differences in how to manage social media in a media crisis.

Here's how Jack's dad finished:
I close with one more lesson for Jack – Aspire to live your life with grace and forgiveness. You will be better for it.
I tell ya, that's a great family Jack's got.

Update:  Bishop Gene Robinson writes,
What troubles me most is that for many unchurched people, and for those who have left the institutional church, this situation underscores their own experience of what a judgmental and hypocritical place the church can be. Though now solved for the McCaffreys’ and Jack’s sake, my prayer is that this situation will continue to be a teaching moment, not just for the couple, but for members of the cathedral, its dean, and the bishop. It can be. It ought to be. 
I'm not sure it will be. The Cathedral's Sunday's sermon by a conservative canon excoriated "west coast activists" for the whole problem.  

1 comment:

JCF said...

I'm not at all sure the Cathedral there deserves their greatness. Kyrie eleison.

[But you and I, IT, should just SHADDUP already! After all, "the scandal is how the real story was highjacked by social media activists on the West Coast": hey, we resemble that remark (of the Dear Cathedral Canon) don't we? *smh*]