Go Bishop Swing!

Thanks to titusonenine I found this wonderful essay by Bishop Swing of the Diocese of California, titled, " Communists, Counterfeiters, and Catholics" Its a great read. So, go there, read that.

A remarkable, straightfoward and useful reminder of what we ought to be about, what distracts us and what is dangerous.

Thanks, Bishop Swing.


  1. I just couldn't wait to see the comments on Titusonline - and Gosh! did the hate this...

    Personally, I think this is a much needed stating of les choses comme elle sont, and I must say that I admire the good Bishop for being able to tell these horror stories so calmly.

  2. Padre Wayne19/7/06 8:47 AM

    I was fortunate (blessed) to return to the Church in the DioCal, in an amazing parish that embraced me in the name of Christ -- the ALL of me, warts and all, assuring me of God's forgiveness and God's radical love for all. I was fortunate (blessed) to get to know Bishop Swing a bit, and he became my ordaining bishop. It is precisely that sense of calm that Goran refers to that, I believe, has helped move a number of people in the HoB from right-center to progressive-center. He said (quoting someone else, perhaps, but it's stuck with me as a "Swing" comment): "I don't want to pull the rug out from under someone else. I want to take their hand and ask them to step off the rug with me." It is that gentle, assured, persuasive quality that I will always remember when faced with confrontation.

    The Church has been graced by his ministry.

  3. padre wayne19/7/06 8:49 AM

    Oh, yeah, and I'm *sick* to the point of anger at the rubbish with which "others" characterize United Religions... The truly don't get it.

  4. Rev. Harris, what is wonderful about this essay? It seems to exemplify the bitterness and hatred so often ascribed to those of us on the reasserting side. What’s more, it retails an obvious fairy tale about the dread bogeyman of McCarthyism driving the behavior of a parish in 1979, more than two decades after McCarthy’s death. And money coming out of Pittsburgh and Texas? I haven’t heard of any. Besides, aren’t the Ahmansons from California?

  5. Negation, negation, negation...

    It ain't sexy.

  6. Widening Gyre19/7/06 11:00 AM

    Let's break down Swing's swing, shall we?

    The Communist take away: I found myself asking while reading this section, "Can he possibly be truthfully retelling this story?" Reads like an embellishment to me.

    The Counterfeit downswing: For the most part, Swing nails this section. I could have done without "the parody of the parasites" throwaway--not very charitable for a bishop.

    The Catholic follow-through: Hey, I give him props for tackling a big issue like this head-on. Of course, his implied definition of catholicism begs the question: Why not simply become Catholic and fulfill this catholic destiny he trumpets (which is a laudable goal, might I add)?

  7. My question is this: if Bishop Swing believes we should be focused on mission and avoid the distraction of such counterfeits, why is he floating the idea of a presentment against the Bishop of San Joaquin? Becoming embroiled in litigation only serves to undermine our integrity as evangelists. Who wants to join a church that is consumed with securing property and challenging the bona fides of others?

  8. göran --

    reminds me of John 8:40

  9. Phil and Gyre:

    I can attest to my own experience in another diocese regarding the comments about Communism. In the late '70s and early '80s I certainly heard the same comments, usually from folks who were leaving, or were contemplating leaving, the Episcopal CHurch for a conservative Presbyterian or Methodist congregation, or a "continuing Anglican" splinter church. Those folks thought Joe McCarthy was inaccurate in his information and excessive in his execution, but that his heart was in the right place. Remember that we were still in a Cold War then, and these were some of the folks who helped put Reagan in the White House with the express purpose of winning it.

    I don't think this is the best piece I've read written by Bishop Swing. I think I agree with him on catholicity, but I agree with others that that section could have been better written.

  10. Fr John,

    Where did you read that?

    Titusonline ;=)


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