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“I don’t know what you are talking about. . . I’ll look into that”: Bishop Bruno to the NYT Reporter

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 • 7:02 am

In the last 45 seconds of this video clip, Bishop Bruno is asked by a reporter about a specific same-sex blessing that was performed in his diocese “yesterday.”

So let’s recap.  Same sex blessings do not occur in his diocese with his permission—but since he’s already let the clergy know that they can perform acts of pastoral care, he doesn’t need to know or give his permission.

So then, to the New York Times reporter he states—“I’ll look into it”—as if it’s an unusual or unacceptable thing for same-sex blessings to occur in his diocese.

But . . . why would he need to “look into it” when all that the clergy are doing are what he has told them they can do which is perform acts of “pastoral care” which include same-sex blessings.

I am amazed at this pretence.  Simply amazed.  If what his diocese is doing is a “new thing” of the Holy Spirit, then why the pretence?  Why the shame about what the diocese is doing?


57 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook

Sarah - I’m confused on one point - all over the blogsphere - blogs have copied Matt’s live blog from yesterday where Bruno said “not without my permission. Is it “with” or “without”? Thanks.

[1] Posted by C.B. on 09-25-2007 at 07:13 AM • top

it’s “with” ....

[2] Posted by why1914 on 09-25-2007 at 07:27 AM • top

Watch the Baby Blue video.  He very clearly says “with.”

[3] Posted by wildfire on 09-25-2007 at 07:29 AM • top

And the reason, of course, is that he wishes people to believe that he has not specifically given permission for same sex blessings. 

So he says “it does not happen with my permission” . . . because he wants to leave open the loophole that it’s happening *without* his permission.

Of course, that’s sort of blown to pieces by Susan Russell’s frank statement that he gave carte blanche to provide “pastoral care” which includes same sex blessings.

It’s sad that he can’t just step up and say “yes—and so?  I allow clergy to perform same-sex blessings in my diocese.  They’re as common as anything—so common that I don’t keep track of ‘em all, and nor do I ask that anybody inform me—and I’m going to continue to allow same-sex blessings in my diocese in contradiction to the Dar communique.”

[4] Posted by Sarah on 09-25-2007 at 07:45 AM • top


I have explained this elsewhere many times. A live-blog is NOT a word for word transcript. It gives the gist of what is said, not precise wording. This is why, when I wrote the article regarding Malcom Boyd’s wedding, I went back to the actual recording. The word is “With”

[5] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-25-2007 at 07:50 AM • top

I have just about lost all confidence with the House of Bishops.  They remind me to much of politicians.  We ought to find a way to do a poll to see what there approval rating is.  I bet it would be down in the 20’s.

[6] Posted by Zoot on 09-25-2007 at 07:59 AM • top

Once upon a time, there was a bishop who thought he could say anything he liked and do anything he liked and pretend that nobody could ever find out what he was doing…

[7] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 09-25-2007 at 08:01 AM • top

Zoot: that’s a very rude and defamtory thing to say about politicians!

[8] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-25-2007 at 08:01 AM • top

My father often liked to say, “Like the Good Book says, people ain’t no damn good.”  It was in jest, but the message was that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.  Where there are people, there’s politics, which as Sarah has pointed out, just means “how we order our lives together.”  Bishops are called to a higher standard of (pardon me) integrity for the sake of their flock, but they are not perfect, and any duplicity must be brought out into the open and exposed to the light.  The good bishop’s reaction will tell a lot, too.  When the prophet Nathan confronted King David with his sin, David fell to his knees and repented.  Somehow, that doesn’t seem likely in this case.

[9] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 09-25-2007 at 08:10 AM • top

Who said “Shame on you Rev. Bruno?”

[10] Posted by Nyssa on 09-25-2007 at 08:13 AM • top

dwstroudmd—Yes, once upon a time, there was not Stand Firm on site. Hats off to the team.

Hey! (not Sarah, but southern for Yo). Have some red beans and rice for lunch with that special sausage and a big slice of white on-yon.

[11] Posted by Gator on 09-25-2007 at 08:14 AM • top

Matt+  It is wonderful that you do choose to “live blog:”  But in this one case, which has been picked up by so many and therfore misled them as to what +Bruno actually said into believing exactly the opposite, is it possible for Stand Firm to publish a restatement and correction news release, especially to such organizations as the Anglican Church of Nigeria or other African churches.  I know that Tunde Popoola reads this blog but he might miss you retraction and, given the erroneous publication of a bishop’s words in Nigeria two weeks ago, it may be important to get ahead of this?

[12] Posted by EmilyH on 09-25-2007 at 08:16 AM • top

According to Ms. Russell, the permission of the bishop is not needed as she, and others, are providing pastoral care (see: So Bruno’s play on words is correct if read in this context.

And we have more wonderful news. Susan indicates that another will be performed next month and more at “lots of other parishes in between.”

Hopefully by then TEC will be a church apart.

[13] Posted by Fisherman on 09-25-2007 at 08:18 AM • top

I think I need to step away from the computer for awhile….Watching those three just gave me the creeps.

[14] Posted by Virginia Anglican on 09-25-2007 at 08:18 AM • top

I think Bruno was an advisor to Pres. Clinton during the Lewinsky unpleasantness.
Can you imagine, a Bishop in TEC is not being forthcoming, honest, and straightforward? 
Behold, here are our leaders.  KJS is the top of the food chain for this group.  Mull on that a little while.

[15] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 09-25-2007 at 08:19 AM • top

Reading for the day,

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 5:37

People questioned why some orthodox bishops left when the ABC did. All of the remaining bishops (especially the collaborateur, Bp Jenkins), unless they quickly disavow Bruno’s perfidy and duplicity, are guilty by association.

Don’t question Bruno about his contorting the truth. He obviously sleeps very well with his conscious (or lack there of). Ask the other bishops whether they approve of this open deception and distortion.

[16] Posted by rob-roy on 09-25-2007 at 08:21 AM • top

This is a bit off thread but can anyone accurately explain how or why the +Jenkins resolution or +Howe suggestion will be prevented from an up or down vote and the entire meeting subjugated to a “mind of the house” statement? (we all know what that is) I thought any bishop could submit a resolution. Any TEC Canon scholars out there? I’m getting the impression that’s where this meeting is headed today…......into a mass of “fudge”.

[17] Posted by Doubting Thomas on 09-25-2007 at 08:23 AM • top

Y’know, it’s really just such a shame.  B033 was forced on both conservatives and progressives at the last second of GC06 by the new progressive darling (+KJS) and it outraged both sides.  Talk about living into the tension….  It was such a mess that we (the Primates, actually) had to spend time and money and sweat and prayer at DES figuring out a way to nail down TEC and ask them to just be honest.  That didn’t seem to work, so here we are again at the HOB with the progressive side refusing to just come out and say, hey, we can’t do the “old” traditional thing, we just need to be free to do the “new” inclusive thing, so let the chips fall where they may.  They are trying to serve two masters, and we all know how that usually turns out.

[18] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 09-25-2007 at 08:24 AM • top


Are you kidding? Matt has stated again and again that his live blog is not verbatim, Sarah provides the tape, Matt affirms on at least two blogs more than once on each blog the correct wording, and other bloggers provide the correct language. The only way that one can end up with a misinterpretation is because one wants to.

[19] Posted by BillS on 09-25-2007 at 08:24 AM • top

Red Beans and Rice at Tippitinas on Napoleon.  The Nevilles playing most of the time and it was free, I used to eat at K Pauls all the time just casual lunch when I was downtown, like walking in to any sidewalk joint.  Now Gator, are you talkin about boudin or andouille? Incidently, anybody know where to get Pecan wood for smokin andouille?  Jambalaya not the same without smokin the andouille right?

[20] Posted by EmilyH on 09-25-2007 at 08:28 AM • top

BillS: damage control has awoken. they will attempt to split hairs over the semantics and details in order to take the focus off of the lies.

[21] Posted by why1914 on 09-25-2007 at 08:29 AM • top

I know that these sites drive alot of the Bishops crazy.  Now with Baby Blue doing the video they are really going to have a hard time.  What aggrevates me the most is how the are down in New Orleans on “our dime” doing pretty much nothing and on top of that 3/4 of them act like they don’t care. I just don’t understand it.

[22] Posted by Zoot on 09-25-2007 at 08:31 AM • top

Emily—I think it was andouille at the Copper Kettle a long time ago. What’s the difference? I gotta go to work; will check back later. Blessings.

[23] Posted by Gator on 09-25-2007 at 08:34 AM • top

Maybe EmilyH doesn’t understand that the actual word Bruno used damns him further. JJ may truthfully declare his non-involvement but full honesty would have had him tell the NYT that he himself told his clergy to do things the way they have - blessing ssus without his permission - instead of bullcrapping the reporter.

Truth is going to nail this church.

[24] Posted by Eren on 09-25-2007 at 08:36 AM • top

Gator…huge difference.  Boudin (boo-dahn) is sort of white, (looks like cooked bratwurst), and it’s mild. I believe its made with rice.  Andouille (an-doo-wee) is pork, I think made of neck parts and( other stuff you don’t want to talk about)it’s coarse, sometimes even a bit chunky, and sort of hard, color of fresh bratwurst, maybe a little redder and has some heat to it.

[25] Posted by EmilyH on 09-25-2007 at 08:40 AM • top

Plus the fact it was the NYTimes asking the question and not a conservative publication trying to stir up trouble or trick them into an answer.  That would have been their excuse.

[26] Posted by Zoot on 09-25-2007 at 08:43 AM • top

They will ignore the press, and the questions. It won’t make them do anything any differently, because, they don’t have to.  We have no body that metes out disicpline.  Couple that with no adults running the show, and this mess is what you get.

[27] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 09-25-2007 at 08:49 AM • top

And so I ask yet again: When will a “Windsor Bishop” stand up and ask Bruno and Company why they cannot tell the truth?


[28] Posted by R S Bunker on 09-25-2007 at 08:54 AM • top

Doubting Thomas: re your question on the other resolutions we’ve heard about, it’s my understanding, and I welcome correction if I’m wrong, that based on the COB rules, the PB can allow or disallow introduction of various documents or proposals. It seems incredible to me that this is the case, but that’s the sense that I get of the situation, and perhaps others on the forum can enlighten us further.

[29] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-25-2007 at 09:00 AM • top

Of course they’ll say that at least when Bruno lied, nobody died.

[30] Posted by Saint Dumb Ox on 09-25-2007 at 09:01 AM • top

“I am not angry that you lied to me.  I am sad because I can never trust you again. 

      - F. Nietzche

[31] Posted by Paladin1789 on 09-25-2007 at 09:01 AM • top

Bruno:  The fact of life is: we have never authorized a same sex blessing ever in our church.  Authorization of that would require two readings of a constitutional resolution.  We haven’t done it.

NYT:  It happens in the dioceses all the time.  You know that.

Bruno:  It does not happen in my diocese with my permission.

[32] Posted by Spencer on 09-25-2007 at 09:04 AM • top

While I disagree with my former bishop, Michael Curry, here in NC, I respect him so much more than I can this bishop in LA.  Curry believes same-sex blessings are the right thing to do, and he has a diocesan policy allowing them.  Straightforward, no quibbling.  I agree with Sarah Hey.  Why won’t these people simply say what they mean and mean what they say?  If it’s right and true in their eyes, they should just say so.

[33] Posted by Katherine on 09-25-2007 at 09:06 AM • top

Of course they’ll say that at least when Bruno lied, nobody died.

Discounting the tragedy of AIDS, of course.

[34] Posted by BillS on 09-25-2007 at 09:09 AM • top

I don’t mean to hijack the thread, but what’s on the agenda for today?  Anyone know?

[35] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 09-25-2007 at 09:10 AM • top

R S Bunker, I think that most “Windsor Bishops” will slink back to their dioceses, and carry on, answer questions the best they can, hope like hades that the Primates allow the few “really annoying” GS Bishops seperate as quietly as possible, and will keep trucking toward retirment.
They are betting that the Primates in other parts of the world will want to keep the majority of the Communion together, and they will slunk towards their own retirement.  The small remnant that is global orthodoxy will start another, struggle along, etc….  I don’t think the majority of Primates really want this trouble either.  I hate to be so pessimistic, but it, IMO, will be up to the small orthodox band left to keep playing the “Faith once Delivered” tune.  When I say small, I mean that in a $, and western clout, modern sort of way.

[36] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 09-25-2007 at 09:10 AM • top

“I am not angry that you lied to me.  I am sad because I can never trust you again. 

- F. Nietzche

Great quote and

“And so I ask yet again: When will a “Windsor Bishop” stand up and ask Bruno and Company why they cannot tell the truth? “


Because many conservative bishops and clergy have also shown a great lack of courage RSB and continue to do so.

[37] Posted by Lee Parker on 09-25-2007 at 09:17 AM • top

Pants on fire…

[38] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 09-25-2007 at 09:17 AM • top

NBS asks, “... what’s on the agenda for today?”

I doubt that anyone knows for sure.  The confused circus yesterday afternoon and evening—“Revise the draft.  No, replace the draft with this and revise it.  No, replace the replaced draft with this final draft.  Replace the drafting committee.  Revise the drafting committee.  Draft the revising committee…”—suggests that even the participants have no idea.

[39] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-25-2007 at 09:20 AM • top

Wanna bet Bruno misses the next press conference? He might have to tell the NYT reporter and the rest of the world what he discovered when he “looked into” the SSB issue. Ooopppssssssssss….......let me go change these pants, I’ll be right back!

[40] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-25-2007 at 09:20 AM • top

Looking:  Don’t know about that money.  Some of the wealthiest parishes in the US are affiliated with GS provinces.  They are also the more likely to produce another generation of Anglicans.  Even if TEC bleeds them in lawsuits, they have a much better chance of recovery and growth than the majority of TEC parishes left.  I am sort of excited thinking about the possibilities for the future of GS provinces having the money to really impact poverty, illiteracy, etc . . . in their home countries.  And with the spread of the Good News along with it!  The Kingdom of God is near!

[41] Posted by Crabby in MD on 09-25-2007 at 09:24 AM • top

“I am amazed at this pretence.”

Pretense, Sarah? I see you woke up feeling especially charitable this morning. Good for you!

[42] Posted by Kevin Maney+ on 09-25-2007 at 09:27 AM • top


I am afraid that is the case. I think of +Howe’s recent letter in which he asked those in his diocese to wait for the HOB meeting and the Bishop’s responce before taking any action.  In that letter he admitted that he thought TEC was headed away from the “faith once delivered.”  But you will not have heard him take on the apostates in NO.

Now that the HOB will take no action to put the church on the right tack +Howe will go along with them.  He will say that he took an oath, that the owes it to TEC.  The shot men an Nuerenburg who sought the same defense.  I wonder what God will do?


[43] Posted by R S Bunker on 09-25-2007 at 09:27 AM • top

Looking at how Bruno uncorked this one without a second thought, I’m concerned that the House will flat-out lie on the whole thing - “OK, we agree completely!”  What happens if they do that, then continue on their current course?  Chaos.

[44] Posted by Phil on 09-25-2007 at 09:28 AM • top

“I would not believe anything it says at this point. “

Bp. Alexander at yesterday’s press conference (speaking about their first draft).  I suspect we would all agree that this once he speaks for all of us.

[45] Posted by wildfire on 09-25-2007 at 09:39 AM • top

The hypocracy in all this is unbelievable! As a lay person with a Windsor bishop, I too wonder what they are doing and if they are pressing the issue of all parties speaking the truth and standing for their convictions. It appears the worse case scenario for this meeting may be coming to pass. The earlier comment about “serving two masters” seems to best characterize this charade. How disappointing…JSW

[46] Posted by Doubting Thomas on 09-25-2007 at 09:51 AM • top

R S Bunker and et al,
Has anyone read this report that was posted by the Living Church:

The document released Monday morning is no longer a draft being revised. It has been replaced, Bishop Bruno said during the briefing. The new working draft was developed from this document and one submitted by Bishop Bruno and Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana. During the private session, the bishops discussed the two documents simultaneously for an extended period without coming to any consensus.

Finally Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori proposed an eight-paragraph summary which she had written. An overwhelming majority of bishops agreed her proposal captured many of the salient points in both of the draft documents under debate.

After receiving approval, Bishop Jefferts Schori briefed members of the joint steering committee of the primates and the Anglican Consultative Council so that they could complete their report to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. The members of the steering committee were under a deadline because many are scheduled to depart New Orleans Tuesday morning. The writing committee will present final draft language for approval by bishops in the morning.

So, starting over from scratch….I’m not so sure!

[47] Posted by TLDillon on 09-25-2007 at 09:59 AM • top

Doubting, the majority of these people will come up with absolutely nothing, because they don’t want to and they don’t have to.
There is no will to come up with something substantive.  To come up with something of meaning would put them at risk.  These are very risk averse people. 
In many years, the remnant and the truth will out, but for the next few years, we will have to scrap along with smaller #‘s, less prestige, etc…, but the truth will, in the end, and is always, with us.  Over time TEC will be recognized as having no “salt and light”.

[48] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 09-25-2007 at 09:59 AM • top

Prayers are offered at Lent & Beyond.

[49] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 09-25-2007 at 10:10 AM • top

One Day Closer:

From last night’s press conference:

Bishop Alexander: there is no draft document at this point. we have made enormous progress today building a strong census. It is our hope that the document we’ve been working on will be redrawn tonight and tomorrow we will have a full response

If you can believe him.


[50] Posted by R S Bunker on 09-25-2007 at 10:12 AM • top

R S Bunker,
I don’t believe him. The best way to move their revisonist agenda forward is to keep those like you and I in the dark which means don’t tell them anything that would give them any light into what we are doing or where we are at this point.

[51] Posted by TLDillon on 09-25-2007 at 10:15 AM • top

Years ago my then Vicar (now Rector and Bishop) quoted his father, who had been a fairly high placed Episcopal layman in the midwest, with what must be the quintessential Episcopal quote:

The Bishops are the servants of the clergy…
The Clergy are the servants of the laity…
The Laity are the people with the servant problems.

— Justin Martyr

[52] Posted by Justin Martyr on 09-25-2007 at 10:23 AM • top

Whatcha bet they come up with some drivel that they’ve all agreed to, hold it up, and announce “a way forward”?  Of course, what they have will have neither value nor meaning.  They will trumpet it, ABC will again knit brows.  They slide further and further into meaninglessness, except in their own minds.  So sad to watch.                                                      But there is hope in what other are doing outside of TEC.  Hopefully the orthodox leaders won’t splinter into a million little pieces.  Heck, the ACC may even let us be junior associate members!!

[53] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 09-25-2007 at 10:25 AM • top

Anglcian greenhorn schoolin’ time !

Is this what we Anglicans call, ‘fudge,’ ?  If so, I’m confused.  Fudge is brown and edible.  I’m thinking that this guy is full of something that is not as edible.

[54] Posted by J Eppinga on 09-25-2007 at 11:54 AM • top

Since all sin begins with a lie, why is anyone surprised that Bp Bruno would bless a sin then lie about it?

If I were a orthodox Anglican/Episcopalian I think I would get rather tired of the heterdox assuming I had just fallen off the turnip truck.

[55] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 09-25-2007 at 12:22 PM • top

I know Bp. Ackerman left on Friday, who else left when Williams did?

[56] Posted by Nikolaus on 09-25-2007 at 12:42 PM • top

Quo usque tandem abutere, +Bruno, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet?

How long, O +Bruno, will you abuse our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us?

— With appologies to Marcus Tullius Cicero

[57] Posted by Justin Martyr on 09-25-2007 at 01:19 PM • top

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