DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
During the "Consecration of the Bishop" portion of yesterday's ceremony, Bishop-elect Robert Leroy Fitzpatrick knelt before Raymond Ganotise, left (standing); The Right Reverend David Jung-Hsin lai, Bishop of Taiwan; The Right Reverend Richard S.O. Chang, IV Bishop of Hawaii; The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church; The Right Reverend Edward S. Little, Bishop of Northern Indiana; and The Right Reverend George E. Packard, Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies. CLICK FOR LARGE
Diversity a theme at ordination
Episcopal leaders note the challenges facing an increasingly inclusive church
The pageantry of ordaining a new bishop yesterday showcased the diversity of the local Episcopal Church with Hawaiian, English and seven other languages used in prayers, music and scriptural readings.
Eighteen Episcopal bishops from four Pacific Rim countries and several states placed their hands on the head of Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick in the centuries-old rite of ordination. The two-hour service was watched by more than 600 people in St. Andrew's Cathedral and on screen in Tenney Theatre. Dozens of people wore red, mirroring the bishops' vestments.
More than 70 other people participated in the well-choreographed event, including banner-carrying representatives of the 39 Hawaii parishes, "honored elders" who escorted Fitzpatrick to the altar, gift-bearers of pectoral cross, signet ring and lei, and multi-ethnic readers of Japanese, Igbo, Samoan, Portuguese, Korean, Cantonese and Hawaiian. The bishop's son Edward read a prayer in Spanish.
The high arches of the Gothic church resonated with classic sacred music and Hawaiian chant and hymns as people in the packed pews joined a 50-voice choir led by Arlan Sunnarborg. Then the joyous din of pealing bells inundated the neighborhood as the crowd poured outside and headed for lunch served under canopies in Queen Emma Square.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Robert Leroy Fitzpatrick was ordained the 5th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii yesterday at St. Andrew's Cathedral. After the ceremony, the new bishop administered communion first to his sons Ed Fitzpatrick, 20, left, and James Fitzpatrick, 18. CLICK FOR LARGE
The theme of diversity was reflected in the ecumenical guest list, which included Catholic Bishop Larry Silva, Honpa Hongwanji Bishop Thomas Okano, Methodist Bishop Mary Ann Swenson and clergy from Orthodox Christian, other Protestant denominations, Quaker, Bahai and Unitarian churches. A Lutheran bishop, the Rev. Murray Finck of the Pacifica synod, participated with Episcopal bishops in the Eucharistic rite, reflecting a 2001 accord between the two denominations that their beliefs mesh, four centuries after the Protestant Reformation splintered western Christianity into multiple denominations.
The formality of the occasion was breached briefly when Bishop Edmond Browning's reference to the new Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as "part of the new thing God is making in our beloved church" stimulated the crowd to applause. The first woman to be elected head of the church in the United States, she has been on the firing line as other branches of the Anglican Communion attack the U.S. church for 2003 decisions to ordain an openly gay man and to prepare rituals to bless same-gender unions.
Browning brought the theme of inclusivity into his homily. "Becoming a bishop today is a little like being drafted, finding yourself in the midst of conflict you didn't start," said Browning, who was Hawaii bishop before he was elected presiding bishop in 1985. "There hasn't been a time when the church didn't disagree internally about important things.
"I don't think there is a place on earth as devoted to living together as this place," he said. "But even so, even here, if you remember the 1940s and 1950s as a time about peace and harmony, that's because you were not Chinese or nisei. Or on the mainland, if you were African American or native American or Hispanic or gay. I think there isn't a time when the appearance of peace and harmony in human history hasn't been bought at someone else's expense."