Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Now You See It, Now You Don't: Disappearing ENS Text concerning Bishop Salmon

Late Monday, I noticed an Episcopal News Service story that struck me as extremely negative toward Bishop Edward Salmon of the Diocese of South Carolina. A few hours later, the two offending paragraphs had been removed from the article. To set those paragraphs in context, they followed comments from Salmon that made it into the revised piece now available at Episcopal Life Online (the text that survived both versions starts the excerpt, while the paragraphs originally on the web but later removed are in bold below):


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Salmon, who described himself as trying to live "graciously" as an Episcopalian "on the short end of the stick," acknowledged that there is "profound disagreement" in the Episcopal Church and in his diocese, and predicted that no solution will make everyone happy.

He said he is convinced that the Episcopal Church will not change its stance and that people on all sides of the issues are "deeply convicted about the Gospel upon which they stand.



""What we need to do is deal with each other on that basis," Salmon said.



During the question-and-answer period, he denied that he had ordered diocesan clergy to refrain from praying for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori during the Prayers of the People, despite more than one participant saying their rectors had told them he had.



After Salmon left to go to another appointment, one participant, to murmurs of assent, said that Salmon's statement was part of a pattern in which "we're told all sorts of things and then the bishop denies that it's true."


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So Salmon was quoted in the original article as recognizing "profound disagreement" in his diocese and commending everyone honestly "deal[ing] with each other on that basis." But the two paragraphs that originally directly followed that section of text suggested that he apparently at minimum badly communicated with his diocese and at worst lied to the flock over which he still shepherds.

Those are serious and (to put it mildly) offensive inferences to make, and they were conveyed through the viewpoints of anonymous Episcopalians. Did ENS want to suggest that Salmon is not, or at least may not be, trustworthy? Apparently not in the end, as those two paragraphs were removed -- but they somehow made it into the earliest web version of the story.

3 comments:

Kevin said...

Maybe an editor had more grace than the author or the Spirit pricked the author's heart. I do think it gives a window into the author's opinion of the bishop.

Milton said...

I seemed to have zapped the comment window margins at T19 with my copied link to Google's cached copy, which DOES contain the text ENS deleted. You can find it by copying the article title, pasting it into Google's search field, and goind to the Cached link of the first search result.

BabyBlue said...

Evanesco!

heh heh heh

bb