Griswold remembered as a “contemplative with a quiet courage”

Bishops of the Episcopal and Lutheran churches gather for the funeral service of former Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. Photo/Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael’s Curry’s page via Facebook

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

Episcopal News Service

Former Presiding Bishop Frank Tracy Griswold III was remembered March 18 as a leader who “bathed us in the love of God.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in his sermon described Griswold as “a praying brother” who constantly invoked the example of the contemplative and ascetical Desert Fathers and Mothers and who also acted with quiet and clear courage.

Curry cited the example of Griswold choosing to be the chief consecrator of Diocese of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, then the first openly gay partnered priest to be elected a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Instead of delegating that role to another bishop, Griswold presided at Robinson’s ordination and consecration on Nov. 2, 2003, amid intense security and strenuous objections.

“He could have maybe made life easier for himself, maybe, in the Anglican Communion and with those who oppose Bishop Robinson’s consecration; he could have but, he didn’t,” Curry recalled.

Robinson was among the bishops who attended the Rite of Christian Burial service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown, in Philadelphia. The service was livestreamed with nearly 800 viewers from all over the world offering prayers for Griswold and his family.

“Bishop Griswold was such a blessing and a great partner in ministry for so many people!” wrote Sue Cromer, youth minister at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Va. Cromer served on Griswold’s Diocese of Chicago staff.

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