NY Times Reporter WAS in Anaheim for Gene Robinson Exclusive (Apparently)

This previous post concerns Arkansas Democrat-Gazette religion editor Frank Lockwood exposing New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein for not being at the Episcopal Church's Anaheim convention to cover the vote to ordain gay bishops–even though her story and dateline made it appear she was. But Goodstein was there during a break in the action that allowed her to file an exclusive interview with the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson. Some key passages:

GOODSTEIN: Going into this convention you said you had a lot of trepidation
because you had recently been feeling a cold shoulder from your fellow
bishops, and you anticipated that they were prepared to vote against
the gay-related legislation. But on both key resolutions [ordination of gay priests and same-sex blessings], your side
prevailed. What happened?

ROBINSON: The most
significant thing that happened was on Tuesday, after the House of
Bishops stopped the debate on same-sex blessings and decided to have a
smaller group of bishops meet to discuss it further. They said anyone
could come, and it turned out it wasn't a small group at all. There
were 25 to 30 of us, and it turned out to be the most significant
interaction I've had with the bishops since I've been elected.

was profound and it was inspiring. People stood up and spoke their own
truth, both the pain and the joy. Everyone spoke honestly about what
they needed to go home with, what they could live with and what they


So how do you explain
the vote counts? The bishops passed both of these measures
resoundingly, and we are starting to hear of many
moderate-to-conservative bishops who voted “yes” on both ordinations
and gay blessings.

acknowledges they know where this is going, that gay marriage is
becoming a reality. But we're trying to bring our people along. One
bishop said to me he voted “no” so he could go home and do this work,
as he explained it, “so I can bring my people along.” He used the Nixon
in China analogy. This was a bishop who voted “no” on my consent in


Do you think there will now be an exodus from the church?

I think it will hold. Now that we've done the, quote, unthinkable, the
church won't look much different than before. Opponents of marriage
equality predict the end of Western civilization as we know it if gay
couples are allowed to marry. And then when it comes, there's no big


Which vote that you've taken here do you think will have more impact, the one on bishops, or the one on same-sex blessings?

There are a lot of gay and lesbian people out there who are looking for
affirmation, who have no desire to be a bishop. I've been saying to
them, give the Episcopal Church a try, give church another try, and
this is the one I wanted to go home with. Were you there after the vote?

I had to run off and file my story–it was late and I was missing my deadlines.

was amazing. We took the vote, there were closing prayers, and usually
somebody says amen and we're up and out of there. But last night not a
person moved, for 10 minutes. There was absolute silence. I think we
realized the momentousness of what we'd done. People just sat their
quietly praying. It was amazing. It was almost as if we didn't want to
leave each other.

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