I read your piece, followed the link and laughed at Michael Sean Winters’ concern.
You see, Bishop Blair is from the same state as Jack ‘the Dripper’ Kervorkian — Michigan. In fact back in 1998 I had a scheduled meeting with our rector of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Farms to discuss something for our Evangelism Committee – forget what. My husband and I were Episcopalian in those days but thinking seriously about Rome. As we began out meeting our rector told me where he had just returned from – an ecumenical meeting with all the heads of parishes in the 5 Grosse Pointes called by Bishop Blair, who was at St. Paul Grosse Pointe Farms at the time. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a cohesive message to combat an upcoming ballot initiative for physician assisted suicide. Bishop Blair was trying to be proactive and get all of the churches on the same page in alerting their people to what this ballot really meant. Our Episcopalian rector — thinking he was impressing me – said he told Bishop Blair that he was sorry but he could be of no help as our church had no teachings on physician assisted suicide.
To which I responded,
“I thought that ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’ covered it?”
Yeah, we kinda had to leave the Episcopal Church.
Seriously though, hearing how Bishop Blair was out in front of such a grave issue and trying to pull together denominations to make one coherent statement on physician assisted suicide really impressed me. It made me think, again…maybe we should go Catholic. (We did in 2000)
The physician assisted suicide ballot was successfully shot down that Fall because of efforts of leaders like Bishop Blair.
Mr. Winters really needs to do more homework for his own credibility’s sake. If he had just looked closely at Bishop Blair’s resume, he could’ve easily seen how well acquainted with physician assisted suicide Bishop Blair had to be. We knew Bishop Blair as our pastor — he’s a very kind man who runs things very well.
Interesting note about there being something Vatican-approved in the Grosse Pointe Farms drinking water, Bishop Blair when he receives his Pallium, will be the third of three current Archbishops to have come out of St. Paul in Grosse Pointe Farms. Both Archbishops Nienstedt and Vigneron attended St. Paul with their families and went to the school there. Their mothers were even very close friends. Bishop Blair did not grow up at St. Paul but he did 2 tours of duty, one as a priest and then as Monsignor kicked upstairs to Auxiliary Bishop. He left for Toledo from St. Paul.
Who knows? Perhaps these appointments are some of the fruits of the visit of Blessed Pope John Paul II to Detroit in 1987.
Sounds like Francis made a good call. Nice to see! Hooray for Hartford!