Well, THAT bishop’s appointment didn’t last long, did it? Do you suppose maybe they fast-tracked the approval process on that one a little TOO eagerly?
Some of our readers will remember ClashDaily reporting on the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s elevation of an unorthodox (pun intended) candidate to the position of bishop. That bishop’s name is Megan Rohrer.
Here are two stories we ran on Megan’s short but eventful career as bishop:
US Church Lays Claim To Dubious New LGBT ‘First’ . . . Luther Spinning In His Grave
The one that cost the bishop a job will make three.
The term as bishop was supposed to last 6 years. It’s barely been one and it’s over.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the catalyst was an identity question, but not the one for which Rohrer is (in)famous. This one centered on race, and the handling of situations in a primarily Puerto Rican congregation.
The bishop faced allegations of racism after they called the police on a church member and her child, which church investigators called ‘an egregious action especially when dealing with the vulnerable communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color.’
Rohrer was also accused of wearing a bulletproof vest when announcing the dismissal of a popular priest, Pastor Nelson Rabell-Gonzalez, whom they had fired from the Mision Latina Luterana in December 2021 the day before the Feast of the Virgin Guadalupe, a major religious holiday for congregants of the Stockton, California church.
Rohrer had said that they had worn the vest when they made the announcement out of fear for their life.
Rohrer was unknown to the congregation on the day they came to the church to announce the termination. It was also the same day that the bishop threated[sic] to call the police on the child and parent in the church. —DailyMail
As woke as Rohrer was, it’s hard to believe the bishop never got the memo on woke attitudes about policing. This reaction can hardly come as a surprise. It isn’t even clear whether or not it was right to call the police in the first place.
The firing of Pastor Rabell-Gonzalez was a decision by the entire council of bishops. But wearing a bullet-proof vest while delivering the message? That one’s on Megan.
It didn’t help any that some congregants thought the bishop seemed to be smirking while delivering the news that a beloved priest was being sent packing… but that has been attributed to Meghan’s autism.
Megan was accused of … being a racist. Because of course, that would naturally be the go-to accusation.
A report into Rohrer’s actions, which was released June 1, made several recommendations to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, including publicly apologizing to the Latino church community for the hurt caused, planning anti-racism training for churchwide staff and leaders, paying a ‘healing visit’ to the community and creating a task force to review the church’s policies and procedures.
The church council was in the process of disciplining Rohrer when they tendered their resignation from the synod.
‘The constant misinformation, bullying and harassment has taken too hard a toll on the Synod I love, my family and myself,’ Rohrer said. ‘While I am likely strong enough to continue serving as your bishop, I believe I would be a poor role model for my black trans children if I continued in this position.’ —DailyMail
If you want a deep dive into the controversies surrounding the now-former bishop, including the details about how the Synod vote fell a few percentage points short of the firing threshold, but they fired him anyway, or the cloud surrounding the handling of church finances when Megan was still serving as a parish priest that are beyond the scope of this story — those details are laid out here.
Getting that parting shot in isn’t exactly taking the high road, but when you’ve got groups whose identities are primarily being defined in racial or sexual terms, you don’t have primary identity of being ‘in Christ’ there as forming the bridge between people.
This is why any identity other than the Christian one can and mist be disqualifying for anyone contemplating Christian leadership.
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