Showing posts with label resignation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label resignation. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said.

Flynn was interviewed by the FBI about his telephone conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., a sign his ties to Russia had caught the attention of law enforcement officials.
Though the WH had known about Flynn's discussions with the Russians since January 26, when they were informed by acting-AG Sally Yates and another official that he was vulnerable to blackmail, no one bothered to inform Pence.  Yet he was sent out to defend Flynn publicly in a TV interview and declare the conversations about sanctions had not happened.
Pence, who had vouched for Flynn in a televised interview, is said to have been angry and deeply frustrated.
How many ways to say out of the loop?  Team Trump humiliated Pence, and now he is angry.  Still, I expect he's not angry enough to resign his potted plant position in the Trump maladministration, because he is the gentleman-in-waiting should something go wrong.

According to the "retelling" from the White House, Flynn had done nothing illegal, but his downfall came because he lied to WH officials. Why was the erosion of trust in Flynn "slow and steady"?  Trump values loyalty above all.  It seems not to matter if his close advisers do not know what the hell they are doing or whether they tell the truth.  Why would truth matter when the boss lies repeatedly? Thus, loyalty trumps everything else, even if the result is chaos and certain staff members are thrown under the bus.

What about Kellyanne Conway?  What did she know, and when did she know it?  Conway is the most visible of Trump's loyal supporters defending him on TV.  Is she out of the loop, too?  A couple of hours before the information about Flynn's "resignation", she said the security adviser had Trump's "full confidence".

If you'd like to walk through the looking glass with Matt Lauer and his interview with Kellyanne Conway this morning, you may or may not find the answer to the question about whether she was out of the loop.

I confess that I was dizzy, rather than enlightened by the walk, but that's just me.

Here's the video of the interview. Conway's ability to remain upright through this long spin is amazing.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.
Was John Boehner's conscience pricked by Pope Francis' words "common good" and "common needs"?  Also, his role as leader of an unruly House was exposed for what it is: nearly, but not quite, useless.  I think it's possible that the pope's visit inspired Boehner to announce his retirement at this moment, rather than at some time in not-so-distant future.  Also, he may have had enough of trying to reign in far right extremists who care nothing about doing their jobs of actually governing the country.  Besides, he'll no doubt move on to a better paying lobbying job that is far less stressful.

Whoever replaces Boehner as speaker will have to deal with the same Democratic president and the same filibuster rule in the Senate in attempts to pass legislation.  Though I am no admirer of Boehner, to his credit, he kept the barbarians behind the gate to avert several disasters.  Since Boehner's position as speaker is no longer at risk, the likelihood of a government shutdown may be lessened.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


...and asks forgiveness.
A Scottish cardinal on Sunday acknowledged having engaged in unspecified sexual misbehavior, apologized for his actions, and promised to stay out of the church's public life in a statement that comes at an awkward time for the Vatican.

O'Brien initially rejected the claims, saying he was resigning because he did not want to distract from the upcoming conclave of cardinals that is due to pick a successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy Thursday. O'Brien also became the first cardinal to recuse himself from the conclave because of personal scandal; other voting-age cardinals have in the past stayed home because of infirmity or because they were prevented by their governments from participating.

On Sunday, the Catholic church in Scotland issued a statement quoting O'Brien as saying that there had been times "that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal."

"To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness," the statement continued. "To the Catholic church and people of Scotland, I also apologize. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic church in Scotland."
There will be no basilica in Rome for Cardinal O'Brien.  How fraught the conclave to elect the next pope will be with pressure to assure that whoever is elected will not be accused of misconduct in the near or far future.  I pray that those who have secrets in their pasts that could shock or embarrass the church further will be honest enough to take themselves out of the running.  I have good friends who are members of the Roman Catholic Church, and I care about them and wish for them better and more peaceful times.  

Monday, February 11, 2013


Pope Benedict XVI's abrupt resignation on Monday heralds the end of a sad and storm-tossed seven-year papacy.

The former Joseph Ratzinger came to the highest office in the Roman Catholic church with a reputation as a challenging, conservative intellectual. But the messages he sought to convey were all but drowned out, first by a string of controversies that were largely of his making, and subsequently by the outcry – particularly in Europe – over sexual abuse of young people by Catholic clerics.
So far as I can remember, child abuse and cover-up in the Roman Catholic Church were first revealed in south Louisiana even earlier than the exposure in the Archdiocese of Boston, but the national media gave the story little attention. I suppose the newspeople thought the abuse was confined to the backward crazies in the Dioceses of Lafayette and Houma/Thibodaux in Louisiana. I left the church, not only due to the many instances of child abuse, but especially because of the cover-up. If the matter of child abuse had been handled properly from the beginning, the RCC would have saved itself a load of grief.  The Diocese of Houma/Thibodaux is small, and I knew too much about the cover-up and paying victims to keep silent be able to stay in the church in good conscience.  Since then, I have not looked back, for if I had not left in 1996, the more recent actions and words of the leadership of the RCC would have caused me to make my departure many times over.

Having said that, I am shocked at the resignation. John Paul II carried on long past the time he should have stepped down, and I thought Benedict would do the same.  Popes don't resign; it's been a long, long time - 600 years - since a pope did so.

One of Benedict's goals was to re-evangelize Europe.  We see how well that worked out.  Since the two popes, John Paul II and Benedict, served respectively for 27 and 7 years, each had many opportunities to appoint cardinals of the conservative persuasion, therefore I do not expect the next pope will be a flaming liberal.  In fact, if the successor turns out to be a moderate, I will be greatly surprised.  But then, God often surprises us, so we shall see.

Update from MuckRack: The journalist who scooped all the reporters on the story, Giovanna Chirri, a reporter for Italy's ANSA news agency, heard the pope's announcement of his resignation in Latin and understood what he said, which shows that Latin is not a completely dead language.

Friday, March 16, 2012


A week or so ago, I circulated to a few friends the picture above of Archbishops Rowan and Sentamu with my caption attached.  I did not publish the picture because I thought it might harm the cause of defeating the Anglican Covenant, since diocesan synods in the Church of England are presently voting on whether to adopt the proposed covenant.  If it was believed that the ABC would be forced to resign if the covenant was defeated in the CofE, and Dr Sentamu might be his successor, the members of synods might be deterred from voting against the document.

Today the ABC announced his resignation, and the BBC is already speculating on Dr Sentamu's chances of being appointed to replace him, so I doubt that my picture and caption is likely to influence the vote.  In truth, I doubt that it was likely to influence the vote, had I published earlier.
Dr Williams's successor will be a political appointment, with the advice of the Prime Minister playing a decisive role.
Dr Sentamu has been closely identified with Dr Williams's efforts to find a suitable compromise in the row over the status of stand-in bishops.
But in any case, by the time Dr Williams's successor takes over, the women bishops row will probably have been decided.
In the political area, Dr Sentamu has firmly opposed himself to David Cameron. He has led Anglican opposition to the proposal to allow same-sex partnerships to be designated as marriages.
Not appointing Dr Sentamu would certainly attract comments that the Archbishop of York was being set aside on political grounds.
That might or might not be justified - but appointing a bishop who was outspoken in support of gay rights as Archbishop of Canterbury would probably make it impossible to restore unity between the Anglican Communion allied to Canterbury and Gafcon.
The final paragraph in the BBC quote is laughable.  "...outspoken in his support of gay rights as Archbishop of Canterbury..."?!  Where does the BBC get its information?   
H/T to MadPriest for the information from the BBC.


Anglican Communion News Service:
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has today revealed that he is to step down from his role at the end of the year.

His decision comes after 10 years in the post and after accepting the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The Archbishop is the Focus of Unity for the Anglican Communion. He is convener and host of the Lambeth Conference, President of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), and Chair of the Primates' meeting.
Hmm.  I thought our focus of unity was Jesus Christ.  Archbishop Rowan has not been a focus of any sort of unity for me for a very long time.  
Dr John Sentamu: "The last decade has been a challenging time for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Thankfully, Archbishop Rowan is a remarkable and gifted leader who has strengthened the bonds of affection."
 Lay Anglicana:
It is interesting to speculate what effect the resignation of  the Archbishop of Canterbury is likely to have on the outcome. On the one hand, people might feel that they owe him a ‘yes’ vote as evidence of their loyalty. On the other hand, they may feel that if he is not to remain in office during the period when it will need to be implemented, it is not necessary to follow his lead and they will be free to vote according to their own views.
Five diocesan synods in the Church of England will meet tomorrow and vote on the adoption of the Anglican Covenant.  Pray for wisdom for the members as they cast their votes.

St Albans

Bishop Alan Wilson on the Anglican Covenant:
I shall listen carefully to the debate in our diocese. I can only vote for the covenant if those who support it can produce something very much better than tendentious waffle spiced by emotional blackmail to explain it.

The row that produced this document has, mercifully, moved on fundamentally from the night of the long knives to the night of the long trousers. I don’t want to go back to where we were on the gay issue, and I don’t want to have a two-speed Church, and I don’t want to add to the burdens on colleagues abroad, and I don’t want to collude with childish attempts to punish the Americans for being children of the Enlightenment, if such they are. Neither do I think a healthy family should roll over in a supine way and pretend to believe in something it doesn’t just because Daddy will be upset if it doesn’t.
The whole thing is foolish, and founded on a damaging control fantasy. Best give it a decent Christian burial and move on.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


From the BBC:
The canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral has resigned from his post.

Dr Giles Fraser has been sympathetic to the Occupy anti-capitalist protest camp outside, which has led to the cathedral's closure.

Dr Fraser said on Twitter: "It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St Paul's Cathedral."

The Dean of St Paul's, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, said he was "sorry to see him go".

St Paul's, which closed last week, could reopen to the public on Friday. A decision will be made later.
Good for Dr Fraser. It's sad that he is no longer in the inner circle of decision-making at St Paul's, but the others probably were not listening to him anyway.

Drawing of Giles Fraser by Adrian Worsfold who writes at Pluralist Speaks and says of Giles Fraser, "His view of the Church was of peace, of bias to the poor and the right to protest." Amen.

Do read Mark Harris' post on Giles Fraser titled 'Canon Giles Fraser, The best of what we can be'.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Chris Hansen, an American expatriate now living in London, writes from over there on the article in the Telegraph and the rumors floating about regarding the resignation of Abp. Rowan Williams.
My first reaction was "Oh, Queen Anne's dead." (what you say in the UK when someone relates old news to you). Last year Rowan publicly stated that he would not serve until 70, and the current trend is for most bishops, except for those who love the office more than life itself, to retire around the age of 65.

One thing that Wynne-Jones got right is that the tenure of an ABC revolves wholly around the Lambeth Conference. In recent times only Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher stayed around for two Lambeths (he had to be told by his secretary in 1961 that the time had come for him to make a graceful, if tardy, exit). Every Archbishop since has been appointed long enough before a Lambeth Conference to do effective planning, and resigned at a time before the next one that would allow his successor to do the same.
Read the rest over there.


From Bishop of Bradford, Nick Baines' blog:
The game is on. Journalists have started their game of speculating without reason on the internal workings of the mind of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The whistle has blown, the runners are lined up, and now we’ll get a race to see who can guess the best story. How exciting… er… or maybe not quite.
Perhaps the chatter making its way around 'As the Anglican World Turns' is simply rumor based on wishful thinking. I can accept that.

But wait!
“Bishops are placing themselves under starter’s orders in the race to become next Archbishop of Canterbury”. Er… who and how? I understand the use of the metaphor, but it doesn’t work in this case. There is no race. There is no competition. There is no ‘finishing line’. The horses don’t know that they are running or where the jumps are that they didn’t know they were required to jump.

It simply doesn’t work like this. If any particular bishop was being considered, he probably wouldn’t know. He couldn’t influence the process anyway. Unlike some other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, there is no election to be fought, no lobbying to be done, no one to lobby and no ‘ultimate prize’. One newspaper report speaks of “some apparent jockeying for position among Dr Williams’ potential successors”. How would a potential successor actually do this ‘jockeying’? Just asking.
Although I am a foreigner and perhaps not all that knowledgeable about the inner workings of the Church of England, it beggars belief that Bp. Nick would have us believe that no English bishops, have ambitions and never, ever engage in back room maneuverings in attempts to have this bishop or that bishop or even themselves named to high positions.

Having said that, Bp. Nick may well be correct that the thinly sourced story in the Telegraph by Jonathan Wynne-Jones, which other news organizations seem to be picking up, is mostly rumor.
You’d have to be out of your mind to want to be Archbishop of Canterbury. My guess is that whoever is asked to do it next will have to be dragged to the seat.
Nevertheless, I'd guess that a few bishops may aspire to the position, but whether they're of sound mind, I'm not qualified to say.

Tune in later for the next episode of 'As the Anglican World Turns'.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


From the New York Times:

Representative Christopher Lee of New York abruptly resigned on Wednesday night after a shirtless photo of himself, which he had e-mailed to a woman, was published on the Internet.

Mr. Lee, a two-term Republican from western New York, notified the House speaker, John A. Boehner, of his decision in a letter on Wednesday afternoon, after the scandal had erupted, according to senior Congressional officials.

Mr. Lee’s office released a statement in which he asked for forgiveness. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” he wrote. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”

The resignation came hours after Gawker, a gossip Web site, published an e-mail exchange that Mr. Lee, who is married and has a son, had with a 34-year-old Maryland woman he had met through Craigslist.

According to Gawker, Mr. Lee, who is 46, replied to a personal ad that the woman had placed in the “Women for Men” section of Craigslist, seeking a financially and emotionally secure man.

No, no picture of the shirtless Mr. Lee. Sorry.

How could Mr. Lee do something so stupid and believe he could get away with it? At some point, one has to wonder if folks like Mr. Lee want to get caught.
Gawker said the woman, a government employee who asked not to be identified, eventually stopped contacting Mr. Lee after she searched for his name online and discovered that he was lying about his profession and his age. The woman then sent the e-mails to Gawker.


UPDATE: Ed of "The Ed Show" on MSNBC showed the picture of the shirtless Lee and said, "Isn't that special?"