A post to clarify my experience at the installation of Archbishop Cordileone at St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco.
I was dropped off at the cathedral at 1:30PM by my assistant. After making my way around protestors and showing my invitation to security guards, I was in the lower level area to which I was directed by 1:40.
The instructions the Archdiocese had given my assistant were that I should be at St. Mary's by 1:45. The service was scheduled to begin at 2.
I identified myself to an assistant to the archbishop, who spoke to someone through a headset, saying, "Bishop Andrus is here."
I saw the Greek Metropolitan, a good colleague of mine, who was in the same room with me, several Greek Orthodox priests, archdiocesan employees and security guards. I greeted the metropolitan and we spoke briefly.
An archdiocesan employee attempted to escort me upstairs with the Greek Orthodox group, but was stopped from doing so by the employee to whom I had first identified myself. This person, who appeared to be in a superior role, instructed another employee to stand with me.
At this point no other guests remained in the downstairs area. The employee and I chatted while waiting. I began to wonder about the time holdup. I checked my phone; it was 1:50PM. I asked the employee standing with me if the service indeed started at 2, which she affirmed.
At 2PM, when the service was to begin, I said to the employee, "I think I understand, and feel I should leave." Her response was, "Thank you for being understanding." I quietly walked out the door. No one attempted to stop me. No attempt was ever made to explain the delay or any process for seating. I arrived early, before the time given my assistant, and waited to leave until after the service had begun.
My intention for attending the installation was to honor our ecumenical and interfaith relations in the Bay Area.