Local News

NC Episcopal bishop says clergy need to bring right, left together

Posted August 15, 2017 6:53 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:39 p.m. EDT

— Clergy need to speak up about the hatred simmering throughout American society or face devastating consequences, the new leader of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina says.

Rev. Samuel Rodman was consecrated bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina last month, and he already finds himself condemning the actions that led to one death and numerous injuries in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend.

"I'm angry, angry with the perpetrators of the violence, with the neo-Nazi movement, with the white supremacist movement, and I know I have a responsibility as a leader to find a way to bring us into conversation," Rodman said.

The soft-spoken Rodman said he knows such conversation won't be easy for either side.

"I need to find a way to channel that anger into the beginning of a conversation with people with whom I deeply disagree with but also need to be in conversation with," he said.

The Massachusetts native spent years working with the homeless in Boston. There, he said, he learned to listen, to act and to speak what he believes to be truth, especially to those in power.

"We need to deeply talk about some of your behavior and the way it's impacting the people you serve," Rodman said he would tell President Donald Trump if he had the chance.

The Episcopal Church has a long history of preaching social justice, beginning with the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

"Righteousness is always tricky because only God is righteous," Rodman said. "That being said, I think there are some behaviors that need to be called out."