Episcopal bishop tries to make a joke during LGBTQ-friendly ceremony… BIG mistake

A male Episcopalian bishop ripped the collar off a female reverend during an LGBT-friendly service that was emceed by a drag queen as a joke and is now being branded a misogynist for it.

The incident occurred at an LGBT-friendly Easter Vigil at Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston on March 30 and was caught on video that has gone viral. After Reverend Tamra Tucker forgot her words at the service, Bishop Alan M. Gates jokingly snatched her collar away and then told her he was “just kidding.” The progressive attendees did not find it funny and he is now being forced to apologize for his joke.

“It’s going to go very simply,” Rev. Tucker said during the ceremony, which was attended by several congregations and other Protestant denominations. “We’re going to allow somebody to take their own piece of bread, and you will say to the person taking the bread this.”

She then promptly forgot the words to the ceremony. She turned to the audience and said, “Wait what is it? I’ve been gone for a while.” Rev. Tucker was then ironically reminded of the words, “The body of Christ” by the bishop. She treated it as a joke and those behind her nervously laughed. “It’s very simple. The body of Christ, that’s all you got to do.”

That’s when Bishop Gates ripped off her collar while smiling. At first, everyone laughed. A woman at the end of the dais was staring in shock with her jaw open and the drag queen clapped.

The good reverend appeared offended. Bishop Gates returned her collar and tried to apologize after telling her he was just kidding. The apology was evidently not accepted.

“Thank you,” the reverend said as the bishop put his arm around her shoulders trying to make amends. You could hear a pin drop. The congregation wasn’t offended by the LGBT crowd or the drag queen but the Bishop making a joke was just too far for the Episcopalians.

“Dang,” Reverend Tucker exclaimed in response to what happened.

Members of the church are now ALL offended over the incident and it has now become a scandal.

“It was just really sad that an occasion that is supposed to be joyous had to be marked by the specter of long-term misogyny that is pretty essential to Christianity, even in a church that feels like it has advanced past that,” Rev. Rita Powell, who is the chaplain for the Harvard Episcopal Community, told the Boston Globe.

The bishop was bullied into releasing a formal apology on April 12 according to the Daily Mail. Bishop Gates called his action “an instant of altogether misguided mischief.”

He went on to claim that ripping off her collar was “a devastating and demeaning act, which I regret with all my heart.”

“By my action, I misused my authority, failed to extend Episcopal grace, and transgressed personal space and boundaries. I am deeply sorry,” he added.

The groveling continued, “I extend my remorse and apology to the Rev. Tamra Tucker; to the Crossing community; to the Cathedral community; to other communities present; to ecumenical companions who had joined us at the Vigil; and to those in the wider church and community whom I have hurt. In our baptismal covenant, we pledge to ‘respect the dignity of every human being.’ I seek forgiveness for my failure to keep this pledge, and God’s grace to renew that commitment.”

Evidently, the apology was not sufficient.

“The day after the incident, Reverend Jay Williams, who is the lead pastor of Union Combined Parish, where Rev. Tucker’s wife is an executive pastor, condemned Bishop Gates’s action. Rev. Williams said that the incident was an example of ‘violent patriarchy and sexism.’ The reverend reproached Gates, saying that he ‘literally stripped’ the reverend ‘of her clergy collar in public,'” the Daily Mail reported.

“The male bishop tried to say it was a joke and apologize in public, but it’s no joking matter when a man publicly violates the personal space of a woman and symbolically strips her of her sign of ordination,” the reverend fumed.

“Tucker is the priest and lead organizer of The Crossing, an emerging church worship community committed to radical welcome and a safe space for all, including the LGBTQ community,” the New York Post reported.


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