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Former Presiding Bishop's Conflicted Sexuality
Griswold had a history of broken promises
Presiding Bishop hated orthodoxy, pushed "generous orthodoxy"
He was an Affirming Catholic embracing the ordination of women, homosexuality

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 6, 2023

When Frank Tracy Griswold ascended the throne to become the 25th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in January 1998, he promised to unite church members and usher in a new age of tolerance, offering enlightened progressive views that would carry the church into the new millennium. He promised then to be "a presiding bishop who belongs to all..

However, his was a history of broken promises except to the pansexualists. He lobbied hard for their full acceptance in the Episcopal Church, a battle he fought and won.

But seven lean years later, Griswold had united nobody and nothing, and his promise to be a presiding bishop for all was hysterically laughable, if it wasn't so damnably tragic.

In 2004, The Episcopal Church stood on the edge of being publicly reprimanded if not thrown out of the Anglican Communion for doctrinal and moral infidelity. Griswold himself was personally shunned by the vast majority of African, Asian and Southern Cone Primates.

Griswold showed himself to be a bald-faced liar to his fellow Primates, (over the Gene Robinson consecration) a moral compromiser and doctrinally fluid leader of a rapidly diminishing church that was busy bludgeoning its orthodox wing into the ground by his gang of blitzkrieg revisionist bishops. (The last orthodox bishop to be flogged in office was Bishop Bill Love of Albany, New York.)

Within the Episcopal Church itself, at least three movements sprang up to challenge the revisionist steam-roller lead by Griswold - The American Anglican Council, The Network (NADCP) and the Anglican Communion Institute. A fourth movement, Forward in Faith, the traditionalist wing of the ECUSA was reinvigorated for the battle with two priests consecrated bishops.

Because of his pro-homosexual stance, Griswold was forced to resign as Episcopal chairman of the U.S. Episcopal-Roman Catholic Dialogue Committee (ARCIC) talks. The Russian Orthodox Church publicly rebuked him publicly, and most of the Anglican Communion's African Primates told him he was not welcome to step foot in their dioceses.

Ugandan Primate Henry Orombi didn't want Griswold to attend his consecration and Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola blasted Griswold for consecrating an openly homoerotic bishop in the US. "It's Satanic," Akinola, head of the largest church province in the Anglican Communion," said.

Griswold lied when he told the Nigerians he was an Anglo-Catholic when in fact he was an Affirming Catholic. Some theologians disputed even that, saying that his views were closer to "mystic paganism" and his constant mention of Sufi Rumi made him a universalist and panentheist. Griswold invoked the "Circle Dance of Dispossession" to replace confession and repentance.

If Griswold had been the head of an American corporation, he would have been forced to resign, publicly humiliated for his theological and moral positions and for his blatant disregard for the 'faith once delivered'. He turned his back on the very faith he swore to uphold and defend.

There has never been a leader of any branch of the Anglican Communion in modern history, so blatantly apostate and heretical. Griswold lived and worked for the overthrow of the very things he said he would support and sustain.

He put at risk whole branches of the communion for his pro-Islamic statements. His public affirmation of pansexuality jeopardized the lives of Anglicans in Northern Nigeria, who daily face the onslaughts of Islamic fundamentalists who push Sharia law and laughingly mock Christianity as a 'queer' religion.

African Primates could only stand in mute silence against such public onslaughts of their faith, knowing that what happens in the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada affects them in their countries.

Griswold cried unity, even as his actions bespoke disunity. He so angered many of his fellow bishops, orthodox priests and laity that all the documents, statements and letters combined would fill a sizeable book.

Griswold brought public humiliation on the Episcopal Church in statements he made about the United States with both the President and former President of the US following the tragic events of 911.

He blamed America and its foreign policies for the events of 911 rather than placing the blame where it belonged on Islamic fundamentalists and Al Qaeda where they belonged.

Griswold used the church's money and trust funds to manipulate Global South bishops into accepting pansexual behavior, most notably in the Province of Southern Africa.

He sicced a sodomite "missionary" on Southern Africa to assist in the AIDS pandemic which Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane bought into. All of which was sustained by ECUSA's financial generosity.

On the national front, Griswold promised to publicly condemn Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison for the way he treated traditionalist parish priest Fr. David L. Moyer at Good Shepherd, Rosemont. But then he did nothing, revealing a spinelessness that followed him ever since.

Griswold did nothing as his fellow revisionist bishops went after faithful parish priests to depose, inhibit, humiliate, and toss them out of the church.

He made multiple charges against a former New York bishop disappear, even as he excoriated the actions of faithful bishops who intervened on behalf of faithful parishes in revisionist dioceses.

Griswold managed to keep his job because a majority of some 61 bishops in the House of Bishops believed and thought as he did and shared his bankrupt theological outlook.

While he claimed to speak for the "diverse center", it was increasingly apparent that such a center never existed. The church was polarized around right and wrong, truth and lies, good and evil.

Bishop Jack Iker, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, told VOL that Griswold's relationship during his term as Presiding Bishop was marked by a number of tense episodes and confrontations in an effort to get along, as TEC continued its descent into heterodoxy and division. "This came to a head when he sought to smooth things over when Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected to succeed him as PB."

Griswold frantically crossed the ocean to schmooze the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey into making him believe that the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) was the Evil Empire in the midst of ECUSA, when all they were trying to do was uphold the faith that he, Griswold, should have been doing all along.

He hung on for dear life and blew off his fellow primates saying that he did not really care what they thought as long as then ABC Rowan Williams continued to recognize him.

In 2005 in Dromantine, Ireland, Griswold showed his true colors. At that time the primates could not even take Holy Communion together because of their differences. It was here that Griswold lambasted Archbishop Rowan Williams for not pushing harder against Archbishops like Peter Akinola of Nigeria, but Williams knew that if he did that Akinola and the other Global South primates would simply walk out. Later it was revealed that Williams said Akinola would blink first over homosexuality. He was wrong. Williams blinked and Akinola wrote the book Who Blinks First? as payback.


Two bishops, John W. Howe, (Central Florida) and William Wantland, (Eau Claire) both wrote letters telling Griswold to resign for his consecration of V. Gene Robinson, but their pleas went ignored.

Howe ripped Griswold in a personal letter, saying he had ignored the counsel of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Meeting of the Anglican Primates, the Anglican Communion Council, the most recent Lambeth Conference (in 1998), and the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops.

"You have ignored the clear teaching of scripture, 5,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition, the last seven General Conventions of the Episcopal Church (prior to this summer's 74th General Convention), the pleas of Primates and Provinces of the Anglican Communion from around the world, and those of our ecumenical partners, including the Holy Father in Rome, and the Conventions of (at least) six of our dioceses. We have ordained and consecrated, as a bishop in the Church of God, a non-celibate homosexual man, openly living in a "partnered" relationship with another man for the past thirteen years. We have thus repudiated the promise of the House of Bishops' Study Document of 1994 to ordain "only persons we believe to be a wholesome example to their people, according to the standards and norms set forth by the Church's teaching [which is] that...the standard found in the New Testament of lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual union as the setting intended by God for sexual relationships between men and women is the foundation on which the Church's traditional teaching is built."

"We have violated the commitment made in that same Study Document to commit to ongoing consultation concerning these matters with the wider Anglican Communion and with our ecumenical partners" before proceeding with such innovations."

"We have betrayed tens of thousands loyal Episcopalians, bewildered the Christian world, and grieved the Holy Spirit."

Howe concluded his blast by saying Griswold and his fellow revisionist bishops should resign their positions in the Episcopal Church, USA.

Griswold's tenure as presiding bishop was marked by betrayal, betrayal of trust and his actions were called schismatic. He had zero commitment to the authority of Holy Scripture and his actions in the HOB were called, by one bishop "manipulative and duplicitous."

His "pluriform" theology and views only isolated the orthodox branches of his church and the consecration of Gene Robinson as a "new thing God is doing" was in fact a contradiction of what God had actually said!

One bishop had the audacity to ask Griswold how he could hold all of these "pluriform truths" together in his mind.

The truth is he couldn't. Anything and everything were now acceptable to Griswold except orthodoxy, for the orthodox were the only remnant left standing in his way for a complete makeover of the church even as it headed in Gadarene fashion towards the moral cliff.

Bishop Wantland wrote following the Robinson consecration, "this is not only necessary for the Church, but for your own spiritual wellbeing. You have betrayed the Christian Faith. In the words of our baptismal liturgy, you need to 'repent and return to the Lord'."

"You have rejected the Faith," wrote the traditionalist bishop, "but [I hope] that this separation might bring you back to the truth." It never happened.


In 2006 I wrote that Griswold consorted with gays in Paris when he was the Bishop of Chicago. You can read my story here: https://virtueonline.org/retired-bishop-says-griswold-consorted-gays-paris-when-bishop-chicago

A retired Episcopal bishop said that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Frank T. Griswold consorted with known drag queens and homosexuals in Paris in the late 80's. He brought a dozen of them to the American cathedral, where he was ordered by the then Bishop of the American Convocation to leave his cathedral and to take his gay friends with him.

The bishop told the story to VirtueOnline, but asked that his name not be mentioned in the article. The bishop said he was finally glad to tell someone the truth about Griswold, as he had watched with dismay the decline of The Episcopal Church under his tenure.

The bishop said Griswold would come with his wife Phoebe to Paris and then disappear into the Left Bank, leaving her with the wife of the American Bishop of Europe.

"Griswold told me he wanted to preach sermons at the cathedral. I let him preach once and it was terrible. I said he could never preach again. The next Sunday he turned up with a bunch of bad looking people, dressed in odd clothes with heavy black make-up around their eyes and I told him not to bring those people from the other side of the river into my cathedral."

Griswold never returned.

The bishop said he discovered what Griswold was up to by accident. "I was supposed to go to Germany that weekend but circumstances forced me to stay in Paris. I was at the cathedral early Sunday morning where I was celebrating and I looked out over the congregation and saw Frank Griswold with a group of very gay looking men with no signs of his wife. They were dressed in drag and did not fit in. How could a good man bring those queers into the cathedral and leave his wife in Paris?"

"He thought he had the guts to bring them to the cathedral because he thought I would not be there and the Dean would preach. But I stayed and celebrated and saw Griswold in the midst of the people he brought from the Left Bank."

The bishop said Griswold was very friendly. "They left the cathedral right after the service because he knew I would confront him."

Later, the bishop spoke with Griswold and told him how furious he was about what he had done. "Griswold went back to the United States and did not return," he said.

"I didn't trust Griswold at all. I said to my dean 'keep that friend of yours away from the cathedral.' The dean replied, "He's not my friend." He said he thought we had to have him preach because he was a bishop. The cathedral bishop said he had no respect for Griswold, "and neither did my dean."

"Griswold used to come during his vacation I would let him preach when he was Bishop of Chicago, but I denied him after the first time. I would not let him in the cathedral or preach because I wanted to protect my cathedral. We had nuns coming regularly to the cathedral and then we had this group of queers come in. It was a huge contradiction."

The retired bishop then said he relayed the whole scene to an orthodox American bishop when he returned to the U.S. who spoke to VirtueOnline and confirmed what the American bishop had told him.

The retired American bishop said he was good friends with Paul John Paul II. "I saw him once every month on my visits to Rome. The Pope gave me a Bible; the Pope was my friend. I went every month to Rome and met and talked with him privately."

The American bishop said Griswold wanted to come with him on his visits to Rome to meet the Pope, but he flatly refused to take him along. "I would never let him come."

Asked what his overall impression of Griswold was, the bishop said his impression was that Griswold was a sort of sissy. "I was very surprised he became Presiding Bishop. John Allin [former Presiding Bishop] told me he didn't like him. My memory of him is that he was a weak man."

"At the cathedral in Paris we always had a tea in the garden, but Griswold didn't show up that day. He knew better. When I finally confronted him, I told him he couldn't come back to the cathedral to preach."

I then wrote: "A Damoclean sword hung over the ECUSA and Frank Griswold. When it falls it will either sever the head (Griswold) from the rest of the body or, failing that, the vast majority of the Anglican Communion will sever itself from the Episcopal Church and its leader - Frank Griswold - and thus will begin the long but certain decline of Griswold into Hell, a Hell that Griswold has chosen for himself, and which will be his ultimate destiny."

That sword has taken Frank Tracy Griswold. It's waiting to sever the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion which he so faithlessly served.


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