I write to express my concern with the recent story in the Locals edition highlighting my ministry at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Comments attributed to me, both directly (in quotes) and indirectly, consistently misrepresented what I shared with your reporter, Alexis DeLaCruz.
The article does not portray accurately either my own beliefs and commitments or those of our congregation.
My concern lies with accuracy in reporting, particularly in such a deeply sensitive area of life as religious belief and practice. My vows as a priest represent my commitments to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that go far beyond matters of my own opinion. The responsibility I bear as a pastor binds me to clarity and integrity in my proclamation of that Gospel. I find it troubling that no mention of the name of Jesus Christ appears in the piece, even though I spoke plainly of the centrality to the Christian message of faith in Christ as Savior.
I am troubled that such great liberty was taken with my comments, given in a brief, un-taped interview, even to the extent of putting in quotations remarks I never made. I did ask if it were possible to review a draft of the article, prior to publication; but no such provision was made. As published, the article has forced me to correct or clarify virtually every alleged statement to many within and outside my parish who were troubled or concerned.
I trust that in the future, more care will be given to convey accurately the deeply held beliefs and convictions of those interviewed, whether they concern religious faith or any other subject.
The Rev. David Henderson