The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen speaks with Renee Montagne of National Public Radio about her appointment as Assisting Bishop of Maryland:
MONTAGNE: Now, the diocese has appointed a new assistant bishop, who is a recovering alcoholic. Chilton Knudsen has made addiction counseling a key part of her ministry. She took a break from a conference on clergy addiction to talk to us and said her selection was no accident.
CHILTON KNUDSEN: Renee, I’m confident that the Diocese of Maryland came looking for me because they know I’m a publicly acknowledged person in recovery. And so as an ordained person and a recovering person, I have a little palette of skills that I think are uniquely helpful in a situation like the diocese of Maryland has now.
… MONTAGNE: You are speaking to us from a clergy day on addiction and recovering there in Pennsylvania for, specifically, Episcopal clergy. Is this the sort of thing that you talk to them about?
KNUDSEN: Exactly. So across the church right now, diocese by diocese, we are holding these days about alcohol and drug addiction. We are now treating the issue as opportunity to learn how to really respond pastorally, in-depth. And as we teach the clergy how to ask the harder questions, they are learning. So my prediction — I guess it would be also my hope — is that the next time someone has a DUI in their history and are asked about it and the response is, oh, I’m fine now, the next set of questions will be it’s good to know. We hope you understand that we will need to ask a lot more questions about this.
Biretta tip: Rosalind Hughes of Episcopal Café