St Chad: Patron Saint of Disputed Election

ByABC News
December 6, 2000, 4:09 PM

N E W   Y O R K, Dec. 6 -- As the dispute over the presidential election drags into a second month, those who are heartily sick of it might consider praying to Chad for an end.

Yes, Chad St. Chad of Lichfield, England no relation to the bits of paper punched out of ballots that have been the focus of so much scrutiny in Florida.

However, the 7th-century saints life may still be an excellent example to those involved in the present-day wrangling over the White House.

He Said He Wasnt Worthy

Saint Chad was initially elected and duly installed as the bishop of an area of northern England called Northumbria, but some bishops objected to his ordination because his consecration had not been performed correctly.

Unlike the presidential candidates, however, Chad bowed out humbly in favor of another cleric to avoid division in the church.

According to the Web site of the parish of St. Chad in Litchfield, Chad told the Archbishop of Canterbury: If you know I have not duly received episcopal ordination, I willingly resign the office, for I never thought myself worthy of it; but, though unworthy, in obedience submitted to undertake it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was so moved by this reply that he eventually installed Chad as the first Bishop of Lichfield. Shortly after Chad died on March 2, 672, he was venerated as a saint.

In fact, sources say the Oxford Dictionary of Saints verifies St. Chad as the patron saint of disputed elections.

A Bustling Web Site

Readers scouring the Internet for more on the disputed U.S. election have brought the worlds attention to the Web site for the parish of St. Chad in Litchfield.

The Web site contains little more than a historical account of the saints life and details of the church. There are no references to the American election though but visitors have made their own, using the sites guest book to debate the situation.

Conceding the election may be the saintly way but it would not be the American way. The United States was founded by people who fight for what they believe in no matter what the odds. Its what makes our country great! wrote Rob Kowal from Bono, Ohio.