Thursday, March 18, 2010

Episcopal Lesbian is Second Homosexual ECUSA Bishop

A majority of bishops and dioceses of the Episcopal Church have approved the election of the church’s second openly gay bishop, the Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, a decision likely to increase the tension with fellow Anglican churches around the world that do not approve of homosexuality.

-- From "Annapolis priest is first openly lesbian bishop for Episcopalians" by Matthew Hay Brown, Baltimore Sun 3/18/10

The Episcopal Church has confirmed the election of an Annapolis priest as the first openly lesbian bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool, who has served in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland since 1992, said Wednesday that she was "overjoyed and overwhelmed" by news that a majority of bishops and diocesan committees had approved her election as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Her confirmation is likely to further strain relations in a church that has lost members, parishes and dioceses over differences on homosexuality. One prominent traditionalist said he was "saddened but not surprised" by her confirmation.

"It is contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture and the mind of the church catholic," said the Rev. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina. "One would have hoped that at least the bishops would have waited until they were gathered at their coming House of Bishops meeting to discern prayerfully their response together. They instead sought to embrace a way of life which the church through the Bible has always understood to be forbidden."

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From "Episcopalians Confirm a Second Gay Bishop" by Laurie Goodstein, New York Times 3/17/10

The worldwide Anglican Communion, the network of churches connected to the Church of England, has been in turmoil since the Americans elected their first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire in 2003. Theological conservatives in the Communion say the Bible condemns homosexuality, while liberals say the Scripture is open to interpretation.

Bishop Glasspool, 56, is to be consecrated as one of two new assistant bishops, known as suffragan bishops, in Los Angeles on May 15. Both elected suffragan bishops are women — the first ever to serve in the diocese.

She and her partner, Becki Sander, a postgraduate student in social work, have been together for 22 years.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the leader of the Church of England and spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, issued a warning in December that Bishop Glasspool’s election “raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.”

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