Episcopals Choose Diversity, Not Hate: Openly Lesbian Bishop Ordained
May 16, 2010
(ChattahBox)—After her election last December, as only the second openly-gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, Mary Douglas Glasspool was officially consecrated by the diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday. The LA diocese also broke ground by ordaining its first elected female Bishop, Rev. Diane M. Jardine, in the diocese’s 114-year history.
Glasspool cast herself as a “reconciling” member of the clergy:
“I am a reconciling person and I will seek to reach out and engage with people who believe or think differently than I do, and to try to build a relationship with them,” she said.
When she was elected back in December, Glasspool hailed the tolerant Episcopal diocese for choosing her based on her qualifications, overlooking her sexual orientation. “I believe the people of the diocese, by the grace and power and influence of the Holy Spirit, went beneath skin deep, went beneath the superficial characteristics and boxes into which we put people to really look at individual people,” said Glasspool.
But there is no question that the issue of gay rights has split the church, as well as the nation. As Chattahbox reported when Glasspool was elected, the Catholic Church has stepped in to take advantage of the ideological split in the Episcopal Church:
“Glasspool is the first gay Bishop to be elected, since the national Episcopal Church voted to end the moratorium on gay Bishops last July. She has been in a committed relationship with a woman for over 20 years. The Ret. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, elected in 2003, was the first openly gay Bishop to become elected in the Episcopal Church. Robinson’s election, set off a firestorm and resulted in a divisive split within the church, causing some conservative parishes to leave and form the Anglican Church in North America. Pope Benedict XVI recently stepped in to take advantage of the ideological split in the Anglican Church, of which the Episcopalians are part of, by welcoming conservative Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican is even accepting married Anglican priests, but of course, gay and female clergy are not welcome. Glasspool’s election drew praise from most quarters, but the conservative parish in South Carolina and the Archbishop of Canterbury issued statements of condemnation.”
As reported by Reuters, the otherwise joyful ceremony, was marred briefly by a protest. “Two people, a man and a young boy, disrupted the beginning of the service, urging people to repent and calling homosexuality a sin, but otherwise it went as planned.”