Episcopal Church Elects Lesbian Bishop: Jesus Would Approve

December 6, 2009

(ChattahBox)—On Saturday, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles rejected hate and discrimination and instead embraced inclusiveness and equality for gays and lesbians. The Clergy and lay leaders of the large 70,000 Diocese met in Riverside for its annual convention and elected the second openly gay Bishop in the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, a canon, or senior assistant, to the Diocese of Maryland bishops was chosen on the seventh ballot, as a suffragan, or assistant Bishop. Her election also makes her only the second female Bishop for the Diocese in its 114-year history. The first, Rev. Diane M. Jardine, was just elected on Friday.

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.

The Archbishop released a statement saying in part, “The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.”

The Rev. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the traditional South Carolina diocese said, Glasspool’s election “represents an intransigent embrace of a pattern of life Christians throughout history and the world have rejected as against biblical teaching. . . . It will continue to do damage to the Anglican Communion and her relationship with our ecumenical partners.”

Despite the conservative members of the Anglican church who insist on rejecting and condemning gays and lesbians, and hide behind the Bible to do it, many others practice their faith with love and social justice. The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno of the LA Diocese said it best: “I think there will be a little bit of a wave, but as far as I’m concerned we need to look at Jesus and what Jesus would call us to do,” Bruno said.

Glasspool is happy the members of the diocese looked beyond her sexual orientation and chose her for her qualifications.

“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.

Glasspool’s election needs to be confirmed by a majority of dioceses, but confirmation or consent is rarely denied after an election. Once confirmed, the Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, plans to consecrate Glasspool on May 15 in Los Angeles.



4 Responses to “Episcopal Church Elects Lesbian Bishop: Jesus Would Approve”

  1. hadnuff on December 6th, 2009 11:14 pm

    The diocese actually had a very close election between a Latino candidate and the lesbian one. Instead of choosing the candidate that build true diversity, they predictably chose faux-inclusivity. As the numbers rapidly shrink, those smaller and smaller numbers are increasingly Caucasian and liberal.

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  4. Robin on December 9th, 2009 8:24 am

    That church should be called Church Of Satan.

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