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Archbishop of Canterbury rebukes Episcopal leaders after L.A. diocese elects gay bishop

Williams The spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion issued an unusually sharp and swift rebuke to Episcopal Church leaders over the election of an openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

In a terse statement, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams delivered a warning to bishops, clergy and lay representatives of the U.S. church about the confirmation of the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, a lesbian who has been in a partnered relationship for two decades.

Glasspool must still gain a majority of votes from bishops and standing committees of clergy and lay leaders in the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide communion. That voting process will unfold over the next four months as U.S. leaders consider Glasspool and another priest, the Rev. Canon Diane M. Jardine Bruce, who was picked for a second "suffragan," or assistant bishop post in Los Angeles.

"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," Williams said in the statement.

Williams pointed out that Glasspool’s selection is only partly complete and that she could be rejected by the U.S. bishops or standing committees. "That decision will have very important implications," he said.

Williams’ message -- coming as Episcopalians in Los Angeles reflected on Glasspool’s election at church services Sunday -- was his strongest to date on an issue that has reverberated across the global communion since the 2003 consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, as bishop of New Hampshire.

Amid pressure from overseas Anglicans, U.S. Episcopal leaders agreed in 2006 to refrain from electing additional gay bishops. They reversed the de facto moratorium at their national convention in Anaheim in July, despite a plea from Williams during a brief visit to the convention.

The Los Angeles diocese was the first to test the more lenient policy. Glasspool was elected after seven ballots on Saturday, the second day of the diocese's annual convention in Riverside.

-- Duke Helfand

Photo: Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Communion, is seen during a ecumenical prayer last month at the Church St Ignatius in Rome. Credit: Filippo Monteforte / AFP / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (39)

went to a service the other week of a woman priest of the Roman Catholic Church....married, lawyer....interesting developments going on.....much has change since parochial school in the 60's.....lol

Too late - hubris is the name under which the Episcopalians conduct business defying tradition and the views of the parishioners. And catharsis is what follows - the Episcopalian church shriveled to a meaningless sect in the next few years -

It would be nice if the Archbishop would care more about people and human rights. Why is he not willing to make a public statement against the proposed criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda?

Our church did not fail when a woman was allowed to become a priest, nor has it fallen apart since Gene Robinson was ordained as Bishop. As in every family, there will be disagreements and controversies. I wish, at this point, they would be about matters far more important than this.

I call BS here and see PC Episcopalians drinking their own Koolaid!

Gay priests break THEIR OWN CHURCH'S teachings against sex outside marriage and sex with same gender partners. As a bonus, both violations are done by ordained clergy, sworn to obey the bible & their church, for extra measures of ego, narcissism and disrespect.

Ideas of bankers kiting checks, police burglarizing homes and climate scientists falsifying data seem appropriate.

So, if the new rules for Episcopals allow sex outside marriage for homosexuals, I'm sure they allow it for heterosexuals also, since such discrimination is bad. Episcopals can now celebrate the diversity of group sex & paid partners, among others. Not that it matters much, since that church is dying and will soon go the way of the Puritans. This kind of decision quickens the process by driving away young families, and is basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

When will the church move from the bronze age to the 21st century? Or better yet, when will they just resign, acknowledging total irrelevance.

Please allow me to remind all who read this dreadful, scare mongering article of the following:

Mahatma Gandhi said is All for us when he said---"first, they laught at you---then the hurt you---and then--- we WIN!"


Dr. Peter Evans

Well I feel better now that I'm not the only Catholic that doesn't agree with the appointment of an openly gay bishop.

He's so offended....why....because they prefer to keep in all the closet offending children who have no voice instead of being open about it and having consensual relations. Oh Dear, whatever we will do if Christians come out? No no, let's just molest children in the closet, cuz after all, if we hide it God will never know.

its sad to see the church after all these centuries is still laughably so in the closet they cannot recognize themselves.

when you have all men and all women living together like nuns and priests a good portion (probably 60%) are homosexual and obvious homosexuals (femmy voices of priests, how nuns are compared to lesbians and the occasional choir boy scandals being male on male crime showing homosexualy is abundant by catholic priests especialy). Its sad, like watching elton john call people faggy.

I can understand the ethical chastising of homosexuality 900 years ago when we had 500 people on the planet with fears mankind would not be able to reproduce if everyone was gay, but that is not aparent now with a world population in the millions, if anything overpopulation and pro family values is what helps downfall societies values due to things like pollution caused by overpopulation etc. such an incredible lack of foresite by the church, its the 21st century people.

Along with an overhaul of the justice system designing it to protect all people and act as a health care and people reform rather than a system of revenge and pettyness, homosexuality views are something I hope end changing along with racial issues (racism long being upheld by the church as the south was predominately devoute religious christian and pro slavery) wich have slowly started changing.

Get a grip archbishops need to realize that the gays they are disparaging are 60% of thier flock. Homesexual numbers may be low statisticaly, thats just because everyones in the closet, esp in church LOL. Every time a priest sashays his hand as he passes by on the alter, give him a wink and kind of smile and know you realize whats up :p. LOL.

On the 7th ballot? That says a lot! I'm Episcopalian, and I'm embarrassed by the fact that I have to explain this election of a gay Bishop to my Roman Catholic friends. They already do not accept women priest and now a gay lady wearing the headdress of a miter? I don't know. Maybe it's time for me to GO BACK to the Roman Catholic Church.

Gays are a disgusting abomination to the Holy Bible.

I'm an outsider. I'm not a Christian, and I'm not gay, but it seems to me that the Church is going to have to make this a matter of local choice. Among all the other problems, the Catholic Church seems to be having a problem getting enough priests, because they won't take women, because all the Apostles were men. All the Apostles were also Jews, but they don't make priests be Jews too.

I hope the Episcopal Church can find a way of dealing with this conundrum, and at the same time, hold itself together. If the conservative elements want to stay gay unfriendly, perhaps that fits their society better. Gay men and women could move to other places, where there is more freedom. In those countries that are gay friendly, churches could choose to see their religion in a more open and accepting way.

I would hate to see the Church break up, but if part of it won't recognize the humanity of some of its members, and it breaks up over that, maybe it should break up.

There are standards, traditions and ways of life that have been observed and respected for centuries. In these rather "liberal" times, let us learn to "draw the line" at some point and leave it alone. Our children and generations after will repect and appreciate what we did. There is alwasy one more step we can explore, one more thng we can add to tradition. The question is where do we stop. Let's draw the line and stop right now!

Nothing better than using your sexual orientation to advance your career! Enjoy lesbian sex and boss men around! What a great "religion"!

Thsi is a funny church. They change like public opinion. Sorry, but right vs. wrong never changes. This church is on its way out. What ever happened to standing for something. I guess this church can vote on any thing. Maybe they will make stealing acceptable. Probably not yet. But just wait if the public wants it they will shift according to the wind. Watch out its getting windy!

A christian church that does not fear, hate or advocate war, well that just isn't - Christian.

Why do you call yourself a "Christian" if you accept or tolerate the practice of homosexuality? There is no need to debate, meditate, or pray on this issue. God has already set the record straight in the Holy Bible -- homosexuality is a sin.

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for the women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Romans 1:26)

Or do you not know that the unrightous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching (1 Timothy 1:9-10)

Furthermore, a "practicing" homosexual cannot be a Christian. Nor can a practicing homosexual be a leader in a biblical church.

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)

Christians with homosexual tendencies must abstain from the lusts and practice of homosexuality. Just like Christians with Kleptomania must abstain from the practice of stealing (which is a sin). And Christians with Pseudologia fantastica, mythomania, and pathological lying must abstain from the practice of lying (which is a sin).

Christians are commanded to flee from sexual immorality like homosexuality:

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

Christians are not to associate with "practicing" homosexuals who profess to be Christians and must expel all unrepentant immoral people from the church:

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)

For those who say it doesn't matter, that homosexuality is acceptable, you are calling God -- who inspired the writing of the Holy Bible (2 Timothy 3:16) -- a liar.

Repent and confess your sins to the one-and-only mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

Show me the bible verses that agree with this?
This is clearly the 'shepherds' and I use that word lightly leading the 'flock' astray.
People twisting God's word to suit themselves.
God will not be mocked!

There are some things that i just don`t understand in this world, and i am sure that there are things present that God doesn`t desire us to understand, however his word is very explicit concerning human matters and behaviors.

I stand back and look at what you do, the authority that you have been given as a functioning member of the body and what i cannot understand is how you function.
All the robes and ceremonies , the politics seem so reminiscent as the Scribes and Pharisees of days past, political power and human esteem over servitude..
How does your church function without salvation? I don`t see how that can be possible without repentance?
It seems to be more of a quasi ongoing secular lifestyle reaping no benefit but to simply live out and die in it.
How did Christ describe it being? "White washed sepulchres full of dead man`s bone`s and everything unclean.?

More interested in making the ongoings and politics of the church as an idol in itself than seeking for a persons individual repentance and salvation.
Paul, gave authority to "Shake the dust off your feet as you leave; if they don`t receive you" Rebuke, That`s the churches given authority.
As saddening as it is too see, but joining in with the Roman`s by putting an overwhelming bruise on the face of Christ Jesus, not while he was being flogged or ridiculed but while he was hanging in his worst suffering for what God clearly speaks out to the world as sin and this is my son, betrayed and made sacrifice.
I'm not sure if you really see the difference in what God calls and speaks in his word as the perverse or just rather choose to ignore it doing it by your own desire, i cannot see it being of ignorance?

What was it i read once " Power breeds bad choices'
Personally i would never belong to or join any kind of church anywhere that refuses to offer a person Gods plan of salvation and redemption, it`s impossible to do without repentance.
How is it we can be redeemed through Christ and reconciled back to God if we have absolutely nothing to regret or to be self-accountable, sorrowful and contrite over ?? Especially appointed clergy people.

If a member of the clergy Publicly and vehemently refuses to repent before God, then why on earth would anyone else standing on the planet do it ? What on earth are you people practicing ?

This is saying to the world, "An established Lesbian in the House of God is far more important than Christs atonement for Salvation, we have no need or desire for repentance here." How absolutely vulgar of a person to see that kind of selfish aclaim in themselves and those who pat their back for it.

I was happy that the Episcopalian Church finally stepped into the 21st century...until I read this. Sad. Hopefully the local diocese will not cave into the pressure of the Archbishop. My thoughts and best wishes to Reverends Glasspool and Bruce - may you prevail!

The pre-modern 3rd-world dominated constituency that now seems to dominate Anglicanism doesn't like this vote. What I don't yet understand is why the Episcopal Church (civilized, American, inclusive) should care... but I'm not an Episcopalian so I may be missing something.

What is the history of the Anglican Church? Henry VIII couldn't get his marriage annulled by the Pope so he became the head of the Church of England. Now there's a good reason to start a church. Nice history.

To Steve, I think the Episcopal Church does stand for something: love, kindness, and compassion--all of which reflect the true Christ nature. As Christ challenged the religious dogma and conventions of the Pharisees so too are the Episcopalians challenging the contemporary Pharisees of our times.

When I hear that the august Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken to condemn the proposed mass genocide of gay people in Uganda, I may then conclude that he has the moral authority to publish opinions on the direction of the Episcopal church. Until then, though, he is just another religious fanatic bent on hating the sin while also hating the sinner.

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