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L.A. Episcopal bishop vote includes gay candidates

Clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles could make history today when they vote to replace two retiring assistant bishops, choosing from a pool of six candidates that includes two openly gay priests.

If either or both of the gay candidates are elected at the diocese’s annual convention, it would mark the first election of an openly gay Episcopal bishop since the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson was chosen bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Robinson’s election threw the Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion into an uproar, leading to decisions by some conservative parishes and dioceses to leave the national church and resulting in a de facto ban on the election of additional gay bishops.

But the Episcopal Church reversed course at its national convention in Anaheim in July, voting to open the top echelons of the church to gays and lesbians. The Los Angeles diocese is the first to test that policy.

Leaders of the diocese are meeting in Riverside for their two-day annual convention, with balloting expected to begin later this morning. Home to 70,000 Episcopalians across six counties, the diocese is widely viewed as one of the most liberal in the U.S. church of 2.1 million members. Its bishop, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, is an outspoken advocate for the rights of gays in the church.

There are six candidates vying for two suffragan bishop positions in the election. Suffragan bishops assist a diocese’s primary bishop.

The candidates include the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool of Baltimore and the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco, the Rev. Canon Diane M. Jardine Bruce of St. Clement’s by-the-Sea in San Clemente; the Rev. Zelda M. Kennedy of All Saints in Pasadena; the Rev. Irineo Martir Vasquez of St. George’s in Hawthorne; and the Rev. Silvestre E. Romero of St. Philip’s in San Jose. Glasspool and Kirkley are openly gay.

If elected, the candidates must be confirmed by a majority of the national church’s bishops and of diocesan "standing committees," which include clergy and lay representatives.

-- Duke Helfand

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Comments () | Archives (36)

I'm confused...an organization whose purpose is to shepherd its followers in the way of the lord as revealed in the bible is choosing to elect "shepherds" who openly defy those teachings? Wouldn't that be like the democracy of the United States electing communists and fascists as its leaders? I have nothing against gays or even, in some cases, communists or fascists, but they should not seek to infiltrate and, eventually, pervert, the meaning of organizations whose beliefs are opposed to theirs. They could start their own religions, governments, etc. based on what they believe. That is, of course, what they would do if they were honest in their desire to worship God in their own way and not just activists trying to mess with the system. But what can you expect from a religion formed on a king's wish to divorce his wife?

Moses went up the mountain to get the law. The people thought that he wasn't coming back and started to have an orgy led by Aaron the high priest. Christ ascended to heaven and people thought that He wasn't coming back so they are having an orgy in the form of homosexual activism, porn, abortion, promiscuity, contraception, divorce, etc. What will He do when He comes back? What did Moses do when he came down the mountain? Oh we are a bunch of stiff-necks. Lesson taught but never learned...

I completely agree with the previous post. How can you elect "Bishops" whose lifestyles are completely contrary to the just, and holy God presented in the Bible? I don't understand how far we've come to be self-deceived, and how we have mixed tolerance with doctrine. The doctrine and theology of the Bible is clear. In II Timothy he states that there are prerequisites for the Office of a "Bishop" (or other church leader, to be the husband of one wife. Not a man. This is an abomination, and if we can do any and everything we want - why have any religious institutions. Give me a break! But we have become insitutions of religious fools, rather than spiritual vessels used of God to fulfill divine purpose. And if you are a Christian, you CANNOT be HOMOSEXUAL, expecially in a leadership position. There is scripture in both the Old Testament and the new that lucidly describe what we are to do and not to do sexually. And since we all have sinned and come short of God's glory at some point, we all have a vice. Yet, our vice is our struggle, yet it should not be our banner. If you are a homosexual, or an adulterer and that is your struggle, and you can't control it, step down. Resign so that you won't make a mockery of a who and what you represent. This is why there are a lot of athesists because people have taken what is true and holy, and have abused it and made it look ridiculous. Preachers stealing money, having sex with members, etc. But, this should just teach us to put our hope and trust in God, not in man.

Finally!!!...an organization whose purpose is to shepherd its followers in the way of our Lord Jesus Christ is choosing to elect "shepherds" by openly proclaiming and following His teachings rather than perverting His message into one of hatred and intolerance? Kind of like the democracy of the United States living up to the intent and meaning of a democracy? I have nothing against intolerant so-called christians who prostrate themselves in idolatry before a BOOK written by men for men (Christ's message can be found therein but mostly in spite, rather than because, of its many writers and later-to-come manipulators/translators), but they should not have perverted the teachings of the original teacher: love one another. Goes to show that a religion can truly follow the ways of the Lord rather than keep itself enshrined in hatred and intolerance for millenia.

well said Dee!

It amazes me how the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles can get so much media attention. They barely have 70,000 members - with probably close to 20,000 attending each Sunday. They are over burden with a top heavy administration and now want three bishops. Fifty years ago there were 175,000 Episcopalians in the Los Angeles Diocese and they had two bishops. As for diversity, the Episcopal Church is dominated by a growing abundance of third career women. Middle to Late middle age. Sort of the National Organization of Women in ecclesiastical drag. The LA Diocese and Episcopal Church are hungry for media attention so they push all kinds of shock stuff - like lesbian/gay priests or bishops, "Spanglish" services, etc. The fact is that the Episcopal Church has become an institution with too many chiefs and not enough indians. Their pew base is fast dwindling. What was once the Republican Party at prayer is now more a version of the Church of England - lots of empty churches and an over abundance of older clergy. Sort of Christian dated Peace Corps with irrelevant agendas! And I was raised in the church - with my only recent visits funerals!

It makes no difference who they choose straight or gay because the Episcopal Church is an apostate church. That has for many years departed from scripture- which is the word of God and the only authority of the church.

As a life long Episcopal within the LA Diocese, I find this decision to be distressing. The fact that the gays seem to be intent on tearing the church apart for their own sexual glorification is a sad stste of affairs.

The church I attend welcomes everyone. However, someone will not be placed (or allowed to remain) in a position of power or leadership if he or she continues to engage in the same sin, refusing to repent. This is about more than sexual behavior with someone other than your partner in holy matrimony. It is about Biblical authority. The church is not a social club. It is there to make disciples, draw them closer to the Lord, and to serve those in need.

One need not attack the origins of the Episcopal Church to see that this is wrong on every level. This is why I wrote a defense of marriage paper:


This is what happens when leftists and the politically correct influence a movement. All of the common sense goes out of the window.

Well said Dee.

Obviously God gave all of mankind free will, to either serve him accordingly to what is acceptable to him or not to serve him. It is so true as what is said at 2 Tim 4: 3, it brings out that there will be a period of time when people will not put up with the healthful teaching, but in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled, turning away from the truth. Only God's Kingdom will set matters straight.

I'm confused too... What bible will this church organization use since it obviously can't use the Holy word of God. If you can't teach the entire bible then there's something with your doctrine. Jesus said that many false prophets would come in His name and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles was one of them.

As Christian's we are taught to hate sin but love the sinner, not conform to their ways. Shame on this church for not standing up for true Christian values.

God loves people regardless of their sexual preference. Everyone's interpretation of the Bible is different so who says it defies the teachings of the Bible, Dee? You? Are you the grand master and final word of what the Bible is teaching? In my personal opinion Sodom and Gommarah, which is in the OLD Testament, teaches against violence and rape not necessarily homosexuality. Plus I also believe that when Jesus Christ came along he changed the game completely. Christianity is about following Christ and what he did, to follow in his example. Did he say gay poeple must burn in hell? I think not. He walked with prostitutes and thieves. I'm sure if he can manage to befriend and love them he has the capacity to love gay men and women also. I was baptized in the early 80's in an Episcopalian church by a gay reverend and it hasn't affected me in any way. If people want to believe that religion and God are based on hate then that's your prerogative but I prefer to believe that God loves all his children and that he sacrificed his only son not just for straight people but for ALL people. The suggestion that the Church of England and Episcopalian beliefs are derived simply from a king divorcing his wife is a ridiculous notion and in my opinion desperate. So I say right on to the Episcopal church and boo to judgemental hate mongers. If you don't like it don't become an Episcopalian.

Dee, it's really not that confusing. If every group of Christians interpeted the Bible the same way, there would not be over 2000 denominations. In fact, even the concept of a denomination is quickly dying off, as the new paradigm here in the US has become independent churches, where biblical interpetation is the collective whim of the pastor & congregants.

In addition, the theological idea that the entire council of God is contained within the pages of the Bible is simply that: one theology. One of many.

If you think that you or your church's biblical interpetation is the only "true, orthodox, & correct" one, that interpetation has not evolved dramatically through the centuries, or that you are the only people on earth "adhering to the way of the lord" you are only deluding yourself.

You or your church's approach to the Bible might be to interpet a few questionable verses out of context in order to exclude gay people from Christian fellowship & leadership. Fine. Go ahead and do so. The ECUSA has chosen to welcome all of God's children equally, that's their choice as well. Episcopal polity is based on American democracy, so it is not a case of "a few activists messing with the system" as you perceive. Both the clergy & lay representatives have voted by a majority to change policies with regard to electing bishops. That's their choice as well. If you don't agree that this is how a church should be run, than don't attend an Episcopal church.

BTW, there was a longer & much more complex religious history leading up to the English Reformation than simply "a king's wish to divorce his wife", You might want to read up on that.

Kudos to the Episcopalians; they might yet be among the very few true followers of Christ in L.A.

and well said, Elizabeth!

Written in Response to Elizabeth's Post:
The Bible was not written by men of men's opinions Elizabeth, if that were the case it would be desperately wicked. It was inspired by God to written to men. He choose men of integrity to compose this work. The Bible should be taken literally and believed upon by Faith. Christ said to love one another, but He also said to be obedient to his word. You cannot do what you want. It says in II Peter that Christ died on the cross that we should live unto righteousness - in the sight of God. Not what we deem as right, but what the bible declares as right.

do you people realize how ridiculous and hateful you all sound? These are human beings who chose a path in the church and just happen to be gay. They aren't walking into church with giant rainbow flags trying to convert their congregation to homosexuality. It really makes me laugh how ridiculous people can be.

well said Dee,and Elizabeth i don't think you've ever understood the bible ,because you've mixed up "hatred and intolerance" with guidelines and rules.No one sane,or understanding of the word is calling for gay people or anyone else to be strung up and punished for the way they live,but in certain circles,especially ones that profess to follow the word of God,there has to be rules in place especially when your in a leadership position.Do you get upset when rules are put into place to make sure that convicted child molesters don't own daycare centers?Of course not because their actions fly in the face of everything that the service stands for.And you so angrily and vehemently proclaim that the bible is a fractured,flawed,insignificant document but truly,honestly believe that somehow your able to decipher what the TRUE meaning and purpose of mankind is without it.Intresting.No real basis what so ever...but cute lol

It seems the only difference between the Catholic and Episcopal chruches is that the Episcopals are openly gay and the Catholics are secretly gay. Personally, I would go with the religion that emphasises honesty and dignity over lies and coverups.

Religion is a farce. I have less respect for religious people than I do for people who are rational. You have to be at least a little bit delusional in order to be religious.

I'm gay - and can't imagine anyone taking Christianity seriously who is gay. Its a joke. Like being Jewish and a Nazi. I just don't get how anyone can believe all this Christian claptrap. What is more infuriating is none of the churches pay taxes. Its time to tax the Episcopal Church and all the other groups that do nothing but run some once a week ritual!

How many of you people upset with this are REALLY christians? How many of you who profess that the bible is law follow it LITERALLY. How many of you stone people? Ladies, when you have your period, do you lock yourselves away from society because you are unclean (leviticus)? How many of you have been divorced? If you do not follow these rules than you are all SINNERS! God hates you. Its in the bible, yet you probably don't follow those.

I am so sick of this "pick and choose" christianity. The bible was written as a guide for living in the ancient days to make sure the people lived a cleanly, healthy life. To use it as a base to live your life of today, is silly. Also, what happened to "love thy neighbor" "may he who has never sinned throw the first stone" "do unto others as you would have done to you?"

There is an initiative coming up to ban divorce in this state. If you voted for prop 8 and you don't vote to ban divorce, you are a bad christian and a hypocrite. I already have heard the reactions from some of these prop 8 supporters about the divorce ban like "THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE AWAY MY RIGHTS!" HAH! doesn't feel so good eh?

So, two homosexual priests may be elected as bishops, despite breaking their vows to be faithful to church teachings against sex outside of marriage & sex with same gender partners, with the extra bonus of breaking these vows as ordained clergy.

The ideas of bankers kiting checks, police burglarizing homes and climate scientists falsifying research come to mind as parallels.

PC hypocrisy starts and stops with double standards. The same persons in favor of this mockery of a sham are likely against heterosexual priests that have sex outside of marriage, in groups or with paid partners, since they consider those immoral acts and against church teachings. Lying hypocrites.

This church is quickly dying, as membership decline shows, with the remaining, corrupt insiders congratulating each other as they rearrange deck chairs on their sinking ship of lies. The Christian churches now growing are Baptist, Pentacostal and other fundies with healthier respect for families.

This church is not a bible based church. If so, prostitues, alcholics, murders, polygamists and sodomites would not be allowed to be pastors. This is in total contradiction of what the bible is about.

God says vengence is mine. I would not want to be a gay pastor the day he renders judgment.

Episcapalians who tolerate this practice are a disgrace to the church community.

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