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Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elects openly gay bishop

Episcopal_bishop_ku7ctsnc_2  The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles today elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that sought to bar gays and lesbians from the church's highest ordained ministry.

Clergy and lay leaders, meeting in Riverside for their annual convention, elected the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, who has been in a committed relationship with another woman since 1988. Another gay candidate, the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco, withdrew late Friday.

Glasspool’s election to fill one of two openings for bishops of the diocese followed the selection Friday of the Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, 53, the rector of a San Clemente church. The two became the first women elected as bishops of the diocese in its 114-year history.

But it was the endorsement of Glasspool that riveted much of the convention as well as the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch. Glasspool is the first openly gay priest to be elected bishop since the ordination of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson 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.

For a time, the Episcopal Church sought to discourage the elevation of gay and lesbian priests as bishops in hopes that strains in the 70-million-member Anglican Communion would be reduced. But the move failed to stem growing disenchantment by conservatives alarmed by the ordination of gays and lesbians, and what they saw as liberal interpretations of the Bible.

In the U.S. some Episcopal parishes, including four Los Angeles parishes, and several dioceses bolted from the national church and aligned themselves with conservative Anglican bishops in Africa and South America. So great were the possibilities of schism that the archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, implored the American church to go no farther.

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

Convention delegates said that Glasspool's sexual orientation was only one factor in their decision, which came on the seventh ballot for the position. They called her a gifted priest with extensive diocesan experience in her current role as canon -- or executive assistant -- to the bishops of the Diocese of Maryland.

"I don't think it's a referendum on electing a woman or a gay person," said the Very Rev. Mark Kowalewski, dean of St. John's Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. "Those are secondary characteristics."

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.

Glasspool and Bruce were elected to fill two openings for the position of suffragan bishop, who assist a diocese's primary bishop. The two women must be confirmed by a majority of the national church's bishops and of diocesan standing committees, which include clergy and lay representatives.

Besides Kirkley, Glasspool and Bruce, the candidates included 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.

Vasquez presented a particularly strong challenge to Glasspool; he finished with the second highest vote count and on several of the day's early ballots, he received a majority from lay delegates, while she had a majority of the clergy.

-- Larry Stammer in Riverside

Photo: Los Angeles diocesan Bishop Jon Bruno, center, with Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, left, and Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool share a light moment after their election as "suffragan" bishops. Glasspool was elected as the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that sought to bar gays and lesbians from the church's highest ordained ministry. Photo credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (76)

Thanks be to God!

These christians that comment negatively and pushing a literal biblical interpretation, you should read beyond your gay obsession, the bible is full of things you do not adhere to. I live in a neighborhood full of chrisitians, putting up their lights while a homeless lady sleeps on the sidewalk around the corner. You "christians" don't follow your own bible.

"Nothing says".. spit on "...Jesus like a bunch of..." pandering and perverse whores of the world who pretend to represent the Word of God. They also spit upon God, His Holy Word and the Holy Spirit as well.
Since they defiantly act as though the Word of God is some passe' childrens fable why should they even worry that the God they pretend to represent will keep His word regarding the punishment that is surely reserved to them.
I pray to see that day of Judgement.

Whoo, hooo... Episcopalians, don't broadcast your pandering to me...explain your actions to the God you so hypocritically profess to worship and obey.
None of this business should be any surprise to any TRUE Christian. These times were accurately predicted by Christ Himself, including the disease of "false prophets"...
These acts are concrete proof that such so-called 'ministers' of the Holy Word of God do not sincerely believe there is even a God who shall hold them accountable.
I can confidently state, with studied authority that most all KJ era translations of the Bible are very accurate word for word comparisons to the earliest Aramaic records. This includes the subsequent Greek and Hebrew translations that followed from the original Aramaic texts.
Either believe every word or deny the entirety of God's Word, Christ also admonished on this point.
God will NOT grant any mercy to those who defy or take it upon themselves to 'improve' or 'revise' His Holy Word and this statement applies to me, first and foremost, should I choose to ever transgress His Word!
THAT fact is clearly written in the Bible as well!

Congratulations to the Episcopal Church and its L.A. diocese. Best pastor I've ever known was a lesbian Episcopal priest in Michigan. She'll likely be a bishop one day as well. Too bad some of the straight boys just don't "get it."

Why are we so prejudiced against gays that this is a big deal?

1) Conservatives leave mean-spirited, anti-gay comments suggesting that gays are fundamentally wrong to be bishops.

2) I, reading these comments, label these comments (correctly) as obviously bigoted and based in hate.

3) How long will it be before the wounded, victimized conservatives scream "Political correctness!" and "Unfair!" because I have accurately labeled their hate as hate?

When one studies civilization and finds that the Irish people are 60,000 years old; 54,000 years older than the Jews/Palestinians; Egypt or Greece and that the myth of Catholicism or Christianity is a mere 2009 years old; one soon realizes that there is little evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of that cult. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate Christianity - a fantasy - which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world. The Vatican supported Hitler and religion is responsible for more corruption and violence in the world. Pope Ratzinger was involved in the Nazi youth. The Pope with his blatant witchcraft related to the bible and its hateful beliefs; tries to rule with extreme prejudice against a world … that may fall victim to religions' absolute evil. Many theologians state quite correctly that the birth; crucifixion; resurrection and other elements of christianity actually didn’t even happen! The pope is running a bigger fraud than Madoff’s $50 billion ripoff. Today’s evangelical extremists are like the nazis who cast others into ovens & are actually supremacists - who practice their bogus hocus pocus - and are trying to suppress and deprive others of their happiness and their legal rights in an open and proud society. Einstein stated in a letter recently auctioned that the bible was a collection of primitive legends. He said believing in God was childish and he as a Jew is no different than another person … not chosen by God. Do you want to be lambs at the slaughter or be wise and reject religious cultist manipulation? Mean & nasty; run by evil and bogus religious cults from Rome or wherever. Is this the world you want? The pope talks about ending prejudice and hate; what a hypocrite! Religion is a crutch for the insecure. Appreciate every day and if there is no tomorrow; then know that you were fortunate to have lived on this earth!

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told the Vatican that there was to be no cross erected over the Canadian Parliament buildings … figuratively speaking; when the Pope demanded the Prime Minister go against gay rights. An Alberta bishop had the audacity to say that The Canadian Prime Minister would go to hell for going against the church. Such outrageous evil threats. The Right Honourable Prime Minister … in return; basically told the Pope to go to Hell! The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canadian Minister of Justice, stood for equal rights for the gay community. With reference to protecting the children. The Honourable Hedy Fry, member of the Canadian Liberal Parliament, who happens to be a doctor who delivered many babies; spoke eloquently to defend the rights of babies being born and stated that she was in fact defending their rights by speaking on behalf of equal rights for the children and youth of the future -- defending their integrity and dignity. Minority rights should be decided by a dignified judicial system and/or a compassionate government.

This bogus religious filth should be banned. It exists as a tax exempt structure which discriminates against human rights. The pope, bishops and mormons are cult members promoting discrimination against minorities. That bogus black book called the bible should be banned. Religion and the churches should now be exposed as a bigoted structure that gets away with hate mongering. Love between two guys or girls existed long before these cults existed. By enjoying their tax exempt status and benefits from the state ... it also puts them at the mercy of state; to be forced to adhere to the human rights laws. Religion is thriving like a cancerous growth on society that should be stopped in its tracks; outlawed & banned.
I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Although we as young children would sneak out the side door and play by the cannon from World War One where my grand-father fought for freedom as a Sgt Mgr at Vimy and father who fought at Normandy on D-Day for democracy. Onward christian soldiers ... I think not. Such absolute drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross. One should appreciate each day of life and not expect another ... and if there is it might be given by a God of Love.

To think of Matthew Shepard choking on his own blood after being savagely beaten; virtually sanctioned by the church ... is evil beyond comprehension … yet is the same as boys being bullied into suicide; most likely being supported by the bullies parents’ religious cults. Bigotry and hatemongering against gays should be banned. Tell them to take that cross and shove it where the sun don't shine ... and pay their taxes along the way before they take that cross down forever ... with its final station; extinction. It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy. To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives … is shameful. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it is between two guys or girls … all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

A great story … pertains to a boy at a catholic school in Oshawa, Ontario … who wanted to take his boyfriend to his school prom. The evil catholic school forbid this. One of the boy’s father is an employee with General Motors Canada and the courageous union leader … Buzz Hargrove stood up for the boys’ rights. The boy took his case through the courts and because the evil catholic school was benefiting from government funding which demands equal rights void of discrimination; the judge ordered the school to allow the two young boys to attend together. Their limo arrived at their prom with adoring onlookers.

Episcopalians are the most chilled out denomination. The gays are looking for love and happiness just like the rest of us. It's nice that there is a church that welcomes them and gives the a place to commune and contemplate God. Why should church be a place that is unlike the rest of society? Why not celebrate diversity in church an din life?

It’s naive to believe spirituality and religion are rigid and non-living when our understanding and relationship to both have changed greatly over time. This decision reflects the message of All-Good that we should first be judged, and awarded, by our spirit and merits. It seems the Episcopalian’s have made great strides in equality and relevancy in today’s world when other religions simply have not. I look forward to the day however, when being gay or lesbian is not the headline but a secondary part of who they are like everyone else. It leads to the impression that is the reason for their advancement when it is not. References to our relationships should be treated the same, but back to the appointment, congratulations.

I call BS on this mess, as well as the usual PC lies, hypocrisy & delusions.

A homosexual woman was elected bishop of a church that officially rejects homosexuality. Which means that this woman has broken her vows to follow church teachings against sex outside of marriage and sex with same gender partners, with the added bonus of breaking both rules as an ordained clergy member. Ideas of bankers kiting checks, police burglarizing homes and climate scientists forging research data are accurate parallels.

The same people cheering this mockery of a sham would likely reject heterosexual church members, let alone priests, having sex outside of marriage, group sex or paying for sex as 'immoral' and 'against church teachings'. Which brings us to the heart of the matter.

The political correctness that enabled this decision is based on double-standards, lies, hypocrisy and white Christian guilt. The Episcopal Church, in which I was baptized, is dying as young families like mine leave. The self-deluded Episcopals that believe this train-wreck is now 'Holy' because they say it is are simply rearranging deck chairs, opening new bottles of champagne and requesting songs from the band on a ship of lies that is very clearly sinking.

Have at it, Boomers. Your GI Generation parents gave you the greatest & wealthiest nation in history, which we Gen X folk will inherit from you as a hollow shell of bankruptcy, narcissism and self-indulgence. But hey, you had Woodstock.

pasadena jag: "I stopped going because aesthetically women at the altar just don't work for me. Their high heels click too much!"

This misogynistic attitude is ugly and outdated. As is your homophobia. Stop coming from a place of hate and fear. Times have changed, and you're going to be "left behind" if you don't change with them.

Does the Episcopal "church" actually believe that God will bless those who break his laws and spit in His face? The Episcopal "church" has imploded over this issue and more parishises are departing every day. All because of political correctness and the desire to pander to the shrill homosexual minority. Will the Episcopalians return to the true faith and say No! to women "priests" and No! to sodomites on the altar? Or will their church slowly slip into irrelevence and become just a "church of L.O.L. (little old Lesbians)?

The Episcopal Church continues its decline into an academic sociology department.

This is a sad day for many religious people. We have allowed political correctness to be the guide for our morality. No one wants to offend anyone or any group. It is time to stop playing in the gray areas with such more decisions. Enough is enough-just read the Bible.
We are or we have been going in the wrong direction for a while now. Wake up people. What other immoral decisions will be made???

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone: this is The LORD's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!"

God bless the Episcopal Church!

This is a funny church. They don't read the bible I guess. Make up their own rules. Remember God doesn't change people do. Obviously gay isn't right then wrong then right. Principles and morals don't change. Luckly there are churchs that don't shift with the wind of public opinion. Example of a man made church.

at least now the gays have their own church, openly. they can now procreate and expand their numbers.

The Episcopal church will not exist in the U.S. in 40 years, if the church does not uphold traditional values and will no longer believe in the divinity of Christ you might as well just call yourself a Democrat. Just attend a DNC meeting and call it a church service. Wait that is already happening now with most of the liberal churches. That is why they will soon be extinct while the more traditional churches will continue to exist. So go ahead and destroy the Anglican Church in America. Your founder Henry VIII (the Defender of the Faith) would be shocked by your actions.

Congrats to those who won, but don't forget those that you alienate and the harm caused.

The Episcopal Church lost me when they got rid of the 1928 prayer book in 1979.

It is sad to see how rapidly the Episcopal church in America is descending into irrelevance and apostasy. This is another sign that Jesus is coming soon. The Bible tells us that in the last days, people would call bad good and good bad. I am so glad that God is going to set things right on judgment day. On that day there will be not gays Christians, homophobic Christians, straight, or queer. There will only be Children of God and those who are not. There will be saints and sinners; And there will be no mistake. Those who twisted God’s word to appease their guilt and to excuse their immoral lifestyle will have to answer to these words.
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Rev. 22:14-16
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32
Leviticus 18:22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
Leviticus 20:13 13 " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

This is not hate speech or homophobia. This is the Bible Speaking for itself.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1Corinthians 6:9-10 ) NIV

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1) NIV

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20) NIV

We should love the sinner, but never love or promote sin. Let us pray that the Episcopal leaders return to the word of God repent and stop promoting that which is expressly forbidden in His Word.

The Scriptures set forth the moral standards of our Creator, which oftentimes run counter to modern-day mores. Homosexual acts, heterosexual sex between unmarried persons, and bestiality are all condemned in the Bible. Read Exodus 22:19 and Ephesians 5:3-5. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of such sexual practices.—Genesis 13:13; 18:20; 19:4, 5, 24, 25. Regarding acts of homosexuality, God’s Word pointedly says: “This is a hateful thing.” Says Leviticus 18:22 from the The New Jerusalem Bible. God’s Law to Israel stipulated: “When a man lies down with a male the same as one lies down with a woman, both of them have done a detestable thing. They should be put to death without fail.” Found at Leviticus 20:13. The same punishment was prescribed for those committing bestiality, incest, and adultery backed at Leviticus 20:10-12, 14-17.
The apostle Paul was inspired to describe homosexual acts as expressions of “disgraceful sexual appetites” and are “contrary to nature.” He writes: “That is why God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error. And just as they did not approve of holding God in accurate knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mental state, to do the things not fitting.” As from Romans 1:26-28.
The Scriptures offer no apologies, no concessions, no ambiguity; homosexual practices, adultery, fornication, are all repulsive in God’s sight. Accordingly, true Christians do not water down the Bible’s position on “disgraceful sexual appetites” so as to become more popular or more acceptable to modern culture. True Christians should not agree with any movement dedicated to the promotion of homosexuality as a normal life-style.
Any Church or group who disagrees needs to take cold hard look at the Holy Scriptures. They are very plain on the matter. Yes, Jesus loves you. But, he detests your actions. Becoming a true Christian means putting on a new personality, not trying to have GOD fit your old one. GOD does not change.

Are we talking about a christian church? If so, my bible says homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord God. Maybe their bible has those pages torn out. If not a christian church then I guess it really don't matter. I'm almost as confused as they are.

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