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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)

To those who do not know the Episcopal Church, and to those who think they do, and have NO clue: two people were elected because first and foremost they are Baptized. If you don't want people in leadership positions in the church, don't baptize them in the first place. If people reject another based solely on their sexual orientation, and have no clue of their history, gifts and talents, and vital ministry, then it is the ugly roar of bigotry. Note to Bible thumpers: you might as well remove the entire Book of Psalms - - - while you're looking up anti-gay passages, count the number of times God's social justice, peace is mentioned for ALL people in ALL nations, that will keep you busy for a while.

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.

I suppose there needs to be some religion exclusively dedicated to homosexuals and their "marrying" agenda. I'm just sorry it's mine.

It is rather interesting how this is being portrayed as a "victory" in the Times, much the same as the opening up of medical marijuana shops for the those twenty year olds out there in "chronic pain". The underlying obfuscation and hypocrisy in both cases remains unspoken and untold.

That's disgusting!

That's disgusting!

The episcipal church should at least try to read the bible for a change. Timothy states that no woman is to be appointed to a leadership roll in the church. And the book of romans as well as other books of the bible states that homosexuality is an abomination to God and all who practice it and condone it are worthy of damnation and will never enter the kingdom of God.

"Beware of false prophets. They come to you disguised as sheep, but in their hearts they are vicious wolves."

God's word

Gay clergy? No wonder people are upset, it might threaten the Catholic church's monopoly on that.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In 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.

-Romans 1:26-27

this is just another example of the direction our society is heading. An openly gay Bishop. In the Bible it states the homosexuality is a sin.What is the agenda of the church? or this women.Are we only taking parts of of the Bible and teaching it? What is going to be next? Trans gender? Bi-sexuals? Incest? Furthermore for 5,000 years in every relegion in the world marraiage has been between a man and a women. I for one find this matter of usiinig their sexual orientation to indoctrinate others to something that is abnormal. Have you read the news The Catholic church has had major problem with sexual abuse priests. past or present. I am tired of the secular world coming into what is supposse to be a holy. You have come a long way baby..There was another society that caved in on itself. Due to lack of morals. Rome This country is heading in that dierection.

It won't be long and the episcopal church will be 80% gay, they are loosing members everyday & some churches have went to the angelican and others have went indepedent. Its a shame , they don't follow their teachings and bible.

I find it funny that as a people, most of these comments are hateful or completely judgmental. Who is to say what is right and wrong? God is, the end. Because she is gay, she is not able to follow the Lord or to teach His word? Because she is not a perfect person who has a sin, she can not follow Him? Let ye be first to cast the stone if you are without fault...and none can cast a stone. All sin is created EQUAL! And just because it is a woman it gets worse? Equal rights are important, whether it be homosexuals or women! And to the people who combine homosexuality with incest? You are a sick group because you have a twisted idea of what love truly is. Because one loves another of the same sex you have NO right to bring them to a totally different aspect in this world of the pedophiles, incestuous, bestiality, so on and so forth. Most of those leaving degrading comments on a whole I believe to be truly empty inside.

I find it funny that as a people, most of these comments are hateful or completely judgmental. Who is to say what is right and wrong? God is, the end. Because she is gay, she is not able to follow the Lord or to teach His word? Because she is not a perfect person who has a sin, she can not follow Him? Let ye be first to cast the stone if you are without fault...and none can cast a stone. All sin is created EQUAL! And just because it is a woman it gets worse? Equal rights are important, whether it be homosexuals or women! And to the people who combine homosexuality with incest? You are a sick group because you have a twisted idea of what love truly is. Because one loves another of the same sex you have NO right to bring them to a totally different aspect in this world of the pedophiles, incestuous, bestiality, so on and so forth. Most of those leaving degrading comments on a whole I believe to be truly empty inside.

The more liberal the denomination, the fewer attendees. So many of the main denominations of years ago are dying, their "open and affirming" ideas do nothing to gain more believers.

The Episcopal Church has been in serious decline for the last 40 years. It began a more rapid descent when Ed Browning was Presiding Bishop. He simultaneously allowed the take over of the national church by Gays in the mid-1980's and the theft of more than $2 million by then Treasurer Ellen Cook. The reason she gave in court for stealing the cash: She felt discriminated against due to her gender. Asleep at the wheel?

The Episcopal Church very often quickly embraces newcomers who have no sense of its history, polity, tradition, theology, values and politeness. You will note that many who rise to the top are either former Roman Catholics or from Christian sects you have never heard of before. They are usually angry at all white heterosexual men.

The bright moneyed elite left this church more than 20 years ago. It is now about three levels down in terms of basic IQ and substance. All that's left in this church are the kooks and those who continue to hope against hope.And, if you haven't also noticed, these innovations are common to the Anglosphere - USA, Canada, Australia, England. Once the power and prestige of those nations has declined, so will their cultural values. It will take another 30 years to get past this old-new thing.


One cannot have lasting victory, justice, peace or anything noble if it is based on untruth and deceit. Al Gore is finding that out as the climate conference in Copenhagen opens. You can only fool some of the people for so long.

Here is some liberal logic thrown back at you "gays" and "gay" support troops;
You so generously, out of your frail standing accuse many in these comments of "hate" and of being "bigots" simply because they adhere to the express Word of the God they worship. You also have made attempts to edit and selectively choose passages of the New Testament attributed to the Words of Jesus himself to justify your behaviors.
Yes, He did admonish that Christians are to love all. But you "gays" and "gay" troopers conveniently omit that Christ QUALIFIED every one of His statements by noticing all that He came, FIRST, not to change the Law (of God).
Certainly, Christians are called to love the sinner, BUT NOT THE SINS.
But I must challenge, does being homosexual give you some authority to selectively filter through the English (and as I previously stated, the Aramaic) language so it suits your brand of depravity?
Returning to my initial argument; if commenter’s are appearing 'hateful' or 'bigoted' because their words follow what they sincerely recite that which God has commanded; then please explain to us why you even pretend to follow the faith, as by this contention, then God Himself is 'hateful' and 'bigoted' towards sodomites?
Why then do you "gays" and "gay" troopers even attend any so-called church... excepting the now fact that it appears you have your very own church brand. Is this for redemption or for forgiveness? You will not stop or change your clearly condemned behaviors. So why do you even pretend to appeal to this God of “hate” and ‘bigotry’?
As someone previously mentioned that this is all a joke, the only joke apparent is the self-delusion of sodomites somehow believing that an omnipresent God has somehow admitted He mistakenly condemned your depraved behavior and has retracted. Not likely as this is not the inherent nature of a[ny] Supreme Personage....God OR human.
However, this is just one more 'sermon' certain to fall upon deaf ears and the ‘blind’.

The Bible has very little to say about homosexual acts (maybe five or six verses out of thousands) and nothing at all to say about a committed, monogamous, mutually supportive relationship between two adults of the same gender. Those of you who cite "the Bible" to support your anti-gay position should recall that for about 1700 years most Christians saw it as self-evident that "the Bible" supported slavery. Understandings and interpretations do change over the years. Read a book of church history sometime and you might be surprised to see how much "God's eternal truth" has evolved over the centuries.

Kudos to the Episcopalians. As for the rest of you, I assume there are still plenty of anti-gay churches in which to enjoy a cootie free environment. But you might be wise to recall that Jesus' harshest remarks were directed the upright religious people of his day who objected to him bringing the "wrong" sort of people into the embrace of his inclusive love.

Yes, you are all surely right. I've even heard that the sons of Ham are now serving as pastors in Christian churches. What a stunning development! This is a clear violation of Biblical teaching and a long-standing acceptance of the separation of the races. This is what God wants obviously... unless, perhaps we've got the whole separate but equal approach wrong. Nah! God's a bigot just like me.

I would love to address the hypocritical bigots posting here:
Exactly WHICH faith do you follow that allows you to condemn and judge others? Obviously, the Diocese believed that Glasspool had the merit and devotion to support the Episcopal Church--what makes you think you can do better?
Look, humankind is evolving. Maybe at a speed too fast for you and your archaic interpretations of the Bible. It's not necessarily that the church is taking a liberal view, perhaps they are making its lessons tangible to the people of today.
I have always believed that God is Love, and in Love we will truly find God. Stop preaching hate and intolerance for those different from you-there's no God in that!

Thank you Episcopal Church for evolving!

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.

Maybe one day they will repent of their sins and turn back to the one true God instead of this new god they have.

Gee lets see if the Jews reciporicate with a lesbian Rabbi.After all aren't they the ones who should be practicing what they preach in as far as "tolerance and understanding".If not then we have a double standard.Whats good for the geese should be good for the gander!

I would like to suggest that people read the rest of Romans 2 and read the rest of Leviticus. If you are going to use these passages to preach against homosexuality why don't you finish reading both passages and see how many things you are doing that qualify just the same way you are using these to preach again homos. "Romans 1: 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. So look at that before you start preaching to the rest of us!!!! And as for those quoting Levitical law.....you don't live it either so stop preaching it against me! The road runs two ways and I will gladly throw your crap right back at you!!!!!!!!

" Anglicanism has become a joke because it has singularly failed to deal with any of its contentious issues,"
Rt Rev John Broadhurst ( soon to be CATHOLIC )

" The ship of Anglicanism seems to be going down,"

" I shall be seeking a move to Rome. To stay in the Church of England would be suicide,"
Fr Ed Tomlinson,Vicar of St Barnabas Anglican Church
( soon to be CATHOLIC )

 
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