Mary Glasspool: Anglicanism's first lesbian bishop
After her episcopal consecration in California tomorrow, Canon Mary Glasspool will become the second openly gay and partnered bishop, and the first openly lesbian bishop, within the Anglican Communion. She also becomes the 17th female bishop with The Episcopal Church. Predictably, her election proved controversial both within the United States and internationally.
Today, in a jointly issued statement, the committees of the Church of Ireland Evangelical Fellowship, the Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy, New Wine (Ireland) and Reform Ireland said the "elevation to senior church leadership of a person whose lifestyle is contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture is both wrong and disappointing." That statement is published in full below the fold.
Update: The Episcopal Church announces the consecration of Mary Glasspool (shown on the right).
The ordination of Anglicanism's second openly gay and partnered bishop was immediately condemned by Anglican Mainstream, a traditionalist campaign group. They say, "Sadly, this shows that TEC has now explicitly decided to walk apart from most of the rest of the Communion. Since that decision by TEC has to be respected, it should result in three consequences. First, TEC withdrawing, or being excluded from the Anglican Communion's representative bodies. Second, a way must be found to enable those orthodox Anglicans who remain within TEC to continue in fellowship with the Churches of the worldwide Communion. Third, the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) should now be recognized an authentic Anglican Church within the Communion."
Those words follow a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued ahead of the consecration, that the move would further alienate traditionalists within the Communion.
PRESS STATEMENT from Irish Anglican evangelicals:
"As members of the Church of Ireland we wish to express sorrow that Mary Glasspool, a person who is living in a same-sex relationship, is to be consecrated as one of two new assistant bishops in Los Angeles on May 15. The elevation to senior church leadership of a person whose lifestyle is contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture is both wrong and disappointing.
The decision to elect and confirm Mary Glasspool to the position of suffragan bishop is a clear rejection of the many pleas for gracious restraint made from within the Anglican Communion, not least by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Windsor Report and the most recent Primates' Meeting. The Episcopal Church (TEC) has taken this provocative step despite knowing the division and difficulties created by Gene Robinson's consecration in 2003. This shows a deliberate disregard for other members of the Anglican family and suggests that TEC does not greatly value unity within Anglicanism and indeed throughout the universal Church.
We wish to express our support for the many people within The Episcopal Church who feel alienated and hurt by this development. We stand in fellowship with them and with those who have separated from that Church for conscience's sake, many of whom now face legal proceedings and financial sacrifices as a result.
Many Christians of all traditions and denominations will share our sorrow and see Mary Glasspool's consecration as a defiant rejection of pleas for restraint and, even more importantly, as a rejection of the pattern of holiness of life called for in Scripture and endorsed by believers over the centuries."