Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bishop-elect Glasspool in the NYT

NEW YORK (AP) -- The lesbian priest who was elected assistant bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles said Tuesday that she was upset by claims that her role in the church is divisive.

The Rev. Mary Glasspool said that she was aware her win troubles some people, but that she believes her election last weekend was mostly ''liberating'' for the denomination.

''I've had hundreds, probably a thousand, e-mails from people all over the world who don't know me but who are expressing through the fact of my election a pride in the Episcopal Church,'' Glasspool said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

''I've committed my life as a life of service to the people of Jesus Christ, and what hurts is the sense that anybody might have that my name or my servanthood could be perceived as divisive.''

Glasspool is the second openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church and the world Anglican fellowship. The first was New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, whose 2003 consecration caused an uproar and widened long-developing rifts over what Anglicans should believe.

Just hours after Glasspool's election, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Anglican spiritual leader, said in a statement that the vote raised ''very serious questions'' for the divided church, and he urged restraint in moving forward with her consecration.

Glasspool needs the consent of a majority of Episcopal dioceses before she can take the job of bishop suffragan. The 55-year-old clergywoman, who has been with her female partner since 1988, said she read the archbishop's comments on her laptop in her California hotel Sunday and found the statement ''a tiny bit absurd'' because he doesn't know her.

''Our Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori does have a personal relationship with the archbishop of Canterbury, and I need to let them work that out,'' Glasspool said.

On Tuesday, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order, issued a statement from England echoing Williams' request for restraint. Jefferts Schori is expected to travel to London next week for a previously scheduled Anglican meeting.

Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno, who leads the diocese, has been defiant in the face of the criticism of Glasspool's win. Bruno on Tuesday said Williams was ''the titular head of our church, and I don't think we should capitulate to a titular head.''

The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States. In 2004, Anglican leaders asked Episcopalians for a moratorium on electing another gay bishop while they tried to prevent a permanent break in the fellowship.

Since the request was made, some Episcopal gay priests were nominated for bishop, but none was elected before Glasspool. In July, the Episcopal General Convention, the U.S. church's top policy making body, effectively overturned any moratorium, affirming that gay and lesbian priests were eligible to become bishops.

Breakaway Episcopal conservatives, with the support of several leaders of Anglican national churches around the world, have formed a rival church, the Anglican Church in North America, which they hope Williams will officially recognize.

Glasspool, the daughter of an Episcopal priest, was ordained in 1981 and has served for eight years as an adviser to the Diocese of Maryland's bishop.

When Glasspool heard she had narrowly won on the seventh ballot Saturday, she ''choked up.''

''It was a powerful moment,'' she said. ''I've just been trying to be faithful to God and to God's call throughout my entire life. I never expected to be in this position.''

[source link]


LGMarshall said...

I can imagine that it's upsetting to suddenly be in the middle of this kind of thing, but couldn't someone have warned her about the criticisms that will come her way?

I'm sure she's aware of the ongoing repercussions re election of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson and how it 'caused an uproar and widened long developing rifts in Anglican Communion...' Yes, it's been divisive -- hundreds of families have left TEC.

Do you think TEC will lose more members or gain members -- if Glasspool gets consecrated? Or maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe more is not better.

'Do Not Capitulate to a Titular Head!' -- says Bishop Bruno. [now that's a catchy slogan!]


There's a difference between knowing it's coming and getting slapped in the face with it.

And of course I believe our faithfulness to the inclusive love of God will grow the church. And if there are steps backward in numbers before we take steps forward they'll be filed under "the cost of discipleship"

IT said...

You know, looking at her CV, this woman is incredibly able and qualified. I see no reason why anyone would think she won't be a fabulous Bishop suffragen.

I'm so tired of the MSM putting "lesbian" in front of her name. Her sexuality is just not the most interesting thing about her. It is really not relevant. It in no way relates to her capabilities.

All it does is reflect on the weird genital obsessions of OTHERs. And what use is that to the Dio. LA?

DavidJustinLynch said...

Gene Robinson was not the first gay bishop, nor will he be the last, as the past weekend proves. No one has ever said anything about Donegan, Montgomery, etc.

JCF said...

she read the archbishop's comments...and found the statement ''a tiny bit absurd'' because he doesn't know her.

Oh Mary, don't you realize that the ABC knows you have "Teh Gay" (and more importantly, in his mind---and the minds of homophobes all around the world---the assumption of "Teh Gay Bedmate"), and THAT, he figures, is ALL one needs to know? {Le Sigh}

Lord have mercy, and God bless TEC and Bishop-Elect Glasspool!

Martin T. said...

For the sake of TEC and the entire Anglican Communion, I hope Rev.Canon Glasspool withdraws from this process.


Not gonna happen, Martin.

Martin T. said...

Then God help us all.

Martin T. said...

I'm sorry, but this whole thing just smells of politics through and through. I wish it didn't but it truly does, especially with all these media appearances.


If you've read this blog for more than about 12 minutes, Martin, you'll know that I consider every media appearance an opportunity for evangelism.

I absolutely GUARANTEE that we'll see an increase in visitors/seekers in my congregation next Sunday in response to the willingness of our bishops to speak out in the media.

I say "Let your light so shine ....!"

MarkBrunson said...

Usually, when I find myself overly obsessed with something happening or not happening "for the good of the Episcopal Church" (frankly, the Anglican Communion is a rotting corpse on its own gibbet), what I find I really mean is I'm worried about it for the good of my own desires.

God's will be done.

If it's disaster, then we'll know a good bit about God, and, perhaps, re-evaluate the worth of such a being as an object of emulation or our own goals of justice and righteousness as worthwhile. If not, then . . . we'll go on. We'll suffer, like all those God gives special Grace to, and we'll go on.

If you signed up for stability, comfort and a safe place, you signed with the wrong God.

Martin T. said...

That's just my feelings on the subject, either way I'll just leave it all at the foot of the cross from here on out. I hope you're right,Reverend. I truly hope you are right.

MarkBrunson said...

This is good, Martin.

It's the only place any of us can leave anything.

uffda51 said...

What “smells of politics” are the connections between “The Family,” “C Street,” and the Ugandan anti-gay legislation.

As far as media appearances, TBN, EWTN & CBN are on 24/7. Opportunities for progressive Christian voices to be heard remain few and far between.