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December 6, 2009

Anglican chief rebukes Marylander's election

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a sharp rebuke of the election Saturday of Marylander Mary D. Glasspool as the first openly lesbian bishop in the worldwide Anglican communion.

“The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole,” Rowan Williams, head of the Protestant denomination, said in a statement released Sunday.

“The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

“The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.”

Glasspool, canon to the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was elected bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday. The Annapolis resident is to be installed in May, pending the consent of the bishops and standing committees of the 108 other Episcopal dioceses of the United States.

In a release, Bishop of Los Angeles J. Jon Bruno said the denial of consent “would be a violation of the canons of this church. At our last General Convention, we said we are nondiscriminatory.”

Bruno, whom Glasspool would assist as bishop suffragan, acknowledged rumors of a concerted effort not to give consent over her sexuality. Glasspool has been in a committed relationship with her partner for two decades.

"I would remind the Episcopal church and the House of Bishops they need to be conscientious about respecting the canons of the church and the baptismal covenant to respect the dignity of every human being,” Bruno said. “To not consent in this country out of fear of the reaction elsewhere in the Anglican Communion is to capitulate to titular heads."

Glasspool would be the first openly gay bishop chosen since the 2003 election of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire brought a longstanding divide over homosexuality within the church out into the open.

“I’m very excited about the future of the whole Episcopal Church, and I see the Diocese of Los Angeles leading the way into that future,” Glasspool, 55, told delegates at the diocese’s annual convention. “Thanks be to our loving, surprising God. I look forward, in the coming months, to getting to know you all better, as together we build up the Body of Christ for the world.”

Ordained in 1981, Glasspool served in parishes in Philadelphia and Boston and St. Margaret’s in Annapolis before becoming canon to the bishops in 2001, according to the release. She has served on the diocese’s Standing Committee, the board of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland, and has been elected four times to head the deputation to General Convention.

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of Maryland, offered congratulations.

“This is a great day in the life of the Episcopal Church,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “I have often said that the staff of the Diocese of Maryland is one of the finest in the Church. When one of its members is called to other important positions in the church, then all of us are honored. As canon to the bishops since 2001, Mary has distinguished herself as a faithful and gifted priest who is well prepared to assume the mantle of leadership incumbent upon a bishop.”

Glasspool’s election comes months after the Episcopal General Convention, the principal governing body of the church in the United States, voted to declare homosexuals eligible for any ordained ministry and began writing prayers to bless gay unions.

A smaller group has broken away to form the Anglican Church of North America, a conservative body seeking separate recognition within the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Vatican, meanwhile, has announced plans to make it easier for disaffected conservative Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 8:26 PM | | Comments (15)


Nice "gay" slant. Nevermind that the majority of people are not gay and do not condone gay-ness. Once again, the liberal slant dismisses logic and law, not to mention the entire ECUSA. Since gay couples can not be married in MD, the bishop-elect has been living in sin. How can a church condone this behavior and then promote it? This is why the Episcopal church rank & file are leaving. The liberal bias over a segment of the population that is less than 1% (or whatever it is - dont get wrapped up in the math. It's a VERY small portion of the entire population!).
Time for the MD Episcopals to take stock as I suspect that another round of defections is on the horizon.
BTW - before you label me "anti-gay" you should know that I really dont care what people do in their homes. I dont care if people choose to violate every law of nature. I do object to having other peoples' opinions forced on me and not being afforded the opportunity to object with reason and logic and being labeled a bigot or whatever the liberal name of the day is for people who disagree with them.

Come on Stewart the hypocrite,
You have a special tablet telling you what law of nature is godly and what is not? Homosexuals have no reason to hide--and they have every right to be ministers, priests and preachers if they choose. If you don't want to attend a congregation led by a homosexual then don't go and find yourself another church that will subscribe to your views. But don't be gloomy that the tide is turning against diehard heteros--wow--only heterosexuality is natural? Why? You think it is natural to keep on reproducing and overrunning the earth with hordes of prejudiced heteros, many of them indulging in premarital sex, affairs galore (look at squeaky clean Tiger Woods) child abuse, child neglect and so on and so forth--clean The House Of Wanton Sin of the heteros and then pick up your mop against the House of the Homsexuals Stewart M.
Ravensfan Anon


Most studies show that the gay population is about 10%, not less than one. That is a significant ammount of people. Gay rights are about EQUALITY, not forcing opinions on others. People said the same thing about segregation. Gays are not violating laws of nature - they are part of nature. Same sex relationships have been seen in almost every species - it's hard to think that penguins are capable of "sinning". Homosexual males have different levels of CYP13 - also known as aromatase (a genetic enzyme) in their brains. The size of the hypothalamus on gays are a much different size than heterosexuals. Maternal fecundity studies, human pharamone studies, and twin studies have all lead to the conclusion that homosexuality is something people are born with. Do some research - would you like me to send you a bibliography of studies to read?

yes, please joe send us studies and then ravensfan anon please explain how so many men/women can get married have children and then leave their wives/husbands for other men/women. if they can consummate, then they are making a choice, sorry that is not what you want to hear.

and no, animals don't sin they are following their instinct, but last i knew humans are not animals and we make choices all the time regarding how we wish to conduct ourselves in a civil society. beyond that, what does tiger woods' behaviour have to do with this story about the episcopal 'church'? as far as i know he never claimed to be a christian and has nothing to do with this story.

Anonymous states "You think it is natural to keep on reproducing and overrunning the earth with hordes of prejudiced heteros, many of them indulging in premarital sex, affairs galore (look at squeaky clean Tiger Woods) child abuse, child neglect and so on and so forth--clean The House Of Wanton Sin of the heteros and then pick up your mop against the House of the Homsexuals", so according to this person homo's don't have premarital sex, affairs or abuse their children. Give me break. This person comments have nothing to do with the article. The church have every right to upheld what they feel is in the best interest of its constitutes after praying and receiving guidance from their heavenly father. Just because its popular now doesn't mean its right.

Joe S
Great information about people being born gay. Even though you were trying to make a point about it being nature you missed the ball. The point you made is that people born with different levels of aromatase have a defect. Is there away to correct it?

Here are some studies to get you started....

DuPree, M. G., Mustanski, B. S., Bocklandt, S., Nievergelt, C.,
& Hamer, D. H. (2004). A candidate gene study of CYP19 (aromatase) and male sexual orientation. Behavior Genetics , 243-250.

Iemmola, F., & Ciani, A. C. (2009). New evidence of genetic
factors influencing sexual orientation in men: Female fecundity increase in the maternal line. Archives of Sexual Behavior , 393-399.

Mustanski, B. S., & Bailey, J. M. (2003). A therapist's guide to
the genetics of human sexual orientation. Sexual and Relationship Therapy , 429-436.

There is no way to correct the aromatase levels - it is not in need of correction. That is like saying someone who is left-handed is defected. I agree ravensfan's argument is flawed in some ways.

Jonesy, humans are animals. We are part of the animal kingdom. We are mammals. Some argue we make choices, and that is how we are different - yet recent studies have also shown other species are capable of meta-cognition - thinking about thinking. Other species are capable of insight as well. They make social choices as well, yet when it comes to chosing a life partner they follow their insticts, just as humans do.

I have known Mary Glasspool for more than 15 years. Her sexuality has never been a question. Just as her decision to worship as an Episcopalian. These items are private decisions made after decernment and prayer.

Unless you have walked in someone else's shoes; don't judge.

With Love in Christ.

The conservative christian movement WILL NOT LAST because history has shown us that bigotry and discrimination NEVER results in a healthy society (the Nazi's are a good example of this). Pick up a history book sometime and read about the unimaginable number of people that have suffered at the hands of religious propoganda. Just because being homosexual isn't as obvious as skin color doesn't mean it's not biological. It's been proven, researched and documented, wake up people. God made homosexuals and heterosexuals and sorry to tell you that he loves us all.

[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
[22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
[23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
[24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
[25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
[26] For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
[27] And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Sorry Thewill but it sure appears as if God doesn't approve of homosexual acts.

20 years from now we will have gay marriage and everyone will wonder what the fuss was about. Time for the cultural knuckle draggers to wake up and accept what is right.

I love you, you love me, let's be friends like friends should be with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too!

Thank you Jesus. Well said. Sadly, not always carried out by man, but still well said.

So homosexuals are born different in some cases. So what? As the former gay now Christian said to me, "we all have choices to make in life, and we have to be sure we make the right choices." The correct choices are the ones God wants us to make, regardless of how our bodies are. A physical makeup making it harder to make the choice doesnt change God's mind. It may be harder for some to lose weight than others, but that is no excuse for weighing 500 lbs.

Clay, that is some of the dumbest logic I think I have ever heard. God loves everyone unconditionally, don't you know that?

Sure God loves everyone unconditionally, but that has nothing to do with what I was saying. God also wants us to make the right choices in life, regardless of our physical makeup and our environment. We go to hell when we make the wrong choices. The bible tells us what choices to make in accordance with what God wants. Thanks.

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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.

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