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News: World

Mon 17 May, 2010
By Sam Bristowe

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

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Episcopal church ordains 2nd gay bishop

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A 56-year-old lesbian was ordained as a bishop by the Episcopal church here Saturday, reigniting an issue which has caused bitter divisions in the Anglican movement worldwide.

Mary Glasspool became only the second openly gay bishop to be consecrated by the Episcopal Church -- the governing Anglican body in the United States -- after Gene Robinson was ordained in 2003.

Glasspool was consecrated by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in a lunchtime ceremony attended by around 3,000 people at the Long Beach Arena, along with another woman priest, Diane Jardine Bruce.

The Episcopal Church's willingness to embrace gays and lesbians has drawn criticism from conservatives and led to the formation of a breakaway US Anglican movement, the Anglican Church in North America.

Glasspool's consecration followed a decision by the Episcopal General Convention in July 2009 to lift and ban on gays and lesbians becoming bishops.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the 77 million Anglicans worldwide, reacted sternly to Glasspool's election when it was announced in December last year, hinting it could even lead to the Episcopal Church's eventual exclusion from the Anglican Communion.

Williams said Glasspool's election "raised very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole."

The Church of Ireland, part of the Anglican Communion in Ireland, also condemned Glasspool's elevation, describing it as a "provocative" gesture by the Episcopal Church.

"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 church said.

A resident of Annapolis, Maryland, Glasspool was ordained in 1982 in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. She holds a master of divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Glasspool's partner, Becki Sander, holds a doctorate in social work. The couple have lived together since 1988.

Source: AFP


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