Episcopalians in Los Angeles have elected a lesbian priest -- the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool -- to serve as an assistant bishop, a move likely to widen the rift between conservative and liberal Episcopalians, and between the U.S. church and sister Anglican churches abroad. Conservative congregations had already cut ties with the national church after Episcopalians approved their first openly gay bishop, the Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, in 2004. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the election of a second gay bishop in America "raises very serious questions" about the Episcopal Church's role in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Can anything keep Episcopalians together now?
Split or no split, this was the right move: Mary Glasspool's election came less than a year after the Episcopal Church lifted a moratorium on naming new gay bishops, says Yael T. Abouhalkah in the Kansas City Star, and the move will surely "irritate conservative followers of my faith." It was also the right thing to do, and a clear "step forward for the Episcopal Church."
"New gay Episcopal bishop is a step forward"
Bishops have to make a stand to save the church: The "pointy hats" have a decision to make, says Jackie Bruchi in Stand Firm. If a majority of the Episcopal dioceses say no, Mary Glasspool can't become a bishop. No bishop can remain on the fence -- either they cave to the "wants and desires" of the gay community, or they stand up for, in the words of the Rev. Kendall Harmon of the traditional Diocese of South Carolina, centuries of "biblical teaching."
"Pressure mounts after Episcopal Church elects second gay bishop"
Episcopalians may end up in undeserved exile: Anglican thinkers have long recognized that "complex issues deserve careful study," says Savitri Hensman in Britain's The Guardian, which means that Episcopalians and their sister Anglican churches worldwide have a duty to keep the Bible and human rights in mind as they deal with homosexuality. The Episcopal Church "may find itself exiled," but its decision to stop discriminating against gays and lesbians "is more in tune with traditional Anglicanism" than its critics care to admit.
"A bishop Anglicans can live with"