News for Week Ending 12/14/2009
Condemnations of Uganda anti-homosexual bill continueThis past week saw more comments on the anti-homosexuality bill before the Uganda parliament. (See earlier Pittsburgh Update story here.) Perhaps those of greatest interest to Pittsburgh Episcopalians are a statement from Saddleback Church paster Rick Warren, who has, in the past, supported dissident Episcopalians, and comments in an interview by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Warren addressed Ugandan pastors in a strongly worded video expressing his unqualified disapproval of the Ugandan legislation. Williams, who had been widely urged to make a public statement about the legislation and to encourage its opposition by the Church of Uganda, has still not issued a formal statement on the legislation, but, in the remarks he made in an interview with George Pitcher, referred to the “shocking severity” of the bill and suggested that it was contrary to positions taken by the Anglican Communion. He noted, but did not actually condemn, the failure of Uganda’s Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi to take a position on the matter.
The Vatican issued a statement that has been seen as aimed, in part, at the Ugandan bill. A Vatican representative, speaking to a United Nations panel, opposed “all grave violations of human rights against homosexual persons” and expressed the Holy See’s concern for “the inherent dignity of the human person.” Box Turtle Bulletin reproduces the statement but remains skeptical about its full meaning.
The Anglican Church in North America released a statement praising the Church of Uganda. According to a communiqué from its first annual Provincial Council, the ACNA group affirmed the “sacredness of every human person” and urged the Church of Uganda “to stand firm against all forms of sexual exploitation and in their publicly stated commitment that ‘the Church is a safe place’ for all persons, especially ‘those struggling with sexual brokenness.’”
L.A. suffragan election draws commentaryThe election of the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool as suffragan bishop by the Diocese of Los Angeles—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has been the subject of many commentaries and interviews. If confirmed, she would become the second openly gay partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion. An interview of Glasspool in The Times offers insight into the bishop-elect’s take on her election.
In a somewhat surprising move, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith, and Order, which happened to be meeting when Glasspool was elected, commented on the episcopal election in its communiqué. “The Commission expressed the fervent hope that ‘gracious restraint’ would be exercised by The Episcopal Church in this instance,” the group said in its report of its work, echoing the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Chicago Consultation, on the other hand, urged the archbishop to reconsider both his silence on the Uganda legislation and his opposition to Glasspool’s Consecration.
The Living Church summarized some early responses to the Glasspool election here. Episcopal News Service did some of the same in an article that also reviewed the current climate and the consent process. The first bishop to express an intention to withhold consent for Glasspool’s consecration is Bishop of Texas C. Andrew Doyle. (See story by The Living Church here.)
We can expect a good deal to be written about the consent process for Glasspool in the coming months. Readers not wanting to miss any of the commentary are urged to check Thinking Anglicans frequently.