Pittsburgh Update

Pittsburgh Update publishes weekly summaries of recent developments in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion that affect or could affect Pittsburgh Episcopalians. Emphasis is on reporting, not interpretation. This is a service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. This site is in no way affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, May 17, 2010

News for Week Ending 5/17/2010

Church gets first lesbian bishop

Mary Douglas Glasspool became The Episcopal Church’s first lesbian bishop on May 15, 2010. She was consecrated a suffragan bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, along with Diane Jardine Bruce. The ceremony took place in the Long Beach Arena before a congregation of 3,000, which included Becki Sander, Glasspool’s partner of 19 years. A minor protest interrupted the beginning of the service, which otherwise proceeded as planned. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was chief consecrator for the two new bishops. Details of the event can be found in stories from Episcopal News Service and the Los Angeles Times.

Reaction to Saturday’s consecrations has been surprisingly muted so far. The Times, in its story on the Los Angeles consecrations, notes that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had earlier called the impending consecration of Glasspool “regretable” and suggested there would be consequences for The Episcopal Church. Archbishop Williams has not issued a statement following Glasspool’s consecration, however, whereas he has often been quick to respond to events in The Episcopal Church in the past. Archbishop Alan Harper of the Church of Ireland had similarly expressed “deep regret” after the announcement that Glasspool had received the necessary consents to become a bishop. (See Episcopal News Service story here.)

Anglican Mainstream did issue a statement May 15 in response to the Glasspool consecration signed by Dr. Philip Giddings and Canon Dr. Chris Sugden. Giddings and Sugden assert that The Episcopal Church should be excluded from representative bodies of the Anglican Communion, that a way should be found for dissenters in The Episcopal Church to maintain their connection to the Communion, and that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) should be recognized as a member of the Anglican Communion instead of The Episcopal Church.

Ironically, the ordination of another woman on May 15 is causing distress in the traditionalist camp. According to VirtueOnline, the Rev. Susan Freeman, scheduled to be ordained a priest on the same day Glasspool was to be made a bishop, has become a controversial figure. The ordination was to be performed by the Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey, Bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit (Uganda) and a member of ACNA. In his editorial, “Ordination of Two Women Challenges Anglican/Episcopal Jurisdictions,” David Virtue briefly mentions Glasspool but writes at length of the contentiousness of women’s ordination in ACNA.

Displaced Episcopalians come together in Fort Worth

As happened in some parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, Episcopalians in parishes that sought “realignment” in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in some cases dispersed to other churches following the schism in their diocese. On May 11, 2010, Episcopal News Service reported on parishioners from one realigned parish that have finally reunited as a congregation. They are now meeting Sunday evenings at Trinity Episcopal Church. The tradition-bound congregation is being allowed by the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, the provisional bishop, to use the 1928 prayer book. The story can be read here.