N.Y. Episcopal Priest to Marry Gay Partner

The priest heading an Episcopal parish in Bath, N.Y., has decided to marry his longtime gay partner, according to a recent announcement.

The Very Rev. J. Brad Benson, rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, plans to get married this summer in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.

“After twenty years of loving relationship, my partner Carl Johengen and I have decided that it is time that we were legally married,” he wrote in the church’s most recent newsletter.

The St. Thomas rector explained that he has begun to see the word “marriage” in purely legal terms and has come to realize that he and his partner “need” the legal rights and responsibilities afforded in a marriage.

“No one questions the rights and responsibilities of a married couple; simply saying, ‘I’m his wife’ or ‘I’m her husband’ opens many legal doors,” he stated.

Benson was one of hundreds of clergy and lay leaders from across New York State who signed a petition in 2008 urging the state legislature to legalize marriage for gays and lesbians. The same-sex marriage measure was defeated by a wide margin in December.

After seeking legal marriage in another state, the gay couple will then seek the church’s blessing through a liturgy which will be attended and presided by three bishops – Rochester Bishop Prince Singh, retired Bishop Jack McKelvey, and Maine Bishop Stephen Lane.

The announcement comes as more dioceses within The Episcopal Church have permitted clergy to wed homosexual couples despite the call by leaders in the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which The Episcopal Church is the U.S. arm, to practice gracious restraint in regards to the blessing of gay and lesbian couples.

Last summer, The Episcopal Church approved a resolution allowing “bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal” to “provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”

The resolution also noted the need to consider providing theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same gender relationships. The Episcopal Church does not permit its “Order of Marriage” to be used in the marriage of same-sex couples.

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by Lillian Kwon

April 19, 2010

www.christianpost.com

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Archbishop Peter Jensen: Glasspool election Sanctifies Sin

Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, has released the below media statement regarding the election of the Reverend Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as a Bishop in Los Angeles in The Episcopal Church.

The American Episcopal Election

Media Statement 18/3/10

With the election of the Reverend Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as a Bishop in Los Angeles in The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion reaches another decisive moment. It is now absolutely clear to all that the national Church itself has formally committed itself to a pattern of life which is contrary to Scripture. The election of Bishop Robinson in 2003 was not an aberration to be corrected in due course. It was a true indication of the heart of the Church and the direction of its affairs.

There have been various responses to the actions of TEC over the years. Some have been dramatic and decisive, such as the creation of the Anglican Church of North America, an ecclesiastical body recognized by the GAFCON Primates as genuinely Anglican. For others, however, the counsels of patience have prevailed and they have sought a change of heart and waited patiently for it to occur. Those who have sought a middle course may be found both inside and outside the American Church.

This is a decisive moment for this ‘middle’ group. Their patience has been gentle and praiseworthy. But to wait longer would not be patience – it would be obstinacy or even an unworthy anxiety. Two things need to be made clear. First, that they are unambiguously opposed to a development which sanctifies sin and which is an abrogation of the word of the living God. Second, that they will take sufficient action to distance themselves from those who have chosen to walk in the path of disobedience.

Peter F. Jensen,

Archbishop of Sydney

Click here for media statement

(Source: Sydney Anglican Network, 18/03/10)

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Episcopal Church to Ordain 2nd Openly Gay Bishop

The Episcopal Church has confirmed that it will ordain its second openly gay bishop.

After receiving the required majority of consents from the wider church, the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool was informed on Wednesday by the presiding bishop’s office that the consent process for her consecration was complete.

“I am profoundly grateful for the many people – in Los Angeles, in Maryland, and around the world – who have given their prayers, love, and support during this time of discernment,” Glasspool said in a statement.

Glasspool, who has been with her lesbian partner since 1988, was elected in December to the office of bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. She had to receive a majority of consents from diocesan bishops and standing committees within 120 days. Wednesday’s announcement confirms that she did.

Los Angeles Bishop the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno celebrated the news.

“I give thanks for this, and that the Standing Committees and Bishops have demonstrated through their consents that the Episcopal Church, by canon, creates no barrier for ministry on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, among other factors,” he stated.

While the announcement did not surprise leaders in the denomination, some were still saddened by it.

“This decision represents not simply a change in doctrine, nor a single change in practice, but an established pattern of common life,” said the Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon, canon theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina. “It is contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture and the mind of the church catholic.”

Bishop David C. Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council, also lamented the consents and said the confirmation of Glasspool indicates that The Episcopal Church will not be returning to traditional Christian and Anglican teaching.

“What this means is the majority of The Episcopal Church’s leaders – down to the diocesan level throughout America – are exercising no restraint as requested by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the primates of the Anglican Communion,” Anderson said in a statement. “Despite pleas to the contrary, they have given their consent for a partnered lesbian to become a bishop, not just for Los Angeles, but for the whole church.”

Since The Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop in 2003, relationships between The Episcopal Church and much of the Anglican Communion have been strained or impaired, in some cases. As the worldwide Anglican Communion was splintering, Anglican bishops called for “gracious restraint” on the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions in an effort to keep the body together.

Nevertheless, last July The Episcopal Church’s highest legislative body adopted a resolution opening the ordination process to all baptized members, which would include practicing homosexuals. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. arm of Anglicanism.

Glasspool has acknowledged that “not everyone rejoices” in her election and consent. But she said she “will work, pray, and continue to extend my own hands and heart to bridge those gaps, and strengthen the bonds of affection among all people, in the Name of Jesus Christ.”

Glasspool is slated to become the second openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church in May.

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by Lillian Kwon

March 17, 2010

Christian Post

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Gay Episcopal Priest Receives Majority Consent

An openly gay priest has received more than the required majority of consents to be confirmed as bishop, the Diocese of Los Angeles reported Wednesday.

According to an unofficial tally, the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool has received 61 nods from standing committees in The Episcopal Church. Only 56 are required for confirmation.

“I give thanks for the Standing Commitees’ prompt action,” said Los Angeles Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno. “I look forward to the final few consents to come in from the bishops in the next few days, and I give thanks for the fact that we as a church have taken a bold step for just action.”

The presiding bishop’s office has yet to verify the count.

Glasspool, who has been with her lesbian partner since 1988, was elected in December to the office of bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Consents to her election would make Glasspool the second openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church, after V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire whose consecration in 2003 caused uproar.

Dr. Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion – of which The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch – had expressed concerns over Glasspool’s election, especially considering the moratorium on the consecration of bishops living in a same-gender union that Anglican leaders had reaffirmed.

Since the 2003 consecration of Robinson, relationships between The Episcopal Church and much of the Anglican Communion have been strained or impaired, in some cases. Just after Glasspool’s election, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion called for “gracious restraint in respect of actions that endanger the unity” of the global body.

The Most Rev. Peter Jensen, archbishop of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia, said earlier that confirmation of Glasspool’s election “will make clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that the TEC (The Episcopal Church) leadership has chosen to walk in a way which is contrary to Scripture and will continue to do so.”

“This settled path that the TEC chooses is contrary to the expressed will of the majority of the Anglican Communion,” he noted.

Despite the calls for restraint from Anglicans worldwide, Los Angeles Bishop Bruno has pushed for support for Glasspool.

“To not consent [Glasspool's election] in this country out of fear of the reaction elsewhere in the Anglican Communion is to capitulate to titular heads,” Bruno commented earlier. “At our last General Convention, we said we are nondiscriminatory.”

Last July, The Episcopal Church’s highest legislative body adopted a resolution opening the ordination process to all baptized members, which would include practicing homosexuals.

Pending completion of the consent process, the ordination and consecration of Glasspool is scheduled for May 15.

by Lillian Kwon

Christian Post

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