L.A.'s Episcopal Diocese Stokes Gay Controversy


The L.A. Times reports today on the Los Angeles Episcopal Church Diocese's nomination of two gay ministers for suffragan bishop's seats. Only last month leaders of the national episcopate, meeting in Anaheim,

voted to permit the consecration of homosexual clergy. The L.A. diocese put forward six candidates for suffragans, who assist primary bishops, including the two gay ministers -- the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool and Rev. John Kirkley. This move is bound to further exacerbate the seismic rifts that have been growing within both the national and world Anglican Communion, between the established church and conservative dissidents.

Although Kirkley currently ministers in San Francisco and Glasspool in Baltimore, the Los Angeles diocese is requesting that they be considered, with the four others, to fill the suffragan posts here. The local body ministers to six counties and has prevailed in several court fights to retain properties being sought by breakaway parishes. The church split began in 2003, when openly gay, non-celibate priest V. Gene Robinson was consecrated as the Bishop of New Hampshire.

The L.A. Times piece quotes Kendall Harmon, a conservative

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Episcopal theological advisor in South Carolina, as describing the Los Angeles

diocese's action as "a continued in-your-face gesture to the worldwide

Anglican Communion."  Local clergy and lay members of the church will vote

for the two suffragan bishops in December.

The recent church split has given rise to a dissident movement called the Anglican Church in North

America, which claims about 100,000 members and is represented in Los

Angeles by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church. In a recent pastoral letter,

the national group's leader, Archbishop Robert Duncan, denounced the

July  Anaheim summit and its vote to consecrate gay clergy as

"enabling a revisionist anthropology."


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