Daily Archives: March 18, 2010

Guardian: Lesbian bishop approval by US church causes outcry

Last night it was confirmed that the Rev Mary Glasspool, who has been with her partner, Becki Sander, for 22 years, had received the required number of votes from bishops and standing committees. Her consecration will take place on 15 Mayin Los Angeles.

Glasspool, from Baltimore, welcomed the news but admitted that not everybody would share in her happiness.

“Not everyone rejoices in this election and consent, and [I] 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.”

The archbishop of Sydney said the US church had “committed itself to a life contrary to scripture” and that the communion had reached “another decisive moment”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Telegraph–Episcopal Church approves consecration of first (partnered) lesbian bishop

The Episcopal Church of the USA, the most liberal province within the Anglican Communion, had been under pressure not to allow the Rev Mary Glasspool to become Assistant Bishop of Los Angeles.

Its leaders had been warned personally by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, not to take any decisions that would deepen the crisis over sexuality within the worldwide church.

But bishops and dioceses across the national church have now approved the consecration of Miss Glasspool, after she was elected last year, and a ceremony has been scheduled for May 15th. She and the Rev Diane Bruce will become the first women bishops in Los Angeles.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

ENS: Joy and sadness greet news of [Mary] Glasspool's ordination consent

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Lambeth Palace Response to the Consents Being Received for the LA. Suffragan Bishop election

It is regrettable that the appeals from Anglican Communion bodies for continuing gracious restraint have not been heeded. Following the Los Angeles election in December the Archbishop made clear that the outcome of the consent process would have important implications for the Communion. The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion reiterated these concerns in its December resolution which called for the existing moratoria to be upheld. Further consultation will now take place about the implications and consequences of this decision.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

RNS–Second (partnerd) gay bishop OK’d for Episcopal Church

[At the present time]… the communion’s 38 national provinces are also debating a “covenant” aimed at settling disputes between liberals and conservatives. But Williams is seen as “increasingly irrelevant” for the future of the Episcopal Church, said the Rev. Jo Bailey Wells, who directs the Anglican/Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School.

“The Episcopal Church, by its actions, is demonstrating that it no longer values its place under the historic headship of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and therefore the Anglican Communion,” Wells said.

The confirmation of a second openly gay bishop is even more significant than the first, Wells said, since the consequences””widespread dissent in the communion and persecution of Anglicans in countries where homosexuality is reviled””are clear.

But gay and lesbian Episcopalians celebrated on Wednesday, and hinted that more traditional barriers may soon fall, as gay rectors, bishops and weddings become more common.

“We are past the turning point and the forecast for full inclusion in the Episcopal Church is brighter than ever before,” said the Rev. David Norgard, president of the pro-gay group Integrity.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

The Economist on Microfinance: A better mattress

It is hard for people in the rich world to imagine what it is like to live on $2 a day. But for those who do, the problem is often not just a low income, but an unpredictable one. Living on $2 a day frequently means living for ten days on $20 earned on a single day. The task of smoothing consumption is made more complicated if there is nowhere to store money safely. In an emergency, richer people might choose between dipping into their savings and borrowing. The choice for the great mass of the unbanked in the developing world is limited to whom to borrow from, often at great cost.

That they can borrow at all is partly due to the rapid growth of microfinance, which specialises in lending small amounts to poor people. Several big microfinance institutions (MFIs) also offer savings accounts: Grameen Bank in Bangladesh is a prominent example. But the industry remains dominated by credit, and the ability to save through an MFI is often linked to customers’ willingness to borrow from it. Of 166 MFIs surveyed in 2009 by the Microfinance Information Exchange, a think-tank, all offered credit but only 27% offered savings products. Advocates of a greater variety of financial services for the poor argue for more balance.

This may be on the horizon. More MFIs are becoming interested in the potential of savings, thanks partly to the global financial crisis….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Asia, Bangladesh, Economy, Globalization, Personal Finance, Poverty, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

The Limelight, an Episcopal Church Turned Nightclub, to Be Reborn as a Market

More than a century ago, the Church of the Holy Communion, whose cornerstone was laid in 1844 at West 20th Street and Sixth Avenue (long before its official name change), hardly seemed notorious. Among the parishioners at the Episcopal church, whose distinctive notched towers were designed by Richard Upjohn, also the architect of Trinity Church near Wall Street, were John Jacob Astor and Cornelius Vanderbilt.

But a century later, a dwindling congregation led the church to consolidate and in 1976, after the last Mass was said, a commune called the Lindisfarne Association took over before decamping for Colorado a few years later.

The Episcopal Church then sold the property to the Odyssey Institute, a drug-counseling organization, for $495,000, before the club mogul Peter Gatien bought it for $1.65 million in 1983. Andy Warhol hosted the Limelight’s opening-night party, and soon crowds were lining up outside to get in.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture

LA Times: Health bill picking up key votes

Lingering fear of defections from the Democratic left — among those who believe the bill does not go far enough to expand access to healthcare — was allayed Wednesday when Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) became the first liberal opponent of the House bill approved last year to announce that he would support the more restrictive Senate legislation.

“If I can vote for this bill, there are not many others that shouldn’t be able to,” said Kucinich, a leader of the movement to provide universal healthcare by offering the Medicare program to all Americans.

Among social conservatives, the legislation won an important new endorsement from dozens of leaders of Catholic nuns, including a group that says it represents more than 90% of the 59,000 nuns in the United States. That contrasted with the staunch opposition of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which issued a statement Monday arguing that the bill would not adequately guard against using federal funds for abortion. The nuns disagreed, and so did a retired bishop.

And a senior antiabortion Democrat, Rep. Dale E. Kildee of Michigan, issued a statement Wednesday announcing that he would support the bill.

The political pressure intensified in the Capitol, as the House’s telephone switchboard was jammed with incoming phone calls — apparently about the healthcare bill. Democratic leaders pleaded with uncommitted House members — even if they were inclined to vote “no” — to stand ready to support the bill if their vote would be decisive.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

TEC Files in Supreme Court Pawley's Island Appeal, South Carolina Episcopal Diocese Does Not

From A.S. Haley:

…[TEC] has filed a brief in support of the dissident parishioners who seek review by the Supreme Court of last September’s decision by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. The brief was filed on March 15, which was the last possible day for filing. (A response to the brief by All Saints Parish, Waccamaw, as well as by any other parties in the case, is due by April 23.)

The brief itself is minimal, and makes just a one-paragraph argument. Citing the decisions from California, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina that have upheld the trust declared by the Dennis Canon, as well as some earlier decisions from other jurisdictions applying the theory of implied trusts (now disused, as I covered in this post), and even some of the decisions from lower courts which are currently on appeal, ECUSA’s three attorneys (David Booth Beers, Mary Kostel and Heather Anderson — who has left Goodwin Procter and is on her own) argue simply that those decisions were right and South Carolina’s was contrary to them, and hence wrong. The Statute of Frauds, which predates the Dennis Canon by more than 300 years, is not mentioned once, and there is zero analysis of the rationale given by the South Carolina Supreme Court for its decision.

In short, the brief serves as a mere placeholder for ECUSA, to keep its options open in the unlikely event that four justices of the Supreme Court vote to grant review. The lack of any serious argument is a signal that ECUSA’s attorneys understand perfectly well that the chances of that happening are minimal.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues

RNS–Catholic Workers in D.C. must vow not to break church `principles or tenets'

Catholic Charities of Washington has added language to a hiring letter for new employees explicitly requiring that they “not violate the principles or tenets of the Catholic faith.”

Employees of the Archdiocese of Washington’s social service arm “are expected to act in ways that promote the best interest of our faith and church,” reads a March 3 letter from Catholic Charities’ Human Resources Manager Terrance Pollard. New employees will be asked to sign the letter.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality

Zenit: Coexistence Turned Sour–An Interview With the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Nigeria

Q: Many Christians of course, out of fear of this recent spate of violence have packed their belongings and left for the south. Is this a threat for Christianity in the north of Nigeria that so many Christians are living?

Archbishop [Ignatius] Kaigama: Yes, some Christians from the south who live and work in the north return home when there are such crises and this because when their businesses are destroyed, their houses are destroyed they have no reason to stay on, but that does not mean that Christianity is dead in the north because you still have the indigenous population. For instance in Kano, you have the Maguzawa ethnic group. They are Hausas and normally everybody would expect a Hausa man to be a Muslim. They are not. They are adherents to the traditional religion and when they are not adherents of the traditional religion they are Catholics, Anglicans or whatever. So they are there. They don’t migrate. The only problem is that they suffer a lot because of their Christian identity and Christian faith. They are denied education. They are denied government employment of the highest ladders; they are employed as night watchmen, cleaners or things like that but never higher than that. And this is what they suffer for being Christians. And the Church has come helping in a very decisive manner by empowering these people, by starting primary schools, again building bush chapels in order to bring them together to bring awareness, and enlighten them and get them going. And it is working. Now, I can tell you that there are five or more people from those ethnic groups that have become priests and they are working very well. This is to tell you how far we have come and that even though the Catholic Church has been persecuted there are people who live there and still are ready to sacrifice everything in order to proclaim their Christian faith and identity.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence

RNS–Catholic Bishops, Hospitals Split on Health Care

Because of congressional rules and partisan politics, Democratic leaders are pushing the House to adopt the Senate version. The Catholic Health Association, which represents 2,000 health care sponsors, systems, hospitals, and long-term facilities, calls the Senate bill a “major first step” toward covering all Americans. CHA officials say the abortion language can be “corrected” after it passes.

George acknowledged the CHA’s difference of opinion. “The bishops, however, judge that the flaws are so fundamental that they vitiate the good that the bill intends to promote,” he said.

“Assurances that the moral objections to the legislation can be met only after the bill is passed seem a little like asking us, in Midwestern parlance, to buy a pig in a poke,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate

Baltimore Sun: Annapolis priest is first openly lesbian bishop for Episcopalians

The Episcopal Church has confirmed the election of an Annapolis priest as the first openly lesbian bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool, who has served in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland since 1992, said Wednesday that she was “overjoyed and overwhelmed” by news that a majority of bishops and diocesan committees had approved her election as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

“And grateful,” she added. “I’m grateful to so many people, and to God.”

When she is consecrated in May, Glasspool will become the first openly gay bishop in the 77 million-member Anglican Communion since the 2003 election of V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire brought a decades-long divide over homosexuality within the church out into the open.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, Theology, Theology: Scripture

IRD: Episcopal Church Approves (Partnered) Lesbian Bishop

“Glasspool’s election is unfortunate because she has unapologetically taken sexual expression outside of the God-ordained boundary of Holy Matrimony. In the view of the wider Anglican Communion, this practice makes her unqualified to serve in the role of a bishop.

“Glasspool’s election is the next step in the Episcopal Church’s liberalizing trajectory. After revoking a moratorium on the consecration of non-celibate homosexual bishops during its July General Convention, the denomination made clear that it was going to proceed on this route, despite protests from other Anglicans.

“Consent to Glasspool’s election by the Episcopal Church shows how little the U.S.-based denomination cares about what other parts of the global Anglican Communion believe.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Bishop Sutton of Maryland Comments on the L.A. Episcopal Election Consents News

From here:

Today is a great day for the cause of justice and the ministry of reconciliation in The Episcopal Church. We have received word from the Presiding Bishop’s Office that the consent process has been completed for the election of the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool as Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

I rejoice that a majority of Bishops and Standing Committees have seen in Canon Glasspool what we have experienced in the Diocese of Maryland: that she is an exceptionally gifted pastor, administrator and spiritually-centered leader who will prove to be an outstanding member of the House of Bishops. While I know that many of our brothers and sisters cannot rejoice at the news of her election as a matter of conscience ”“ seeing it as a moral issue and not a ”˜rights’ issue ”“ I do pray that the whole Church will be open to the Spirit’s guidance as we all move forward together in light of this historic event. I believe that the time is now for us to remove old barriers and recommit ourselves to welcoming all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Faithfully yours,
The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton
Bishop of Maryland

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles