Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves explains her absence from the recent Los Angeles Episcopal Consecrations

For myself personally, I rejoiced at Mary and Diane’s election. I would have been happy to get just one more woman bishop in California – but two! It was like Christmas! I knew though that many did not share this joy, and that included people in our partnership and in my diocese. After weeks of prayer and conversation I realized I had an opportunity to make no one particularly happy, but importantly to act in a way where the integrity of everyone’s deeply held beliefs – and their very beings – could be honored so we might remain at the table. In our system, it is consents that allow a bishop to be ordained. I consented to Mary’s election without hesitation. The laying on of hands makes a bishop, and in other provinces where there is no consent process like ours, this is a very key symbol. It took awhile, and as +Michael said, I did not come easily to the decision of not attending on Saturday. But the truth is, Mary and Diane had plenty of bishops to get the job done, and my hands were not needed there on May 15th. They were needed to reach other places and so I did.

As people have emailed me or blogged their anger and concern it seems that people think I was pressured by my partner bishops. Indeed, they made a request – as did many in the Anglican Communion of our entire church – for us not to consent or consecrate Mary. While listening is an important part of our partnership, we respect one another’s autonomy. Hopefully we the body of Christ all make prayerful decisions with one another in mind. You may not like the decision I made, but let me be clear, it was mine to make, not +Michael’s or +Gerard’s.

My gesture of not attending on Saturday was received graciously by both partner bishops, and we will just have to see what the future holds for our unusual and extraordinary relationship.

Read it carefully and read it all.


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5 comments on “Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves explains her absence from the recent Los Angeles Episcopal Consecrations

  1. dwstroudmd+ says:

    I consented in my heart but not with my presence; blessed be ambiguity. Love the matriarchalism, too.

  2. Albeit says:

    One word came to mind when I read this. “Hypocrite.” Only a politician would postulate that consent and consecration are two distinctly separate matters.

    Whether she realizes it or not, she shares history, not with Mary and the beloved Disciple at the foot of the cross, but rather with Pilot, who in a similar fashion issued a decree as an absolute statement and then washed his hands to disassociate himself from the consequences.

  3. Undergroundpewster says:

    I found no reference to scripture or Jesus, but then again, how could there be any?

  4. majorinsight says:

    But did she inhale?

  5. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I’ve heard only good things about +Gerard Mpango, the Tanzanian bishop in this three-diocese partnership. But as we all know, in general, relational triangles are very unwise, and for an orthodox African bishop to remain in a relationship with two very liberal bishops seems likewise very unwise to me.

    Cultivating personal friendships is one thing. But official companion relationships are an ecclesial relationship, which is an entirely different matter. To me, the relevant biblical texts for a situation like this would be “avoid them” passages like Rom. 16:17-18 or 1 Cor. 5:11. Such texts urge us to shun associations with flagrant false teachers in the Church.

    David Handy+