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Archbishop of Canterbury voices concern at election of gay bishop

Canon Mary Glasspool

Canon Mary Glasspool

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has expressed his concern over the election of a second openly gay Episcopalian bishop in America. In a statement today, Dr Williams said:  "The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

"The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

"The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold."

In a statement, the American 'Mainstream Anglicans' said: "We are saddened but not surprised by this announcement from The Episcopalian Church (TEC) . Unless their diocesan bishops and their standing committees decline to endorse the election, it will confirm that TEC have no intention of respecting the mind of the Communion and halting their current trajectory.

"That is why tens of thousands of Anglicans, in order to witness to the Communion's common basis of faith, and particularly biblical teaching on Christian marriage, have had to leave TEC and form the Anglican Church of North America.

"For any who doubted whether that action was justified TEC's latest announcement, made in full knowledge of its negative effect on the Communion's Covenant process, will confirm that TEC, rather than wanting to remain within the Communion's bonds of affection, is determined to walk away and follow its own path."

Canon Glasspool, 55,  has lived with her partner, Becki Sander, since 1988.

She needs approval from a majority of dioceses across the church before she can be consecrated as assistant bishop in the Los Angeles diocese.

American Gene Robinson became the first gay Anglican bishop in 2003.

Source: Office of Archbishop of Canterbury/Mainstream Anglicans