Skip to comments.Election of lesbian bishop 'will cause Church to unravel' (Episcopalian)
Posted on 03/12/2006 10:45:14 AM PST by wagglebee
An Anglican clergywoman in a long-term, same-sex relationship is set to become the first lesbian bishop, causing uproar among traditionalists. The evangelical wing of the worldwide Anglican Communion has said that the election of the Rev Bonnie Perry will lead to the "unravelling" of the Church.
Miss Perry, 43, is one of five shortlisted candidates standing for election for the bishopric of California on May 6. She has been the pastor at All Saints' Episcopal Church, Chicago, since 1992. Her girlfriend of 18 years, Susan Harlow, is a professor of religious education at the nearby Meadville Lombard theological school and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
The selection of Miss Perry is highly controversial because the Anglican Communion believes that the ordination of actively gay clergy is incompatible with scripture. The Church of England does not even recognise female bishops.
The Episcopalian Church in America acted in defiance of this belief when it elected the homosexual clergyman Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. The appointment triggered a worldwide crisis in the Anglican Church and prompted the Archbishop of Canterbury to set up a commission last October to investigate the legal and theological implications of the ordination.
The subsequent report called for a moratorium on the appointment of gay bishops and the performance of same-sex blessings.
In spite of this, the Diocese of California has put forward Miss Perry and a second actively homosexual candidate, the Very Rev Robert Taylor, as nominees to replace the retiring Bishop William Swing in May.
Dr Taylor, the dean of St Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, is also in a long-term, same-sex relationship.
Last night, the Rev Nick Wynne-Jones, the secretary of the Church of England Evangelical Council, said that the shortlisting of Miss Perry was "provocative" and "in defiance" of the rest of the Anglican Church.
"It just seems that they are determined to pursue their own particular agenda," he said. "If they persist in that line it seriously jeopardises the future of the Anglican Communion as it's currently constituted.
"The condition of the Episcopal Church in America is unravelling fairly fast and this would exacerbate this situation and I think that more and more individual parishes are likely to align with other dioceses. It is frustrating. Anyone who's concerned for the future of the Church would be concerned."
Last week, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to the 38 Anglican primates acknowledging the "bitter controversy over sexuality in the Communion".
Canon Chris Sugden, the executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream International, said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has voiced what many people knew in his letter to the primates: that there was no mind in the Communion to change the position on homosexuality.
"He's very clear that there is a group of people in power in the highest echelons of the Episcopalian Church in America for whom this is a determined crusade. They will brook no opposition, they will not listen to any calls for restraint. It has been done during the moratorium deliberately. It is a clear challenge to the rest of the Communion and the Church of England."
Miss Perry is believed to be a front-runner for election. She is popular in her local community for her "unstuffy attitude" and has introduced "pet blessing" ceremonies to her church.
She has also developed outreach programmes to provide groceries for the homeless and the congregation has grown from 35 to 220 parishioners under her leadership.
Her previous lecture presentations include: "How Body Piercing Can Enhance Your Congregation: Creative Liturgies to Reach Generation X," delivered in February 2001.
She is a certified kayaking instructor and describes herself as "a recreational tree climber and avid reader". On her church's website, she says that the Gospel "doesn't matter a rat's tail if it doesn't change people's lives".
She adds: "I care deeply about preaching, outreach, pastoral care, congregational development and sea kayaking. My hope is to continue creating a community where people come to ask the deep questions of life."
Richard Kirker, the general secretary of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in Britain, welcomed the news of Miss Perry's nomination. "It is to the credit of the American Church that it puts no bar on clergy for their sexuality," he said.
The Church of England, unlike the Episcopalian Church, does not elect its bishops but appoints them after official approval from the Queen. When Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans and a celibate homosexual, was chosen as the Bishop of Reading in 2003, his appointment provoked such an outcry that he stepped down.
Homosexual agenda ping.
As these liberals kill the American church, I hope they are loudly rejected in England as they are in Asia and Africa. A small sodomy death cult in the US should not be permitted to bring down the whole church.
homosexuals are like flies....whatever they don't eat, they sh#t on.
***An Anglican clergywoman in a long-term, same-sex relationship is set to become the first lesbian bishop***
The question that I have is why did her becoming a Bishop bring light to this issue? Why was is not dealt with when she was a being considered for ordination?
What has happened to the eloquence of the Episcopal Church? I guess crudeness of language has replaced all reason.
"Why was is not dealt with when she was a being considered for ordination?"
"What has happened to the eloquence of the Episcopal Church?"
You expect eloquence from a demon in a cassock?
What does that mean? Seriously?
No caricaturist could come up with something like that...
Isn't that terrible? They will NEVER be satisfied.
No, Rowan, it is not about 'sexuality.' It is about perversion.
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
But is she Scripturally qualified? The Bible is not silent on that issue.
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