Skip to comments.Lesbian priest who could split the Anglican Church
Posted on 05/05/2006 11:00:57 PM PDT by MadIvan
Schism fears revived as San Francisco church's election for a new bishop includes three candidates who live with gay partners
IT IS not an election that would normally attract world attention, but when a few hundred Christians gather to choose a new Episcopal Bishop of California today, millions around the globe will be watching.
The reason is simple. Three of the seven candidates are gay or lesbian, and live openly with their same-sex partners. If one of them wins, the victory could well fracture the Episcopal Church in America and trigger a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion to which it belongs.
It would be like a terrorist bomb which is timed to destroy a peace process, says the Rev Paul Zahl, dean of the conservative Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Pennsylvania.
The peace process he refers to was made necessary by the Episcopal Churchs consecration, three years ago, of Gene Robinson as its first gay bishop.
That choice created ferment among the worlds 77 million Anglicans. It outraged conservatives, particularly in Africa, where the Church is growing fast but where homosexuality is taboo.
Today about 300 local clergy and 400 lay electors from 86 churches with 27,000 parishioners will gather in Grace Cathedral, on Nob Hill in San Francisco, to choose the next bishop for one of Americas most left-wing dioceses.
The candidates include the Very Rev Robert Taylor, the Rev Canon Michael Barlowe and the Rev Bonnie Perry all of whom are gay.
The election of a second gay bishop would create a crisis both inside the American Church which would have to decide whether to consent to the appointment and with fellow Anglicans around the world.
It would be seen as a rebuff for the Archbishop of Canterburys Windsor Report, which recommended a moratorium on such appointments, and to a special commission of the American church that has tried to defuse the issue by counselling very considerable caution.
The atmosphere is electric, Canon Kendall Harmon, of South Carolina, a leading church conservative who writes a widely read blog, said. If they were to choose a same-sex partnered candidate its so clearly a repudiation.
Ian Douglas, co-chairman of the 14-member special commission, predicted that electing a gay bishop would make Anglicans reconsider seriously the place of the American Episcopal Church in the 77 million-strong worldwide Communion.
It could not be let go by. It would provoke a response on the inter-Anglican level, Mr Douglas said. I can imagine some would be calling for out-and-out disenfranchisement of the Episcopal Church. The Rev John Kirkley, rector at predominantly gay St John the Evangelist Church in San Francisco and a leader of the Episcopal gay-rights group Oasis, sees a clash as inevitable. If it does not happen here, it s just going to happen somewhere else down the road, he said.
Episcopalians in the gay-friendly Bay area of the city find it hard to understand what the all the fuss is about.
The right of homosexuals to become bishops enjoys near universal support in the diocese where 8 per cent of parishioners identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. None of the four heterosexual candidates opposes gay bishops.
Arthur Holder, professor of Christian Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and one of the electors, noted that all the homosexual candidates were recognised leaders of the church. The focus on this one decision is absolutely understandable, he said. But this is how we live all the time.
Two of the non-gay candidates the Rt Rev Mark Andrus and the Rev Eugene Sutton were finding favour in the final hours before the vote, but there was still resentment at the Anglican hierarchys effort to prevent the diocese naming Americas second openly gay bishop.
Underneath, we all see this as the bad parent who says Im going to spank you if you do it. I really mean it this time!, says Rosa Lee Harden, rector of Holy Innocents church in San Franciscos gay-friendly Castro district, whose 15-strong congregation is evenly divided between gays and straights.
Whoever is elected today must receive the consent of the Episcopal Churchs general convention next month in Columbus, Ohio, before taking office.
The three-yearly convention is to take up a proposal calling for very considerable caution in selecting bishops with same-sex partners.
But it is far from clear that the convention would block Californias choice if the winner were a gay or lesbian person.
The frontrunner to become the new presiding bishop, who will be chosen at the meeting, is Bishop Neil Alexander, of Atlanta, an outspoken supporter of gays serving as bishops.
Bonnie Perry Rector of All Saints in Chicago. Certified kayak instructor and recreational tree climber who has introduced pet blessing ceremonies and offering champagne in the communion cup. Her partner of 18 years is Susan Harlow, a minister of the United Church of Christ and theology professor
Michael Barlowe: Diocesal officer in California added to shortlist by parishioners petition. Shares lifelong commitment to unconditional love with Paul Burrows, rector of an Episcopal church in San Francisco
Robert Taylor South African-born protege of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and first openly gay dean of an American cathedral, in Seattle. Enjoys the outdoors, exercise, music, reading and movies with his friend Jerry Smith
Mark Andrus Social justice activist and yoga-practising Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Alabama. Married with two children
Eugene Sutton Charismatic canon of the National Cathedral in Washington DC and the only black candidate. Wife is a professional musician. Four children
Jane Gould Rector of St Stephens Church in Massachusetts. Previously chaplain of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with history of anti-war protest dating back to Vietnam. Husband is a writer and teacher. Two children
Donald Schell Rector of St Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco, added to shortlist by parishioners petition. Wife is an Aids activist. Four children
It is my hope that the church in America and the rest of the Anglican Communion will have the opportunity to consider this development before significant and irrevocable decisions are made
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams
We are going against the created order. Same-sex relationships are not right, they are unbiblical and therefore sinful. We may be heading for a split
Bishop of Central Zambia, Derek Kamukwamba
I believe that the acceptance of gay and lesbian people into the life of the church is something that is going to happen. It will happen in Gods own time. The issue has to be faced
Gene Robinson, Americas first openly gay Bishop
For the San Francisco church, it's almost a miracle that only 3 out of 7 candidates are openly of the homosexual persausion. It's best, though, to bring this disgusting boil to a head and lance the thing now, IMHO.
Wouldn't guess this bunch has any sense of history, but wouldn't it be sort of neat if one of these, er, people, were named Henrietta VIII ?
Good morning...FYI..the San Francisco diocese has set up a website...www.episcopalbayarea.org..to post the votes LIVE as they come in...
After the Gene Robinson fiasco, it's evident that installing a horse as Archbishop of Canterbury would not faze most members of the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion.
Homosexuals only make up 2-3% of the human population as a whole. They probably just couldn't find anymore that were eligible.
Then the Episcopal Church has already lost.
It is time to "bring it on". Then, we can start the separation process.
It is really very simple, the non-believers versus the rest of us.
Let them have their non believing churches, priests and bishops. Then, they can marry dogs, donkeys and do Wicca celebrations, honor the Soltices and whatever they want to do. With the exception of a few churches in San Francisco, Boston, and other Gay centers, the gay churches, priests and Bishops will be financially broke in 2-5 years.
The rest of us then can continue to believe in God, Jesus, his death and resurrection and celebrate these beliefs every Church Service.
Balloting schedule from the agenda:
First ballot: 9:45 AM, announced 10:45 AM (PDT)
Second ballot: 10:45 AM, announced 11:45 AM
Third ballot: 11:45 AM, announced 1:00 PM
Fourth ballot: 1:00 PM, announced 2:00 PM
Fifth ballot: 2:00 PM, announced 3:00 PM
Sixth ballot: 3:00 PM, announced 4:00 PM
Seventh ballot: 4:00 PM, announced 5:00 PM
Ninth ballot: 5:00 PM, announced 6:00 PM
I'm going to track this as best I can, but I have other things on my schedule today.
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.
FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.
Resource for Traditional Anglicans: http://trad-anglican.faithweb.com
More Anglican articles here.
Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)
Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
Might as well be homosexual themselves if they feel this way. How nice that they can contradict Scripture because they are so tolerant and accepting and "with it" in the 21st Century.
The sad thing is that they don't accept the authority of the Scriptures--or Tradition--or, even, reason. Their infidelity has made them , to use St. Paul's term" "mad" and like most madmen do not realize it.
At 2:15, they are reporting first ballot closed.
Eugene Sutton led with 117 and 39.66%
Mark Andrus had 71 and 24.07%
Jane Gould had 58 and 19.66%
All the rest were at 6% or below. Looks like it will be one of those three.
Andrus got about 45% of the Clergy, 24% of the Lay
Andrus 62% of the Clergy 35% of the Lay
They have a poorly run web site. They should have stripped out the graphics for the heavy traffic period.
It looks like the Oscars in not choosing Brokeback Mountain, i.e., they decided not to thumb their noses at the Anglican Communion this time.
Andrus wins on third ballot
Mark Andrus clergy 188 72.0%* lay 161 54.6%
Thanks for the ping.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.