Sunday, December 6, 2009

On the diocesan election in LA

The Diocese of Los Angeles has elected two new suffragan bishops --- both female. That in itself would serve as front-page material in some journalistic elements but no, the big news is that one of them is lesbian on top of being female (of course, to be lesbian I think you HAVE to be female, don't you?). That she is in a long-term committed relationship is an offense in some areas, notably in some areas of the Episcopal Church (some areas already halfway or more out the door) and the Anglical Communion (notably parts of the US, parts of Africa and parts, it seems, of the UK).

Before the election of Mary Glasspool was even cool, the Archbishop of Canterbury jumped up and began proclaiming that the election would have "important implications", yadda yadda yadda. What it amounts to is "you PROMISED to exercise restraint! NOW look what you've done! BAD! BAD! BAD!" This isn't the first time the ABC has butted into the affairs of TEC --- remember his comments during and after General Convention about what was expected of us and how it could reflect on how we were perceived and continued to be part of the Anglican Communion?  He certainly didn't waste any time -- or mince any words.

Which makes it all the more galling. You have churches that are part of the Anglican Communion espousing life prison sentences and even death for GLBT folk in their countries as well as possible imprisonment for any foreigners who serve the GLBT communities or even speak out against the proposed legislation. The silence from Lambeth Palace is absolutely deafening. It's been weeks and weeks yet he hasn't said a word, EVER, about the boundary crossing much less the inhumanity. I simply do not understand.

For a long time our Presiding Bishop was silent on the issue but she has broken her silence in a statement that was pastoral, well-crafted and strong. It felt good to hear her words, words many had despaired of ever hearing.

Yet Lambeth has commented, as usual, in a way that encourages the one wing and denigrates the other.

I would like TEC to cease contributing more than a modest sum to the Anglican Communion and its arms. I would like to see TEC continue building relationships around the world and providing aid to those in need in whatever country they may be. I would like the bishops and standing committees to approve the election of Mary Glasscock. They have approved some elections of bishops-elect about whom there is dis-ease with their position and concern whether or not they would remain part of TEC yet they were the duly elected bishops of their dioceses and the dioceses surely chose the candidates they felt the Spirit had sent them. 

As for the ABC, my respect for him as primus inter pares is gone. I cannot respect a person, no matter how exalted, who seems to be catering to bullies and backstabbing friends. the bullies will never be appeased until they control Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion itself. The friends will try to retain bonds of affection even when they are slapped in the face again and again and yet they will grow tired eventually and ask why such treatment is so necessary.

Archbishop Rowan, change your brand of tea. Whatever you're drinking, it feels like you've ingested jimson weed tea instead of Earl Grey, and the delusions you have been given as a result have seriously disrupted the reality of the world, the Church and the Anglican communion. You can't win with the bullies. They have no respect for you or your office, no matter what you do to appease them. And you will lose the friends who have supported you even when you stab them.

God help us

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