Since becoming the first lesbian to be elected a bishop in the Epis copal Church, Mary Glasspool has been hailed as a gay rights pioneer and maligned as the straw that will finally break the back of the Anglican Com munion.
Seminary professor Ian T. Douglas, a member of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council and a representative on the global Anglican Consultative Council, has been elected bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut. Douglas, 51, who holds an endowed chair in mission and world Christianity at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was elected on the second ballot on October 24.
Although many ex-Episcopalians in the U.S. identify with Catholic rules against ordaining women and noncelibate gays to the priesthood, the traditionalists heading their own rival Anglican organizations in North America say that few followers are likely to become Roman Catholics.
On the opening day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s fall term, the high court announced that it will not intervene in two prominent church-state cases, one involving a Catholic diocese in Con necticut and the other a former Epis copal parish in southern California.
Ten Maryland nuns—almost an entire religious community—converted from the Episcopal Church to Catholicism on September 3, saying that their former denomination had become too liberal in its acceptance of homosexuality.
Two Episcopal dioceses have nominated gay and lesbian priests in same-sex relationships to become bishops, testing a weeks-old policy and the Episcopal Church’s place within the global Anglican Communion.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has suggested that the Episcopal Church may have to accept a secondary role in the Anglican Communion after voting to allow the ordination of gay bishops and blessings for same-sex unions.
Only days after Archbishop Rowan Williams of the worldwide Anglican Communion cautioned Episcopalians against making decisions “that could push us further apart,” delegates at their July 8-17 convention in California voted—swiftly and by a large majority—to open the doors for gay and lesbian bishops.