The Episcopal Church sidestepped a potential crisis early this month when a married father of two was elected bishop of San Francisco over three openly gay contenders. The winner, however, was no less supportive of gay rights in the church.
One Sunday morning in 1960, the Episcopal pastor of a 2,500-member parish in suburban Los Angeles told his congregation that he and 70 other members had been “speaking in tongues." At the end of the service, an assistant priest pulled off his vestments and stalked out, saying, “I can no longer work with this man!” Tumult reigned. One man stood on a chair, shouting, “Throw out the damn tongue-speakers!”
New Hampshire bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, is undergoing treatment for his “increasing dependence on alcohol,” he wrote in a letter to the 49 churches in his diocese.
One woman from Nevada and three southern men have been nominated to lead the Episcopal Church for a nine-year term as the badly divided denomination faces an uncertain future and threats of schism after decades of fighting.
Statement in report to Anglican Consultative Council
Jul 12, 2005
Leaders of the Episcopal Church, in an analysis requested by Anglican peers overseas, stood by their decision to ordain an openly gay bishop and to bless same-sex unions, with a report arguing that there is a “genuine holiness” among gays and lesbians.
United Methodists have taken the first step toward full communion with Episcopalians and most Lutherans after their bishops approved an agreement to share the Eucharist, with members of the two other denominations.
Seeking to accompany its apology to overseas Anglicans for the anguish caused by approving a gay bishop’s ordination in 2003, the U.S. Episcopal bishops have decided to withhold consent for any new bishops elected by dioceses over the next 14 months.
Almost more than any other Christian group, Anglicans are notoriously—and proudly—hard to pin down. They are not fully Protestant yet not quite Catholic; hierarchical yet independent; scripturally literate but not literalistic; equal parts New York and Nairobi.