Irish Anglicans express ‘sorrow’ over consecration of lesbian bishop in US Church

Evangelical Anglicans in Ireland have spoken of their sorrow over the consecration of a second gay bishop by The Episcopal Church in the US.

In a joint statement, the Church of Ireland Evangelical Fellowship, the Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy, New Wine (Ireland) and Reform Ireland said the consecration of Mary Glasspool to bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles was “a clear rejection of the many please for gracious restraint” made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Windsor Report and the recent meeting of Global South Primates in Singapore.

They said the lifestyle of Glasspool, who lives in an openly same-sex relationship, was “contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture” and “both wrong and disappointing”.

They said: “The Episcopal Church (TEC) has taken this provocative step despite knowing the division and difficulties created by Gene Robinson’s consecration in 2003.

“This shows a deliberate disregard for other members of the Anglican family and suggests that TEC does not greatly value unity within Anglicanism and indeed throughout the universal Church.”

The evangelical groups went on to express their support for people within TEC who felt “alienated and hurt” by the consecration as well as conservative Anglicans who had taken the decision to break away from TEC and who are now caught up in legal battles to hold onto their church properties.

They said: “Many Christians of all traditions and denominations will share our sorrow and see Mary Glasspool’s consecration as a defiant rejection of pleas for restraint and, even more importantly, as a rejection of the pattern of holiness of life called for in Scripture and endorsed by believers over the centuries.”