Three openly gay clergy have been
nominated for bishop in the Episcopal Church just weeks after the
church lifted its moratorium on gay clergy.
Two of the nominations came from
California, while a third occurred in Minnesota.
The Diocese of Los Angeles included the
Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas
Glasspool of Baltimore among 6 nominated for two assistant bishop
posts, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago has
been named one of the three nominees for Bishop of Minnesota,
“As we all continue to discern God's
call, I pray that we will bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
that changes people's lives and proclaims the profound inclusivity
and hospitality of God,” Perry said in a statement.
Perry, pastor of All Saints Episcopal
Church, is in a long-term lesbian relationship.
The Diocese of Los Angeles, which
boasts 70,000 members and includes six counties, is headed by Bishop
J. Jon Bruno, an outspoken advocate of the inclusion of gay men and
lesbians in the church.
“I affirm each and every one of these
candidates and am pleased at the wide diversity they offer this
diocese,” Bruno said in a statement announcing the nominations.
Rowan Williams, the head of the Church
of England and the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion warned
of isolation from the mainstream Anglican Communion – of which the
Episcopal Church is the American branch – for dioceses that elect
openly gay clergy.
Several mostly African conservative
churches have broken away over the issue of gay clergy.
The Diocese of Central Florida and
Dallas have both publicly rejected gay resolutions approved by the
Episcopal Church. Rev. John W. Howe, the bishop of the Episcopal
Diocese of Central Florida, said that he was “deeply saddened” by
the church's approval.
The three gay nominations are certain
to draw fire from conservative bishops.