Dr. Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury, has called the Episcopal Church's election of an openly lesbian bishop “regrettable,” the Times reported.

On Wednesday, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles announced that the nomination of Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool to become suffragan (assistant) bishop of the diocese had been approved by the majority of the church's bishops and standing committees.

Glasspool will become the second openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church when she is ordained on May 5. New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson was installed in 2003.

Williams appealed to Episcopalians to reject Glasspool's nomination in December, saying that the “decision will have very important implications.”

Robinson's ascension had infuriated church conservatives and threatened to rip apart the bond between the 77 million-member Anglican Communion and its more liberal American branch, the Episcopal Church, and led to a self-imposed moratorium on the election of gay bishops.

Last July, however, the church reversed course when it voted in favor of lifting the ban at its general convention. Within six months the Los Angeles diocese had nominated Glasspool.

“It is regrettable that the appeals from Anglican Communion bodies for continuing gracious restraint have not been heeded,” Williams' Lambeth Palace said in a statement. “Following the Los Angeles election in December the Archbishop made clear that the outcome of the consent process would have important implications for the Communion. The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion reiterated these concerns in its December resolution which called for the existing moratoria to be upheld. Further consultation will now take place about the implications and consequences of this decision.”

Glasspool acknowledged the controversy surrounding her selection: “I am … aware that not everyone rejoices in this election and consent, and will work, pray and continue to extend my own hands and heart to bridge those gaps, and strengthen the bonds of affection among all people, in the name Jesus Christ,” she said in a statement.

Glasspool, 56, and her partner, Becki Sander, have been together over 22 years.