The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles this weekend elected Mary Glasspool, an openly lesbian priest, to be one of its assistant bishops. This is sure to trigger new anxieties and power struggles in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Under limitations in effect since the election of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003, Anglicans have more or less developed a consensus not to elect openly practicing homosexuals to the office of bishop. With this move, the consensus becomes all but unsustainable.
In my view, the election of Rev. Glasspool will fuel these power struggles:
1. Between Episcopal pragmatic traditionalists and the left wing on whether her election should be affirmed by the national church. (A majority of US dioceses must approve of this move and are likely to grant approval in this case.)
2. Between Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and TEC Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori regarding the future relationship between the American church and global Anglicanism. (Conservatives ...1