Two women ordained, challenge Anglican, Episcopal traditionalists
Two women, one of them avowedly lesbian, will be ordained on May 15 to the Anglican and Episcopalian churches respectively, challenging traditionalists in their respective churches, according to Virtueonline.
The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, who is a lesbian, will be consecrated as Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan for The Episcopal Church. Glasspool is an experienced administrator and human rights advocate, according to Newsweek magazine.
Glasspool, whom Newsweek magazine says is the daughter of an Episcopal reverend, has the full backing of The Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori; as well as most bishops with jurisdiction, and most Church standing committees, Virtueonline reported.
Bishop Schori in a message noted, “I realize that this development will cause hurt and pain to some of you. I am deeply aware of the range of opinion and position about this.” The Archbishop of Canterbury has been silent on the matter so far, Virtueonline reported.
The second woman slated for ordination is Rev. Susan Freeman, an evangelical and a deacon of Christ Church, Plano, Texas. She will join the Sacred Order of Priests, ordained by the Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey, Bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, (Uganda) Anglican Church in North America, according to VOL.
The Rt. Rev. Philip H. Jones of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) issued a statement saying the AMiA has a provision for ordaining women to the priesthood, and the Anglican provinces of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya have been ordaining women priests for several years, VOL reported.
Under the AMiA there is the Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA), which has a provision for ordaining women to the priesthood. The May 15 ordination would be the second ordination of a woman to the priesthood in America through the ACiA.
However, while Susan Freeman will be a priest in the Little Rock network and will attend church meetings as she always has, she will not be celebrating Holy Communion services during network meetings, as the Anglican Communion as a whole is in a period of reception about the women’s ordination issue, Virtueonline says.
Freeman’s ordination has met with mixed reviews from Anglo-Catholics and some Evangelicals who believe such an ordination is a violation of Scripture, history and tradition. Some bloggers argue that women’s ordination is a Donatist heresy and should be repudiated, Virtuonline says.
However, Fr. Canon David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church, an AMiA parish that separated amicably from the Diocese of Dallas some years ago, and now within AMiA in the Little Rock Network, said “We are trying to complete a process that has been ongoing for nearly 12 years, the first in TEC and now in the AMiA/ACNA. When we left TEC she courageously chose to come with us. She is the first and only woman we have endorsed for ordination to the priesthood and I do not plan to continue this.”
“The Anglican Mission in the Americas provides a way to maintain the integrity, and honor the consciences, of those with differing opinions and policies on women’s ordination.”