Canon Mary Glaspool was yesterday consecrated as assistant Bishop of Los Angeles, an event that would not be particularly newsworthy were it not for the fact that she happens to be in a same sex partnership. Reaction to this has been fairly muted in comparison to the outcry over the appointment of Gene Robinson, because that, as has been said, tore the fabric of the Communion; now we are just looking at the rents and squabbling over who gets which bit of cloth.
The Bishop of Gloucester, The Right Reverend Michael Perham, has made what seems to me an interesting address which started with a consideration of the impact of Mary Glasspool’s consecration. Michael Perham seems to advocate the kind of approach suggested by James Jones, indeed he makes reference to that speech and to the “honesty and courage” of the Bishop of Liverpool.
Michael Perham’s speech is cogent and balanced; a short exerpt is given below,
“We ought to be able to stay together while recognising that we honestly interpret scripture and tradition in different ways. I know there are those who believe it is a first order issue, because it relates to the authority and interpretation of scripture, but I confess that, while respecting and understanding that view, I remain unconvinced. Any church that has found a way of coming to terms with divorce and remarriage, in a way that our Church has, has put itself firmly in a place that says that ethical behaviour, especially in regard to human relationships, involves a dialogue between the biblical tradition and the cultural realities if the Church is to have any chance of ministering to people in the complexities of contemporary life.”
I don’t agree with everything in this speech, but that is not the point! I do agree with his conviction that the only reasonable way forward is to accept that there is a range of conscientious opinion on the issue of same sex unions. Michael Perham’s comments are worth reading and can be found on this website under Bishop Michael's address on the Anglican Communion 6th May.