Bishop Jon Bruno: “No Barriers” for Gay and Lesbian Episcopalians

There has been new controversy across the worldwide Anglican Communion since the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected Rev. Mary Glasspool, a lesbian, as assistant bishop.  If her election is confirmed by a majority of dioceses within the Episcopal Church, she would become the second openly gay bishop in the denomination, which has been wracked with division over homosexuality. The Episcopal Church is the US branch of the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. In July 2009, the Episcopal General Convention overwhelmingly approved a measure affirming that gays and lesbians are eligible to become bishops.

After the vote, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly managing editor Kim Lawton asked Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno how he would explain the vote to Anglicans around the world who oppose gay bishops, and what message he hoped it would send to gays and lesbians.

  • hadnuff

    The diocese had an opportunity to have a suffragan bishop that represented true inclusivity and diversity, the Latino candidate. Indeed, the election was quite close. But in the end, those motivated by a liberal POLITICAL agenda won out. This is simply posturing to tell all the conservatives, “We hate you, get out, don’t let the door slam on the way out.”

  • Archbishop Michael J. Champion

    The fact that the election was quite close, as the commenter points out, does show that inclusivity was an important consideration in the election.

    Rather than throwing stones at whoever that writer deems as “those motivated by a liberal political agenda,” why not be glad that, that Episcopal diocese weighed in heavy on qualifications and considerations that are important for all the People of God.

    Without saying it, the commenter is implying that gay and lesbian parishioners are not factored in when considering the church’s broad spectrum of needs. Again, the homosexual community is given (as quite often also happens to the Latino and immigrant community) a second place seat and their concerns relegated to being only of importance to those with a “liberal and political agenda.”

  • AMPisAnglican

    This Episcopal Church USA (TEC) has thumbed its nose at all Anglicans. It has declared that it does not care what any other Anglicans have to say (i.e. Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 and the repeated requests to not move on with their homosexual agenda). As it stands now more than half of the Provinces in the Worlwide Anglican Communion (WAC) have publically stated that their Communion with TEC is either impared or broken. This means that the huge majority of Anglicans no longer consider TEC to be part of the Church, and certainly no longer Anglican (Episcopalian).

    I for one also no longer consider TEC to be Anglican. In fact by their refusing to obey God’s instructions on who God is willing to have as a Priest or Bishop (1 Timothy 3) TEC is not even Christian. I don’t know what TEC has turned itself into, but it is certainly no longer a Christian Church.

    May God have merc on them.

  • vertias

    Once again, the good Bishop and the ECUSA overall have missed the point entirely. The issue is not whether gays and lesbians are welcome in the greater Anglican Communion – of course they are. The issue is whether the ECUSA recognizes these lifestyles as sinful, and if so, urge them to repent like any other sinner. Like a moth flying into a flame, the ECUSA simply simply cannot help itselt from self destructing. But hey, don’t take my word for it, look at the numbers – they have lost a third of their congregation nationwide since the high water mark of the late 60s/early 70s.

  • TMUhlmann

    I’m continually amazed at the ill will wished upon the Church by its own members. While it is difficult in any conversation of this matter to not be stirred by emotions in one regard or another, I often finding myself wishing more people could have read Martin Luther on the 8th Commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” He writes in answer to the question “What does this mean?” that “We should fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, nor betray, slander, or defame them; but defend them, speak well of them, and interpret their actions in the kindest manner.”

  • Father Ron Smith

    ‘The issue is whether the ECUSA recognizes these lifestyles as sinful, and if so, urge them to repent like any other sinner’ – Veritas -

    This comment is hardly worthy of debate – when one considers that Lambeth 110 urged the Communion to ‘respect’ gay and lesbian persons as fellow children of God and members of the Church through our common Baptism into Christ. The real issue is whether or not they may be ordained into the ministry of the Church. I believe, that as fellow children of God, there should be no further discrimination against them. If God calls them into minstry, who are we to deny that call?
    Thank God for TEC’s prophetic ministry!

  • Veritas

    In response to Father Smith

    We agree, gays and lesbian persons are fellow children of God and as such they are welcome in the Anglican Communion, but then so is everyone else that engages in sinful behavior. Look, we all struggle with sin, but the first step in obtaining absolution is to recognize the fact that our behavior is sinful and that it violates the will of God. We have to do that before we can demonstrate penitence. This is where Bishop Jon Bruno and the ECUSA differ with a vast majority of the Anglican Communion and quite frankly, the bible. They simply don’t recognize gay and lesbian behavior as being sinful. Sorry Father Smith, nice try, but no go – my original argument stands.

  • Peter of Westminster

    Well, Veritas, the earth is not flat, though the Bible assumes it is, nor do we put our daughters to death anymore for looking a man directly in the eyes. Christianity forbade the loaning of money at interest and divorce, but that’s OK these days. Things change. Very few in my generation believe being LGBT is evil or sinful. The science just doesn’t support the Biblical claim, just as it once didn’t support the similar claim the the sun went around the earth. You’re on the wrong side of history, Veritas — your argument is lost already.

  • TMUhlmann

    I would add these comments, and if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a Lutheran. With an M.Div. after my name.
    Theologically, sin is both an act, and a condition. I personally find the condition part more meaningful; and I think Luther did as well, though he was troubled by many “sins”, plural. But the condition of life is such that our choices may be between the least evil of two sins. In this regard he counsels, “Honor God, and sin boldly.” Or similar. I say this by way of a gospel word here: Pious people aren’t dumped by God over boxes they do, or do not check off on their articles of faith list.
    Biblically: The many verses refering to “homosexuality” (a modern concept, by the way) have been discussed ad nauseum. I do not believe that one’s opinion of the matter is influenced as much by faith in God as it is by history and tradition in society. I say this by way of observation that a rapidly increasing number of faithful Christians are changing their mind about the matter, and not without soul searching and prayer. If this is incorrect, maybe I should stop wearing blended fabrics, and eating crab enchiladas.
    Historically, I try to warn people about the Southern Baptist error: Don’t try to get onboard the freedom train 150 years after it left the station. It doesn’t make the church look good. Just like the Rev. Wiley Drake in Orange county praying for the death of the President doesn’t make the church look good.

  • Edward

    Hey, “vertias”…I am normal, I bleed, I love and I have hopes and dreams just like you do. You might love a woman, I love a man. Nature put me here, probably, if I were to give it much thought, to help compensate for the aggressiveness of straight males in general and help create a balance on this planet. Right now you are being particularly aggressive in what you wrote in your comment. You may staunchly think that my “behavior” is sin and that it violates the will of God…but that’s YOUR God. You think that references in a 2000 year old book trump nature. We know now that there are different sexualities. We didn’t know that back in the days of the bible. If people can’t understand people who are different now, why would they understand them back then? But let’s give the good book a break for a moment. After all, a few references in “Leviticus”, don’t amount to much. As a gay man, I know that Peter of Westminster is right, the world is not flat, and I am not a sinner. In fact, I don’t think you are qualified to judge me or lecture me in the least. Nature gave me my life, not you. I answer to my god – not yours – and in the end, we will see who it was who acted like the better human being. You, the man who doesn’t agree with giving people equal rights? Or me – the man who is fighting for them.

  • Raymond Decelles Smith, MDiv, PhD

    I wish to associate myself with the comments made by Bishop Bruno and TMUhlmann. I would add that no further commentary is necessary beyond the fact that to those who understand, no further explanation is necessary, and to those who are right wing zealots, no explanation will ever suffice.

  • AMPisAnglican

    #6 Father Ron Smith
    Did you actually read the entire Lambeth Resolution 1.10, or only those parts that you agree with your agenda. I would like to point out to you part e. of the resolution. It reads:
    “e.cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions”
    Therefore any Province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion that “blesses” homosexual unions or “ordains” people who are in homosexual relationships is in direct violation of the resolution.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I do so agree with Bishop Bruno and all pro-GLBT supporters. I cannot add to the already overabundant positive statements here but suffice it to say that all GLBT people would be welcome in my church and I would support all persons who wish to become ordained ministers in my church.
    Dakotahgeo M. Div. Pastor/Chaplain