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04/19/2007


Gay Bishop Gene Robinson's Message is 'Love Free or Die': VIDEOS

Robinson

Check out these extremely moving clips from Love Free or Die, the new documentary about gay New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson which is premiering this week at Sundance.

LovefreeordieIn one clip, he gives a sermon to fellow clergy and volunteers on Gay Pride day before handing out water to marchers in the parade.

Says Robinson in the clip: "...it is a very holy thing that you do when you offer that cup of water. You are representing the community of Christians, and Jews, and Muslims who are 95% the source of all the oppression we LGBT people have experienced in our lives. And so when you offer a cup of water bearing the name of Christ as it says in our gospel today, you are the oppressor offering a cup of water to the oppressed. They get it. They get the act of compassion. My question is, do you get it? Do you realize the important thing that you do by giving a cup of water to those people out there who have been hurt by us, and continue to be hurt by us?"

In another clip, an incident (which I covered here in 2008) in which Robinson is heckled because he is gay by a man at an alternative service Robinson was giving at the Anglican Lambeth conference, is captured on film.

Very, very powerful stuff.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Bishop Gene Robinson's Message is 'Love Free or Die': VIDEOS" »


Bishop Walter Righter, Who Opened Doors to Gay Ordination in Episcopal Church, Dies at 87

Episcopal Bishop Walter Righter, who opened the door to gay ordination in the Church, died on Sunday at 87 after a long illness.

Righter The Post-Gazette reports:

"Raised and ordained a priest in Pittsburgh, he had retired as bishop of Iowa and was assisting in the Newark diocese when he ordained the deacon in 1990. Conservatives in the Episcopal Church charged him with heresy, but the church's highest court ruled in 1996 that gay ordination did not violate core doctrines of the church. The decision eventually led to a split in the Episcopal Church. He returned to this region about eight years ago, and lived in Export with his wife, Nancy."

Adds the Washington Post:

Bishop Righter was bishop of Iowa from 1972 to 1988, during which time he ordained the first female deacon in Iowa. From 1989 to 1991, he served as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Newark, N.J.

In 1990, Bishop Righter ordained Barry Lee Stopfel, a non-celibate gay man, as a deacon. Ten bishops brought charges against Bishop Righter, alleging that he violated the doctrine of the church and his ordination vows by ordaining Stopfel.

Then came the verdict described above by the Post-Gazette.

The WaPo adds:

A member of the court, Bishop Cabell Tennis, told the New York Times that the verdict offered neither an opinion “on the morality of same-gender relationships” nor guidance on whether a bishop “should or should not” ordain sexually active gays and lesbians.

When asked after the trial to speculate on the future of homosexuality in the church, Bishop Righter told the Times, “I think we’re making too much out of the bedroom.”

Righter is survived by his wife Nancy, a brother, four children and four grandchildren.


Former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey Rejected in Initial Bid for Priesthood 'for Being a Jackass'

Former NJ Governor Jim "I am a gay American" McGreevey has had his initial bid for the priesthood rejected by church leaders, the NY Post reports:

Mcgreevey Church leaders, who have long embraced gay parishioners and clergy, were bothered by McGreevey's bitter divorce, sources told The Post.

"It was not being gay but for being a jackass -- [McGreevey] didn't come out of the whole divorce looking good," said a source with the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

Some leaders also were wary of McGreevey's sudden embrace of their faith after his scandal and feared the church was being used, the source added.

After resigning as governor, "he was sort of looking for every angle to make a complete redo of his professional life," said another church source. "He ran to the church for some kind of cover, which isn't fully appropriate. Even if he's a good guy, he should wait five to 10 years to get over his issues."

McGreevey was apparently told that he needs to go back to the books and study harder or do more charitable work.

It was first reported that McGreevey was looking into the priesthood in May 2007.

*Note: image is Photoshop illustration.


High-Ranking Lesbian Episcopal Priests Marry in Massachusetts

Priests
(image jo nevinslong - patriot ledger)

On New Year's Day, some history was being made in Massachusetts, the Patriot Ledger reports:

In a wedding that appears to be the first of its kind in the U.S. – at least in the Episcopal Church – former Plymouth priest the Rev. Mally Lloyd married the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, dean and president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, on New Year’s Day. The Rev. Lloyd, a former pastor at Christ Church in Plymouth, is now a ranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

The Rev. Lloyd and the Rev. Ragsdale were married in a ceremony at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, with about 400 guests attending. Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, the state’s highest ranking Episcopal official, presided.

So far there has been no response from the conservative portion of the Anglican church.

A press release from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge said the two women were introduced by a mutual friend in the summer of 2008.

That was a few months before the Rev. Lloyd was appointed canon to the ordinary – the diocese’s chief operating officer – and about a year before the Rev. Ragsdale became the divinity school’s dean and president.

During their New Year’s Day ceremony, Bishop Shaw said: “God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other. It’s a profound pleasure for me to celebrate with God and my friends Katherine and Mally their marriage today.”

Congrats to the couple.

Marriage of 2 lesbian Episcopal priests adds new twist to gay issues [patriot ledger]


Gene Robinson: Anglican Archbishop is Alien to Me

Rowanwilliams

Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson criticised Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams (above) for failing to take a stronger position on the rift over women and gays that is driving the Anglican church apart.

"I pray for him every day. I have clergy friends who literally studied at  Archbishop Williams'  feet and who have said to me it is almost as if aliens have come and taken Rowan away from us. They have left something that looks like him but we don't recognise him any more. I'm not at all sure that his attempts to hold us together as a communion at all costs is the kind of leadership that this time calls for."


Bishop Gene Robinson To Retire In 2013

  Gr
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, announced today to New Hampshire's diocesan convention that he will retire at the end of 2013. It appears as if the decision was made primarily due to the negative attention he has received from all over the world since his historical election in 2003. The reason for the lengthy time period, he explains, is to allow for what he refers to as "a smooth and unhurried process of transition, for the diocese and for (himself)." 

The New York Times reports on the unexpected news:

The news took some by surprise because Bishop Robinson is an energetic 63-year-old, and mandatory retirement age for Episcopal bishops is 72. He has led a relatively stable and healthy diocese, despite predictions by some that his election would undermine the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire.

The reason to depart, he said in a speech delivered at the close of the annual convention of his diocese, is that being at the center of an international uproar has taken a toll on him and on the diocese.

“Death threats, and the now worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop, have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark” and on Episcopalians in the state, he said.

But those who know Bishop Robinson say he has no intention of retiring from public life. His status as a symbol in the international gay rights movement means that after he steps down, he will have no shortage of platforms from which to preach his message that God blesses gay relationships too. (Through a spokesman, he declined interview requests.)

Read the Bishop's full speech to the diocesan convention, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Bishop Gene Robinson To Retire In 2013" »


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