Anglicans cut Episcopalians from ecumenical bodies
LONDON — The Anglican Communion has suspended U.S. Episcopalians from serving on ecumenical bodies because of the election of a lesbian as a bishop in California.
The Associated Press reported that the U.S. church opened a rift in the global communion, and within its own ranks, seven years ago by electing a gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire. Conservative African Anglicans have taken a lead in opposing moves in the United States and Canada to promote gays and to bless same-sex relationships.
Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, had called for a moratorium on appointing gays to leadership positions. He asked for action against the Episcopal Church after the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool was made an assistant bishop of Los Angeles.
The Anglican Communion is an association of 44 regional and national member churches, most founded by Church of England missionaries, with more than 80 million members in more than 160 countries.
According to the Associated Press, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, announced June 7 that Episcopalians had been downgraded from members to consultants in formal ecumenical dialogues, annual meetings between Anglicans and clergy in other churches intended to build friendship and better understand one another’s traditions and issues of mutual concern such as points of theology and ways of worshipping.
Kearon said he had also written to the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to ask whether it has formally adopted a policy backing same-sex blessings, the Associated Press reported.
The Episcopal News Service said the Rev. Katherine Grieb, an Episcopal priest and professor of New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, was downgraded from member to consultant to the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith & Order.
Those who were stripped of membership in ecumenical dialogues, according to ENS, were the Rev. Thomas Ferguson and Assistant Bishop William Gregg of North Carolina, both involved in the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue; Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart of Montana had been a member of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission; and the Rev. William Petersen, professor of ecclesiastical and ecumenical history of Bexley Hall in Columbus, Ohio, who was serving on the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.
Gay love exhibition opens in Warsaw museum
WARSAW, Poland — The director of Poland’s National Museum says an exhibition on gay and lesbian love is designed to provoke discussion on the place of homosexuals in this conservative and overwhelmingly Catholic country.
The head of the National Museum in Warsaw, Piotr Piotrowski, told the Associated Press in advance of the exhibition’s June 11 opening that the museum is already getting protests from various groups.
The exhibition runs through Sept. 5 and primarily features male nudes and same-sex couples depicted in ancient sculpture and contemporary painting and photography.
According to the Associated Press, Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski last year spoke in defense of the exhibition after an opposition lawmaker protested the project.
Thousands celebrate Berlin’s gay pride parade
BERLIN — Tens of thousands of gays, lesbians and other revelers marched and danced in downtown Berlin last weekend for the German capital’s annual gay pride celebration, which features a colorful parade through the heart of the city.
Under the motto “Normal is different,” an estimated 250,000 people lined the route for the Christopher Street Day parade June 19, as some 50 floats carrying dancers wove through the city streets, the Associated Press reported.
Christopher Street Day commemorates the start of the gay rights movement in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1969 and the parade generally draws large crowds in Berlin, which has a history as a gay metropolis going back as far as the 19th century.