Right Reverend Robert O'Neill Bishop of Colorado
Partnered gay priest to be ordained in Colorado
From the Denver Post
Ending several years of restraint by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado in ordaining openly gay and partnered priests, Bishop Robert O'Neill will ordain Mary Catherine Volland, along with three others, to the priesthood at St. John's Cathedral on Saturday.
Volland, a longtime resident of Colorado and partnered lesbian, was a
candidate for ordination in the Diocese of Minnesota, but has been called to
serve as an assistant priest at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Denver, said
Beckett Stokes, spokeswoman for the 30,000-member Colorado Diocese.
Despite nationwide controversy that has splintered Episcopalians, the
church does ordain gay and lesbian priests. The bishop has the option of
deploying them to Colorado congregations when it makes sense, Stokes said.
Several Colorado congregations are served by gay priests.
O'Neill, who previously had suspended gay ordination out of sensitivity
for church factions strongly opposed to it, is choosing to decide these matters
on "a case-by-case basis," Stokes said.
It will, of course, be one more twig on the fire, reinforcing the anatagonism of those already opposed to gay people being treated as fully members of the church. So be it.
As the North American schism takes legal shape (and as most seem to be unable to take the church properties with them) so the tears in the communion grow wider. It'll all be done this year, according to the Church Times, but I wonder. The whole thing has been such a long, slow ripping apart that it's almost impossible to say the schism happened on this day and everything was different after it. My prediction is that, during this year, the divide will grow wider - and after that there will still be a lot more schisming to do.
The Covenant may force the issue. I anticipate the next draft will be published around the Primates' Meeting next month (and, incidentally, General Synod will get a chance to debate the version before last). As the Covenant was seen as a means of expelling TEC now it may well come to be a test of faith that could keep the GAFCONites out. That is, having lost the war the conservatives find their weapon turned against them - it is a remarkably common phenomenon of theological warfare that the aggressors find themselves looking at the wrong end of weapons they themselves chose.
If so, it could make implementing the Covenant more likely: if some Provinces depart the communion citing the ineffectiveness of the Covenant as reason (or, more likely, as the final reason) then the momentum of the Covenant could be such that those who remain must sign.
I wonder who will attend the Primates' Meeting. If they all go it will tell the outside world nothing. If certain Primates absent themselves it will embody the division.