February 4, 2010
To All Clergy in the Diocese of Southern Virginia
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
I am writing to inform you that I have decided not to consent to the election of the Rev'd Mary Glasspool as suffragan bishop of Los Angeles.
This decision comes after much prayer and reflection and after considerable struggle with what I believe to be a most difficult situation.
Everything I know about Mary Glasspool assures me that she is an experienced, faithful priest with extensive diocesan experience and strong leadership skills.
I believe she would make a wonderful bishop and that she is an excellent match for the Diocese of Los Angeles. Her election there was logical and appropriate.
Nevertheless, it is clear to me that the ordination of an openly Gay woman to the episcopate will - at this time - have a serious negative impact on our relationship with the wider Anglican Communion, and that it may very well strain - to the breaking point - those bonds of affection which we have come to value with others, even with those who may agree with us.
This, in turn, would limit or damage our future ability to offer leadership to the wider church around matters of sexuality and social justice, as well as limit our participation in shared programs for mission.
Let me assure you that this decision has not been an easy one for me. I believe that Mary Glasspool is the "right" person for the Diocese of Los Angeles.
I am and will continue to be an advocate for the inclusion of Gays and Lesbians in the Church.
Yet, I also believe that timing does matter and that sometimes it is necessary to practice restraint for the sake of preserving and maintaining relationships.
At this time, there are precious relationships at stake in this decision, ones that go a long way in defining who we are as people of a common table.
During the next few months in particular, please keep the entire leadership of the Church in your prayers.
+ Herman Hollerith IV