Lesbian priest may be named Chicago bishop

Chrys Hudson | September 04, 2007

Rev. Tracey Lind
CHICAGO — The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago surprised many last week when it named an openly lesbian priest – Rev. Tracey Lind – among five candidates to replace outgoing Chicago Bishop William Persell.

The announcement is sure to raise eyebrows within the 77 million-member Anglican Communion, which recently called on its U.S. branch – the Episcopal Church – to refrain from consecrating openly gay bishops, and already has drawn the ire of conservative Episcopalians.

"Chicago's action is simply flying in the face of the desire of the Anglican Communion," Springfield Bishop Peter Beckwith told the Chicago Tribune. "It's a slap in the face."

Similarly, Bishop James Stanton of Dallas told the Chicago Sun-Times, "It's an action that says Chicago really doesn't care what the rest of the Anglican Communion says.�

Rev. Kendall Harmon, a conservative theologian from South Carolina, added that the nomination �represents a steely determination on the part of the Episcopal Church leadership to pursue its new theology no matter what. It's injecting more difficult dynamics in an already deeply frayed family fracas and that's a shame," he told the Chicago Tribune.

Lind herself seemed unaffected by the swirling commentary when she made a statement about the nomination last week.

"Since the day last winter when I was asked to make myself available to this nominating process, my discernment prayer has been that God would continue to lead me to serve God's new creation in the church," she said. "I believe that accepting this nomination is what God is asking of me, and I will strive to respond to that call faithfully and with grace."

Should Lind win the election, she would be the second Episcopal bishop living with a same-sex partner (New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2003). – Issued by Gay Link Content

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