This article courtesy of Integrity News Service:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - - - By refusing to discriminate based on sexual orientation, the Diocese of Newark, NJ has broken the ‘stained glass ceiling’ some thought was recently installed to prevent LGBT clergy from becoming bishops in the Episcopal Church, the head of the Bay Area’s LGBT Episcopal ministry said today. “By nominating an openly gay priest from San Francisco as one of four candidates to become their 10th Bishop, the Diocese of Newark has reaffirmed that our church does not discriminate against LGBT people,” Oasis President Rev. John Kirkley said.
Earlier today, Newark’s Standing Committee included the Very Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, Congregational Development Officer for the Diocese of California, among candidates selected by Newark’s Search/Nominating Committee. A North Carolina native, Cannon Barlow has been partnered for 23 years with the Rev. Paul Burrows.
Cannon Barlow’s nomination comes on the heels of a bitterly contested resolution passed by the national Episcopal Church’s General Convention urging diocesan committees to exercise “restraint” concerning election of LGBT clergy as bishop. Just yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury called for creation of a two-tiered Anglican Communion with national churches that welcome LGBT people holding a lesser place in that Communion.
“We commend the Diocese of Newark for refusing to cave in to pressure to discriminate against nominees for bishop based on sexual orientation,” Kirkley added. “Unlike our General Convention, the Diocese of Newark refuses to lie about the Holy Spirit’s presence in the ministries of gay and lesbian clergy. God can not and will not be restrained but continues to raise up leaders whose manner of life challenges the intolerance, bigotry, and fear now poisoning the Anglican Communion,” he added.
“Newark’s Nominating Committee has presented a slate of well qualified nominees, and I’m delighted that Michael Barlowe is among them,” he said. “As a priest on our diocesan staff and a nominee in our recent election of a new bishop, Michael is well-known and respected by the people of the Diocese of California. I admire his personal courage in being willing to offer his gifts to the wider church at this time, and want him to know that he is surrounded by our love and prayers.”