…because we respect the dignity of every human being. These words were said by the Most Rev. Jon Bruno, the Bishop of Los Angeles, on May 15, the day Mary Glasspool and Jardine Bruce were ordained and consecrated bishops suffragan of the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles (some time ago we wrote about the election of Rev. M. Glasspool and quoted an interview with her). The service, themed Rejoice!, lasted three hours and gathered 3000 people, laity and clergy of the Episcopal Church and other denominations, who came to participate in the historical consecration of the first women and the first homosexual person living in a committed relationship. Below we posted a Polish summary of an extensive report that you can read at the Episcopal Life as well as our own commentary on the service’s character and symbols. You can watch a recording of the whole service at the website of the decease of Los Angeles. We attached here a short, three minute introduction video with a commentary by Bishop Jon Bruno.
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The character of this service, organized as a huge event with various artistic elements and held in a very „American” fashion, doesn’t apply to our European taste very much. Probably we would have had mixed feelings if we had been present there on May 15. This, however, is of secondary importance. Most important is to us what is expressed by the words we quote so often on our blog, this time said by the Bishop of Los Angeles, Jon Bruno: on the significance of the respect for the dignity of every human being and working for justice. They are the key to understand the essence of the message contained in this liturgy.
The variety manifested by many artistic elements referring to, for instance, the culture of the native American tribes, we understand as a call to discover the “face of Christ” in all the traditions; the Christ, as Nowosielski writes, “you can’t posses”. It doesn’t mean, as many conservative critiques write with bitterness, the “rejection of Christ’s uniqueness” and the “moderation of the Christian message”. For us and, as we trust, also for the people who took part in this consecration, this “uniqueness” manifests itself precisely in the fact that we can see His work in many cultures – and cults. Fr Jerzy Klinger wrote an article on the basis of the Gospel story of the healing of the paralytic, in which he saw a testimony that Christ himself enters and fulfills other traditions and, not distancing himself from them, reveals their importance. Perhaps we will come back to that text and write something more about it. To those who on various blogs and in official statements accuse today the participants of this consecration of religious syncretism, we would like to dedicate other words of Jerzy Nowosielski: that there is no such thing as “pure Christianity”. There is just a universal human longing that Christ “always meets halfway”.