The head of the global Anglican Communion has warned Episcopal bishops to think twice before they confirm Saturday's election of an openly lesbian bishop in Los Angeles, Calif.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says the choice of the Rev. Mary Glasspool, 55, "raises very serious questions" about the American church's place in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
"The process of selection, however, is only part complete," Williams said. "The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications."
He reminded church leaders they had agreed there should be a "period of gracious respect" on such controversial decisions, the London Telegraph reported.
Should her election be confirmed, Glasspool would be the second openly gay bishop in the global Anglican fellowship. The first was Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire who was consecrated in 2003.
There are currently 77 million Anglicans world wide.