The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed the Rev. Dr. Jo Bailey Wells, currently director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School in North Carolina, as chaplain of Lambeth Palace. She has demonstrated that she supports the archbishop's opposition to non-celibate gay and lesbian priests and gay marriage. In a March 2010 story about the election of Mary Glasspool, a lesbian, as suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Wells offered the following to Daniel Burke of Religion News Service.
"The Episcopal Church, by its actions, is demonstrating that it no longer values its place under the historic headship of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and therefore the Anglican Communion."
The confirmation of a second openly gay bishop is even more significant than the first, Wells added, since the consequences-widespread dissent in the communion and persecution of Anglicans in countries where homosexuality is reviled-are clear.
A number of American liberal Episcopalians, gay and pro-gay, believe her appointment is inconsistent with his appointment of a Director of Reconciliation. "So much for reconciliation – another TEC hater," said one blogger.
I'm disappointed. I was hoping to be offered this job.
No. Seriously. It's true.
I think it's a good idea for a powerful person to appoint a sidekick who will certainly not agree with everything he believes and says and who is not impressed by fancy titles and a posh pedigree. I think it is a very bad idea for rulers to surround themselves with either yes-men or yes-women. I would have suited such an enlightened appointment perfectly.
Perhaps he thought I was too manipulative for the job.