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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Episcopalians to exercise restraint

General Convention seeks reconciliation on consecrating gay bishops

The Episcopal Church General Convention voted to exercise restraint in consecrating gay bishops at its June 13-21 meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, was elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, effective November 2006. The first woman to head the church, the 52-year-old former oceanographer was ordained 12 years ago.

The action was in response to the 2004 Windsor Report, in which Anglican Communion leaders asked U.S. Episcopalians to halt consecrations of bishops in same-sex relationships and same-sex blessings “until some new consensus” in the Communion emerges. The issue was raised in 2003 with the Episcopal Church’s consecration of openly gay V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire (see sidebar at right).

The General Convention urged bishops and standing committees to not consent “to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” The church also expressed regret for straining ties with international Anglicans, committed to interdependence within the communion, and affirmed “effective and appropriate pastoral care for all members of this church.”

Earlier, the House of Deputies (laity and clergy), one of the convention’s two legislative bodies, rejected banning the consecration of gay bishops. Deputies approved the compromise resolution after last-minute pleas from Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori and outgoing Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.


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