Sunday, June 18, 2006

AP: Episcopal Shocker: "Most Liberal" of Candidates, and a Woman, Elected New Presiding Bishop

I was pulling for the local bishop here, who is wonderful, but this is good news--it will really make the rest of the Anglican world mad at us: "Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman elected to lead a church in the global Anglican Communion when she was picked Sunday to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. It was another groundbreaking and controversial move for a denomination that consecrated Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop just three years ago.

Standing before cheering delegates to Episcopal General Convention, Jefferts Schori said she was 'awed and honored and deeply privileged to be elected.' Outgoing Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold was at her side as she was introduced after closed-door balloting.

The choice of Jefferts Schori may worsen - and could even splinter - the already difficult relations between the American denomination and its fellow Anglicans. Episcopalians have been sparring with many in the other 37 Anglican provinces over homosexuality, but a female leader adds a new layer of complexity to the already troubled relationship.

Only two other Anglican provinces - New Zealand and Canada - have female bishops, although a handful of other provinces allow women to serve in the post.

Still, there are many Anglican leaders who believe women should not even be priests. Those opposed to female clergy often cite the unbroken tradition of male priesthood in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, and in the Anglican Communion until about 30 years ago.

At the General Convention where Jefferts Schori was elected, delegates have been debating whether to appease Anglican leaders by agreeing to temporarily stop ordaining gay bishops."


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