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Gay man on the slate for Newark diocese

FOR Episcopalians who watch the diocese of Newark, New Jersey, whether as source of hope or of concern, the surprise may not have been that the dioceslast week nominated an openly gay man to become its tenth bishop, but that inominated only on
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When Gene Robinson was still Canon to the Ordinary for the diocese of NeHampshire, he made his first run for bishop in 1998 in the diocese of Newarkas six people vied to succeed the Rt Revd John Spong. Canon Robinson came in respectable thir
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This year Canon Michael Barlowe, who oversees congregational developmenfor the diocese of California, will feel the glare of media attention as thone gay nominee on Newark's slate. Canon Barlowe has lived with his partnerthe Revd Paul Burrows, for 24 years.
  Mr Burrows is the Rector of thChurch of the Advent in San Francisco.
 
The diocese considered twother gay or lesbian clergy, says the Revd Sandye Wilson, a member of thsearch-and-nominating committee and Rector of St Andrew and Holy CommunioChurch in South Orange.
 
Ms Wilson said that committee memberfelt that they were honouring the General Convention's will, because thConvention voted down a resolution, A161, that would have urged nominatincommittees to exercise "very considerable caution" regarding nominees "whosmanner of life presents a challenge to the wider Church
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The resolution that the Convention eventually approved dropped anreference to the work of nominating committees. "We felt that we were not beindisobedient," Ms Wilson said
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The committee nominated three white men (Mr Barlowe, the Revd Mark Beckwitof Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Revd William H. "Chip" Stokes of PalBeach, Florida), as well as the Very Revd Petero Sabune, a Ugandan who came tthe United States in 1969 and who was Dean of Trinity and St Philip's Cathedrain Newark from 1992 to 1998.
 
Two nominees have since been named bpetition: the Rt Revd Carol Joy Gallagher, who left an assistant bishop'position in Virginia and became Newark's assistant bishop last September; anthe Revd William A. Potter, Rector of St Luke's in Hope, New Jerse
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The American Anglican Council quickly condemned Mr Barlowe's nominationposting an open letter to the standing committee. "If it is the intent of thstanding committee to keep us in the Communion, then they must exercise theipower under the constitution and canons to send the nominees' names back to thselection committee with instructions to begin anew," it sai
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Nominees will tour the diocese in early September, and the electinconvention will convene on 23 September. The diocese expects to have its nebishop in office by 1 December.

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