US bishops line up to preside

02 November 2006

SEVEN BISHOPS are now on the list of candidates to be Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA). The election is to take place on 18 June at the General Convention in Ohio. All were invited to address the House of Bishops meeting in Kanuga last week.

Four bishops were selected by the nominating committee: the Rt Revd J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta; the Rt Revd Edwin F. Gulick Jr, Bishop of Kentucky; the Rt Revd Katherine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada; and the Rt Revd Henry Parsley Jr, Bishop of Alabama.

The publication of these four names drew immediate criticism from the American Anglican Council (AAC) that no candidate "representative of orthodox Anglicanism" had been included. Three of the four had voted in favour of Bishop Robinson's consecration.

The Rt Revd Stacy Sauls, Bishop of Lexington, then put himself forward as "a person who believes the actions taken in 2003 were the right thing to do, but at the same time respects those who disagree, and has worked very hard to listen and find a way forward". He was followed by two more candidates: the Rt Revd Charles Edward Jenkins III, Bishop of Louisiana, and the Rt Revd Francisco Duque-Gomez, Bishop of Colombia.

Two of the seven, Bishop Alexander and Bishop Jenkins, were part of the delegation that presented ECUSA's response to the Windsor report at the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Nottingham last year. Bishop Alexander had consented to the consecration, and remained convinced that "honest, holy, and thoughtful conversation" across the Communion would lead to consensus.

Bishop Jenkins was the best-received speaker of the delegation. He did not consent to the consecration, and declared that ECUSA had made a wrong move.

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