Hoping to stave off schism within the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church has agreed to “exercise restraint” before electing any more openly gay bishops. The 11th-hour resolution at the triennial Episcopal General Convention last month in Columbus, Ohio, urged Episcopal leaders to refrain from electing bishops whose “manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.”
The statement was a last-ditch attempt to appease anger at home and abroad since 2003 when the Episcopalians confirmed the election of an openly gay priest, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire.
But the measure falls short of the “moratorium” that was requested by overseas Anglican leaders after Robinson’s election. Coming on June 22 at the tail end of a wrenching nine-day convention, the resolution pleased almost no one in this deeply divided church, and at least some bishops promised to ignore it.