Last Episcopal diocese holdout ordains female

October 20, 2010

Women have been ordained as priests in all dioceses of the Episcopal
Church, now that the last holdout—Quincy, Illinois—has ordained its
first woman.

Margaret Lee, a grandmother of five and former
chemist, was ordained a priest October 16 in the Peoria-based Diocese
of Quincy, according to Episcopal News Service. She had been a deacon
since 1996.

A spokesperson for the Episcopal Church said all 110
dioceses in the 2.1-million-member church have now ordained at least
one female priest. The Episcopal Church voted to open the priesthood to
women in 1976.

Quincy, which has about 1,800 members in 24
parishes, was one of three dioceses that had refused to ordain women,
but its former bishop, a staunch conservative, retired in 2008.

The
other dioceses—San Joaquin, California, and Fort Worth, Texas—had also
refused to ordain women, but conservative parishes in those dioceses
and the bishops who led them have seceded from the Episcopal Church in
the past three years. Remaining Episco­palians in those dioceses have
since ordained women.  —RNS