The Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) became the first church in the Anglicanism’s 1,400-year history to elect a female as its leader. ECUSA bishops elected Katharine Jefferts Schori by a narrow 95-93 vote as the denomination’s 26th presiding bishop.
On Sunday, the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) became the first church in the Anglicanism’s 1,400-year history to elect a female as its leader.
ECUSA bishops elected Katharine Jefferts Schori by a narrow 95-93 vote as the denomination’s 26th presiding bishop during the church’s annual General Convention meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
Schori was the lone female among four candidates for the ECUSA’s highest office. The choice must still be approved by delegates at the convention, where the bishops’ vote is normally backed, according to the Episcopal News Service.
The choice of Schori is controversial since most other Anglican Churches around the world do not allow women to be bishops. However, the ECUSA has a recent history of departing from views held by contemporary conservatives as well as the majority of Christians throughout church history.
Three years ago, the ECUSA became the first Anglican denomination to ordain a practicing homosexual in ordaining Gene Robinson to the bishopric in New Hampshire. Thus, Schori’s election continues the denomination’s trajectory away from historic Christianity. Schori has gone on record in support of ordaining homosexuals.
The ECUSA, like most mainline churches, has been bleeding members in recent years, with studies showing scores fleeing the leftward-drifting denomination in favor conservative evangelical churches. A quarter of the remaining 2.3 million ECUSA parishioners are 65 or older, according to denominational statistics.
Some conservative sections within the church are threatening to break with the ECUSA over the ordination of women and homosexuals.
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