Gay priest loses bid to become Newark bishop comment (0)
October 5, 2006
NEWARK, N.J. — The Episcopal Diocese of Newark elected a Massachusetts priest as its 10th bishop Sept. 23, passing over a gay candidate whose election could have further roiled the global Anglican Communion. Mark Beckwith of Worcester, Mass., was elected on the third ballot, beating out five other candidates.
Michael Barlowe, an openly gay San Francisco cleric, finished fifth on all three ballots. Barlowe, who works as an officer for congregational development and enrichment for the Diocese of California, said in a statement that the Newark Diocese had found a “great bishop” in Beckwith. Still, he said, “God is calling lesbian and gay persons to be bishops, priests, deacons and lay ministers in the church, and we must never deny God’s call.”
Observers and church officials said his election could have widened the schism between the 77 million-member, 164-country Anglican Communion and the 2.3 million people in the American church. The two have been at odds since the 2003 confirmation of the Episcopal Church USA’s first gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.