U.S. Episcopal Church at odds with left

March 11, 2007 at 1:45 PM

WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, signed a statement last month that many are saying undermines gay rights.

The Washington Post Sunday reported on Jefferts Schori's decision to sign the international statement, which reportedly promises that the church will not consent to the election of any more gay bishops and will not authorize marriages of same-sex couples.

With this recent decision puzzling many of her left-wing allies, Jefferts Schori is now facing hostility from the more liberal wing of her denomination.

"The overwhelming response I'm hearing is, 'Wait a minute! We're not prepared to turn back the clock,'" said the Rev. Ruth Meyers of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

Jefferts Schori and her fellow authorities gave Episcopal bishops in the United States until Sept. 30 to make a collective promise that they will comply with the new rules.

The Episcopal Church has an estimated 77 million members worldwide.

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