Episcopal bishop plans to turn Catholic

Sept. 25, 2007 at 5:19 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- As bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States struggled to prevent schism Tuesday, one of their number defected to the Roman Catholic church.

Jeffrey Steenson, bishop of Rio Grande, Texas, said that remaining in the Anglican communion might take him “to a place apart from Scripture and tradition,” The Times of London reported.

Episcopal bishops have been meeting in New Orleans to discuss the church’s position on homosexuality. The consecration in 2003 of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest in a committed relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire brought the issue to a head.

The Telegraph reported that conservatives are working on plans that would allow dioceses in the United States that disagree with the Episcopal church on homosexuality to affiliate with an African diocese that shares their views. Bishop Bob Duncan, who heads the Pittsburgh diocese, told the newspaper he expects at least five dioceses to take the step.

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