WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde became the Episcopal bishop of Washington Saturday at the National Cathedral, which reopened after being hit by an earthquake.
Public Radio station WAMU reported the cathedral was full for the ceremony, which made Budde the first woman installed as Washington's highest-ranking Episcopal bishop.
Budde, 51, brings a liberal outlook with her as she takes over a church operation that has half the staff and budget it had just three years ago, The Washington Post reported. The number of Episcopalians overall has fallen by more than 40 percent since the mid-1960s, the Post said. The decline doesn't faze Budde, who said she plans an aggressive agenda that will challenge people rather than be a caretaker.
"I want to build up the liberal church again so we can be a legitimate conversation partner in the public arena, because right now it's dominated by … what many would call the Christian right," Budde told the Post this week. "It's legitimate for them to be there, but they're drowning us out. They're better at organizing churches than we are."