Religion: Episcopalian Backlash

During the past decade, the once conservative Episcopal Church has flowered into one of the most progressive of mainstream Protestant denominations in the U.S. But last week, at their 64th triennial convention in Louisville, the Episcopalians abruptly applied the brakes to innovation. The House of Bishops elected the Right Rev. John M. Allin, 52, of Mississippi—the most conservative of five candidates—as their new Presiding Bishop, the church's chief executive. Moreover, the lower clergy and laity who constitute the House of Deputies unexpectedly defeated a proposal to ordain women as priests.

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