Religion: Wrist Slap for Wendt

After eleven women were ordained as the first female priests in the Episcopal church in a much disputed irregular service last summer, the church's House of Bishops declared the ordinations invalid. To the Rev. William Wendt, the ardently progressive rector of the Church of St. Stephen and the Incarnation in Washington, D.C., the bishops' ruling was an inescapable challenge. He permitted one of the women, Alison Cheek, to celebrate the Eucharist in his parish. Soon, 18 priests in the diocese brought charges of disobedience against Wendt, setting the stage for a rare ecclesiastical trial (TIME, May 12).

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