Ten Episcopal Church bishops who filed doctrinal charges against retired bishop Walter Righter will formally propose at the denomination's next general convention in July 1997 that all ordained clergy be required to abstain from extramarital sex.
In a May 15 ruling, an Episcopal Church court dismissed two charges against Righter, saying no canon law forbids the ordination of noncelibate homosexual clergy (CT, June 17, 1996, p. 57). On June 11, the bishops who accused Righter announced they would not appeal, but go the general convention route instead.
The ten bishops who originally brought charges against Righter for ordaining Barry Stopfel as a deacon, said they will take steps "to create a fellowship of Episcopal parishes and dioceses" to resist homosexual ordinations. The movement is led by James Stanton of Dallas, Jack Iker of Fort Worth, and John Howe of Orlando.
As with canons rejected in 1991 and 1994, the proposed canon says that all Episcopal clergy "are to abstain from sexual relations outside Holy Matrimony."1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more