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Less than a week after the leader of the Anglican Church in London announced plans to expel the U.S. Episcopal Church over its support for an openly gay bishop, the diocese of Newark, N.J., named openly gay canon Michael Barlowe as one of four candidates for a bishop post. The move also comes about a week after the Episcopal Church agreed to "exercise restraint" in consecrating gay bishops after a furious row sparked by the 2003 appointment of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.
According to a report from the BBC, the traditionalist majority within the Anglican Church has been calling for stricter measures against the ordination of gay bishops. BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said Canon Barlowe's nomination could barely have come at a more sensitive moment.
The committee that selected Barlowe acknowledged that the convention's resolution presented a challenge but said it avoided eliminating any suitable candidates because of their sexual orientation. An election will take place in September. (The Advocate)