67 Bishops to Sponsor Ordination Legislation

Episcopal News Service. June 22, 1976 [76199]

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Sixty-seven bishops of the Episcopal Church announced June 15 they are joining together to co-sponsor legislation at the September 11-23, 1976, meeting of the General Convention which, if passed, would permit the ordination of women to the priesthood. "These 67 when joined by 15 other non-sponsoring bishops who have also indicated they will vote for women's ordination appear to represent the majority of bishops who will attend the conclave," commented the Rt. Rev. John H. Burt, Bishop of Ohio, "and this would seem to assure passage of the measure in the House of Bishops."

Similar approving action by the House of clerical and lay Deputies would be required before Episcopal Church policy respecting women's ordination could be canonically changed. The full text of the bishops' statement follows:

"We, Bishops of the Episcopal Church on the U.S.A. whose names are here appended, are joining together at our forthcoming General Convention to offer the following proposed change in the Canon Law of our Church so as to permit the ordination of women to all three orders of the ministry -- bishops, priests and deacons:

'The provisions of these Canons for the admission of candidates and for the ordination to the orders of bishops, priests, and deacons shall be equally applicable to men and women.'

"We acknowledge that the House of Bishops, in which we shall introduce this proposal, is but one half of the General Convention. In no way do we wish to suggest by this announcement any intrusion by bishops upon the full freedom and responsibility of our brothers and sisters in the House of Deputies to shape their own legislation and reach their own conclusions in this matter. Certainly we anticipate and welcome further discussion on the matter in our own House before voting.

"At the same time, we believe that people throughout our Church and the public at large may wish to know that there is even now a sufficient majority of bishops in the Episcopal Church to assure passage in our House of legislation enabling women's ordination.

"We urge all members of the General Convention to give thoughtful consideration to the plea implicit in this announcement: that a majority of those authorized to perform the rites of ordination in the Episcopal Church wish to be given permission to confer Holy Orders in their respective dioceses on qualified candidates without discrimination as to sex."

Bishops Sponsoring the Proposed Revision of Title III, Canon 9 to Permit Women's Ordination:
  • Robert Appleyard, Pittsburgh
  • Morris Arnold (Suffragan), Massachusetts
  • Robert P. Atkinson, West Virginia
  • Scott Field Bailey (Coadjutor), West Texas
  • Lane W. Barton (retired), Eastern Oregon
  • Frederick H. Belden, Rhode Island
  • Charles Bennison, Western Michigan
  • Edmond C. Browning, Executive Council
  • John H. Burt, Ohio
  • George Cadigan (retired), Missouri
  • Otis Charles, Utah
  • Ned Cole, Central New York
  • John Craine, Indianapolis
  • William Creighton, Washington
  • Donald Davis, Erie
  • Francisco Reus-Froylan, Puerto Rico
  • William Gordon (resigned), Alaska
  • Duncan M. Gray, Jr., Mississippi
  • Lloyd E. Gressle, Bethlehem
  • Robert B. Hall, Virginia
  • Robert Kerr, Vermont
  • David K. Leighton, Maryland
  • William H. Marmion, Southwestern Virginia
  • George Masuda, North Dakota
  • Coleman McGehee, Michigan
  • Philip McNairy, Minnesota
  • Richard Millard (Suffragan), California
  • Wesley Frensdorff, Nevada
  • David E. Richards, Office of Pastoral Development
  • Ivol Ira Curtis (retired), Olympia
  • Benito Cabanban, Central Philippines
  • Edward G. Longid (retired), Northern Philippines
  • Richard B. Martin, Executive Council
  • Paul Moore, Jr., New York
  • C. Kilmer Myers, California
  • Lyman Ogilby, Pennsylvania
  • Quintin Primo (Suffragan), Chicago
  • Antonio Ramos, Costa Rica
  • George Rath, Newark
  • Harold B. Robinson, Western New York
  • David Rose, Southern Virginia
  • Bennett Sims, Atlanta
  • Philip A. Smith, New Hampshire
  • Robert Spears, Jr., Rochester
  • William B. Spofford, Eastern Oregon
  • Leland Stark (retired), Newark
  • George Taylor, (retired), Easton
  • Gray Temple, South Carolina
  • David Thornberry, Wyoming
  • Richard Trelease, Rio Grande
  • John T. Walker (Coadjutor), Washington
  • J. Stuart Wetmore (Suffragan), New York
  • Frederick B. Wolfe, Maine
  • Paul A. Kellogg (retired), Dominican Republic
  • J. Brooke Mosley (Asst.), Pennsylvania
  • Hunley Elebash, East Carolina
  • David Cochran, Alaska
  • John M. Burgess (retired), Massachusetts
  • William A. Jones, Jr., Missouri
  • William Davidson, Western Kansas
  • Wilburn Campbell (retired), West Virginia
  • William Clark, Delaware
  • Robert Rusack, Los Angeles
  • James Pong, Taiwan
  • John A. Baden (Suffragan), Virginia
  • John M. Krumm, Southern Ohio