County reacts to NH gay bishop debate

(08/04/03) YONKERS - The debate over scripture and sexuality is taking center stage this week for many Westchester Episcopalians. New Hampshire is awaiting a decision that could authorize the ordination of the denomination's first openly gay bishop.

Reverend Gene Robinson is still waiting for the verdict on whether he will become Bishop of a New Hampshire Diocese. Episcopalian leaders delayed a vote Monday after allegations that Robinson inappropriately touched a man and posted a pornography link on a youth Web site emerged.

Meanwhile, the issue has received mixed reaction from church leaders. Reverend S. Burtner Ulrich, of St. John's Church in Yonkers, says he doesn't think conservatives will leave his congregation should Robinson be ordained as bishop. He says some people are wrestling with it, but they are wrestling with it in a way so that they can grow.

Clergy members at St. John's say they are hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon.

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