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Nation IN BRIEF : DELAWARE : Ordaining Gay May Make Bishop Heretic

February 29, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A judicial body of the Episcopal Church began deliberations in Wilmington, Del., to determine if a retired bishop should be tried as a heretic for ordaining a gay man as a deacon. Retired Bishop Walter Righter, 72, faces a heresy trial in May if the court of nine bishops decides that gays cannot be ordained as deacons and priests under church law. Righter ordained the Rev. Barry Stopfel, who is gay, as deacon of the church in New Jersey in 1990. If Righter goes to trial and is found to be a heretic, he could face formal reprimand or be defrocked.

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