Washington's Episcopal diocese elects new bishop who backed incumbent in dispute

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Episcopal priest who supported church authorities in a dispute with conservatives has been elected bishop of the church's 40,000-member Diocese of Washington, where the dispute took place.

Rev. John Bryson Chane of San Diego supported acting Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon's handling of the parish-level dispute. So did the four other candidates in the Jan. 25 election.

Dixon won a federal court ruling supporting her order forbidding Christ Church in Accokeek, Md., from hiring the Rev. Samuel Edwards, a conservative. Other U.S. bishops filed briefs both for and against Dixon in an appeal heard in Richmond, Va., last week.

Chane will replace Dixon in June. She has led the diocese temporarily since Bishop Ronald H. Haines retired at the end of 2000.

Chane, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego since 1996, also served in Southborough, Mass., Erie, Pa., and Montvale, N.J.

The diocese covers the city and four suburban counties.

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