A woman is elected to succeed world Anglicanism's first woman bishop

Posted: Friday, June 07, 2002

WENHAM, Mass. (AP) -- The Rev. Gayle Elizabeth Harris was elected suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts to succeed the retiring Barbara Harris, the pioneering first woman bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Gayle Harris (no relation to Barbara) is a rector in Rochester, N.Y., married to a fellow Episcopal rector, the Rev. Peter Peters. After approval from the nation's bishops and dioceses she will become the assistant to Bishop M. Thomas Shaw.

The 1988 election of Bishop Barbara Harris, now 71, caused a stir across Anglicanism. Besides gender, some U.S. opponents objected because she lacked a college degree and had studied theology through correspondence courses rather than earning a conventional seminary degree.

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