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Pittsburgh Episcopal Bishop OKs Same-Sex Blessings

Tuesday Nov 26, 2013

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh's Episcopal bishop has decided to let local priests decide whether they will conduct blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Bishop Dorsey McConnell allows priests - but will not require them - to perform the services beginning in January. The Episcopal Church approved a rite for same-sex couples at its legislative General Convention last year that is subject to approval by local bishops.

Bishop McConnell doesn't plan to conduct the same-sex services himself, but says he made the decision to allow it to reflect the diversity of opinion on the matter within the diocese.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has 37 congregations with about 10,000 members. A majority of its parishes left the diocese in 2008 and sided with more conservative churches in the global Anglican Communion over the issue of gay clergy.

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