Episcopal Diocese of Colorado ends ‘period of restraint,’ ordains lesbian to priesthood

Posted on 12 Jan 2009 at 2:09pm
By Associated Press

DENVER — The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado is ending its so-called "period of restraint" on ordaining gay priests.

Bishop Robert O’Neill ordained Mary Catherine Volland to the priesthood during a ceremony at St. John’s Cathedral on Saturday, Jan. 10.

Volland, a longtime Colorado resident and partnered lesbian, had been a candidate for ordination in the Diocese of Minnesota. She will serve at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Denver.

The issue of gay priests has splintered the church nationwide. Beckett Stokes, spokeswoman for the 30,000 member Colorado diocese, said O’Neill had suspended gay ordination out of sensitivity for church factions strongly opposed to it. She says O’Neill is now deciding the matter on a case-by-case basis. Several Colorado congregations are served by gay priests.

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