Homosexual bishops? Episcopal Church in deep contemplation

New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, pleaded with the church General Convention not to enact a ban.

If Episcopalians "see Christ in the faithful lives of our gay and lesbian members," they should have the courage to say so, no matter the potential consequences, he said.

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, head of a network of conservative Episcopal dioceses that opposed Robinson's consecration, told delegates the progressive and conservative wings of the church should acknowledge their differences and part, the AP reports.

That document sought ways to keep the global Anglican Communion together and asked Episcopalians for a moratorium on electing more gay bishops and repentance for the turmoil over Robinson's 2003 consecration. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. arm of the communion.

However, the main proposal before the convention does not include a moratorium. Instead, it asks dioceses to "exercise very considerable caution" in electing leaders. Delegates can revise or reject the legislation.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the second-highest ranking cleric in the Church of England, is attending the convention and said he did not think the proposals went far enough.