The American Episcopal Church this week selected its first female presiding bishop, further straining relations with conservatives angry over the church’s approval of a gay bishop in 2003. The Episcopalians picked as their leader Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, 52, of Nevada, a progressive known for her support of gay marriage. The choice could aggravate a split between the church’s liberal and conservative wings. “This election reveals the continuing insensitivity and disregard of the Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, a prominent conservative. Schori vowed “to bend over backwards to build good relations with those who don’t agree with me.” She was ordained only 12 years ago, after a career as an oceanographer.
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