Traditionalist Episcopal Bishop Resigns
Bishop William Wantland of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, recently announced his resignation, citing a new church policy on women's ordination [allowing women to be ordained in all dioceses of the Episcopal Church] as one of the reasons behind his decision. Wantland, 63, was one of the 10 bishops who filed charges in 1995 against the Rt. Rev. Walter Righter, former bishop of Iowa, for ordaining a noncelibate gay man as a deacon. He also is one of four bishops nationwide who refuses to ordain women as priests. "I would rather resign as bishop than put the Diocese of Eau Claire in an awkward position of having to resist the canons of the church," he said.
Wantland was elected bishop of Eau Claire in 1980, after serving as a parish priest in Oklahoma City. He called for the election of a new bishop at the next convention in October 1998. He will stay in office until the new bishop is consecrated in early 1999.