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Reverend Dorsey McConnell ’75: A mending job for a man of the cloth.

Four years ago, a hotly contested vote laid bare the deep divisions between arch-conservatives and their opponents. Now, a new election held promise of healing.

It took six ballots. Finally, a winner: on April 21, the Reverend Dorsey McConnell ’75 was elected the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh—a diocese greatly diminished since a 2008 split, when a majority of clergy and lay people left the national church for the more conservative Anglican Church of North America.

former agnostic, polo groom, “ranch-hand and barfly,” and Yale Episcopal chaplain who says he spent years trying to ignore God’s call, McConnell was ordained in 1983 and currently serves a church outside Boston. The more theologically conservative of the two leading candidates for bishop, he helped found and lead a national conciliation effort within the Episcopal Church.

“Pittsburgh is the city of bridges, and the gospel is about the bridge that God has made to us in Christ,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “In the city of bridges, of all places, we ought to be able to heal the divisions not only in our church but within the city itself.”

Pittsburgh is also a city of tunnels. Presumably McConnell sees light at the end.


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