Bishop Walter C. Righter, 87, Dies; Faced Heresy Trial

Bishop RighterBy Paul Vitello, New York Times

Walter C. Righter, an Episcopal bishop who in 1996 was brought to trial and absolved of a charge of heresy for having ordained an actively gay man as a deacon, died on Sept. 11 at his home outside Pittsburgh. He was 87.

The cause was chronic lung disease, his wife, Nancy, said.
Bishop Righter’s trial was a major public skirmish in a battle over homosexuality that has roiled the Episcopal Church for decades and continues to be a source of conflict, both internally and between the church and its worldwide parent body, the Anglican Communion.
The heresy charge was brought against Bishop Righter by a group of conservative bishops alarmed that increasing numbers of gay men and lesbians were receiving ordination, despite a resolution adopted by church leaders in 1979 declaring it “not appropriate for this church to ordain a practicing homosexual.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.