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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Former bishop who pushed for LGBTQ+ inclusion dies at 90
2021-09-19

This article shared 1375 times since Sun Sep 19, 2021
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Retired Newark Bishop John Shelby Spong—a best-selling author and cleric known for his progressive theology and his support of women and LGBTQ+ clergy in The Episcopal Church—has died at age 90, Episcopal News Service reported.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong. He died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning," St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia—where Spong had once been pastor—announced Sept. 12 to the congregation.

Spong made headlines as the bishop of the Diocese of Newark, where he served for more than two decades and in 1989 ordained the first openly gay male priest in the Episcopal Church. He would later go on to ordain about three dozen LBGTQ+ clergy in the diocese by the time he retired, Religion News Service reported in 2013.

Critics dismissed Spong's liberal views on theology, and saw him as preaching something different from Christianity. However, he and other like-minded individuals felt the Christian faith needed to adapt to a changing world in order to have a viable future.

Spong is survived by his wife, Christine, and three daughters.


This article shared 1375 times since Sun Sep 19, 2021
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