The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas on Wednesday joined a growing rejection of the church's newly elected bishop because she supports same-sex relationships.
Bishop James M. Stanton, the head of Dallas' diocese and its 40,000 members, wrote a letter asking Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for a "direct pastoral relationship" from overseas instead of being under the American church and its new leader.
At the Episcopal General Convention last month, Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was chosen as the church's presiding bishop-elect. She supports ordaining gays and blessing same-sex relationships. She will be installed Nov. 4.
Dioceses in Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina and California have taken similar actions and called for Williams to assign another leader.
The Fort Worth diocese also has objected to a woman being elected head of the Episcopal Church. Some conservative Episcopalians don't believe women should be ordained priests.
Stanton said he will assemble a panel to consider his diocese's relationship with the denomination in order "to listen to the concerns of my people."
The Episcopal Church and its fellow Anglicans worldwide are struggling to prevent differences over the Bible and sexuality from escalating into a permanent break.