Bishop Frank T. Griswold III of Chicago was selected Monday as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and promised to be a leader for all members as he takes the divided church into the next century.
"My heart must be open to absolutely everyone," said Bishop Griswold, 59, considered a moderate and known for encouraging dialogue between conservatives and liberals.
Bishop Griswold, who will begin a nine-year term in January, promised to practice the type of political diversity Jesus Christ demonstrated when he chose his closest disciples, Matthew, who collaborated with the Roman government, and Simon, who opposed the Romans.
"The truth is larger than any one perspective," the bishop said, urging the 2.5 million-member church to pursue the truth together as it grapples over whether to allow the ordination and marriage of homosexuals.
He will succeed Bishop Edmond Browning, who concludes his 12-year-term after the 10-day general convention in Philadelphia.
In close votes Saturday, a proposal to bless same-sex marriages narrowly failed. Resolutions calling for formal approval of ordaining sexually active homosexuals still were to be considered.