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The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has elected a Yale-educated former agnostic and one-time horse wrangler as its next bishop, choosing a theological conservative known for building relationships with those on the other side of divisive theological issues.
Bishop-elect Dorsey M.W. McConnell, 58, rector of a parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass., said he was overjoyed, and spoke of reconciliation in a diocese wounded from a bitter split in 2008.
"Pittsburgh is the city of bridges and the gospel is about the bridge that God has made to us in Christ," he said. "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. I look forward to finding out how God is going to use us in the midst of that."
Pittsburgh is the first of four split dioceses to elect a new bishop. Bishop Kenneth Price Jr. has served as an interim. The 11-county diocese has nearly 9,000 members in 33 parishes.
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