Episcopal candidates for Louisiana announced

The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana has announced a final list of six candidates who will stand for election as the 11th Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana on December 5, 2009, at Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans.

Bruce Nolan of the Times-Picayune writes:

The next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana will come from field of six candidates which includes an Australian priest, a former Roman Catholic priest and the bishop of North Dakota, the diocese announced today.

Diocesan officials introduced the six candidates on its Web site. One will succeed Bishop Charles Jenkins, who will retire at the end of the year.

The candidates were nominated by local clergy and lay people. All are married men with children and all are white.

The candidates are:

— The Rev. Kurt Dunkle, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, Fla., a former lawyer and a priest for five years. He trained at General Theological Seminary in New York;

— The Rev. Paul Elliott, rector of St. Michael and All Angels Church in Stone Mountain, Ga. A priest for 22 years, he trained at St. Francis Theological College in Brisbane, Australia;

— The Rev. Paul Johnson, rector of Christ Church in Glen Allen, Va. A priest for 18 years, he trained at Yale Divinity School;

— The Rev. Ken Ritter, rector of Trinity Church in Baton Rouge. A former Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, he has been an Episcopal priest for five years. He trained at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.

— Bishop Michael Smith, of the Diocese of North Dakota. A priest for 17 years, the last five as bishop, he trained at Seabury-Western Seminary in Evanston, Ill. For about a year he has traveled regularly between North Dakota and Louisiana, serving part-time as assisting bishop to Jenkins in the Louisiana diocese.

— The Very Rev. Morris Thompson, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Ky. A priest for 18 years, he trained at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. and Lexington Theological Seminary.

Read the Times-Picayune story here.

Pictures, bios, and other information about the candidates are on the diocesan web-site here.

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