Episcopal congregations that reject the leadership of their bishops for supporting gay clergy are being offered alternative oversight, under certain conditions.
After three days of closed-door talks near Navasota, Texas, the church's bishops agreed that such parishes could ask their bishops to approve visiting bishops.
If the local bishop refuses, the parish could appeal.
But a leader of conservative Episcopalians, the Reverend Kendall Harmon, calls the plan "dead on arrival." He says some of the Episcopal bishops who've formed a conservative network left the meeting in discouragement before the plan was approved.
The issue ignited last August when the denomination approved the openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. Robinson attended the Texas meeting this week.