Rev. Mally Lloyd (left) and Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale

Two senior female Episcopalian priests have married in church, a move which is sure to infuriate conservative Episcopalians and Anglicans around the world.

Rev. Mally Lloyd, from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and the Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge were married by Episcopal Bishop Tom Shaw on New Year’s Day.

The ceremony, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, was attended by around 400 guests.

The women’s marriage came a year after Bishop Shaw granted his clergy permission to solemnise marriages for all eligible couples.

“God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other. It’s a profound pleasure for me to celebrate with God and my friends Katherine and Mally their marriage today,” Shaw said in a statement.

The Episcopal Church’s canons and formularly still state that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, the church at its General Convention in July 2009 decided to allow that “bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”

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