A Rising Tide
Soon after his installation on June 11, 1974, Allin was faced with his first and arguably most controversial task as Presiding Bishop. The movement to ordain women had been a rising tide in The Episcopal Church with members and clergy on both sides of the debate. The General Convention of 1973, which had elected Allin as Presiding Bishop had also voted against the ordination of women. The matter reached a flash point in July 1974 when three Bishops, Daniel Corrigan, Robert DeWitt, and Edward Welles announced plans to ordain several women, defying, in the view of Allin and others, the canon law of the Episcopal Church. Allin responded to the announcement by urging both the Bishops and the participating women to reconsider their proposed actions. He communicated urgently with them via telegram on July 23, but his attempts were unsuccessful, and the ordination of these women, known as the Philadelphia 11, took place on July 29, 1974.