- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - The bishop who heads the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania will be pulling double duty for three years, until a diocese covering the state’s northeastern counties can find a permanent replacement.

The Right Rev. Sean Rowe has been bishop of the Erie-based diocese since 2007, leading 33 congregations in 13 northwestern Pennsylvania counties.

But Rowe was elected to head the Bethlehem diocese, which has 68 congregations in 14 northeastern counties, on Saturday.

The Bethlehem diocese is searching for a new bishop, but Rowe will serve as provisional bishop for up to three years while that occurs.

Church officials say Rowe will begin his new duties immediately, and by August will be splitting his time equally between the two dioceses.

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