Skip to comments.(Third) Episcopal flock leaves (San Diego) diocese over doctrine
Posted on 07/19/2006 12:45:38 PM PDT by sionnsar
San Diego Union Tribune, 7/19/2006
A Fallbrook church has become the third local Episcopal congregation to split from the San Diego diocese and the U.S. denomination in a widening dispute over theology, homosexuality and Anglican authority.
St. John's Church announced yesterday that it was aligning with the Anglican Province of Uganda, a more conservative branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
We are and have been an orthodox church ever since I've been there and we felt that the Episcopal Church was moving in a different direction, said Rick Crossley, a church leader.
The Rev. Donald Kroeger, the rector at St. John's, said the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, has become too liberal.
The church that I embraced and joined as an adult and actually fell in love with has, over the last 20 years, left me, Kroeger said. I don't think I changed at all, but the church seemed to be moving further and further away from biblical orthodoxy.
The most heated public issues involve homosexuality particularly the election three years ago of the denomination's first openly gay bishop in New Hampshire, along with the blessing of same-sex unions in some dioceses.
Crossley said the decision to leave was cemented by last month's General Convention in Ohio, where delegates refused to ban future ordinations of gay priests, a move that could have offered an olive branch to angry Anglicans elsewhere in the world. Instead, the convention voted to advise dioceses to exercise restraint when it comes to candidates whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.
The election of the denomination's first female presiding bishop was not a factor in the decision by St. John's, Crossley said, although he said he does not agree with Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's stands.
After the ordination of Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, several parishes across the nation began breaking away from their dioceses in protest. In San Diego, the secessions began in December, when the Rev. Keith Acker resigned as rector of Christ the King in Alpine and took most of his congregation with him. In late January, St. Anne's in Oceanside voted to leave but stay in its building.
In Fallbrook, about 85 percent to 90 percent voted for the realignment in a closed meeting Monday night, Crossley said.
San Diego Bishop James Mathes is on vacation, but a spokesman said Mathes sent a letter yesterday to clergy in the diocese expressing his dismay. Mathes also announced that Kroeger has been suspended as a priest in good standing in the diocese.
Mathes wrote that he went to see Kroeger on Monday and the priest denied reports that a secession vote was planned. Kroeger acknowledged yesterday that he misled the bishop.
I did not feel free to tell him anything so that he could interrupt the free ability of the members of this church to discuss and decide, he said.
And these clowns thought they could sell queer Bishops to the Christian world...see how well that is working??? They were warned.
Ping for later review
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