South Carolina diocese votes to leave Episcopal Church over same-sex marriage

Details, from the Christian Post:

Despite the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church writing a pastoral letter to the members of the South Carolina diocese to stay, a majority of parishes voted to leave the denomination over its ordination of gay clergy and acceptance of same-sex unions.

The vote took place at a convention organized by the South Carolina diocese leadership at St. Philip’s Church in Charleston on Saturday, Reuters reported. It followed the U.S. Episcopal Church’s certification last month that South Carolina Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, who had criticized pro-gay positions of the denomination’s hierarchy, had abandoned the church’s doctrine, discipline and worship.

“This has never been about who is welcome or not welcome in our church,” Lawrence was quoted as saying at the convention, attended by about 200 people. “It’s about what we shall tell them when they come.”

It’s the fifth Episcopalian diocese in the country to leave the church’s national body, which is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Congregations in San Joaquin, Calif.; Quincy, Ill.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Pittsburgh, Pa., also left the church in recent years.

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