Another conservative diocese of the Episcopal Church has voted to split with the denomination.
The Diocese of Quincy, Ill., voted overwhelmingly Saturday to follow the dioceses based in Fresno, Calif., and Pittsburgh, Penn. in leaving the liberal Episcopal body. The Illinois diocese has 24 churches and around 1,800 members.
"This decision was not made lightly," said the Rev. John Spencer, a diocesan spokesman. "We have talked and prayed about this for a very long time."
The head of the U.S. denomination Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, quickly responded.
"We lament the departure" in Quincy, she said in a statement Saturday.
The three dioceses have joined the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which is based in Argentina. They hope this conservative membership will allow them to stay in the world Anglican Communion.
Will More Dioceses Follow?
Next weekend, the members of the Diocese of Fort Worth will also vote whether to leave the Episcopal Church.
The ordination of the first openly homosexual, Bishop Gene Robinson, four years ago triggered the split. But the leaders of the breakaway movement say the issues dividing the denomination are much deeper.
They claim the Episcopal Church has abandoned biblical Christianity.
Source: The Associated Press