Church Leaders Uphold SC Episcopal Bishop

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South Carolina's Episcopal bishop has not abandoned the denomination despite the ongoing disagreement over the ordination of gay clergy.

A national panel has cleared Bishop Mark Lawrence, one of three who voted to reject the authority of the national church's presiding bishop.

The vote came three years after the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop.

Still, Lawrence says the denomination threatens the unity of the Anglican Communion.

In a letter posted on the diocese's website late Tuesday, Lawrence wrote that he hopes those in the diocese can now get back to the work of proclaiming the gospel.

Lawrence wrote he has received support not only from those in the Episcopal Church but other various Christian denominations.

The 2 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide.

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