Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Local believers discuss church split


[The Bakersfield Californian] 11 Dec 2007--As the dust began to settle after the San Joaquin Episcopal Diocese's vote Saturday to become Anglican, local believers Monday opened up about the diocese's split from the U.S. Episcopal Church.

Many in favor said the choice to secede wasn't about the highly profiled debates about women and gay clergy or same-sex unions, but about fundamental beliefs that strike at the heart of the Christian faith.

"The actions at our Diocesan Convention and in the resolutions that removed us from the Episcopal Church, not one word, not one statement regarding human sexuality was included in that," said the Rev. John Riebe, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, which he said would most likely be changing its name to All Saints Anglican Church.

"This is not a separation because of gay rights and it is not a separation because of the role of women in the church," he said, alluding to recent liberal-conservative rifts which were brought to a boil when the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop four years ago.

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