‘Largely rural’ California Diocese Secedes From Episcopal Church


What the Los Angeles Times described as a "largely rural" diocese in Central California became the first to secede from the Episcopal Church. Delegates to the San Joaquin Diocese annual convention voted 173 to 22 Saturday (above) to withdraw from the U.S. church.

The San Joaquin Diocese runs from just below Sacramento south to Bakersfield, so it includes several metro areas, including Fresno. The region is agricultural and staunchly Republican in presidential voting.

The San Joaquin Diocese does not ordain women. The Bishop of the diocese contends that homosexuality is contrary to the Bible's teaching. These are two issues that led to the break with the U.S. church, which has a woman as Presiding Bishop and a gay bishop in New Hampshire. The diocese aligned itself with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America.