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Episcopal church
in Texas leaves local diocese over gays

Episcopal church
in Texas leaves local diocese over gays

A theologically conservative Plano, Texas, church will pay the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas $1.2 million as part of an arrangement governing its departure from the diocese. Christ Church, formerly Christ Church Episcopal, will pay the lump sum to the diocese and will continue paying down $6.8 million of debt on parish property, according to a report that appeared on The Dallas Morning News Web site. Dallas bishop James M. Stanton issued a statement Friday saying he had taken formal action to let the church leave the denomination and retain its property. "This arrangement secures their title and helps our diocese continue to pursue its mission over the next few years," Stanton said. Jill Kinsella, a spokeswoman for Christ Church, said Stanton had arranged for the church to be supervised temporarily by the bishop of Peru. Christ Church intends to remain connected with the worldwide Anglican Communion. Christ Church, located in suburban Plano, was one of the largest Episcopal parishes in the country and averaged about 2,200 worshippers each weekend. Stanton is among the leaders of seven Episcopal dioceses who have rejected the authority of the denomination's incoming national leader, Nevada bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in the debate over the Bible and the inclusion of gay people tears at the church. The move, prompted partly by Jefferts Schori's support for gay people in the church, falls just short of a complete break. In October, Dallas-area Episcopalians will meet to more fully consider their future in the denomination. Christ Church's exit was no surprise. The church's pastor, the Reverend David Roseberry, has been a vocal critic of the decision to consecrate a gay bishop. He turned in his credentials at the 2003 national convention after the decision, and the church hosted a conference of conservative Episcopalians later that year. (AP)

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