Congregation Leaves Episcopal Church In Protest
CONCORD, NH—After months of negotiations, members of the Church of the Redeemer in Rochester, NH, voted 36 to 3 to leave the diocese after openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson refused to disassociate himself from the congregation, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Congregation members, most of whom had opposed the consecration of Robinson, the church’s first openly gay bishop, opted to leave the church Wednesday night and start a new church outside of the auspices of the U.S. Episcopal Church. Some New Hampshire churchgoers have appealed to the head of the international Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury , to allow them to form an Anglican church not associated with the Episcopal Church.
Robinson, who had agreed to appoint a conservative bishop and priest to run the parish, but refused to disassociate himself completely from the church, told the Associated Press, “I’m heartbroken over this. I thought I was going with an offer they simply could not refuse.”