PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A conservative parish has left the Episcopal Church over its tolerance of same-sex unions and ordination of women and gays.
An overwhelming majority at St. John's Episcopal Church in suburban Huntingdon Valley agreed to switch into the Anglican Mission in America, said the Rev. Philip Lyman, rector at St. John's.
The mission, based in Pawleys Island, S.C., is an outreach under Rwanda's Episcopal church for U.S. conservatives.
The Episcopal Church officially opposes homosexuality but in practice brings no sanctions against those who ordain homosexual clergy or bless same-sex unions.
Lyman said Bishop Charles Bennison Jr. told St. John's in 1999 it should consider leaving the denomination ''because we didn't fit in any more.''
A spokeswoman said the bishop always hoped for reconciliation but now intends to maintain ownership of the property.
Meanwhile, five conservative bishops met at Episcopal headquarters with Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold on the denomination's conservative-liberal rift.
A Tuesday communique said one proposal was visiting ''flying bishops'' to serve conservative parishes in liberal dioceses, as suggested by the world's Anglican leaders at a March meeting in North Carolina.
On the Net:
Anglican Mission in America: http://www.anglicanmissioninamerica.org
Episcopal Church: http://www.episcopalchurch.org
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