Its Happening More Frequently
CLEVELAND - Four northeast Ohio congregations upset over the consecration of an openly gay bishop have split from Episcopal Church USA and have affiliated with a diocese in South America. St. Luke's in Fairlawn, Holy Spirit in Akron, St. Barnabas in Bay Village and St. Anne's in the Fields of Madison voted Sunday to break with the Episcopal Church USA and affiliate with the Diocese of Bolivia led by Bishop Frank Lyon.
The church has been rocked for consecrating Bishop V. Gene Robinson. In 2003 the Episcopal General Convention confirmed his election as bishop of New Hampshire.
John Niehaus, a Cleveland attorney who represents the congregations, said the vote means the parishes are no longer part of the Diocese of Ohio based in Cleveland or the national church. On Monday, clergy leaders of the churches met with diocese Bishop Mark Hollingsworth Jr. Niehaus said there was no specific discussion about church property and assets. Hollingsworth said in a letter sent to people of the diocese that he was committed "to working collaboratively with these congregations toward a faithful and just resolution."