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FRESNO, Calif., Dec. 8 â€” The Diocese of San Joaquin voted on Saturday to cut ties with the Episcopal Church, the first time in the churchâ€™s history a diocese has done so over theological issues and the biggest leap so far by dissident Episcopalians hoping to form a rival national church in the United States.
Fissures have moved through the Episcopal Church, the American arm of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members, and through the Communion itself since the church ordained V. Gene Robinson, a gay man in a long-term relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.
Traditionalists at home and abroad assert that the Bible describes homosexuality as an abomination, and they consider the Episcopal Churchâ€™s ordination of Bishop Robinson as the latest and most galling proof of its rejection of biblical authority....