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How Will Suspension Of U.S. Episcopal Church Affect San Diego?

Courtesy of San Diego Episcopal Diocese

Bishop Jim Mathes of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is pictured in this undated photo.

Aired 1/19/16 on KPBS Midday Edition.

What Affect Will Suspension Of U.S. Episcopal Church Have In San Diego?

GUEST:

Bishop Jim Mathes, Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Transcript

Members of the Episcopal Church in San Diego and across the nation are still trying to grasp the scope of a decision made last week. The Anglican Church announced Friday that its leadership voted to suspend the U.S. Episcopal Church. As a result, American church leaders will not be allowed to participate in internal Anglican church policy or represent the Anglican church for a three year period. The dispute is over the decision made by the Episcopal Church to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.

"When you spend your life being told that what you are is wrong, it doesn't take much for somebody to say something and take you right back to that," said Bishop Jim Mathes of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. "When a group of people who say they are speaking on behalf of the faith community say that, it's hurtful."

Bishop Mathes said the San Diego Episcopalian community is not completely united on the issue of same-sex marriage.

But he said, "We're going to be a diocese in which LGBT couples are going to be welcomed and included in our life."

He told KPBS Midday Edition there are several issues at play in the decision.

"This is about a lot of things. It's about issues of power and authority that go beyond the church," he said. "It's about how the United States is perceived in Africa. There are a lot of things that go into something like this. My prayer is that good news will win out in the end."

Episcopalian churches in the United States are leading the way on this issue, he said, "and we may be paying the cost on that. There's a cost to living faithfully. There is a sense we have to give up something in the name of love, but in the end, love wins."

There are 20,000 parishioners and 47 congregations in the San Diego Episcopal Diocese, which covers San Diego and Imperial counties, a portion of Riverside County and one congregation in southern Arizona.

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