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

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

What Affect Will Suspension Of U.S. Episcopal Church Have In San Diego?
What Affect Will Suspension Of U.S. Episcopal Church Have In San Diego? GUEST:Bishop Jim Mathes, Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Members of the Episcopal Church in San Diego and across the nation, are still trying to grasp the scope of a ruling made last week. The leadership of the entire Anglican church voted to suspend the US Episcopal Church. Is Piscopo and will not be allowed to participate in internal Anglican church policy or the percent Anglican church for a three year period. Dispute over the decision of the US church to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. Joining me is vicious Jim Mathes of the Episcopal diocese of San Diego. Bishop Mathes think the joining us are at thank you for being here. The Michael Curry caught this decision by the Anglican will cause pain. Have you since that pain here in San Diego? Yes I have. They and lesbian persons in our church and people who are not in our church, or feeling it. They have experienced the Episcopal Church as a church that has been welcoming, and they wonder what it means. And as the ship -- Bishop, it means that we will continue to be the Episcopal church where gay and lesbian persons are welcome. Where they can celebrate their Laro -- love. But this has hurt people people -- people look to their church leaders for affirmation and living holy law and we are talking about real people, real families, real love and real commitment. And they are trying to understand what it means for them and whether our church, is saying, we are continuing to be supporting and them with their lives spirits back has it raise questions for the larger Episcopalian church? Is not of one mind on a lot of issues, including this one. You get one Episcopalian in a room and you will have Episcopalians on everything. We in our diocese, have people have affirmed the decisions per people have made around seems sex marriage and people who struggle. And in good news is that we are in relationship with each other and we value and respect opinions, we serve and worship together and we pray together. The disquieting think about this announcement Constance made, that we are walking together, yet we will not have a Episcopal representation on certain bodies. Dies propel King -- perplexing. Now I think that members who are not members, scratch their heads and say wait a minute, can you remind us what has been the relationship between the Anglican church and the Episcopal Church, or they virtually one the same? Angle -- Anglican represents 38 providences, the Episcopalian church is the Anglican brand if you will, and the United States, and parts of, represents 16 other countries for example. Hunters is -- Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Taiwan, and these churches or diocese make the Episcopalian church. We have the Church of Canada, church of England, and all these providences and eight -- in Africa. They have different authority depending on the quality of their own province and the community. Some have great authority, some have very little. The real question, what the decision has been made and voted. I am not convinced it will have that dramatic of an effect at the wider church level, it will have very minimal, or no effect at the level. Because the arch bridges, -- arch Bishop concerning the Episcopalian church, whenever any providences out of line with a major issue there will be consequences. So, what you just said about authority, to make these types of decisions, why did the Episcopalian church feel they had the authority to perform same-sex weddings without consequences on the larger Anglican community? There are consequences to everything we do, some are beneficial and some are not as beneficial. The Episcopalian church is charged with being the Episcopalian church, the Anglican community in this context. And we make a whole host of times decisions. And I believe we do have the authority to make these decisions. And we have been in consultation and conversation for decades on this. And I was present at the last one, in Canterbury in 20 -- 2008 and we talked about this and we differed a great deal. But at some point, the church, in this case the Episcopalian church makes it space decision based on the people we serve. Now copy should Mathes, there has been a lot written about Anglican churches in Africa have concerted pressure to halt on tran23 issues. The cultural differences, they are being the church in their context. And to some extent, we speak to them about our concerns, our grave concerns about the criminalization of homosexuality and certain parts of Africa. I have concerns that diamonds have advocated for it. That is a real, serious concern. And there context, they are leaving the church, and we honor it to the extent that we can, and they honor to the extent that they can. We are in conversation about it. I am hesitant to ask this to a man of the cloth, how much do you think this particular decision was political? Every decision is about more than the particular area of the decision. This is about a lot of things. It is about issues of power and authority, that go beyond the church, how about the United States is perceived in Africa. There are a lot of things that we enter into something like this. My prayer, is that in the end, the good news will win out. We will win out, we are staying in relationship, we are walking together. The good news is across the planet.there are parts of the Anglican community, they are in deep relationship with the Episcopalian church hurt our diocese is in deep with the historical relationship and South Africa. And this will make a difference as it will continue to aren't there other Anglican communities coming close to the decision to perform same-sex marriages? I am aware that the Episcopalians church of Scotland is planning a bow within the next several months on the Church of Canada has prepared and laid underground work for voting on changes. The reality is, are on the cutting edge on this. And as representing Bishop, I have appropriately said, we are leading the way here. And we may be paying the cost of it. There is a cost of living faithfully. John Heinz, presiding Bishop of civil rights, talked about the church needing to be crucified and in the cause of justice. I think that there is a sense of it and it is something that we have to give up something, and the name of love. But in the end, love wins. Finally Bishop Mathes, in the beginning this had caused real pain. I am wondering what you have been saying to the tran23 members. Love each other, stayed together, love wins. That is what Jesus has taught us to do. And loving coward neighbor is not easy. Being in difference with each other is not easy. But in the end being in a relationship, seeking to understand, makes all the difference, that is what we are doing. I want to thank you very much, speaking with Bishop Jim Mathes, diocese of San Diego. Thank you for coming to.

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.