Lines are being drawn in the church between liberal or moderate factions and traditional or conservative ones. Arguments center on the national church’s decisions to allow women in the clergy, which occurred in the 1970s, and to promote an openly gay minister to a bishop’s post in 2003.
The schism widened when the national church appointed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to the job. The Quincy Diocese, which numbers 24 churches (including those in Moline, Rock Island, Silvis, Geneseo and Kewanee) and 1,800 members, has never allowed women or gays to be part of the clergy.
“We are working to assist in the reorganization of diocesan affairs,” Schori said. It now appears that four churches, including St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Peoria, Ill., the largest in the diocese, will continue to align with the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, which includes churches in the Iowa Quad-Cities, has no intention of leaving the national affiliation, officials have said.
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