According to the Associated Press report, once large denominations are either losing members or experienced no growth in the past year. While the article did not say the decline was specifically attributed to denominational leadership support of homosexuality, it did note that the Episcopal Church suffered the sharpest drop in membership.
The Episcopal Church, locked in a conflict over the Bible and homosexuality, suffered the steepest decline, reporting a more than 4 percent drop to slightly fewer than 2.2 million members. Another mainline Protestant group, the 3 million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), facing similar divisions, suffered a 2.4 percent membership decrease.”
The article was based on statistics reported in the 2008 yearbook produced by the National Council of Churches.
This news comes as Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori “invalidated” the election of a South Carolina bishop on the grounds he refused to accept her liberal theology [source]. Using a voting technicality, Schori denied Bishop Mark Lawrence’s election although he received one more vote than required. This makes the fourth bishop she has taken negative action against for refusing to accept homosexuality as normal. The last time an action like this was taken against an Episcopal bishop was more than seventy years ago.
Schori has become increasing hostile and vindictive towards dissident clergy in her church over the issue of homosexuality.
See our related articles on Jefferts Schori and the Episcopal church here.