After continuing disagreements over gay and lesbian clergy, as well as same-sex unions, the Episcopal Church's Diocese of South Carolina announced Oct. 17 that it will leave the denomination — the fifth to do so. The announcement came after the denomination's 18-member disciplinary board for bishops ruled in September that South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence could no longer act as an ordained Episcopal priest. Accusing the church of practicing "the false gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity," Lawrence had removed references to the national church in church and civil documents. He also issued deeds releasing the diocese's and denomination's claims to parish property.
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