Episcopal Diocese of California
|Bishop of California|
Marc Handley Andrus
|Cathedral||Grace Cathedral, San Francisco|
|First Bishop||William Ingraham Kip|
The Episcopal Diocese of California is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) in Northern California. The founding Episcopal diocese in the state, once encompassing all of California, today the diocese comprises Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, and the cities of Los Altos and part of Palo Alto in Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The see city is San Francisco, California and the diocesan cathedral is Grace Cathedral on top of Nob Hill.
The eighth and current Bishop of California is the Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, formerly Suffragan Bishop of Alabama, who was invested with the office on July 22, 2006, succeeding the Rt Rev William E. Swing.
Bishop succession controversy
In October 2004 Bishop Swing announced his retirement at the diocesan convention. By early 2006, after a search process, a slate of seven finalists were presented to the diocese as candidates to succeed Bishop Swing. Among the seven finalists were three homosexuals; a lesbian and two gay men in long-term relationships with their partners. None of the seven candidates on the ballot had made an affirmation to the Church that their relationship was celibate. Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, a consultative body which expresses "the mind of the church" without having jurisdictional authority, had declared abstinence to be "right" for those not called to heterosexual marriage.
Normally, the election of a bishop is a local affair in which a bishop is elected with little fanfare and later confirmed by the bishops and standing committees of the church, or in a period of time preceding the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the convention's laity, clergy, and bishops approve newly elected bishops. But with the inclusion of three candidates who were openly lesbian or gay, following the 2003 consecration of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire, this election became widely watched by many in the Anglican Communion. Some feared that the elevation of a second gay bishop would cause a schism between the ECUSA and the rest of the Anglican Communion.
The Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, Suffragan Bishop of Alabama was elected on the third ballot with the openly homosexual candidates receiving only a few votes. His election was confirmed at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in June 2006. He was invested as the eighth Bishop of California on July 22, 2006, at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.
The diocese operates The Episcopal School for Deacons as a college for training deacons. The school is located on the grounds of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, two blocks to the north of the University of California, Berkeley.
List of diocesan Bishops of California
|Bishops of California|
|1857||1893||William Ingraham Kip||Missionary Bishop to California, 1853–1856; died in office.|
|1893||1924||William Ford Nichols|
|1924||1940||Edward L. Parsons|
|1941||1958||Karl M. Block||died September 20, 1958|
|1958||1966||James Pike||resigned following censure for radical theological views.|
|1967||1979||C. Kilmer Myers||previously suffragan bishop in Michigan.|
|1979||2006||William E. Swing|
|2006||present||Marc Handley Andrus||previously suffragan bishop in Alabama.|
List of suffragan and assistant bishops
|Suffragan and assistant bishops in California|
|1951||1958||Henry H. Shires, suffragan bishop|
|1960||1978||G. Richard Millard, suffragan bishop||previously bishop over Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.|
|2008||2009||Steven Charleston, assistant bishop||resigned.|
- San Francisco Chronicle – Episcopalians avoid rift in picking bishop
- BBC News – Bishop vote avoids gay clergy row, May 6, 2006
- Episcopal News Service – California diocese elects Marc Andrus as bishop, May 7, 2006
- Washington Post – Calif. Episcopalians Elect New Bishop
- Diocese of California – Bishop Steven Charleston announces transition