Barack Obama said Saturday he has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and more recent fiery remarks at the church by another minister.
"This is not a decision I come to lightly ... and it is one I make with some sadness," he said at a news conference after campaign officials released a letter of resignation sent to the church on Friday.
"I'm not denouncing the church and I'm not interested in people who want me to denounce the church," he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and "the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them."
Obama said he and his wife have been discussing the issue since Wright's appearance at the National Press Club in Washington last month that reignited furor over remarks he had made in various sermons at the church.
"I suspect we'll find another church home for our family," Obama said.
"It's clear that now that I'm a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, inlcuding guest pastors, the remarks will imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my longheld views, statements and principles," he said.
Obama said he had "no idea" how the resignation would "impact my presidential campaign, but I know its the right thing to do for the church and our family."