American Episcopalians have been booted from the Anglican Communion for allowing same-sex marriage! The conclave of world Anglicans meeting in Canterbury was expected to result in a schism, with perhaps the conservatives walking out. But instead, the liberal Americans were suspended for three years, their participation reduced to “observer” status.
From Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Episcopal Church Suspended from Anglican Communion over Same-Sex Marriage | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com.
This week’s special summit of the global leaders of the Anglican Communion was widely expected to result in a denominational schism, or at least a walkout by conservatives.
Instead, it was one of the worldwide denomination’s liberal provinces—The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States—which received censure: suspension from Anglican committees and decision-making for three years.
Now the debate is over how significant the suspension is, with some conservatives still wishing for more.
Meeting in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral in England, the majority of the communion’s 38 primates voted today to suspend TEC for voting last summer to allow its clergy to perform same-sex marriages.“The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching,” read the primates’ statement, which was released early after it was leaked to the press.
“Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us,” the statement read. “This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.”
TEC will no longer be able to represent the Anglican Communion at ecumenical or interfaith gatherings, be appointed or elected to internal standing committees, or take part in decisions relating to doctrine or polity.
“Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the ‘voluntary withdrawal’ of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church,” wrote George Conger, who broke the story at Anglican Ink.