The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) suspended from Anglican communion [for three years]

The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) suspended from Anglican communion [for three years]

[How will this affect AmChurch’s ecumenical schmoozing with TEC such as the upcoming January 18-25th Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the semi-annual meetings of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States (ARC-USA)?]

Catholic World News – January 14, 2016

The Protestant Episcopal Church in the US has been suspended from the worldwide Anglican communion.

The primates of the Anglican world, meeting this week in Canterbury, England, voted to suspend the Episcopal Church for three years, because of its decision to approve same-sex unions. “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 prelates said.

The decision to suspend the Episcopal Church was made in a January 14 vote, and leaked to the public in advance of a scheduled Friday press conference at which the move was to be announced.

The Episcopal Church was not expelled from the Anglican communion, but barred from voting in international gatherings [and representing the Anglican communion on ecumenical and interfaith bodies] for a three-year period. During that term, the leaders of the American branch are encouraged to reflect on their role.

The suspension illustrates the deep divisions within the worldwide Anglican communion, which have arisen primarily over issues involving human sexuality. African bishops, who preside over the most vigorous communities in the Anglican world, have strongly objected to the acceptance of homosexuality, and of female priests and bishops, in the English and American branches. These divisions were further dramatized when (according to a report in the Daily Telegraph), 15 of the 38 Anglican bishops participating in this week’s meeting declined to participate in a joint prayer service.

This week’s meeting was called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, in a bid to preserve the fractured unity of the Anglican communion.

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3 comments on “The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) suspended from Anglican communion [for three years]

  1. Interesting.
    An irrelevant, totally discredited Protestant denomination, in its last death throes before total extinction, finally decides to try and stand up for some of the few vestigial remaining Christian values it once thought it believed, by suspending its most secular, anti Christian member.

    Sorry chaps. Too little, too late.

  2. [The USCCCP’s version of Pravda (Catholic News Service) reports on AmChurch and FrankenChurch’s reaction]

    Paulist Father Ron Roberson, associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said he doubted the suspension would have an impact on ARCUSA, the 50-year-old dialogue between the Episcopal Church and the USCCB Committee on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs [In other words: It won’t upset the ecumenical applecart].

    * * *

    Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told Vatican Radio Jan. 15 that he hopes the next three years “will be used to find deeper unity within the Anglican Communion”[!? Whatever that means for Anglican-Catholic relations].

    • [More on AmChurch’s official reaction]

      Anglican Suspension of Episcopal Church Not Expected to Affect Catholic Dialogue

      JANUARY 15, 2016

      A protesting Protestant Episcopalesbian priestess

      UPDATE, JAN. 15: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said Friday the U.S. Episcopal Church will not roll back its acceptance of gay marriage despite sanctions imposed this week by Anglican leaders, the Associated Press reported.

      The Catholic official who coordinates dialogue with the Episcopal Church in the United States does not expect talks to be suspended by the Anglican Church’s discipline against its U.S. affiliate.

      “This does not necessarily mean that the dialogue here in the United States between the U.S. Bishops’ Conference and the Episcopal Church would need to be suspended, because it’s not a dialogue with the Anglican Communion,” said Paulist Father Ronald Roberson, associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It’s very specifically with the Episcopal Church. They don’t claim to represent anyone other than themselves.”

      Father Roberson believes that where the statement says “the Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies,” it would not apply to USCCB-Episcopal Church dialogue.

      “It remains to be seen how it’s all going to work out,” Father Roberson said of the new sanction.

      He said that any reversal of the church’s decision to allow same-sex marriages, which came with a vote by the church’s General Convention last summer, would probably need another vote by the same body.

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