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.