A majority of archbishops from the worldwide Anglican Communion, an international association of churches that claims more than 80 million parishioners, have voted to sanction the Episcopal Church in the United States for supporting same-sex marriage and the LGBT community.
Media reports prior to the primates’ gathering in Canterbury suggested that the meeting might result in a schism, with the largely traditionalist churches in Africa splitting off from more inclusive institutions in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom over disagreements around same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Some bishops, including at one point the nominal head of the Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, have in the past suggested that dissolving the group might be the best way to move forward.
The gathered bishops, however, rejected devolution and instead banned Episcopal Church representatives from sitting on doctrinal and polity committees for three years. Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church stated, “for many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.” Meanwhile, representatives from the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference complained that the Communion did not insist that the American church “repent.”