US Episcopal Church Suspended From Anglican Communion Over Gay Marriage

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The US Episcopal Church has been suspended from any policy-setting position within the Anglican Communion for three years for sanctioning same-sex marriage.

The sanction was announced on Thursday after a weeklong meeting in Canterbury, England, presided by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is the spiritual head of the Anglican Church.

Last year, the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States, through its legislative body, General Convention, voted to authorize gay marriages in their churches.

This met with stiff opposition from other members of the communion, especially among African clergy, who argued based on the Scriptures that allowing gay marriage in the church was wrong and ungodly.

Recall that the Episcopal Church in 2003 installed the first openly-gay Bishop, Gene Robinson.

In fact, Ugandan Archbishop Stanley Ntagali stormed out of the weeklong meeting, which was called to stop the church from breaking apart over the issue of same-sex relationships.

But in his response, the newly-installed Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, said the decision “will bring real pain” to gays and lesbians and the Episcopal Church in general.

The Anglican Church has the third-largest grouping of Christians in the world, at 85 million, behind the Roman Catholic and Orthodox.


Photo: Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church

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