Anglicans Suspend Episcopalians Over Gay Bishop

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The Anglican Communion has suspended U.S. Episcopalians from serving on ecumenical bodies over the recent election of a lesbian bishop in California.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican communion asked for the suspension against the Episcopal Church. He had previously called for a moratorium on appointing homosexuals to leadership positions.

The U.S. church opened a rift in the global communion seven years ago when it elected a gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire.

In the meantime, conservative African Anglicans have led an opposition movement in the U.S. and Canada against ordaining gays to the clergy and of the blessing homosexual relationships.

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion said he had also written to the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to ask whether it has formally adopted a policy backing same-sex blessings.

The Canadian church's governing General Synod is meeting this week, and is discussing whether to debate a motion on the issue.

The Anglican Communion consists of 44 regional and national member churches, most of which were founded by Church of England missionaries. The communion is currently has more than 80 million members in more than 160 countries.

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