The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, or ECUSA, appears to have avoided expulsion from the worldwide Anglican Communion over the issue of the consecration of gay bishops and the performance of same-sex blessing ceremonies.
The ECUSA held its triennial convention in Columbus, Ohio, June 13-21, and delegates to the convention worked out a compromise on the last afternoon of the convention.
On the final day, the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops passed a resolution that called on bishops and standing committees to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion."
No resolution regarding public blessing services for same-sex couples passed.
Charles Woltz, the reverend canon of the Diocese of Oklahoma, said the language of the compromise is vague: "The resolution also reaffirmed gay and lesbian people as full members of the Episcopal Church by baptism. It included an apology for the years of mistreatment and pledged to include gay or lesbian members on all commissions or task forces."
Woltz said the latest resolution is not likely to change the position of the bishop regarding gay and lesbian people.
"Each diocese is independent," Woltz said, so resolutions are not necessarily binding on individual bishops. "Greg Horton
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