The Anglican Communion has suspended U.S. Episcopalians from serving on interfaith bodies, because of its recent election of a lesbian as a bishop in California, the Associated Press website reports today (June 8, 2010).
The U.S. church opened a rift in the global communion -- and within its own ranks -- seven years ago by electing a gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, had called for a moratorium on appointing homosexuals to leadership positions. He asked for action against the Episcopal Church after the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool - a lesbian -- was named as assistant bishop of Los Angeles last month.
The Anglican Communion is an association of 44 regional and national member churches -- most were founded by Church of England missionaries -- with more than 80 million members in more than 160 countries.