The Windsor Report of 2004 recommended “that the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges” [Section D subsection 134, bullet point no 3].
That request was reiterated at the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam and followed at the Primates’ Meeting in Alexandria with a request for ”˜gracious restraint’. The decision of The Episcopal Church in respect of the confirmation of an election and subsequent consecration of a partnered gay person to the episcopate has clearly signalled the end of ”˜gracious restraint’. This is a development which I deeply regret. Whatever may be ”˜the mind of a majority of the elected leaders in The Episcopal Church’, it does not reflect the mind of a majority of those in positions of leadership in the Anglican Communion and it is bound to create even greater stresses within the Communion at a time when consultations on an Anglican Covenant are at an advanced stage.
The action of The Episcopal Church also has implications for another serious issue that has strained the bonds of affection within the Communion, namely extraterritorial interventions by other provinces in the life of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. A moratorium on such interventions and also on the authorization of public rites of blessing for same-sex unions was requested by the Primates at Dar es Salaam. In neither of these cases has “gracious restraint” been wholly exercised.