After 13 years of rancor over conflicting views on homosexuality, the archbishops of the Anglican Communion have voted to impose sanctions for three years on the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Communion, for its decision last summer to allow clergy to perform same-sex marriages, church officials said Thursday.
News of the archbishops’ decision to discipline the American church leaked out near the end of a weeklong meeting in England called by the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. He had summoned the archbishops to Canterbury in an effort to break the bitter impasse that has divided the Anglican Communion since the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.
The sanctions ”” essentially limiting participation in Anglican Communion affairs ”” do not call for any change in policy by the American church. Conservative Anglican archbishops said that while they were pleased by the sanctions, the move did not go far enough. They also said they expect the sanctions to continue if the Americans do not change course in three years.