The chief leaders of Anglican national churches around the world unanimously expressed "deep regret" over the Episcopal Church USA's confirmation of a gay bishop and the Canadian Diocese of New Westminster's authorization of a same-sex union rite, but stopped short of saying such actions constituted a breach of unity with the global Anglican Communion.
"These actions threaten the unity of our own Communion as well as our relationships with other parts of Christ's Church, our mission and witness, and our relations with other faiths, in a world already confused in areas of sexuality, morality and theology, and polarized Christian opinion," the Anglican leaders, called primates, said in a statement.
The leaders also reaffirmed a 1998 resolution on human sexuality that called homosexual behavior "incompatible with Scripture." That vote had been approved by worldwide bishops by a vote of 527 to 69.
The primates urged the national churches, called provinces, "not to act precipitately," and emphasized that the consecration of the homosexual bishop has not yet occurred. However, the primates said, "If his consecration proceeds, we recognize that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion, and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy." Many provinces have promised to break communion with the Episcopal Church USA (that is, to derecognize it as an Anglican church) if the consecration occurs, which the Diocese of New Hampshire has scheduled for November 2. They may also break communion with Anglican bodies that do not break communion with the American denomination.
The primates noted this likelihood without condemning it, and called on Anglican provinces ...1