A commission appointed by the archbishop of Canterbury has rebuked liberal leaders of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, as well as conservative bishops from other Anglican churches, primarily in Africa.

In the Windsor Report, released on October 18, the Lambeth Commission on Communion said liberal leaders did not show adequate concern for the broader Anglican Communion when they approved an openly gay man as a bishop and allowed U.S. and Canadian congregations to bless gay couples.

The commission faulted conservative Anglican churches for declaring broken or impaired communion with their liberal counterparts. Commissioners also blamed them for providing alternative bishops to congregations in liberal dioceses. The commission asked both sides to express regret. The report called on U.S. and Canadian leaders to observe a moratorium on blessing homosexual couples and approving more homosexual bishops. It asked the bishops who consecrated Gene Robinson to consider withdrawing from international church meetings as a sign of their regret. The document asked conservative bishops to stop providing pastoral care for conservative congregations in America and Canada.

Early signs are that liberal bishops are willing to express regret only for the pain they caused in other Anglican provinces. Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, said he regretted "how difficult and painful actions of our church have been in many provinces of our Communion, and the negative repercussions that have been felt by brother and sister Anglicans." But he also said he would not try to enforce a moratorium on ordaining practicing homosexuals, nor would he absent himself from international Anglican meetings.

The Diocese of Vermont said it would continue blessing gay couples unless the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops agrees to the suggested moratorium. Bishop Michael Ingham said the Diocese of New Westminster would also continue blessing gay couples.

No border-crossing bishops have agreed to withdraw their support from dissident congregations in liberal dioceses.

Conservatives are overwhelmingly dismayed at the report.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.