Following a number of pro-gay actions by dioceses in the United States and Canada, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion called for "gracious restraint in respect of actions that endanger the unity" of the global body.
The committee passed a resolution during its London meeting this week in response to the recent election of a partnered lesbian in the Diocese of Los Angeles and the decisions by several dioceses in North America to bless the union of same-sex couples.
"The Standing Committee strongly reaffirm Resolution 14.09 of ACC 14 supporting the three moratoria proposed by the Windsor Report," the resolution states.
Resolution 14.09 was passed by the Anglican Consultative Council in May and calls for the implementation of moratoria on the consecration of bishops living in a same gender union, authorization of public rites of blessing for same-sex unions and continued interventions in other Anglican provinces.
Earlier this month, the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, a lesbian who has been with her partner for 19 years, was elected to the office of bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. If her election is confirmed by the bishops and standing committees of The Episcopal Church's other 108 dioceses, she would become the second openly gay bishop to be consecrated in the United States.
The first, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, was consecrated in 2003 to much uproar.
Since 2003, relations between the U.S. Anglican arm and the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion have been strained to the point of tearing.
In 2006 amid reports of possible schism, Anglican leaders worldwide agreed to practice restraint concerning the election of partnered homosexuals.
Despite the agreement, The Episcopal Church's top legislative body approved last July a resolution declaring the denomination's ordination process open to all individuals, including practicing homosexuals. Episcopal leaders also adopted a resolution stating that “bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said at a recent lecture that "there was never any time frame attached" to the request to practice restraint.
In the months following July's General Convention, several dioceses in the United States and Canada have decided to lift bans on the blessing of same-sex unions. The Diocese of Massachusetts is allowing clergy in the eastern part of the state to solemnize marriages for gay and lesbian couples.
Conservative Anglicans say the recent actions threaten the already strained unity in the global body.
U.S. Episcopal bishops have 120 days to decide whether to confirm the election of Glasspool.