U.S. church excluded over gay stance

June 23, 2005 at 8:41 AM
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NOTTINGHAM, England, June 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. and Canadian Anglican Churches have been excluded from one of the Anglican Communion's top bodies because of their stance on homosexuality.

The policy-making Anglican Consultative Council voted Thursday to exclude the North American churches for three years because of their willingness to ordain gay clergy and bless gay couples.

The worldwide Anglican Communion has been facing a split over the ordination in the United States of openly gay Gene Robinson as a bishop.

At a meeting in Nottingham, the North American churches refused to back down, leading the Anglican Consultative Council to vote by 30 to 28 to call upon the churches to voluntarily withdraw from its meetings for three years.

The bishop of New York, Catherine Roskam, was one of several U.S. clergy sent to the meeting Tuesday to explain her church's position.

She said that she did not hope to change the mind of traditionalists but pleaded for members of the denomination to live together with its differences, the BBC reported.

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