HOUSTON, March 22 (UPI) -- The bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States have rejected the Anglican Communion's demand for a separate leadership for conservative Episcopalians.
The bishops' decision must be ratified by the church's executive council, The New York Times reports. The council is expected to agree.
"If that means that others reject us and communion with us, as some have already done, we must with great regret and sorrow accept their decision," the bishops said in a statement.
The national leaders of the Anglican Communion, at a meeting in Tanzania gave the U.S. church a Sept. 30 deadline to agree to their demands. They included a structure with a "primatial vicar" and five-member "pastoral council" to serve the minority of Episcopalians who disagree with the church's position on gays.
Other demands include a moratorium on consecrating gay bishops and on blessing same-sex relationships.
The bishops asked Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, to visit the United States before June 30.