A committee representing many conservative Anglican bishops overseas says its members won't attend a critical once-a-decade Anglican meeting next year unless the U.S. Episcopal Church is disciplined for ordaining an openly gay bishop.
The steering committee for the Global South Primates said that the Episcopal Church, which is the Anglican body in the United States, has caused a rift by failing to repent for the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who lives with his male partner.
The meeting, called the Lambeth Conference, gathers bishops from around the world to discuss the future of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.
But the communion's spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has said he will not invite Robinson or bishops linked to overseas conservatives who have formed two U.S. missions to challenge the liberal-leaning Episcopal Church on its home turf.
The missions violate an Anglican tradition that church leaders, called primates, only minister to churches within their own territories.
Archbishop of York John Sentamu, a close ally of Williams in the Church of England, said this week that Global South bishops who boycott the meeting will effectively be expelling themselves from the communion.
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