The Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
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January 14, 2016 4:21 PM EST

The International Anglican Communion has suspended the U.S. Episcopal Church over its acceptance of same-sex marriage.

This discipline means the Episcopal Church will not be able to participate in internal Communion decision-making, serve on internal committees, or represent Anglicans in meetings with faith groups. Leaders of the 38 provinces within the Communion decided on the suspension during a meeting in England on Thursday, CNN reports.

“Recent developments in the Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our provinces on the doctrine of marriage,” said the Anglican archbishops in a statement. “The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union.”

The suspension occurs following multiple years of disagreements about sexuality, among other issues. The statement said there will be a task group to maintain communications between the Anglican Communion and the U.S. Episcopal Church, so that the relationship may be restored in the future.

Write to Julia Zorthian at

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