Leaders at the Episcopal Church's tri-annual convention voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution that opens "any ordained ministry" to homosexuals. The move lifts a moratorium on ordaining gay or lesbian identified bishops that the church passed three years ago.
Biblically orthodox Anglicans, many of whom are part of the newly-formed Anglican Church of North America, decried the move as heretical.
"It appears that the Episcopal Church is determined to move its own agenda forward despite calls from various senior levels to respect the order and discipline of the church," said Rev. Canon Julian Dobbs, canon missioner for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.
"The Episcopal Church is determined to move further away from a traditional and a clearly Biblical position of Christian marriage, which affirms that marriage is a life-long relationship between one man and one woman."
For decades, there has been a movement to bring the Episcopal Church back to its Christian roots. However, since the Diocese of New Hampshire elected openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson in 2003, that movement has increasingly turned into an exodus from the Episcopal Church. One result was the formation of the Anglican Church of North America, consisting of over 100,000 members in 7,000 churches.