Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams held a private meeting September 2 with seven Episcopal Church bishops at Lambeth Palace, his London residence.
The bishops attending the meeting were Mark Lawrence of South Carolina, Gary Lillibridge of West Texas, Edward Little of Northern Indiana, Bill Love of Albany, Michael Smith of North Dakota, James Stanton of Dallas, and Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana.
A spokesperson in the Lambeth Palace press office confirmed that Williams had hosted the seven Episcopal bishops, but said that the meeting was private.
When asked for his reflections on the meeting, MacPherson told ENS that the bishops will have "something forthcoming soon."
The seven bishops are all signatories to the Anaheim Statement that reaffirms their commitment to requests from Anglican Communion leaders to the Episcopal Church for moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of openly gay persons to the episcopate, and cross-border interventions.
The statement, so-called because it was released in Anaheim on July 16 as General Convention was drawing to a close, said that while some bishops tried to modify the wording of some of the convention's actions, "it is apparent that a substantial majority of this convention believes that the Episcopal Church should move forward on matters of human sexuality."
"We recognize this reality and understand the clarity with which the majority has expressed itself," the bishops said. "We are grateful for those who have reached out to the minority, affirming our place in the church."
The signers said they were committed to membership in the communion and to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.
The bishops who met with Williams also account for half of the Episcopal Church bishops who are members of the Communion Partners, which describes itself as a "relational fellowship" of primates, bishops and clergy who are committed to the unity of the church but also support the moratoria and the idea of an Anglican covenant, a set of principles intended to bind the Anglican Communion. Such a covenant has been proposed and a final draft has yet to be produced.
The Communion Partners have said that individual dioceses could sign onto a covenant whether or not the General Convention agreed to do so.
On July 27, Williams offered some reflections on General Convention and in particular the passage of two resolutions (D025 and C056) that focused on issues of human sexuality and the Episcopal Church's commitment to the Anglican Communion.
Resolution D025 affirms "that God has called and may call" gay and lesbian people "to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church." Resolution C056 calls for the collection and development of theological resources for the blessing of same-gender blessings and allows bishops to provide "a generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church."
In his 26-part reflection, Williams, who was present for the first two days of the July 8-17 meeting in Anaheim, California, wrote that "a realistic assessment of what convention has resolved does not suggest that it will repair the broken bridges into the life of other Anglican provinces; very serious anxieties have already been expressed."