The Episcopal Church executive council has urged that professing and practicing homosexuals not be ordained to the ministry of the church until the Episcopal General Convention can define the issue of homosexuals in the ministry.
Without specifically singling out homosexuality, the council also voted to "condemn all actions which offend the moral law of the church" and urged that the Episcopal House of Bishops place the question on the agenda of its meeting later this year.
"The executive council expresses the hope that no bishop will ordain or license any professing and practicing homosexual until the issue be resolved by the general convention," the resolution said.
The debate over the issue of homosexual priests intensified last January when the Rev. Ellen M. Barret, a lesbian, was ordained to the priesthood by Episcopal Bishop Paul Moore of New York.
That ordination was criticized by several bishops, and some parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of New York announced they were cutting off diocesan payments in protest.
Barrett, a former gay rights activist who acknowledges her homosexual "orientation," has not headed a parish since her ordination. A spokesman for the Episcopal church council said Barrett had moved to California for graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
The spokesman said he did not know whether Barrett had sought a licence to exercise priestly functions in the Diocese of California.
The council also decried what it called abuse of the Episcopal Church marriage canons and the "refusal of priests to honor the Godly admonitions of their bishops."
The Episcopal position on remarriage after divorce was liberalized by the 1973 General Convention, but the recent remarriage of actress Elizabeth Taylor by an Episcopal priest has been questioned in some church quarters.
The priest who officiated at Taylor's wedding had the sanction of his bishop, according to Church sources.
The statement on disobedient clergymen referred to dissident priests who refused to accept the 2.8 million-member denomination's decision last fall to allow women to become priests.
At least half a dozen priests have been suspended and charged with "abandoning the communion" of the Episcopal Church for their actions rejecting women's ordination, it was reported here.