NEW YORK, Feb. 28 (AP) - Conservatives in the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion have spent months calling for decisive action against its U.S. branch, the Episcopal Church, over its liberal attitude on homosexuality.

But the top U.S. Episcopalian said Tuesday the he's not sure the issue will be discussed during a key meeting that begins Friday near Hendersonville, N.C.

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said the Anglican leader, England's Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, instead wants to refer the fuss to an advisory commission on theology.

The issue moved to the fore in 1998, when the world's Anglican bishops declared by an overwhelming margin that biblical teaching opposes homosexual activity. Many bishops from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mideast strongly backed the statement.

Two church leaders, Bishops Drexel Gomez of the Bahamas and Maurice Sinclair of Argentina, have issued a public proposal that the North Carolina meeting take charge of what they consider a deteriorating church situation in the U.S. i9n particular, and in world Anglicanism in general.

The proposal would have the 38 primates, or church leaders, assume the authority to set boundaries on acceptable Anglican policy, then advise Carey to lower any disobedient national church to ``observer status'' in world Anglicanism. If necessary, he could declare such a church outside the fold and recognize a competing church.

Such measures would be unprecedented for the Anglican faith, where national branches and local dioceses prize their independence. Anglicans have ``lived authority, rather than a defined authority,'' Griswold said.

Years ago, the Episcopal Church passed a paper opposing homosexual behavior, but in practice it allows bishops to ordain actively gay and lesbian clergy, and parish clergy to perform wedding-like ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Last July's annual church convention made it clear nothing will be done to change that situation.

Griswold told reporters the conservatives' continuing emphasis on sexual morality ``implies that sexuality is more important than salvation in Jesus Christ, which is idolatry.''

He also found it ``curious'' that conservatives accepted the Episcopal Church's past shift to allow remarriage of divorced members with little resistance. On that issue, he said, ``the church has set aside what Jesus has actually said without causing any concern.''

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