Category : Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

(AM) Andrew Symes–Faithfulness to Christ against the odds: the Anglican Communion and the global sexual revolution

[Some but not all]…Global Anglican leaders will gather to meet in Canterbury in early October for a summit meeting. Most of them come from contexts where the Anglican church is continuing to teach and promote the biblical Gospel of repentance and faith in Christ for salvation, and the historic Christian understanding of sexuality and marriage. A few Provinces, with most of the wealth and power, are dominated by a leadership wanting to promote a different form of Christianity that is more acceptable to the secular West.

The last Primates…[gathering], in Canterbury January 2016, only made these divisions clearer. The majority of Primates resolved then to work together to continue the important work of the Anglican Communion, but required TEC to withdraw from full involvement, as they had violated the ‘bonds of affection’ by continuing to pursue their revisionist agenda, of which acceptance of same sex marriage was the latest example. But the TEC leadership, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office, interpreted things very differently. For them, Canterbury 2016 was all about resolving to “walk together”, continuing a conversation, finding unity in diversity, putting differences in doctrine to one side for the sake of common mission, etc.

There have been such scenarios many times before in the twenty-year process of separation between these two groups and their mutually incompatible visions of Christian truth. The pattern goes like this: an expensive, time-consuming meeting brings Primates together in good faith. While there is common ground on shared support for Anglican ministries of mercy, community development and peacebuilding, the majority again and again express their desire to move forward together on the basis of shared understanding of and commitment to the faith once delivered to the saints, and deep concern about departures from it. A document is produced reiterating the majority view and giving some form of censure for TEC and the revisionists. Almost immediately after the meeting the powerful minority ignore and renege on the agreements. As the majority protest, they are accused of being divisive by the officials from the Anglican Communion Office.

Two of the longest-serving Primates have experienced this pattern several times at first hand. Archbishops Nicholas Okoh and Stanley Ntagali have decided not to attend the upcoming conference, because it is clear that the result will be no different; there has been a “breakdown of trust”[1] and the failure to follow through resolutions reinforces “a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and unity”[2]. Why are more Primates not boycotting the meeting? Of the four others who are not attending, at least two have not publicly given a reason but are known to align with Okoh and Ntagali. Several of those attending are relatively new in post; they may have heard about the bad faith and broken promises at meetings in the past but have not experienced it themselves; some believe that it’s important to be there and defend the orthodox position. Some have been personally welcomed and persuaded by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and are mindful of not jeopardizing important connections with British and American government aid departments.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tim Fountain–Radical attendance drop shows Anglican Primates Mtg. in "disunity"

Today, less than 8 years after the 2003 emergency Primates Meeting, 15 of the Primates are no-shows. There is loss of trust and a sense that words and efforts are meaningless – that the Episcopal Church in particular will act unilaterally against the mind of the Provincial leaders and global Anglican witness.

The Episcopal Church continues to decline, with its membership the oldest among U.S. denominations and its internal reports showing no reliable sources or patterns of growth. In an Anglican Communion of some 80 million members, only about 700,000 Episcopalians attend services on an average Sunday. The [partnered] gay bishop consecrated in 2003 downsized his diocese, spent most of his time at gay movement and media events, and recently announced his retirement after less than a decade in office.
A [partnered] lesbian bishop was consecrated, and some gay and lesbian couples have had high profile ceremonies, including a recent lesbian union worded contentiously as a variation on the Prayer Book marriage rite.

So, a small, affluent, socially homogeneous inner circle of a very small denomination indulges its fancies at the cost of a diverse, global Christian fellowship – a fellowship whose leaders hung in with misrepresentations and broken commitments while trying to maintain bonds of affection. That is, until this 2011 Anglican Primates Meeting in Dublin.

Read it all and make sure to take special note of the numbers of Primates attending.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Instruments of Unity, Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007

Graham Kings: Between the Primates’ Meeting and the ACC

There have been no such consecrations since 2006, but there is tremendous pressure to repeal resolution B033. The debate on that resolution will, in effect, be a debate on the Anglican Covenant. If it is repealed, TEC will clearly signal its rejection of the Anglican Covenant. It would be a reiteration of ”˜autonomy’ alone, rather than the Covenant concept of ”˜autonomy within interdependence’. So in debating resolution B033 of 2006, General Convention will in effect be debating the Covenant. It may well be, to the surprise of many, that B033 is not repealed: though even if this were to happen, it would still leave open the specific subject of the Ridley Cambridge draft.

This leads us to the second related resolution which Dan Martins, of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, submitted to the General Convention office on the afternoon of 24 April 2009. It is co-sponsored by Christopher Wells, also of Northern Indiana, and Bruce Robison, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh (TEC not Southern Cone version).

It is entitled, ”˜Provisional Acceptance of the Anglican Covenant’, and is causing much discussion already. All three sponsors are involved in the Covenant web site.

”˜Communion Partner Bishops’, the positive ”˜Communion Conservative’ movement of those who have not split off from The Episcopal Church, representing about 14 dioceses, met in Houston in April. Their statement, very perceptively, set out the grounds for individual dioceses of TEC to sign the Covenant. It has already been the cause of considerable debate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

The Scottish Episcopal Bishops respond to the Primates communiqué of February 2009

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

A Church of Ireland Gazette Editorial Worries About the Primates Meeting

Added to what at least appears to be a communiqué ”˜spin’ on Archbishop Coggan’s 1978 address, in a press briefing last week the Archbishop of Canterbury referred to a “need for a shift of focus in the life of the Communion from autonomy of provinces with communion added on, to communion as the primary reality with autonomy and accountability understood within that framework”. Precisely what that implies remains somewhat mysterious, but one can see the direction in which such a comment points. There is a slippery slope here, and it is important that the Primates’ Meeting should remain essentially for the purposes of consultative fellowship. The Anglican Communion should avoid a formal College of Primates.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Katharine Jefferts Schori: Different lenses provide different views of Scripture

The primates’ meeting has come and gone, and I’m sure there will have been abundant commentary by the time this is published. I’d like to reflect on some of the deeper issues behind our conversations about sexuality, particularly the influence of our understanding of gender.

The most intriguing conversation I had in Alexandria was with a primate who asked how same-sex couples partition “roles.” He literally asked if one was identified as the wife and one as the husband, and then wanted to know which one promised to obey the other in the marriage ceremony. Several of us explained that marriage in the West is most often understood as a partnership of equals, and has been for some time.

Those of you with a few more years on you may remember that the marriage service in the 1928 (and earlier versions) of the Book of Common Prayer did indeed have language about the wife obeying her husband. It’s pertinent here to note that the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer is still the norm in many provinces of the Anglican Communion, and it uses the same kind of language about obeying in the marriage service.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Chris Sugden–No deviation: Archbishop Daniel Deng of Sudan

Though he has estimated it has already cost his province $100,000 from The Episcopal Church in the USA, he continues fearlessly to call TEC to account by saying that there is no solution for the current crisis in the Anglican Communion till TEC repents and undoes what it did in making Gene Robinson a bishop.

He has given a clear public account of his position and accepts the challenge of discussion. His approach mirrors that taken by other primates from Tanzania, Rwanda, West Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Southern Cone. Transparency and accountability is a strength they share.

His courage gives the lie to the argument that same-sex relations is a secondary issue. The division of matters into primary and secondary issues is very fluid. The American church has no intention of turning the clock back. They continue to provide for same-sex blessings. The moratorium on this matter was always bound to fail since for TEC this is a first order issue. But TEC urges those who oppose them that this is a second order issue with legitimate diversity and no grounds for breaking communion. This division is not one of theology but of power and preference. Clearly for Archbishop Deng it is first order. That is why he spoke as he did at the Primates Meeting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

George Conger has a lot of Good pictures up from the Primates Meeting in Alexandria

Take a look.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Leander S. Harding: Thoughts on Alexandria

The Anglican Communion is in a state of grave crisis and is broken in a way that is very resistant to reconciliation. The church is broken de facto both within provinces and between provinces. There is a sense of the bizarre and of unreality about discussions that view schism as something that approaches but has not yet come. (The next General Convention of The Episcopal Church may clarify this reality in a stunning way.) The church at all levels is torn and the question now is what degree of reconciliation is possible and what will the de jure structures of a reconciled communion look like. It is a positive development that there is a growing recognition that the current instruments of communion are not adequate to maintain the faith, order and unity of a world-wide church. The emphasis on autonomy by the local provinces across the theological spectrum is hard to square with mutual submission in the Body of Christ especially when issues arise that scandalize large portions of the faithful….

All of the suggestions for pastoral care of the alienated orthodox in North America have been too little and too late. The main defect of these proposals is that they are developed without consulting the very people they are supposed to help and are promulgated without a clear signal that those to whom they are supposed to offer relief, see their needs adequately met.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

Statement from the President of the House of Deputies on the Primates Communiqué and WCG Report

In stark contrast to the increasingly relational tone reflected in the Primates Communiqué, the Windsor Continuation Group has taken a step backward, issuing a report that yearns for greater ecclesial centralization achieved by concentrating power in the hands of bishops and archbishops, further marginalizing the laity and diminishing the influence of member churches in the common life of our Communion. The authors of the report””two retired primates, a primate, two bishops and a retired Cathedral dean””believe an “ecclesial deficit” exists within Anglicanism and propose to remedy it by strengthening three of the four “Instruments of Communion”, namely the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference and the Primates Meeting. The instrument they have overlooked is the Anglican Consultative Council; the only instrument that includes lay people, priests and deacons and that has a constitution that codifies its membership, procedures and authority. The ACC’s meetings have proven much less susceptible to outside manipulation than those of the Primates Meetings, as the machinations at Dromantine and Dar es Salaam made painfully clear.

Yet the Windsor Continuation Group argues that the Communion must receive statements from the Primates: “with a readiness to undertake reflection and accommodation,” while questioning whether the Anglican Consultative Council can “adequately” exercise the purely consultative function it currently serves. This illustrates a triumph of ecclesial ideology over common sense.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), House of Deputies President, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Windsor Report / Process

Jordan Hylden–The Anglicans in Egypt: A Deeper Communion

Some, perhaps, hoped that official communion recognition could be bypassed altogether in favor of recognition by the GAFCON council. But the GAFCON primates themselves, in Egypt, have apparently decided that this route is premature. Instead, the primates at Egypt proposed that a professionally mediated discussion be initiated among all the concerned parties, with the goal of finding some sort of “provisional holding arrangement” that could have the blessing of the communion at large.

What of the “federal liberals,” particularly in the Episcopal Church? As has long been clear, it is unlikely that it will sign on for the sort of robust covenant and institutional reform that the emerging consensus is envisioning. The church’s Executive Council recently published its response to the proposed Anglican Covenant, more or less saying that it is not interested in any sort of covenant with consequences. Bonnie Anderson, the president of the church’s House of Deputies, has for her part signaled that at this summer’s General Convention she will push to move away from an earlier resolution that called for restraint on further consecration of gay bishops. Although the American church does not plan on taking up the covenant at its convention this summer, the arrows thus far point towards an effectual rejection of its terms.

Tellingly and worryingly, the Executive Council’s response also asserted that the proposed Covenant may only be adopted or rejected at the provincial level, rather than the diocesan. For many “communion conservatives” who still remain within the Episcopal Church, this will amount to a deep crisis of conscience, since in effect their church seems bent upon forcing them to choose between the Anglican communion and the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Primates, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, TEC Conflicts, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Presidential Address at General Synod 2009

This is only one example of what people do not want to lose in the life of the Communion. And it is a good Pauline principle, if you read II Corinthians, that we should be glad of the honour of being able to support other churches in their need. Who knows whether some other structure than the Communion as we know it might make this possible? But the bare fact is that what now, specifically, makes it possible is the Communion we have, and that is not something to let go of lightly. Hence the difficult but unavoidable search for the forms of agreed self-restraint that will allow us to keep conversation alive ”“ the moratoria advised by Lambeth, very imperfectly observed yet still urged by the Primates as a token of our willingness not to behave as if debates had been settled that are still in their early stages at best.

The Communion we have: it is indeed a very imperfect thing at the moment. It is still true that not every Primate feels able to communicate at the Lord’s Table alongside every other, and this is indeed a tragedy. Yet last week, all the Primates who had attended GAFCON were present, every one of them took part in daily prayer and Bible study alongside the Primates of North America and every one of them spoke in discussion. In a way that I have come to recognise as very typical of these meetings, when talk of replacing Communion with federation of some kind was heard, nearly everyone reacted by saying that this was not something they could think about choosing. We may have imperfect communion, but we unmistakably want to find a way of holding on to what we have and ‘intensifying’ it ”“ to use the language I used last summer about the proposed Anglican Covenant. Somehow, the biblical call to be involved with one another at a level deeper than that of mere affinity and good will is still heard loud and clear. No-one wants to rest content with the breach in sacramental fellowship, and everyone acknowledges that this breach means we are less than we are called to be. But the fact that we recognise this and that we still gather around the Word is no small thing; without this, we should not even be able to hope for the full restoration of fellowship at the Eucharist.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Eucharist, Lambeth 2008, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Fort Worth Reflections on the Alexandria Communiqué

My first reading of the Communiqué left me rather disappointed. I wanted to ask, “Is that all there is?” After hearing some of the comments made about the Alexandria meeting by GAFCON Primates, I have come to the conclusion that reading the Communiqué is not sufficient for understanding what actually transpired during the course of the meeting itself. Evidently the document released by the Primates does not tell the whole story. If Archbishops Greg Venables and Henry Orombi are encouraged and hopeful about what will come of all this, then so am I. Time will tell.

My second and third readings of the Communiqué reinforced my initial impression that we had heard all of this before and that there was not much new in what was being proposed. The idea of mediated conversations has been tried before, but I suppose there is no harm in trying again. Yes, we know there are “difficulties” and “concerns” about the possibility of parallel jurisdictions, but new challenges call for new solutions, and it can be done. There are precedents. So let the “professionally mediated conversation” begin at the earliest opportunity. But let there also be a halt to the litigation and law suits against all parties at the same time. How can we expect to resolve the impasse we are in when TEC still seeks to use the civil courts to eliminate all opposition?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

An Open Letter from Archbishop Akinola to Archbishop Williams

In preparation for the meeting I asked The American Anglican Council to prepare the attached report on the continuing situation of The Episcopal Church to enable people in the wider Communion to have a fuller perspective of the circumstances in North America. I shared it with my colleagues in the Global South but did not release it more widely in the hope that we would receive assurances from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada that they were willing to exercise genuine restraint towards those Anglicans in North America unwilling to embrace their several innovations.

Sadly that did not prove to be the case. Instead we were treated to presentations that sought to trivialize the situation and the consequences for those whose only offence is their determination to hold on doggedly and truthfully to the faith once delivered to the saints. In addition I have learned that even as we met together in Alexandria actions were taken that were in direct contradiction to the season of deeper communion and gracious restraint to which we all expressed agreement. For example, in the days leading up to our meeting, the Diocese of Virginia declared the “inherent integrity and blessedness” of same sex unions and initiated a process to provide for their “blessing”. While we were meeting, The Diocese of Toronto also announced that it will start same sex blessings within a year and The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia filed further costly legal action appealing the court’s decision in twenty cases favouring nine Virginia congregations. These and many further actions are documented within the report.

Please read it all and the attachments in the pdf links underneath the letter.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

Living Church Analysis: Primates Offer Support, Warnings to Both Sides

The primates’ letter had received the unanimous endorsement of the primates, Archbishop Williams said. However, the WCG’s communication was a report prepared by a committee appointed by Archbishop Williams and presented by him to the primates as a resource document; it was not submitted to a vote. Many parts of the communiqué refer to passages from the 17-page WCG report. Other sections of the communiqué refer to the document on gracious restraint. The sections mentioned in the communiqué indicate broader support among the primates.

This communiqué, perhaps to a more significant degree than others in recent years, attempts to look to doctrine rather than legislation or political solutions. The primates pick up a theme from the Windsor Report, which questioned whether the Communion suffered from an “ecclesial deficit, in other words, do we have the necessary theological structural and cultural foundations to sustain the life of the Communion? We need to address divisive issues in a timely and effective way, and to learn the responsibilities and obligations of interdependence.”

The Episcopal Church and the proposed Anglican Church of North America both received support, as well as pointed but fair questions about their conduct and objectives. For instance, The Episcopal Church was praised for its efforts to date to exercise “gracious restraint” in not consecrating any additional openly gay bishops. The proponents of the proposed new parallel province in North America were reassured that they were Anglican, and that they were deserving of some measure of protection from legal attacks, at least in the short term.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Primates, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

Church Society Comment on the Primates Meeting

Another meeting of Anglican Primates has come and gone, nothing of substance has been done or decided. The problem the Communion faces is not with one or two individuals such as Gene Robinson who unfairly has become the focus of our problems, but rather with false teaching. Those who teach that sexual immorality is acceptable are leading people to destruction. But this is true of more than one or two of the Anglican Primates there are several Primates, including Rowan Williams who appear to hold to such false teaching. Turkeys are not going to vote for Christmas. There are a number of Primates who have taken a lead including those associated with last year’s GAFCON gathering. Yet even they have seemed unwilling publicly to admit that the problem stretches to more than just one or two of their fellow Primates. But they are probably influenced in this by the fact that they are a minority and there are many more who whilst being genuinely outraged by what has happened in the US and Canada, seem temperamentally incapable of taking action. In the Anglican Way part of the task of Bishops is “to drive out strange and erroneous teaching” (Book of Common Prayer Ordinal) yet in much of what passes as Anglicanism today this part of their role is sadly neglected.

There was a brief time when combined outrage might have translated into action but Rowan Williams headed this off and now it seems that the body of Primates as a whole will not do anything.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Archbishop Peter Akinola: A Wake Up Call to the People of God

All through our gathering at the recently concluded Primates’ meeting I kept wondering whether we were the ones to whom John was writing. We have a glorious reputation ”“ a worldwide communion of millions with a glorious history and beautiful heritage, fluid structures, grand cathedrals, “infallible” canons, historical ecclesiology and ”˜flexible’ hermeneutics ”“ but we are in danger of forgetting what we have received and heard and replacing it with the seemingly attractive gods and goddesses of our age. We are in danger of becoming the ”˜living dead’ by giving the outward appearance of life but in reality we are no more than empty and ineffective vessels. In parts of our Communion some have merged the historical gospel message of Jesus the Christ with seductive ancient heresies and revisionist agendas, which have resulted in an adulterated and dangerous distortion of the gospel. The call to obedience and repentance is one that we must declare but we refuse and instead we replace it with a polite invitation to empty tolerance and endless conversation. Sometimes we think that we can replace the need for repentance with activities, programmes, endless meetings, conventions and communiqués — we are wrong!

Our world is in turmoil desperately looking for hope and we have been given that hope in the life and person of Jesus the Christ who sets us free from the slavery of sin to the new life of the Spirit — that is our message, that is our assurance, that is the holy life to which we have been called. It is a life of costly commitment where we reject the false gods and promises of this present age and embrace the one true God and His righteous claims upon our lives. It is a life of obedience to the revealed Word of God which must never be compromised. It is a gospel message which is to be fully proclaimed unfettered and undiluted. It is a life worth living and a life worth dying for. It is a life of true freedom that was birthed in this land and one we dare not forget.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

ENS: Primates' communiqué, Windsor report draw praise, criticism

[Robert] Duncan made no mention of the primates’ call for mediated talks in his official statement responding to the February 5 communiqué issued after the leaders or primates of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces ended their five day meeting in Alexandria, Egypt. Instead, in that statement, he portrayed the members of the proposed new “Anglican Church in North America” as people “who are attempting to remain faithful amidst vast pressures to acquiesce to beliefs and practices far outside of the Christian and Anglican mainstream.”

[Bonnie] Anderson told ENS that “the primates spoke in a new voice in their communiqué.” Anderson, who plans to issue a full statement next week, went on to say that “while I didn’t agree with everything they said, I appreciated their emphasis on relationships and their commitment to mission. The Windsor Continuation Group is another matter. They seem firmly anchored in the past, yearning for a centralized authority that can solve all of our problems. This is troubling, because centralization disenfranchises the laity, and diminishes the importance of the witness of the local church.”

In their communiqué, the primates called for the development of a “pastoral council” and Williams’ ability to appoint of “pastoral visitors” to assist in healing and reconciliation given the current “situation of tension” in the Anglican Communion. They also encouraged all parties in the current controversies to maintain “gracious restraint” with respect to actions that could exacerbate the tensions, such as same-gender blessings, cross-border interventions and the ordination of gay and lesbian people to the episcopate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Primates, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Polity & Canons

A Reflection by the Primate of Canada Fred Hiltz

The Primates gave considerable attention to the report of the Windsor Continuation Group. It addressed the strained relationships within the Communion over matters of sexuality and unity, and provides recommendations for ways forward in deepening and in some cases restoring Communion. A very significant recommendation, which the Primates whole-heartedly affirmed, is to examine the Instruments of Communion, their respective roles and the manner in which they relate to one another.

The moratoria on the selection of Bishops in same-gender unions, rites of blessings for same-sex unions and cross-border interventions were much discussed. The Primate’s letter acknowledges that deep differences over these matters are held with great conviction. There was a continuing call for gracious restraint on all three fronts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Ruth Gledhill: Anglicans brace themselves for an outbreak of unity

This week, at their meeting in Alexandria, the primates have been debating the Covenant, a new document that is at the heart of the solution and sets out a Bible-based orthodoxy that the provinces will be invited to sign up to. Some provinces may well refuse to do so. These include Canada, where one diocese, New Westminster, has already authorised same-sex blessings, and another, Toronto, is expected to follow suit within a year.

The Episcopal Church of the US might also have difficulty giving full support to a document that does not do full justice to the ministry of clerics such as Bishop Robinson, now an establishment figure who is friendly with President Obama ”” he prayed the invocation at the start of the inauguration celebrations last month.

The result will be not schism but a two-tier communion, with all provinces in communion with the “mother church” in England and its primate, Dr Rowan Williams, primus inter pares or first among equals, but some having a lesser status and not being in full communion with each other.

At the same time the new “church” formed by conservative evangelicals in the US, led by the deposed Bishop of Pittsburgh, Bob Duncan, which is seeking recognition as a new province, is likely to be granted some extra-provincial status allowing the thousands of Anglicans it represents to remain within the Communion. This would lead to two parallel Anglican provinces operating in the US, one free to pursue its mission of inclusivity including the consecration of bishops of different sexualities, the other mandated to preach its own gospel of what it believes to be “orthodoxy”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Common Cause Partnership, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology, Windsor Report / Process

The Chicago Consultation Responds to the Alexandria Primates Communique

The Chicago Consultation issued this statement from its co-convener, Ruth Meyers, in response to the communiqué of the Anglican primates on the final day of their meeting in Egypt:

“Christ calls us to practice both compassion and justice. We reject the false choice suggested by the Primates communiqué that God asks Episcopalians to deny either faithful mission with the worldwide Anglican Communion or full inclusion of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered sisters and brothers,” said Meyers, who is professor of liturgics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

“We look toward General Convention 2009, where we will work with a broad coalition of allies to achieve full inclusion of all the baptized in The Episcopal Church and to be a voice of witness with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people across the Anglican Communion,” continued Meyers.

“The Chicago Consultation believes that the Anglican Communion is, at its best, a manifestation of the body of Christ in which the Holy Spirit blesses members from different cultures and contexts with various gifts. As Christians, we are called to live in communion with one another, but also to embrace all of the Spirit’s gifts””graciously and fearlessly.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

The Windsor Continuation Group Report to the Archbishop of Canterbury

i have been getting a bunch of emails from people who haven’t seen this or who can’t find it. Please take the time to read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

Canada's Archbishop Fred Hiltz welcomes proposed 'mediated conversation'

In a telephone interview at the end of the primates’ meeting, held Feb. 1 to 5 in Alexandria, Egypt, Archbishop Hiltz also said that it appeared relationships among church leaders, which had been ruptured because of bitter divisions over the issue, were being repaired. “I think we’re on the way toward healing within the communion,” he said, describing the mood at the meeting as “generous and gracious.” The past two meetings in Dromantine, Northern Ireland, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, had been chilly and emotionally-charged, with some primates either boycotting the eucharist or refusing to take holy communion with their fellow church leaders as a symbol of the Anglican Communion’s “brokenness.”

Archbishop Hiltz said that although he was disappointed that there had not been a “focused conversation” among primates involved in cross-border interventions right at the meeting, he was nonetheless “encouraged” that the primates chose to adopt a recommendation made by the Windsor Continuation Group for a mediated dialogue.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

George Pitcher: Anglicans at their best when they’re boring

As the 2009 meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion concludes in Egypt today, we can be assured that the world’s Anglican leaders have resumed what they’re best at after last year’s blood-letting. And what Anglican bishops are really good at in conference is being quite, well, boring.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Damian Thompson: Disintegrating Anglican Communion to call in professional mediators

Here’s the panicky statement by the Anglican Primates: “We commit ourselves to support these processes [ie, professional mediation] and to participate as appropriate. We earnestly desire reconciliation with these dear sisters and brothers [nice PC touch] for whom we understand membership of the Anglican Communion is profoundly important. We recognise that these processes cannot be rushed, but neither should they be postponed.”

Is this the first example in history of a Church calling in professional mediators? I rather think it might be. And who will they be? I should be careful what I say, given what a hash the Vatican has just made of mediating with the SSPX, but that dispute is on a very small scale compared to this hydra-headed schism. The Primates say this one “cannot be rushed”. Well, you can bet it won’t be, once the professionals are involved. Someone is going to make a lot of money out of this “mediation”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Toronto Star: Anglicans agree on mediation to halt same-sex union divide

The rift in the Anglican Communion over same-sex marriage blessings and gay clergy is being sent to mediation.

“It’s out of a commitment to reconciliation that this whole process is emerging,” Anglican Church of Canada Primate Fred Hiltz told the Star in a phone interview from Cairo.

Hiltz was among Anglican leaders from around the world meeting in Egypt this week, where a proposal by conservative Anglicans in Canada and the U.S. to set up an orthodox church operating parallel to the more liberal churches of the two countries was discussed.

“There was really no consensus among the primates over that matter,” said Hiltz, who opposes establishing a parallel church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Statement of Bishop Robert Duncan on the Alexandria Primates Meeting

There is honesty in the written Communiqué concerning “our damaged and fractured relationships,” and recognition that the fabric has been torn. There is yearning for “accountability,” even “robust accountability.” Those of us in the Common Cause Partnership who live face to face with the stark realities of unjust depositions, lawsuits, and forced evictions from church buildings and homes are acutely aware of the need for resolution. We are committed to help the process however we can. We are aware, however, that the innovations, punitive lawsuits, and abuses of the Episcopal Church continue to take a toll. They proceed unrepentant and undeterred. We of the Common Cause Partnership and the emerging Anglican Church in North America will do our part for the good of the Anglican family we value so much.

The vision of a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America ”“ indeed in all the world ”“ is undiminished among those who bear the vision. The coming together of the Common Cause Partnership into the Anglican Church in North America will proceed. Our commitment to our missionary partners all around the world will continue. Already larger than twelve Provinces of the Anglican Communion, we will work together in koinonia with all who are willing to work with us….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Primates, Common Cause Partnership, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

AAC: An Honest Look at the Primates Communique

The Primates’ Communiqué offers a compelling diagnosis of the divisions within the Anglican Communion, without any promise of meaningful Communion structures to address those divisions.

Now is the time for faithful Anglicans in North America, both within TEC and within ACNA, to follow the encouragement from Hebrews 12:
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV)

We are all sinners, and we are all in need of a season of repentance, humility, and restoration. May we all fix our eyes on Jesus, and follow him on the course he has marked out before us, renewing our commitment to evangelism, discipleship and mission””and building a united, Biblical missionary Anglicanism in North America and world-wide that will give glory to God by reaching multitudes who do not yet know Jesus Christ.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

The Anglican Network in Canada's Response To the Egypt Anglican Primates’ Comminique

The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) is deeply grateful for the work of the Anglican Communion Primates (leaders of Anglican Churches worldwide) who met this week in Alexandria, Egypt, to discuss issues of justice, righteousness and the current brokenness in the Anglican Communion.

The Primates addressed pressing humanitarian and political issues and published statements regarding the crises in Zimbabwe, the Sudan and Gaza. We pray that their thoughtful discussions and subsequent statements addressing these pressing matters will bear good fruit. We call upon ANiC parishes and members, and all Christians worldwide, to join with the Primates in praying for peace and order in the war-torn regions of our world.

We are grateful that these leaders also addressed the “continuing deep differences” in the Communion, acknowledging the “depth of conscientious conviction involved” and that “the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1:10 in its entirety remains” the undisputed position of the Anglican Communion on sexuality.

We appreciate the Primates’ recognition that members of the Common Cause Partnership and the Anglican Church in North America are fully Anglican and their unanimous support for the Windsor Continuation Group’s recommendation that the Archbishop of Canterbury initiate professional mediation to address the difficult issues in North America. The call for “gracious restraint” clearly shows their desire to preserve faithful Anglican parishes and protect clergy while the Communion continues to wrestle with the profound theological divide. We pray that “gracious restraint” will be exercised by the Anglican Church of Canada and that no further faithful Anglicans will be forced to leave their churches until the crisis is resolved.

ANiC members, together with ACNA and all our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion, will continue to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to minister locally, nationally and internationally through our active and vibrant congregations.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Telegraph: Anglican church leaders to bring in 'relationship counsellors' over sexuality dispute

A report backed by the heads of all the Anglican provinces around the world has put forward the innovative proposal as a way to settle the dispute between conservatives, who oppose the ordination of homosexual clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions, and liberals.

The external mediators will try to reconcile differences between the Common Cause Partnership, a group of orthodox Anglicans in America and Canada who want to set up a new province, and the national churches from which they have split.

At the end of a week-long gathering of the leaders of the 38 Anglican provinces in Alexandria, Egypt, known as the Primates Meeting, they said in a joint communique: “We request the Archbishop of Canterbury to initiate a professionally mediated conversation which engages all parties at the earliest opportunity. We commit ourselves to support these processes and to participate as appropriate.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009