Saint John the Evangelist (Lockport, IL)

Monday, March 07, 2005

What Anglicans Are Saying

The recent Anglican Primates meeting resulted in some actions directed toward the US and Canadian churches as a result of the Windsor Report. The following are some selected comments from more moderate voices...John

What Anglicans Are Saying …
The Anglican Primates sincerely want to preserve the Anglican Communion. That is obvious from their just-concluded meeting and from the resulting communiqué. Equally obvious is that what was agreed to was a carefully negotiated compromise crafted to buy more time for reconciliation. Whether it will be successful on those terms remains to be seen. What is clear now is that no province has left the Communion and no province has been expelled. Comments from across the Communion are below.
Let me be clear about what we have agreed to do. We have not expelled the churches of America and Canada. Nor have they been placed in some sort of limbo, as some press reports suggested. There are no legal provisions for any such actions. The door to the Americans and Canadians is not shut.
— Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop and Primate of South Africa, 2/26/2005
The Primates’ communiqué is not a perfect document and no doubt there will be a variety of interpreta-tions. It does, however, reflect the consensus that we were able to achieve. The Windsor Report challenged us to maximize the bonds of affection in seeking God’s will for the Church. We have forged ahead, while realizing there is still much to do. Celebrating how we share Communion together is not a matter of what is written on paper, but rather of how we live out our faith in relation to all of our sisters and brothers. The Primates experienced a strong sense of reconciliation and fellowship through the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the graciousness of our host Archbishop Robin Eames.
— Andrew Hutchinson, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada, 2/25/2005
We have carefully studied the Windsor Report and how we might best be a communion in the midst of the deep differences which have been brought into sharp relief around the subject of homosexuality. I leave Ire-land grateful that we as primates have done our very best to find a way forward and to avoid creating an unpro-ductive situation of winners and losers.
— Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate, Episcopal Church, USA, 2/25/2005
We did not solve all our differences on the issues of sexuality but did find a way which respected the in-tegrities of both sides of the argument and set in motion a process that will allow us to keep talking together. De-spite our differences we were able to affirm the place of homosexual people within the life of the Church and it is my hope that the Scottish Episcopal Church will continue to be open and inclusive to all those who want to fol-low Christ. I very much hope that the Scottish Episcopal Church will continue to be a listening and welcoming church to people who have differing opinions.
I do not believe the Communion is now facing a serious split, as some are claiming. The Scottish Episco-pal Church remains in communion with the churches of USA and Canada as well as our brothers and sisters in the churches in Africa.
— Bruce Cameron, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, 2/25/2005
The ACC is truly the most representative of the Anglican Instruments of Unity—the Archbishop of Can-terbury, the Primates and the Lambeth bishops are all in episcopal orders. For the ACC, a genuinely synodical in-ternational gathering, to have its membership and atmosphere adjusted essentially at the behest of the Primates’ meeting would severely damage the balance of dispersed authority within Anglicanism. There is a real danger that the crisis of to-day will give way to the centralised curialisation of to-morrow.
— The Very Rev. Michael Burrows and Kate Turner, ACC Delegates from Ireland, 2/26/2005
It is certainly not true that the North American churches are being asked to withdraw from the Anglican Communion or even from the Anglican Consultative Council. … So, we want to create some space to allow that listening process [to the explanations from the American churches] to happen. Equally, importantly, during the same period, all the primates have committed themselves not to encourage or to initiate cross-boundary interven-tions in other churches which should be autonomous in the handling of their internal life. It’s understandable that if a particular parish has an issue with its bishop and they have a neighboring bishop or a bishop in another country who’s friendly to them, there will be some telephone conversations. And, generally speaking, the inter-ventions of bishops from outside a particular church is [sic] not helpful. In fact, it’s a threat to our Communion. So, all the primates are not just asked not to encourage or initiate cross-boundary actions, but we have, in fact, all committed ourselves unanimously to that.
— Archbishop Peter Carnley, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, 2/25/05

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