Thinking Anglicans

Statement from "Communion Partner" bishops

Updated Wednesday morning

The seven “Communion Partner” American bishops who recently visited Lambeth Palace have issued a statement.

The full text of their statement was first published at Cotton Country Anglican and is reproduced here below the fold.

It includes a recommendation to urge the adoption of the Anglican Covenant by the US General Convention. This would appear to be at odds with the views expressed recently by the ACI and the Bishop of Durham.

ENS now has a comprehensive report by Mary Frances Schjonberg at Seven Episcopal bishops urge covenant endorsement at all church levels.

A Report of the meeting of the Bishops of Albany, Dallas, North Dakota, Northern Indiana, South Carolina, West Texas and Western Louisiana with the Archbishop of Canterbury on September 1, 2009.

As seven representatives of the Communion Partner Bishops, we are grateful to have met with the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss our concern in light of the recent actions of the General Convention and the subsequent nomination of candidates “whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on Communion” (General Convention 2006, B033).

At this meeting we expressed our appreciation for his post-convention reflections, “Communion, Covenant, and our Anglican Future,” and were especially interested in his statement about whether “elements” in Provinces not favorably disposed to adopt the Anglican Covenant “will be free … to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with parts of the communion.”

Given our commitment to remain constituent members of both the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church, we are encouraged by our meeting with the Archbishop. We agree with him that our present situation is “an opportunity for clarity, renewal and deeper relation with one another – and also Our Lord and his Father in the power of the Spirit.” We, too, share a desire to “intensify existing relationships” by becoming part of a “Covenanted” global Anglican body in communion with the See of Canterbury. We also pray and hope that “in spite of the difficulties this may yet be the beginning of a new era of mission and spiritual growth for all who value the Anglican name and heritage.”

We understand the divisions before us, not merely differences of opinion on human sexuality, but also about differing understandings of ecclesiology and questions regarding the independence or interdependence of a global communion of churches in discerning the mind of Christ together. However, we also shared our concern that the actions of General Convention have essentially rejected the teaching of 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 as the mind of the Communion, and raise a serious question whether a Covenant will be adopted by both Houses at General Convention 2012.

At the same time we are mindful that General Convention Resolution D020 “commended the Anglican Covenant proposed in the most recent text of the Covenant Design Group (the “Ridley Cambridge Draft”) and any successive draft to dioceses for study during the coming triennium” and invited dioceses and congregations to “consider the Anglican Covenant proposed draft as a document to inform their understanding of and commitment to our common life in the Anglican Communion.”

Therefore, at this time we make the following requests of Communion minded members of the The Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion:

1. We encourage dioceses, congregations and individuals of The Episcopal Church to pray and work for the adoption of an Anglican Communion Covenant.

2. We encourage dioceses and congregations to study and endorse the Anglican Communion Covenant when it is finally released and to urge its adoption by General Convention, or to endorse the first three sections of the Ridley Cambridge Draft and the Anaheim Statement, and to record such endorsements on the Communion Partners website (www.communionpartners.org).

3. We encourage bishops, priests, deacons and laypersons of The Episcopal Church who support the adoption of the Anglican Communion Covenant to record such endorsement on the Communion Partners website.

4. We encourage dioceses and congregations, in the spirit of GC2009 Resolution D030 [B030], to engage in “companion domestic mission relationships among dioceses and congregations within The Episcopal Church.”

5. We encourage Bishops exercising jurisdiction in The Episcopal Church to call upon us for service in needed cases of Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight.

6. We encourage relationships between Communion Partners and primates, bishops, provinces and dioceses in other parts of the Communion, in order the enhance the ministry we share in the life of the Communion.

7. We invite primates and bishops of the Communion to offer their public support to these efforts.

+Mark J. Lawrence, South Carolina
+Gary R. Lillibridge, West Texas
+Edward S. Little, II, Northern Indiana
+William H. Love, Albany
+D. Bruce MacPherson, Western Louisiana
+Michael G. Smith, North Dakota
+James M. Stanton, Dallas

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Tobias HallerPluralistCharlotteSimon SarmientoFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Doesn’t look as though they got much encouragement from Rowan.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Why is co-dependency such a flaw with Episcopal clerics, both liberal and conservative?

Lois Keen
Guest

Well, my, that is a very spare statement. It says nothing new at all. Golly.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

People pleasing…it´s what one will do to get the attention and validation that one thinks they MUST HAVE to be RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT! (of course it´s a temporary ¨fix¨ as it´s a fake/flawed human despensed reassurance). Lord, spare us from those who have so little TRUST in God and respect for all of Gods children that they must stur up and DEMAND self-serving validation to calm their spiritual ills. Insisting their fragile religious CORRECTNESS on the broken backs of those who are persecuted, demonized, loathed (and jailed by religious zealots in Uganda, Nigeria and beyond) and excluded at Church is… Read more »

Robert Dodd
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Robert Dodd

If the ABC is wise, he will make no comment at all. Anything he says will likely be “twisted by knaves to make traps for fools.”

Ann
Guest

I think they mean B030 not D030 – D030 is about Gaza and did not pass bishops.

Bonnie Spivey
Guest
Bonnie Spivey

I observe that only those showing support are invited to make comments. Guess those of us who disagree will have to set up our own website.

ettu
Guest
ettu

Bonnie– I have never seen any comments refused for unpopular opinions. It is true politeness and insight seem to be nourished at this site – at least that has been my observation over a few years. If the comments are able to stand the scrutiny of others they seem to be welcome.

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

Of these seven, I know only one, +Ed Little, and I disagree with him completely about +Rowan’s misguided and a-historical hope to convert Anglicanism into a church. That being said, however, Bp. Little is the furthest thing from self-serving (nor is he a knave, though I realize Robert didn’t say that he was). Indeed, he is considerate, pastoral and thoughtful, a father to his diocese in something of the same mold as his sainted predecessor +William C. R. Sheridan, whose own conservatism did not make him any the less beloved by all sides. Iirc, +Ed’s last special trip to Lambeth… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

This statement is just another weather report interim, in the ongoing storms and flurries which are global conservative Anglican realignment. It’s spin is same old, same old. First, we are uniquely imprisoned by Lord Carey’s mean-spirited Lambeth 1998 1.10. Though hardly any other existing Lambeth resolution is construed so narrowly, selectively, and blindly – the other resultions are just resolutions, no? The mind of all uniquely captured and chained in L-1998-1.10, when it patently was not the mind of all, so had to be passed as the going mind of all believers in our big tents. If one asks any… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Hmmm. * No endorsement of the notions that TEC dioceses can sign on to the Covenant individually. * Dioceses can express support for parts 1-3 of the Ridley Covenant Draft, but not part 4, as that is now being revised. No thought here of signing on to all of the original RCD as a pre-emptive strike against revision. * No encouragement here for those who would say that TEC has already repudiated the Anglican Covenant by its actions at GC 2009. Those with concerns are encouraged to sign the Anaheim statement. So, most interesting for what it does not say,… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

As Simon indicates by his juxtaposition of the stories, far from saying nothing this is one of the most significant statements of recent years. It is, in my view the most dramatic victory Rowan has won in this whole sorry mess and a crushing defeat for the Durham/ACI/Fulcrum axis who have done everything they can to undermine and rubbish Rowan’s handling of the matter so far. This is a humiliation that, I believe isolates Durham and shows his true colours. He despises Rowan’s strategy, his performance for the press at Lambeth was as close to spitting in Rowan’s face as… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

This seems very tame after all the hushed and not so hushed whispers leading up to the meeting. I imagine Rowan must have reinforced two messages he has tried to make clear on many occasions: (1) the Covenant is the way forward; (2) even if TEC doesn’t sign on, it will still be in the Anglican Communion, though participating less actively in some of its mechanisms. Until the final Part 4 is seen, I remain hopeful TEC will be able to sign on to the Covenant. I do not see anything to be panicked about in the first three parts… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

ettu
I understood Bonnie’s comment as a reference to what the bishops wrote. They asked supporters of the covenant to write to say so. They didn’t invite those who disagreed with the covenant to say so.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“This is a humiliation that, I believe isolates Durham and shows his true colours. He despises Rowan’s strategy, his performance for the press at Lambeth was as close to spitting in Rowan’s face as can be. I think this might mean his resignation – any honourable man would accept this as a reasonable outcome” – Martin Reynolds – This statement, by Martin reynolds – together with that of Tobias – seems to pretty fairly sum up what has transpired out of the ‘Big 7’ meeting with the ABC; that the conservatives have not gained anything from their meeting – except… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Martin Reynolds, Tobias Haller: Mary Frances Schjonberg of the Episcopal News Service reads the announcement quite differently. See http://www.episcopal-life.org/79901_114535_ENG_HTM.htm
I think she may be mistaken in some of her particulars but perhaps one might be willing to dialogue with her?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Charlotte
Could you clarify what it is in Mary Frances’s report that is so different?
Simon

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Yes, thanks, Simon. It’s nuance perhaps rather than information. She mentioned the Communion Partner bishops’ interest in being able to sign on to the Anglican Communion as individual dioceses, even if the Episcopal Church does not. The bishops’ statement does not allow for this possibility (as we’ve been noting on this site). That was not brought out in her article. Lumen Christie commented on TitusOneNine as follows: “The [ENS] article stated: “The Communion Partners have said that individual dioceses could sign onto a covenant whether or not the General Convention agreed to do so.” There was a deanery meeting this… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

The Sixth Form Head has had some of the boys back in his office again because they have produced yet another (shorter) piece that contradicts the outlook of the seven and the Head Boy.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/09/back-at-sixth-form.html

Tobias Haller
Guest

The Archbishop noted in his post-GC reflections that the question of individual dioceses signing on would have to be given a very clear answer. He has obviously not given the desired answer, at least as far as the Seven Visiting Bishops were concerned. His “guarded” language was no doubt in the general form of “that is a something that will require very careful thought and I am not on my own in a position to make such a decision…” It is astounding to me that people keep asking the Archbishop to do things he plainly has said he will not… Read more »