Monday, 9 February 2004

Synod answers on VGR

The main feature of the first day of the General Synod of the Church of England was Questions. There were 85 of them. Several dealt with matters arising from the consecration of Gene Robinson as a bishop in ECUSA.

Dr Philip Jeffrey (Chichester) asked the Chairman of the House of Bishops:
Q. What advice, if any, will the House of Bishops be offering in connection with any decision as to whether the Church of England is in full or impaired communion with those bishops of ECUSA who took part in the consecration of Gene Robinson and will any such advice be given in time to assist those members of the Church of England who, whilst working or travelling in the United States in the course of this summer, desire to worship in Anglican churches.
and
Revd Brian Leathers (Derby) asked:
Q. In the light of the world-wide opposition to the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, what consideration has the House given to formally breaking communion with the Diocese of New Hampshire and with those parts of ECUSA which endorsed his appointment?
and
Mrs Margaret Brown (Chichester) also asked:
Q. What steps has the House of Bishops taken to ensure that any bishops involved in the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson should not be allowed to officiate at Confirmations, Ordinations and Consecrations, or to celebrate the Holy Communion in this country?
and
Revd Brian Leathers (Derby) also asked:
Q. Has the House of Bishops issued, or will it be issuing a policy or guidance for its members on the granting of licenses or permission to minister in their dioceses to those who took part in the consecration of Gene Robinson.
and
Mrs Margaret Brown (Chichester) also asked:
Q. Has the House of Bishops expressed its support for all those in ECUSA and the Canadian Church who remain faithful to traditional Biblical teaching on marriage, homosexual practice and cohabitation.

The Archbishop of Canterbury replied:
A. Chairman, with permission I will respond to the question from Dr Jeffrey and the two questions each from Mrs Brown and Mr Leathers together.
Synod has heard the remarks I made earlier concerning the Anglican Communion. As I said then, I hope we will pray for the work of the Eames Commission looking into related matters.
With regard to arrangements for visitors worshipping in the United States, this is surely a judgement for individuals and not one for the House of Bishops.
On the ministry of Gene Robinson in this country - that is not a question for the House of Bishops, but, in accordance with the Overseas and Other Clergy Measure of 1967 - for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. I have indicated already that I would not be prepared to give my permission under that legislation for Gene Robinson to exercise episcopal functions here.
On the position of others involved in the consecration, the House of Bishops has not thought it appropriate to issue guidance.

Also, the following:
Dr Philip Jeffrey (Chichester) asked the Secretary General:
Q. In view of the fact that a number of Provinces of the Anglican Communion have declared themselves to be out of communion with, or in a state of impaired communion with, those bishops of ECUSA who took part in the consecration of Gene Robinson, what is the competent authority in the Church of England to decide whether or not the Church of England is in full or impaired communion with those bishops?

The Secretary General, Mr William Fittall replied:
A. The Church of England is in communion with Churches, and not separately with individual dioceses - still less with individual bishops - within those churches. For the purposes of the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure and the Church Representation Rules, a decision by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is conclusive in determining whether a Church - as a whole - is in communion with the Church of England.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 9 February 2004 at 9:31pm GMT | TrackBack
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