Monday, 18 October 2004

What the Windsor Report said -- an overview

Whilst we encourage everyone to read the Windsor Report in full, for the benefit of readers we provide this short overview of its main features, with thanks to TA reader, the Revd Roger Stokes.

For a fuller summary this page at Beliefnet is worth reading.

We also like Dave Walker’s lighter summary.

Follow the link on the next line to read Roger’s overview.

Was it coincidence that the Feast Day of St Luke, the patron saint of physicians, was chosen for the publication of the Windsor Report? It was, after all, intended as a start to the healing of the Anglican Communion following what happened in North America in 2003 and the reaction to those events. Leaks over recent weeks had suggested that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada would be severely disciplined, with the Episcopal Church possibly being kicked out of the Anglican Communion, for going against the clear meaning of Scripture.

What actually happened was a reprimand, not for going against biblical teaching, but for neglecting the mutual responsibility and respect that is the heart of the relationship between the Provinces of the Communion. Those most closely involved are urged to apologize for this lack of respect towards sister Churches and, pending that apology, to withdraw from representing their own Churches in the wider Christian scene until they are prepared to commit themselves to accept the responsibilities of membership of the Communion.

These actions have hurt many sincere and committed Anglicans within the Churches concerned and the Report calls for their pastoral needs to be recognized. However it expresses the belief that these needs can and should be met from within the Provinces concerned, using the sort of model that has been suggested by the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. While it is possible that bishops from other Anglican Churches might be involved, this should be with the consent of the incumbent bishop as to do otherwise would violate the territorial integrity of the Province concerned. Those bishops who have been involved in such ‘incursions’ are also called on to abstain from further involvement and commit themselves to the principles of the Communion, including the geographical integrity of the various jurisdictions.

All in all, a balanced call to return to thoroughly Anglican principles of respect and responsibility as being essential if we are to continue to walk together as disciples of Christ and a call to talk and consult before taking actions which would further fragment the Body of Christ.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Monday, 18 October 2004 at 10:48pm BST | TrackBack
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Comments

I've had my reservations about the Episcopal Church in the USA as well as certain segments of Mother Church of England for at least 40 years in regard to its 19th Century Latudinarianism. Those who constitute the Leadership of the Episcopal Church USA and their followers,with some obvious exceptions of course, should leave the Anglican Communion and become Unitarian/Universalists. Their ideology is in perfect harmony with their belief system. If they truly have any moral and theological integrity,they should leave as soon as possible. The Unitarian Church is looking for persons such as these to provide the liturgical fullness and ideas to augment their diversity.

Posted by: albieon on Tuesday, 19 October 2004 at 2:22am BST

Mr. McClain,

As a mainstream Episcopalian who supports and agrees with the leadership of my church I wish to grant you the benefit of the doubt and suggest that perhap you don't realize what a tired, offensive, slur your invitation to the Unitarian Church is.

Let me make this very plain. We Episcopalians have a trinitarian theology. We value the sacraments and the Historic Episcopate. We can say the Creed without crossing our fingers. We are catholic Christians. Your suggestion otherwise is unkind and wrong.

Posted by: Andrew Grimmke on Tuesday, 19 October 2004 at 9:54am BST

The Anglican Communion is somewhat like the British Commonwealth. The Queen is the respected head but member states are independent, Australians do not tell Canadians what to do.
Nigerians should be busy tiding up their own back yard where AIDS is rampart among their heterosexual congregations. Marital fidelity among their flock should be their concern, not whether the far away ECUSA had consecrated one gay Bishop. John Heaney

Posted by: John Heaney on Friday, 22 October 2004 at 1:53am BST

Too much is being made of our failure to agree. It is not necessary to agree on issues. What is REQUIRED of us is to love one another.

Posted by: johnetteward on Thursday, 28 October 2004 at 3:05am BST

John Heaney's comment is intolerant and I take issue with him. Nigeria has a remarkable record of ministry to souls and is a rapidly growing Anglican province. His outragous simplistic comment only serves to demonstrate ignorance of the vital ministry in the cure of souls. The Anglican Communion is part of the one Holy catholic Apostolic Church. When one part of the body of Christ(ECUSA)falls into apostacy it causes grief to the rest of the body. Our Nigerian brethren are involved in the Great Commission to Muslim brothers and should be praised rather than denigrated. It is a matter of faith and salvation to life eternal Mr. Heaney.
Take a look at the epistles of Saint Paul and the General Epistle of James and you will get the true picture of what this is all about.

Posted by: Canon Brian W. Iverach, MSSJ on Monday, 8 November 2004 at 6:28pm GMT