Thursday, 14 January 2016
Official Statement from Primates 2016
Statement from Primates 2016
14 Jan 2016
Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.
The Primates regret that it appears that this document has been leaked in advance of their communiqué tomorrow. In order to avoid speculation the document is being released in full. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.
Questions and further comments will be responded to at a press conference tomorrow at 1500. Full details are available here.
The full text is as follows:
1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.
2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.
3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.
4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.
5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.
6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.
7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.
8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Thursday, 14 January 2016 at 5:37pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
If this really is the proposed solution - the humiliation and castigation of ECUSA - then it is clear that the whole process has been about power and conformity and not about people's lives, personal faith or pastoral needs. A very cowardly outcome which will arouse a lot of anger. Why not just admit the thing is broken? Will anything be different in the West in 3 years' time?
Do I understand this correctly; our wise primates are "keeping the Anglican Communion together" whilst marginalising (arguably effectively expelling) the only province that is really living out true inclusivity? But Uganda went home early anyway? I despair...
This is why the LGBT community will achieve nothing in the Church of England other than continued discrimination. It cannot do what the most conservative will not allow it to do. Smell the coffee and leave.
Simon would have to censor what I really think about this.
They missed one.
9. We recognize that LGBTQ people are Children of God and must be treated with dignity. We lament human rights violations against LGBTQ people occurring in Christ's name in some of our provinces. It is an affront to the Body of Christ. Therefore we are also sanctioning the provinces where the church has supported human rights violations.
I'm sure that one will turn up tomorrow.
It is disappointing that the suffering of LGBTQ people is not even acknowledged. We don't count. We aren't people. We aren't Children of God, created in God's Image and equally loved.
It is clear that the suffering of the three Jeremy's in CoE was part of a cynical effort to bolster +Justin's position and obtain this nasty result. To all the Jeremy's I feel for you.
Seemingly, the fabulous Letter to the Archbishops didn't have the immediate impact I had hoped for. The deans and bishops who didn't sign are complicit in this attack on the LGBTQ members of the Body of Christ. Silence is taken as "unity" on homophobia.
This meeting was billed as having the goal of learning to live together with difference, what a Godly result that would have been. I think we were hoodwinked, bamboozled, and betrayed.
I was naive and hopeful that this was going to be a real effort to get along and stop the attacks on TEC and LGBTQ people everywhere. Not embrace our ways, just stop the attacks. The Joy of the Incarnation had blinded me to the realpolitik that is the Bad News of Justin and his buddies, the human rights violators.
Thank you to the writers and signers of the Letter to the Archbishops. Therein lies the Good News that will prevail, eventually.
"3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion."
What about the pain suffered day to day by LGBT people?
"7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together." The Episcopal Church and some other provinces and Christians choose to 'walk together' with LGBT people, and affirm and celebrate their lives.
The Episcopal Church cares about the marginalised, and so it gets marginalised itself. Neat work. It is meaningless, in terms of the love they will keep on giving.
We in England *rejected* The Covenant, with its insistence on uniformity. Was that just a dream?
"8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ."
Sorry, that just reads as corporate spin, and self-justification. Sort of 'love the sinner, but hate the sin'.
Ever heard that before.
Just for the record, I am, many of us are, in full communion with The Episcopal Church. We remain in the Church of England to change it and to keep loving Christ and serving people at the local community level... but frankly, the archbishop has lost his authority, when it comes to trying to control our consciences - something he can never do.
He faces resistance now, right here in England. Individuals and priests and deans and churches, at local level, will scorn this action by the prelates. The Letter to the Archbishops revealed the depth of feeling and support for LGBT people, and I very much hope Jayne Ozanne will follow up her first letter with a Covenant of Affirmation, stating the date and time from which Christians in our country will decide their own consciences - at local church level - and getting a core group to be the first signatories, before opening it to all.
Enough of this shocking and repeated attempt to impose uniformity of conscience.
Lord have mercy, especially on those who are marginalised, or diminished for being different from the privileged and the corporate elite.
My heart and prayers are with TEC. The tone of the communiqué feels as though they have been put on the naughty step. What sanctions are there on those in the Communion who have supported the criminalisation of homosexuality? Committed, long term faithful relationships are, it would seem, part of God's plan for human beings. We are created social beings. How can we insist that some of us because of the way in which we are created (and we are all created in the image of God) must live a life of loneliness? It is an entirely separate issue about whether all committed, long term and faithful relationships should be described as 'marriage', but bless these relationships we must do, it is not an option.
I've had enough. Enough with the despicable Church of England and with much of the Anglican communion. I hope that our representatives in General Convention have had enough of this and no longer feel that there is any problem with planting Episcopal congregations and dioceses throughout England. And I hope GC respects the wish of the Anglican communion to be left alone and lets them pay their own bills now. There are enough needs in the countries represented in The Episcopal Church that we don't need to send any more money that way. Enough is enough. We should also remember this treatment when those crumbling CoE parishes come begging, hat in hand, for American parishes to help with the bills. This should be the very end of that scam. How dare they.
Who gave these bozos (American term for clowns) permission to decide anything on these matters? Only the Anglican Communion, through it's chosen vehicle the Anglican Consultative Council, can decide who sits on the standing committees. I think you will find great resistance from many national church bodies to this top down approach to polity.
So faced with a clear moral choice, our Archbishops chose to side with prejudice and discrimination. Disgraceful and embarrassing.
And by "walk together in the grace and love of Christ" we mean...what? Seems like Say the Opposite Day at Canterbury. Sorry...that was supposed to be tomorrow.
Another example: the first sentence of Point 7.
As a faithful follower of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and an Episcopalian, I resent the actions that would happen if the Archbishop of Canterbury were to accept "suggestion" numbered seven which would bar the Episcopal Church from any and all commissions, committees or agencies. If this is enacted, I would demand that the Episcopal Church refuse all and any monies provided to any and all members of the "Anglican Communion" who would accept this "suggestion". To have Provinces of the Communion that discriminate, actively do physical harm to those who God so lovingly birthed differently and continue to expect that the Episcopal Church fund them, I would demand that they be excluded from the very same commissions, committees and agencies that they would have the Episcopal Church excluded. These provinces live in another century and are the ones that are tearing apart the Anglican Communion.
Perhaps it is time for the dissolution of the Anglican Communion as we have known it, To have provinces that are in another century represent the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to accept the fact that there is no going back. To accept all of God's children as his beloved, then all must be afforded the same rights and privileges that God grants. He does not grant to a few but to all his children.
I will always be proud that I am a member of the Episcopal Church and know that God has given us a difficult road but a road that he wants for all his children.
So let's get this straight - they are committed to walking together by booting out TEC. Just like they are totally against homophobia by (lovingly of course) discriminating against and sacking LGBT folk. What a forked tongue they have. Meanwhile it is of course perfectly godly to approve of criminalising LGBT folk. This institution is sick in mind and soul.
So the bullies have their way. TEC (but not Canada) on the naughty step for 3 years and injustice to LGBT brothers and sisters to continue until hell freezes over. Time for the revolution to begin?
If item seven had stopped after the single sentence 'It is our unanimous desire to walk together', there might have been some hope. The second sentence in item seven which pronounces an inhibition on the Episcopal Church is an extraordinary snub to the body which historically effectively created the Anglican Communion in the first place and which has generously funded all the rest ever since.
In the light of the statement about marriage, will the Communion, led by GAFCON and Canterbury, repudiate remarriage after divorce?
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, now in our latter days hath the Churhc of Canterbury hath erred in manifold wickedness, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
Since when and how have our 'primates' been granted such absolute power?
Nothing on the status of Acna?
So spineless Welby has sold out then. Surprise? No not at all, it entirely sums up the man.
Now much longer does the Church of England have to be, like the First World War, lions led by donkeys?
I said this in a comment on the earlier (now removed) posting about rumors of "sanctions" on TEC:
Presiding Bishop Curry should now walk out of this meeting.
It would be insane to expect the majority of Primates to do something different. Same Stuff, Different Day for nearly 20 years. Fortunately their opinion has not power. But TEC should look carefully at how people voted.
Time for us to defund the Anglican Communion apart from Compassionate aid. Welty should not have let this statement happen.
As a long time listener to TA. I am hardly surprised at the primates statement. I am an episcopalian in Ohio. Our church door remains open to all even the clearly bigoted, homophopic primates. My prayers and love go out to all who suffer from the statements and hateful actions. However they do not speak for those of us who know that church is done here on the ground floor not by arrogant primates meeting behind closed doors. Our coomandment is simple: Love.
Whatever one thinks about the issue at the centre of the latest "frenzy" (to use a term Bishop Colenso used), the Churches of the "Anglican Communion" are independent and autonomous. This still needs to be understood, not least by the Primates ! No outside body can determine their "doctrine" and "polity". (All, of course, claim a Scriptural foundation and all have the three-fold ordained ministry, and usually some authority is given to the Thirty Nine Articles although in the C.of E. the requirement of subscription to every statement in the Articles fortunately was abolished as long ago as 1865!) This autonomous character is made clear, for example, in the Constitution of my Anglican Church of Australia. I think it makes no mention of any other body except "the Church of England". Various Churches of the Anglican Communion have various and differing relationships with other Churches, including non-Anglican Churches, and that will not change. But that fact is not the end of the world. Life is messy and a "messy Church" is not always a bad thing. Let's live, and let live !
Rene Girard died too soon to comment on this stellar example of his thesis at work.
I thought that Anglican representatives on ecumenical and interfaith dialogues were appointed by the ABC or Anglican Communion Office as individuals, based on their particular experience and qualifications, and not as members/representatives of a particular church. So in no sense is "The Episcopal Church" representing the Communion in these dialogues.
And as to "not tak[ing] part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine", no Communion bodies have any power to make decisions on doctrinal issues, so this seems a toothless sanction. (Unfortunately, non-participation on issues of polity is a serious matter, given the push for curial powers among some in the Communion).
On the whole, the communique is the perfect example of writing by committee, jumbled, incoherent and self-contradictory.
And as to Canada, the threat is there in #2 (General Synod takes up the marriage canon this year).
What happens after 3 years? I can only hope that if the ECUSA doesn't repent, that they would be put under another 3 year sanction... and so on and so forth. They should be allowed come back to the communion as soon as they come back to obedience to God's revealed will, but not before! Thank God for some discipline...finally!
And English liberals will do nothing apart from discipline their friends if keeping nice robes and pensions requires that they sacrifice principle. Have another sherry.
And Canada and NZ and SEC will do nothing and stay in the club. It's nice to have a pointy hat in a big club when you're tiny.
And even TEC will stop doing things which might jeopardise its re-entry in 3 years time - it's too much fun being part of this multinational?
Anyone got any guts? Start TEc(UK) and let TeC lead a liberal equivalent to gafcon - walk away for the sake of principle. Or stop talking about MLK - he did more than moan; he acted despite it being so costly. Don't compromise principles to be part of the club - you don't have to so why compromise?
How dare they?! How DARE they unilaterally decide who are Anglicans? Who DO you think you are, Justin Welby and the Primates?!
I want a Communion of people who love one another - despite their different views on gender and sexuality. Howver, this unity cannot be enforced by puritannical insistence on uniformity as a prescription for membership. Nor will a pointed absence from sharing the Body and Blood of Christ at the same altar with the 'UNCLEAN ' help bring about a restoration of Communion relationships.
My relationship, en Christo, is with those who want to relate to me - in all my human frailty. In Christ, the poor in spirit are blessed!
4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.
A meaningless statement as it ducks the issue of divorce and remarriage, which all the GAFCON provinces condone.
As with the Mormon missionaries on my door step, its not what they tell you..its what they don't say!
Why haven't the GAFCON primates disciplined the Church of England for denying that a bishop must be the husband of one wife, as laid down in Scripture ( ACNA has a number of remarried divorced bishops)...or Sydney diocese for having de facto lay celebration?
What a farce. These sanctions are as ineffective as those against Russia.The Anglican communion doesn't formulate doctrine anyway.
TEC still remains a part of the Anglican communion and three years is a very short time.
I will believe it when I see resistance in the Church of England to this embrace of human rights violations. Killing gay people in Africa is okay but marriage equality is not?
Gary Paul Gilbert
The meeting's agenda was suppose "to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality."
So much for the promise. The result is just a pathological obsession with genitalia. Which is obviously vastly more important than the Biblical "issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment."
This is a peripheral issue, but what is to be gained by keeping TEC out of ecumenical discussions with the Lutheran World Federation (think, ELCA, Church of Sweden) and Old Catholics in Europe?
There will be deaths.
There will be deaths in Africa among those whose essential nature is criminalised.
There will be deaths in the UK among those who feel rejected by their Archbishop and by their church.
There will be deaths.
I cry for them. I cry for those whose sexuality is declared sinful by our universal church without offering loving support to ease their suffering. I cry for those who know the agony of gender dysphoria. I cry that the church seems at best indifferent to their suffering. I cry for all those who suffer. I cry for all those who will self-harm. I cry for all those who will take their lives.
There will be deaths. I cry. How could I do otherwise when Jesus cries too?
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
That's real love, written in blood, not in resolutions written on paper and ink.
This all just seems like déjà vu, more of the same. 10 years ago, we were asked to withdraw from the ACC until Lambeth. If I recall correctly, responses then were much like responses now. If GAFCON is not willing to embrace the diversity and good will and fellowship of equals that has been the Anglican Communion, I don't know that 10 years from now things will be any different. Hopefully, TEC and others will continue to follow the loving, inclusive example of Jesus. And the Anglican Communion - what will be, will be. However, I would like to see more of TEC money going toward work in the Americas.
I was surprised. I had no idea Justin Welby was such a feckless excuse for a moral leader. He has tried to play both sides of the fence until he was put in a position where he had to make a choice. He chose to sacrifice the lives and futures of LGBTI persons in the developing world, in the Communion, and in the Church of England on the altar of the unity of the Communion. Some communion! With friends like these...?
My questions include: Will the majority of the members of the CofE repudiate this action on the part of your archbishops? Will a majority of the clergy do so? How about a majority of the bishops? That's a laugh. Will the General Synod repudiate this action? Will the majority of LGBTI members of the Church of England realize that they have no future in this Church? That it is not their Church?
The Episcopal Church will discuss and debate but there is no chance that the Primates' demands will be met. The Primates know that. They intend to drop the ax in three years and replace TEC with ACNA. That has been their goal all along.
I suggest that the General Convention of TEC direct the funds usually allocated for the bureaucratic functions of the Anglican Communion Office to one of the poorest provinces in the world, the Church of Haiti, which is a province of the Episcopal Church. Leave parish and diocesan cooperation efforts to them. But give a clear signal to the LGBTI people of the US that the Episcopal Church will suspend its efforts to get along with abusers and dedicate our efforts to helping those that the Primates would rather see jailed or dead. We have no need to apologize to anyone for decisions like these.
And tell Justin Welby, "Don't call us. We'll call you."
"O [Anglican Communion, Anglican Communion] the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!"
As an Episcopalian, I feel especially close to Jesus tonight. And that's pretty good feeling.
"God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year:
God is working his purpose out, and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the time the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea."
Wasn't there a similar slap on the wrist by the Primates for TEC a few years ago? PB Griswold lost his vote for a while? It was so ineffective it has vanished from my memory.
Now that the Church of England and the 'majority vote' of the Anglican _sogenannte_ Communion has sanctioned discrimination as official policy I await with interest the removal of the cathedra in York Minster to the back of the church. Clearly, 'going forward' [in the best management jargon] this is what we are to expect from this expression of erstwhile Anglican Christianity.
Mark, thank you, much appreciated, and right back at ya. :-)
Is it known who voted for and against? Sanctions should be imposed on those who subscribed to this squalid document.
The vehemence of the responses seems to miss the fact that TEC can do and will do just as it pleases in the matter of same-sex marriage.
TEC believes in its mission on this front, and has eliminated any serious opposition.
So why would a statement from the Primates in which the basic outline of Dar es Salaam finds its form matter? It will be ignored just as Dar was.
As a denomination, TEC has achieved everything it wants on the same sex marriage front in the US, and will certainly carry on regardless of what a meeting in Canterbury says. That's not a bug but a feature. TEC is autonomous and will do as it chooses.
Come 2018 TEC will have a new BCP and will close all loopholes for discretion. In fact, this action will likely mean a uniform policy everywhere and for everyone in TEC, asap.
I wonder if readers have seen Tarantino’s latest film‘The Hateful Thirty-Eight’. A group of 38 Primates get stuck in a blizzard, in the small town of Canterbury, after the long civil war. They fail to resolve their differences, and a shoot-out ensues. There are lots of casualties. It is a typical Tarantino film – remorseless, and with no remedial resolution at the end. Everyone suffers.
Rich - I wonder if you have heard of or know a song sung by Nina Simone called 'Mississippi Goddam'?
Whilst I would not use James Byron's language, I completely understand his rage.
Guess you don't jive anaphora, cseitz; oh well, each to their own!
Yes, TEC will probably push on in affirming LGBT people, and in removing the last vestiges of discrimination from its structures. That doesn't lessen the statement's homophobia, nor remove the impact it has on LGBT people worldwide. Neither does TEC's inclusive direction of travel necessarily prevent the statement from retarding progress in other provinces (although I'm hopeful the last can and will be countered).
Plaster piety and hypocritical condemnation from the usual suspects who prefer to coldly damn others here and hereafter while condemning others for mere words of passion.
Mere words of passion?
Is that accurate? It's hard to tell in a public forum. Did he not genuinely mean it?
He seems a rational and intelligent man. I will take him at his word.
Cseitz, I don't believe in hell, so rest assured, I'm not wishing eternal damnation on anyone (and that's hands down the most bizarre clarification I've ever had to make!).
"And even TEC will stop doing things which might jeopardise its re-entry in 3 years time - it's too much fun being part of this multinational?"
This is ridiculously false, S Cooper.
cseitz IS correct about this:
"TEC can do and will do just as it pleases in the matter of same-sex marriage." [Except subtract "it pleases", and replace w/ "pleases God"!!!]
James, note how, in trying to wrong-foot you, he didn't deny coldly damning us. Truth by omission.
Take heart Cseitz, ACNA is just as liberal as Tec on divorce and remarriage, even for its bishops.