Anglican Mainstream has issued a Statement on the Outcome of the Primates’ Meeting at Dar es Salaam in February 2007.
It includes the following among other points (emphasis added):
We are concerned that…
What is most interesting about the response though is its total omission of any reference to the Covenant draft. Graham Kings of Fulcrum has already commented that:
The word ‘Covenant’ is nowhere to be found in the Anglican Mainstream response to the Primates’ Meeting, published yesterday:
This is very strange in that the discussion of the Anglican Covenant was a key feature at Dar es Salaam and was published the same night as the communique. It is crucial to the whole Windsor Process.
Maybe the clue is in Chris Sugden’s article about the so called Covenant for the Church of England, ‘A Covenant for a Confused Church’ in the Church of England Newspaper, 5 January 2007. In the following paragraph concerning the Communion, ‘NTW’ refers to the Bishop of Durham:
Who will provide the new consensus? It will not just be a matter of writing a theology or covenant that all can agree and everything will work. NTW’s project will not deliver the goods. It is not possible to solve these problems by getting agreement on the substance, on one agreed theologically orthodox correct statement.
It would be good to hear Anglican Mainstream’s views on the Covenant now.
The American Anglican Council has issued this press release: AAC Statement on the Primates’ 2007 Communiqué.
This includes the following:
…In a related development, the AAC also announced this week its formation of a Communiqué Compliance Office, which will monitor TEC’s acts of compliance and non-compliance with respect to the primates’ requirements throughout the period leading up to the Sept. 30 deadline.
“As a non-ecclesial body, the AAC is in a unique position to function as a watchdog on TEC’s compliance with the demands of the Dar es Salaam communiqué,” Canon Anderson explained. “Over the coming months, the newly created office will continuously gather information from around the United States and provide monthly accountings to the primates so that there is no doubt where TEC stands when the clock runs out…”
The American Anglican Council (AAC) announced today that the 21 recent Virginia inhibitions are null and void and declared them lifted. When the clergy from two of the three Episcopal dioceses in the state of Virginia were declared inhibited in January by the current bishop of middle and northern Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, the clergy he acted against had already transferred to other Anglican jurisdictions…
…AAC President Canon David C. Anderson announced today that, after a careful examination of the facts, the inhibitions imposed on the 21 Virginia clergy associated with the departing congregations were baseless and without jurisdiction, and therefore have been lifted.
Asked by what authority the AAC could lift the inhibitions, Canon Anderson replied: “By what authority did Bishop Lee attempt to impose the inhibitions on clergy belonging to Uganda and Nigeria? Those faithful clergy are now declared Uninhibited for Christ!”
The Bishop of Pittsburgh, Robert Duncan, has published a “Pastoral Letter”. Whether you read it on the NACDAP website where it is titled “in Response to Primates’ Meeting” or on the Pittsburgh diocesan website where it is “Regarding the Primates’ Meeting” it is the same letter.
But only on the Pittsburgh site (so far) is there a live link to the statistics referenced in the text (a very small PDF file, stored in fact on the NACDAP site).
About these statistics, he writes:
In the statistics table the following further claims are made:
Against this the table claims the “Non-Windsor Dioceses” have a total of 1,761,563 baptised members (630,004 average Sunday attendance) in 5,792 parishes (again no total clergy figure).
These claims clearly confused the Bishop of Winchester.5 Comments
The Times Jonathan Sacks Failure is one of the greatest gifts bestowed on the faithful
Telegraph Christopher Howse The man who made Byrd live
Guardian It may be a poor imitator of Jesus’s inclusive love and tolerance but the church is necessary, says David Self in Face to Faith.
Church Times Giles Fraser Why Lent needs to be a bit less busy
And, See addicts as victims, not criminals by Paul Vallely2 Comments
The Tablet also has full coverage of the primates meeting on its website today:
Anglicans give US Church months to conform by Victoria Combe
Winds of change by R. William Franklin
‘Through many dangers, toils and snares …’ by Stephen Bates
And an editorial Stumbling towards unity
Update here’s a longer version of the Stephen Bates article from Comment is free which has titled it Tablet of stone.18 Comments
The questions to be answered at this month’s sessions of General Synod have been published. You can download them as an rtf file or read them online. They are scheduled to be answered as the last item of business on Monday 26 February 20070 Comments
The Anglican TV video of the final press conference is now available here.
More ACNS pictures are available starting here.
ENS has published Episcopal bishops offer Tanzania communiqué reflections, predictions for future with links to many remarks in full.
titusonenine has the remarks of Archbishop Henry Orombi primate of Uganda, here.
For the comments of the Primus of Scotland, Idris Jones see this.
Archbishop of Canada, Andrew Hutchison is reported over here.
AMiA has issued this press release.
What Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA said can be found here.
And David Anderson of the American Anglican Council said this.27 Comments
The Church Times has full coverage on the web today:2 Comments
The Living Church has three new articles:
House of Bishops Will Begin Response to Communiqué in March
Primates’ Communiqué Draws Mixed Reactions From Bishops
Panel of Reference Not Bound by TEC Polity
Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press has AP Analysis: Episcopal choices
The Daily Nation in Kenya has Anglican bishops warn of split
The New Vision in Uganda has Orombi boycotts Holy Communion over gays
The East African Standard in Kenya has Anglican Bishops Issue Ultimatum Over Homosexuality17 Comments
Tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph has this:
Archbishop warns Church may still fall apart by Jonathan Petre
and Why the Anglican Communion matters by Rowan Williams28 Comments
This is a further selection of what other blogs are saying:
wannabepriest An unplayable delivery? Reflections on Tanzania
Raspberry Rabbit Time to quit the Jiggery-Pokery
The Ugley Vicar Charlie Brown’s football: why the Covenant is an irrelevance
Tony Clavier The Primates Speak
Anglican Scotist A Tacit Liberal Triumph at Tanzania
Scott Gunn More thoughts on the cost of Communion
Ken Arnold Giving Up Church for Lent
Caught by the Light A Personal Manifesto
Anglican Centrist Ash Wednesday
MadPriest Shite16 Comments
The Guardian today has a leader:Unity over integrity:
Compromise is often necessary and rarely glorious; but the outcome of the meeting of Anglican primates, which has just ended in Tanzania, does not even have the merit of balance. The communique issued at the end of the five-day session will dishearten all those who retained some hope that the Archbishop of Canterbury might be able to steer the church into less turbulent and more tolerant waters. It hands conservative elements of the Anglican communion much of what they wanted, while testing the patience of progressive members, many in Britain and North America…
And the BBC website is catching up, Anglican leaders struggle to unite by Robert Pigott
Otherwise, the London-based media have apparently reached saturation point on this story. However, the US media are just revving up:
New York Times Many Episcopalians Wary, Some Defiant After Ultimatum by Anglicans by Laurie Goodstein
Washington Post Some U.S. Bishops Reject Anglican Gay Rights Edict by Alan Cooperman
Associated Press Episcopal leader asks for time by Rachel Zoll
Los Angeles Times U.S. Episcopalians react to church ruling by Rebecca Trounson and Louis Sahagun
USA Today Anglicans ‘in interpretive free-for-all’ over their future by Cathy Lynn Grossman NB this headline has now been changed from “free-fall” which I thought much better…
Washington Times Episcopal diocese mum on lawsuits by Natasha Altamirano
Newsweek Difficult Choices by Lisa Miller
PBS Newshour Anglican Leaders Demand U.S. Church End Gay Unions71 Comments
Updated Tuesday evening
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments at the final press conference in Tanzania.
George Conger has this report in the Living Church Primates Elect New Standing Committee Members and Alternates
Bishop Christopher Epting on Anglican Primates’ “Pre Meeting”
Updates Tuesday evening
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori via ENS A Season of Fasting: Reflections on the Primates Meeting
Also Audio: Presiding Bishop reflects on Primates’ Meeting from ENS
Jan Nunley at epiScope Answers to reporters’ questions
Jane Lampman in the Christian Science Monitor After Anglican meeting, Episcopal Church on notice
The Church Times updated its report entitled Primates’ meeting ends.26 Comments
February 20, 2007
Meeting of Primates in Tanzania
We acknowledge the huge complexity of the issues which the Primates of the Communion brought to Tanzania and the fears and expectations which surrounded the meeting.
In that context we congratulate the Archbishop of Canterbury and his fellow Primates on their achievement of a united communiqué. We are acutely aware that compromises have been made by all sides. This is a sign of the great generosity of those present at the meeting.
There is a cost to discipleship and sometimes it is high. The cost demanded of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters is immense, and has been for generations. The continuing failure of the Communion to address the pastoral needs and receive the ministerial gifts and insights of the whole community is part of that cost.
The heart of the Gospel for us is not about sexuality. The continuing arguments are damaging the Church’s mission and undermining the Gospel. Anglicanism has in its DNA the ability to embrace diversity. For example we recognise diversity over the nature of the Sacraments, in worship, and in the interpretation of scripture.
Why then are parts of the church so obsessed by the single issue of homosexuality? It is not a defining issue nor can it be the benchmark of orthodoxy.
We are pleased that the ‘listening process’ called for by the Windsor Report is receiving serious attention from the Primates, as is the consideration of a common hermeneutical method. But the listening process must not be a sop to lesbian and gay people and their supporters. It cannot be undertaken without those involved being open to the possibility of change. So far there is little evidence of that openness.
As the debate becomes more disconnected from the reality of everyday life of those we serve, it is increasingly clear that TEC is becoming a scapegoat. For example, the demand for TEC to forswear same sex blessings ignores the reality that across the Church of England such blessings are happening right across the country as parish priests respond to the pastoral needs of their community.
We acknowledge the pain experienced on all sides and we would not wish to see those who disagree with us being driven from the church. If that happened all of us would be the poorer. Therefore we commit ourselves as members of an inclusive church to continue the process of dialogue and relationship to which the Primates have called us.
Overshadowed by the rest of the report, the Primates recommitted themselves to the Millennium Development Goals. It is clear to us that in a world riven by injustice and poverty we should be uniting in raising our voices to ensure that those goals are met so that the gospel can be proclaimed afresh for a new generation.
For further information and to sign up as a supporter of InclusiveChurch’s aims, go to http://www.inclusivechurch.net
Author: Giles Goddard (Chair) on behalf of the InclusiveChurch Executive
07762 373 674
Kendall Harmon Early Reaction to the Communique
Scott Gunn Primates’ Meeting — what does it all mean?
Fr Jake The Primates Strike Out
BabyBlue Quote From Bishop Minns
Tobias Haller Of the Products of Primates
Anglican Centrist Primates’ Meeting Communique
Anglican Scotist Just Say No5 Comments
The InclusiveChurch and Changing Attitude response was already published here.
Fulcrum has published two documents: Fulcrum response to the Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting February 2007 and Fulcrum response to the Covenant for the Anglican Communion.
Integrity has published Primates Choose Bigotry Over Baptized.
Affirming Catholicism Primates aim to keep Americans in the fold
I will add links to other group statements here as I discover them.
See also Episcopal groups react to Primates’ communiqué from ENS.23 Comments
Updated Tuesday morning
Reuters Katie Nguyen Anglican Communion wants U.S. action in gay row
The Times Ruth Gledhill
Primates draw back from sanctions for liberal Anglican dioceses and later
Liberals uncensured as rift is patched up
and on her blog Anglican Covenant now published and TEC put on notice
Jim Naughton has Bishop Jefferts Schori’s initial reaction.
And he also has early reactions from bloggers.
Guardian Stephen Bates No schism for now: Williams gets tough on liberals to save the church
Daily Telegraph Jonathan Petre (website updated 9 am)
Anglican Church leaders give ultimatum to liberals and The Anglican crisis: Q&A and Katharine Jefferts Schori: unapologetic feminist and pro-gay liberal
Anglican primates struggle for consensus (new headline on older, now out of date story) and also The Anglican crisis and Hardliners warm to the woman they hate.
New York Times Sharon LaFraniere and Laurie Goodstein Anglicans Rebuke U.S. Branch on Same-Sex Unions
Los Angeles Times Morris Mwavizo and Rebecca Trounson Anglican leaders press for rift fix
Associated Press Elizabeth A Kennedy Anglican Leaders Rule on Gay Bishops
Episcopal News Service Matthew Davies
Design Group releases text of draft Anglican Covenant
Primates endorse pastoral council, primatial vicar in closing communiqué
BBC radio report on the Today programme by Robert Pigott, listen here:
Anglican archbishops have demanded that the liberal American church accept a separate organisation for breakaway traditionalist congregations.
Includes interviews with Mark Hill and Theo Hobson.
George Conger reports for the Living Church Overtime Required for Primates to Agree on Communiqué Wording.27 Comments
THE PRIMATES’ MEETING OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
from Inclusive Church, Changing Attitude England,
and Changing Attitude Nigeria
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
19 February 2007
Inclusive Church and Changing Attitude give a cautious welcome to the communiqué issued today by the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Dar Es Salaam. We commend the work that the primates have done to further the mission of the church and to strengthen the bonds of the Anglican Communion. In particular we value the progress achieved on the listening process and the Anglican Covenant.
The standard of teaching on human sexuality set out in Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1998 has never been one that Christian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people have accepted. It was drafted and agreed in our absence. The bishops who drafted the original version of the Resolution refused to meet us and hear our testimony. It is not possible for us to be bound by teaching drafted by a largely male, heterosexual body of bishops. The Anglican Communion can never come to an integrated teaching on human sexuality until it has listened with open mind and heart to our experience and Christian testimony. We subscribe to a high Christian sexual and relational ethic. We object outright to the idea that it is possible to divide our innate sexual identity as lesbian and gay people from what the church insists on calling ‘genital activity’. Like heterosexuals we believe the love between two mature adults should be expressed in a faithful, life-long partnership in which sexual expression is integral.
The Primates request that the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church ‘make an unequivocal common covenant with the bishops that they will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention’. The request not to authorise any Rite of Blessing in the Episcopal Church will be an intolerable burden for LGBT Anglicans. The Episcopal Church is not alone in having many faithful lesbian and gay couples who seek God’s blessing on their relationship. We know that in England, the USA and Canada as well as other Provinces, priests will continue to find ways to bless such relationships. If the church can condone the blessing of so many inanimate objects, it is surely right to bless the love of two people of the same gender. We pray for the day when the church can support the authorisation of same-sex blessings.
The Primates also request that the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church ‘confirm that ‘a candidate for Episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent’. There is no prohibition on a single or celibate lesbian or gay priest receiving the necessary consent. Dioceses who wish to nominate a partnered lesbian or gay priest and such priests themselves are being asked to make a great personal sacrifice. In England, priests who are gay will also continue to be nominated and consecrated as bishops, as they will in other Provinces.
The Revd Giles Goddard, chair of Inclusive Church, said:
“The arguments over human sexuality have been dominating the life of the Anglican Communion for too long. We need, urgently, now to find a way to move on, so that the Gospel for all people can be freshly proclaimed in a changing world. The Primates meeting has begun to show us a way forward. We trust that the Lambeth Conference will be allowed to be a restatement of the heart of Christ’s message of love for the world.”
The Revd Scott Gunn, TEC representative to Inclusive Church, said:
“I am grateful that Bishop Katharine is recognised as the legitimate ecclesiastical authority in the United States. My hope is that the Anglican Communion can return to its focus on mission and evangelism. I hope they will shift the focus of attention away from a legalistic examination of the Episcopal Church towards a Gospel life of hope, reconciliation, justice and love.”
The Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England, said:
“I rejoice that the Primates are committed to the continuing unity of our world-wide Communion of churches. We LGBT Anglicans in Changing Attitude England and Nigeria are also faithfully committed to our church. We know the pilgrimage journey to our promised land of full inclusion is going to be long and hard. There are millions of Anglicans who have yet to learn about the deep faith of LGBT people in the Lord Jesus Christ and of our lives committed to prayer, worship, justice and evangelism. We are present in every Province and country of the Anglican Communion and we want to participate in the listening process in order that our stories of faithful obedience to God can be heard. We have been misrepresented for too long. Now is the time for people across the world to learn about LGBT Anglicans in Africa, Asia and South America.”
“I am saddened that our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church have been asked to carry a burden on behalf of us all. With the Episcopal Church and the Canadian Church, we in England are also seeking honesty in the ordination of priests who are lesbian or gay priests and the consecration of bishops who are gay. We look forward to the day when we can include our lesbian sisters among those who will be consecrated as bishops in England.”
Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria, said:
“Our presence here in Dar Es Salaam at the Primates meeting demonstrates our loyalty to the Communion. We are committed to participating in the listening process and we want to be heard. We hope the Anglican Communion office and Canon Philip Groves, facilitator to the listening process help us communicate our experience directly to them if the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) refuses to participate.”
“My own Primate received me warmly the first time we met on Wednesday 14 February. I had hoped the next time we met we would have been able to develop our first meeting and have some conversation together but it didn’t happen. I hope we will meet again and he will be able to hear the voice of one of his own gay Nigerian members.”
STATEMENT ON THE PRIMATES’ MEETING OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
We celebrate the fact that the majority of Primates have modelled what it means to be an inclusive church this week, welcoming Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori from the Episcopal Church of the USA. Bishop Katharine has brought hope to many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Anglicans across the world. She is committed to the full inclusion of all people in the Episcopal Church. Her voice will remind other primates that Gospel justice will not have been accomplished until the church is fully open to everyone, including LGBT people. Her presence has changed the Primates’ Meeting from being an exclusively male club. Another step has been taken towards the full inclusion of women in our church. We long for the day when all people are welcomed into the church, without regard to race, sexual orientation, economic means, gender, physical or mental challenge, or any other division.
We approve of the progress made by the Revd Canon Philip Groves as he develops his work on the listening process, inviting every province in the Communion to demonstrate how they are responding to the Lambeth 1.10 commitment to listen. We look forward to the development of his proposals for the Lambeth Conference 2008 and offer our full support to him in his work.
We hope that the Listening Process will be undertaken by every Province with the awareness that to listen properly means being open to the possibility of change by all involved. We trust the Holy Spirit, through this process and through our common Anglican life, to lead us into all truth.
The primates and the bishops who will gather at the Lambeth Conference 2008 have yet to hear directly from LGBT people. This remains a major challenge for the church. The listening process needs to be undertaken in every province and by every primate and bishop. We urge renewed emphasis on the listening process throughout the Communion.
The cost of the decision not to authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in the Episcopal Church is a serious means that LGBT people in America are being asked to carry an intolerable burden. As in England and other parts of the Communion which acknowledge that God blesses covenanted, faithful relationships, we know that priests with the courage of their own spiritual convictions will continue to welcome those who come for blessing.
We welcome the framework of the draft covenant for the Anglican Communion. For 500 years Anglicanism has been a creedal, rather than a confessional church. We believe that the ancient creeds of the church are sufficient now, as they have been for over 1,600 years. We remain concerned about the increased tendency in Anglicanism to centralise authority.
In particular we welcome the commitment to ensure that ‘biblical texts are handled faithfully, respectfully, comprehensively and coherently’ [3(3)], to ‘nurture and respond to prophetic and faithful leadership and ministry to assist our Churches as courageous witnesses to the transformative power of the Gospel in the world’ [3(4)] and ‘to seek to transform unjust structures of society’ [4.1].
From its inception, the church has been diverse in its theological understanding. We believe that in our many diverse cultures it is to be expected that people will experience God and express their faith in a variety of ways appropriate to their own culture. In our conversations with Tanzanian Anglicans from local congregations, we have heard that while they may not agree with our own view of human sexuality, there is a high level of understanding and acceptance of diversity. They view the threat of schism as posing a great danger to local mission and evangelism, while they continue to hope for a global, diverse Anglican Communion.
As we work to build up the Kingdom of God, we urge sensitivity in our diverse cultures, that not all cultures people are prepared to welcome LGBT at this time.
Members of Inclusive Church, Integrity USA, and Changing Attitude Nigeria and England have worked together in harmony this week. We have prayed for the Primates. We have given many interviews to the press and media. We have built friendships with other Anglicans across our diversity of opinions. We have talked to many members of the Tanzanian press and helped them some of them begin to understand the experience of LGBT people. We have made contact with LGBT Anglicans from Tanzania and we hope to build on our new friendships. Those Primates who spoke with us encouraged us to work for the unity of the Anglican Communion and for the full inclusion of all, and especially LGBT people.
We encourage all people to pray for the primates, bishops, clergy, and people of the Anglican Communion. We especially urge prayer for the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Primate of Nigeria Peter Akinola, and the Primate of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori. Each of these three Primates faces tremendous pressure of leadership, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them.
Conclusion: Hope for living the Gospel
We look forward to a time when our conversations will be dominated by concerns of mission, evangelism, and service rather than by threats of discrimination, persecution, and schism.
We read the Gospels as commending radical inclusion. Jesus again and again shared meals with outcasts, treasured those whom the culture rejected, and taught that religious practice must be loving. St. Paul urged the earliest Christian communities to be people of Gospel love and hope, rather than people enslaved to the Law. We firmly believe that LGBT Christians belong at the centre of our common life in Christ, not at the margins.
We hope that the church will live this vision. In short, we seek a church that embraces all people as God’s precious children. We want an inclusive church.
The Revd Colin Coward
Director of Changing Attitude England
+44 7770 844302
Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria
The Revd Scott A Gunn
ECUSA representative to Inclusive Church
+255 762 400949 (in Tanzania until 2 p.m. GMT Wednesday 21 February)
+1 508 720 1500 (in the US any time)
The communiqué has finally been published by ACNS.
Read it here.
A PDF version is available here.
On the Covenant it says: we ‘urge the Provinces to submit an initial response to the draft through the Anglican Communion Office by the end of 2007’. The minutes of the primates’ meeting are to be published soon in order to ‘assist and stimulate reflection throughout the Communion’. A revised draft will be discussed at the Lambeth Conference, and ‘a final text will be presented to ACC-14, and then, if adopted as definitive, offered to the Provinces for ratification’.
The ‘Episcopal Church has taken seriously the recommendations of the Windsor Report, and we express our gratitude for the consideration by the 75th General Convention’, but ‘The response of The Episcopal Church … has not persuaded this meeting that we are yet in a position to recognise that The Episcopal Church has mended its broken relationships’. ‘We believe that it would be a tragedy if The Episcopal Church was to fracture, and we are committed to doing what we can to preserve and uphold its life’.
We ‘have been emboldened to offer a number of recommendations. We have set these out in a Schedule’.
TEC is asked to clarify its position on the Windsor Report:
Answers to be received by 30 September 2007.
TEC and congregations involved in property disputes are urged to suspend legal action and agree not to alienate property from TEC without its consent, nor to deny the use of the property to congregations.
No doubt there will be plenty of comment by the morning!30 Comments
Updated 9.30 pm London time
No progress. Jonathan Petre has written this for the Telegraph: Anglican crisis talks ‘to last into the night’.
The final communique is delayed by several hours. The latest information is that a press conference will be held at 11 pm Tanzanian time, or 8 pm London time.
Meanwhile the Church Times has published Primates’ meeting ends.
Dave Walker has this cartoon.6 Comments