The Episcopal Church’s new resolutions
Inclusive Church welcomes the clarity of the new resolutions passed at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA (TEC). They accurately and honestly describe the current situation, affirming that homosexual orientation should not be a bar to ordination as priest or bishop, and recognising that same sex blessings are being performed in some parishes and dioceses.
It is our wish that such honesty prevail in all current dialogues within the Anglican Communion – for example, recognising that within the Church of England there are a great many gay and lesbian clergy, single or in committed relationships, and many churches offer blessings or thanksgivings for same-sex relationships.
We equally acknowledge the costly lengths to which TEC has gone over many years to encourage the unity of the Anglican Communion, and note that the moratoria previously agreed regarding human sexuality have not been overturned.
We urge members of the Communion to consider carefully what has actually been agreed at Anaheim. The Presiding Bishop has stated in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Primates ‘This General Convention has not repealed Resolution B033. It remains to be seen how Resolution B033 will be understood and interpreted in light of Resolution D025. Some within our Church may understand Resolution D025 to give Standing Committees (made up of elected clergy and laity) and Bishops with jurisdiction more latitude in consenting to Episcopal elections. Others, in light of Resolution B033, will not.’
Inclusive Church believes that excluding LGBT people from the sacramental life of the church is a sin similar to the historical discrimination against people of colour and women. We value Anglican diversity, and acknowledge that there is a breadth of views on questions of human sexuality. We salute the considerable efforts made to recognise and contain that breadth with TEC, and regret the attempts by others who have withdrawn to undermine the territorial integrity of local Anglican churches.
Above all we pray that the slow and often tortuous process in which the Communion is engaged over these issues will, in the end, enable all the member churches to speak more prophetically and more clearly of God’s inexhaustible love and justice for the whole world.
For further information visit www.inclusivechurch.net
Chair, Inclusive Church
07762 373 674
Several groups have issued press releases.
Chicago Consultation: Chicago Consultation Statement on the 76th General Convention
Anglican Communion Institute: Committing to the Anglican Communion: Some Will, Others Won’t37 Comments
Updated Sunday morning
Some media reports:
Associated Press Episcopalians: Bishops can bless same-sex unions
Los Angeles Times Episcopal leaders affirm new policy on same-sex blessings
Guardian Jim Naughton Face to faith
And some heavyweight analysis:
Wall Street Journal Philip Jenkins Their Separate Ways
And some simple explanation:
Changing Attitude Caro Hall Is this the Schism (finally)?
…The Presiding Bishop has stated in a letter to Rowan Williams and the other Primates ‘This General Convention has not repealed Resolution B033. It remains to be seen how Resolution B033 will be understood and interpreted in light of Resolution D025. Some within our Church may understand Resolution D025 to give Standing Committees (made up of elected clergy and laity) and Bishops with jurisdiction more latitude in consenting to Episcopal elections. Others, in light of Resolution B033, will not.’
So once again this resolution ‘holds the tension’ and provides a big tent within which people of many different theological stripes can come together. It’s classical Anglicanism – both/and not either/or and that drives some people crazy!
The Presiding Bishop describes D025 as descriptive not prescriptive and that’s probably what she’ll say about C056 as well which allows bishops to make a ‘generous pastoral response’ to those in same-gender relationships. It also calls for collecting and developing theological and liturgical materials for blessing same-gender relationships. It does not go as far as developing a rite for public blessings.
Just like D025 the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. How bishops interpret this will depend on their local circumstances. America is a big country and things vary a lot from place to place so local discernment makes a lot of sense…
Jim Naughton writes about the Bishop of Durham and the General Convention in Face to Faith in the Guardian.
Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times Afghanistan war: we must see it through
Last week, he wrote If marriage has friends like these . . .
Geoffrey Rowell writes in The Times that At the heart of the common life there lies humility
Donald Reeves wrote in the Church Times last week about Kosovo, Where paranoia and prejudice rule.
And there was a back page interview with Europe expert James Barnett.7 Comments
Updated again Thursday
The “Anaheim statement” current information has been moved over here.
Resolution C056 has now been passed by the House of Deputies. The voting was Lay: 78 yes, 23 no, 7 divided. Clergy: 74 yes, 27 no, 7 divided. The text is here.
The Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury concerning Resolution D025. The original is available as a PDF. The full text of this letter is reproduced below the fold. The same letter was sent to all Primates of the Anglican Communion with a cover letter. This also is reproduced below the fold.
These documents were issued under the cover of a short press release which reads as follows:
Presiding Bishop, HOD President send letter to Archbishop Williams,Anglican Primates on GC actions, affirms close relationship with Anglican Communion
[July 17, 2009] A letter describing the steps taken by The Episcopal Church’s 76th General Convention and reaffirming the close relationship with the Anglican Communion was sent today to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson. A copy of the letter also was sent to the 38 Primates, and clergy and lay leaders of the Anglican Communion
The letter to Archbishop Williams outlined Resolution D025, which was adopted at this General Convention, explaining that Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and President Anderson understood Resolution D025 to be more descriptive than prescriptive in nature. It stated that some are concerned that the adoption of Resolution D025 has effectively repealed Resolution B033 but reiterated that is not the case. The letter continued, “This General Convention has not repealed Resolution B033. It remains to be seen how Resolution B033 will be understood and interpreted in light of Resolution D025.”
The letter also states that the Episcopal Church “is deeply and genuinely committed to our relationships in the Anglican Communion.” It also says, “In adopting this Resolution, it is not our desire to give offense. We remain keenly aware of the concerns and sensibilities of our brothers and sisters in other Churches across the Communion. We believe also that the honesty reflected in this resolution is essential if indeed we are to live into the deep communion that we all profess
and earnestly desire.”
The letter expresses the profound appreciation of the Presiding Officers that Archbishop Williams, 16 Anglican Primates, and lay and clergy leaders of the Anglican Communion attended the General Convention and stressed the importance of finding ways to communicate directly about different cultural and ecclesial contexts.
The letter to Archbishop Williams was hand-delivered. Copies of the letter were emailed to the Primates and to Anglican lay and clergy leaders on July 17, and were distributed to the House of Bishops and House of Deputies.
General Convention 2009 continues until July 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California (Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles).
The Episcopal Church’s General Convention, held every three years, is the bicameral governing body of the church. General Convention, the second largest legislative body in the world, is comprised of the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 members, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay representatives from the 110 dioceses, at over 850 members.
Updated Friday evening
Resolution C056 reported earlier when it passed the House of Bishops, will be considered by the House of Deputies at 0930 California time.
Meanwhile, a group of bishops has issued a statement. The list of names is not yet available but their number is said to be in excess of 20. The full text is below the fold.
The ENS report on this is here: West Texas bishop drafts ‘Anaheim Statement,’ reaffirms moratoria commitment.
The Church Times carries this report of earlier events: Gay bishops more likely after US passes ‘nuanced’ motion.
And published this leader: Schism must not be allowed to happen.
Friday evening update
Here is the press release from West Texas. Still no list of names.
Religious Intelligence George Conger US vote ‘not a snub to Archbishop of Canterbury
Episcopal Café Richard Helmer Eyes on the floor: Matters of conscience, matters of psyche
New York Times Laurie Goodstein Episcopals’ First Openly Gay Bishop Speaks16 Comments
My report for the Church Times on this subject is published today. It can be read at
English bishops say Swedish proposal redefines marriage.
For the General Synod questions which announced this to the world, go here.
For the original of the CofE letter, see this PDF file.
Other reports covering this:
George Conger Religious Intelligence English Church attacks Swedish same-sex blessing move
Ruth Gledhill also dealt with it towards the end of her blog entry Princely Bishop of Durham rides to the rescue.
Since all these articles were written, there have been reports in the Swedish press too. The following are in English:
Stockholm News The Anglican Church criticizes homosexual marriage in Sweden
….Sven Thidevall, the Church of Sweden’s bishop in Växjö in south central Sweden, was surprised by the letter, which he called “not especially flattering”.
He interpreted it as a warning that Sweden’s church risks being isolated if it moves forward with the proposal.
“How we handle the marriage question affects so much more than how we refer to same-sex church weddings,” he said in a statement.
“Now it’s also about our place in the community of Christian churches.”
Thidevall went on to say that, while he is in favour of the proposal to allow same-sex couples to be wed in Churches, he thinks it’s important for the Church of Sweden to listen to other churches.
“The Church of England has made some polite but critical reflections on how the Swedish church is addressing important theological questions,” he said.
“We need to listen carefully to our sister churches before we decide how we can best do things. What else is a communion of churches for anyway?”
Updated again Thursday evening
Scott Gunn has written at Seven whole days When Tom Wright gets it totally wrong….
Ann Rodgers has written for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Episcopalian gay bishops decision confounds activists
And now, here comes Stephen Bates at Cif belief with The Anglican church’s crumbling foundations.
…As it is, this week’s Anaheim resolution will probably become the occasion for a split in the ranks of worldwide Anglicanism, the third largest Christian denomination. The Americans insist they don’t want it and indeed it has almost exclusively been the church’s conservative, largely evangelical, movements and pressure groups which do and have done all along.
The conservative forces are ready to go and have their organisations and lobbyists already in place and flexing their muscles, keen to take over the communion and reshape it in their image – though, interestingly, the conservatives are already falling out among themselves, united in what they oppose rather than what they agree. In England certainly if the conservative evangelicals get their way the established church will look very different from the broad, tolerant institution that it has been up till now – even Tom Wright might find himself anathematised. Some of them insist that the 17th-century Reformation did not go far enough and needs to be finished, which may come as a surprise to the high church Anglo-Catholics with whom they have allied, whose dearest wish is to reunite with Rome. Perhaps someone should tell them…
Some more British journalists:
And Gay marriage approval sounds death knell for Anglican unity (this relates to C056 approval which still needs concurrence in the HoDeputies, but never mind.)
Jonathan Wynne-Jones has Anglican schism means Archbishop Rowan must act.
Telegraph Martin Beckford Archbishop of Canterbury faces final divide in Anglican Communion over gay clergy37 Comments
The American House of Bishops has passed a resolution relating to same-sex blessings.
Here is the text of what they approved. (This still has to go to the House of Deputies.)
The voting on this was 104-30 with two abstentions.
ENS reports at Bishops call for ‘resources’ for same-gender blessing. Comments on this from numerous bishops are included.
The Living Church reports this as Bishops Call for Development of Liturgies for Same-Sex Blessings.
The Associated Press reports it as Episcopal bishops OK prayer for gay couples.31 Comments
First, the House of Deputies has concurred in the version that was previously approved by the bishops.
Here is the final version of the Resolution. It’s worth reading the text in full, including the Explanation.
ENS reports this (taken from the PDF file of the Convention Daily, inexplicably this story is not yet on the ENS website):
Convention passes Resolution D025
By Melodie Woerman
The House of Deputies July 14 concurred with the House of Bishops in their action on Resolution D025 and passed it as amended.
The resolution affirms that ordination is available to anyone in the church through the discernment process outlined in the Constitution and Canons of the church. It also said that God’s call to ordination is a mystery and reaffirmed the Episcopal Church’s participation in the Anglican Communion, while noting that the communion is not of one mind on this matter.
The resolution passed in a vote by orders called for early in the debate. The final vote in the lay order was 78 yes, 21 no and 9 divided. In the clergy order the vote was 77 yes, 19 no and 11 divided. A simple majority – 55 votes among laity and 56 among clergy – was required for the resolution to pass.
This vote followed previous action on D025 July 12 that was passed by deputies with a 2-1 majority. Because the resolution passed with an amendment by the bishops July 13, deputies had to vote on the amended version in order for the resolution to be adopted.
In the debate leading up to this vote, the Very Rev. Philip Lindner (Upper South Carolina) said the time for this action had arrived. “I saw our passage of D025 as our acknowledgement of what is – a way forward that is not perfect but is nonetheless a way for us to state boldly that we as Anglicans, as Episcopalians, are now recommitting to our faith and love in Jesus Christ now with a desire to fully focus on mission and ministry in his name.”
Grace Aheron, a member of the Official Youth Presence from the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, noted that the house already had spoken and needed to reaffirm that vote. “It is time to move past this resolution,” she said. “This house has already decisively spoken. I ask you to quickly pass this resolution again. There are many other issues requiring our attention, and we have delayed this long enough. The debate is over, and it’s time to vote. As we say in Virginia, let’s get ‘er done.”
Two other members of the Official Youth Presence urged the resolution be defeated. Michael Sahdev of Southeast Florida said, “I am extremely worried about the future of this church and what will happen to it. We already have lost so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please, I beg and plead of you, don’t leave me and my generation with half a church or no church at all.” Zach Brown of Upper South Carolina said, “I fear more conservative members will leave our church. My fear is that parishes and dioceses will leave our church. Without the communion’s unity, the Episcopal Church will gradually diminish.”
However, ENS has published this roundup of responses to the action of the bishops: Resolution D025 draws mixed responses. This reveals a variety of opinions about what the resolution does and does not do with reference to the B033 “moratorium” resolution of 2006.
Kendall Harmon has an opinion, see Kendall Harmon on D025.
Mark Harris also has an opinion: The Vote, Canterbury’s uninformed reaction.
See also Terry Martin D025: An Honest Statement.10 Comments
ENS Matthew Davies Archbishop addresses synod on Anglican Communion issues. This is the most detailed report yet of this agenda item.
ENS Trevor Grundy Synod rejects cuts for ‘top heavy’ church
Also, there are several posts on the General Synod Blog from Justin Brett and Alastair Cutting.
BBC Robert Pigott Faith Diary: ‘Open your wallet’
Honest to God
The consecration of homosexual bishops is a matter of justice
The Episcopal Church in the United States voted last week to overturn a moratorium on the ordination of gay bishops. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told the General Synod yesterday that he regretted that decision.
The ground of Dr Williams’s concern is clear. Since his enthronement six years ago, he has sought to preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion. He spoke last week of his hopes and prayers that “there won’t be decisions in the coming days that will push us further apart”.
It is a noble aim to maintain a federation of 38 autonomous churches united by tradition. But Dr Williams’s appeal for restraint is ultimately untenable. It cannot override a simple and direct acknowledgment that homosexual clergy, including bishops, belong in the Church.
Dr Williams should state that principle, even aware of its divisiveness. Churches that insist on the inerrant word of Scripture, notably the Pauline epistles, will not accept the consecration of open homosexuals. Yet social attitudes to homosexuality have shifted radically in the past generation. The sources of Christian inspiration are diverse. They do not derive only from a private response to Scripture.
It is possible to maintain that the Episcopal Church has been impolitic in its vote, but still maintain that it is right. A united Anglican witness to the nation and to the world is a valuable civic as well as religious resource. Those member Churches, including many in Africa, who conscientiously cannot accept homosexual bishops, should not have appointments forced upon them. But the issue is not one of denominational preference alone. It is also a matter of justice.
Updated again late Tuesday evening
Here is the text of Resolution D025, as amended, and then passed by the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.
ENS news story: Bishops approve resolution opening ordination to gays, lesbians Headline later changed to read: Bishops affirm openness of ordination process
Bishops voted 99-45, with two abstentions, for the revised resolution, which goes to the House of Deputies world mission legislative committee. The committee must make a recommendation to the full house about whether to concur in the amended resolution, amend it further, or defeat it, according to Deputy Sally Johnson (Minnesota).
The bishops amended the fourth resolve, which originally read “that the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church which call is tested through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.” They inserted the words “and that God’s call to the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church is a mystery which the church attempts to discern for all people” after the words “to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church” and deleted “which call is tested.”
Church Times blog has some more here.
First update 10 am Tuesday
Associated Press Rachel Zoll Episcopal church to affirm gay clergy
press release from Integrity Bishops Vote For “No Outcasts”
Second update 6.30 pm Tuesday
press release from Fulcrum Fulcrum Press Statement on the decision by the House of Bishops of TEC to pass D025
leading article: Honest to God
Ruth Gledhill Schism ‘inevitable’ after US bishops approve gay ordination
Guardian Riazat Butt and agencies US Episcopal church bishops vote for ordaining gay clergy
Los Angeles Times Episcopal Church, at Anaheim convention, moves to end ban on gay bishops
New York Times Laurie Goodstein Episcopal Church Moves to End Ban on Gay Bishops
Third update 10.30 pm Tuesday
Cif belief Savitri Hensman Episcopals vote for inclusion
Ekklesia Savitri Hensman US Anglicans forty years after Stonewall
The Times Tom Wright The Americans know this will end in schism
press release Anglican Communion Institute Statement on the Repudiation of B033
Living Church George Conger News Analysis: Passage of D025 May Place TEC Outside Communion43 Comments
Updated – now 8 bishops
The Private Members Motion which has been tabled at the General Synod reads as follows.
Anglican Church in North America
Mrs Lorna Ashworth (Chichester) to move:
‘That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.’
This has signatures from over 100 synod members including these bishops:
For an explanation of the PMM process, see here.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Sherborne has written about FCA at Cif belief. Read The Queen, the church and the Fellowship.24 Comments
George Pitcher wrote at the Telegraph Sack the bishops and make them earn their livings.
Riazat Butt wrote in the Guardian Vote on gay bishops threatens archbishop with another schism.
And at Cif belief General synod: the tightrope walk continues.1 Comment
Here’s the official report: General Synod – Summary of business conducted on Monday 13th July 2009
It includes, as usual, complete audio recordings of each session.1 Comment
On Monday afternoon Synod debated a diocesan synod motion about some perceived shortcomings in the Clergy Discipline Measure.
The Revd Prebendary David Houlding moved on behalf of the London Diocesan Synod:
That this Synod whilst recognizing the need for discipline in the exercise of ordained ministry nonetheless note with grave concern and regret the pastoral implications of the new Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 and request the Archbishops’ Council at the earliest possible opportunity to review its practical outworkings and with reference in particular to the attached Code of Practice.
His Honour Judge John Bullimore (Wakefield) moved as an amendment:
Leave out all the words after “exercise of ordained ministry” and insert:
“(a) note the concerns that exist about aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (especially as regards the perceived pastoral implications of the Code of Practice made under it);
(b) welcome the response by the Clergy Discipline Commission to its consultation on aspects of the Measure (circulated as GS 1747B); and
(c) invite the Archbishops’ Council to seek a report from the Commission before the end of the quinquennium on whether there is a case for bringing forward, early in the lifetime of the next Synod, draft legislation to amend the Measure or amendments to the Code of Practice.”.
Synod voted in favour of Judge Bullimore’s amendment.
As a result the substantive motion became:
That this Synod whilst recognizing the need for discipline in the exercise of ordained ministry
(a) note the concerns that exist about aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (especially as regards the perceived pastoral implications of the Code of Practice made under it);
(b) welcome the response by the Clergy Discipline Commission to its consultation on aspects of the Measure (circulated as GS 1747B); and
(c) invite the Archbishops’ Council to seek a report from the Commission before the end of the quinquennium on whether there is a case for bringing forward, early in the lifetime of the next Synod, draft legislation to amend the Measure or amendments to the Code of Practice.
The amended motion was carried on a show of hands.
A note from the Clergy Discipline Commission (GS 1747B)
This morning Synod debated some changes to the Church Representation Rules. One of these turned out to be controversial. This was to repeal the provision that dioceses should provide candidates in elections to General Synod with a list of e-mail addresses of electors (where available). The reasons for this were set out in an Explanatory Memorandum from which the following is the relevant extract.
13. Paragraph 6 gives effect to recommendation (g) of the report, to the effect that the requirement contained in Rule 39(5)(b) CRR and Rule 20(3)(b) Clergy Representation Rules to supply candidates in elections to the General Synod with e-mail addresses should be repealed.
14. In the elections to General Synod in 2005 a number of dioceses had noted with concern the impact of the Data Protection Act in relation to the new requirement to communicate electors’ e-mail addresses to candidates where electors had authorised the use of such an address. Those implications arose in terms of (a) the need for the explicit consent of individual electors to be obtained to allow their e-mail addresses to be circulated to candidates and (b) the need to protect electors from subsequent over disclosure of their e-mail addresses by candidates. The Group took the view that the requirement to supply e-mail addresses placed a disproportionate cost on dioceses in relation to the theoretical benefit that might be gained if a candidate asked for the list, as the sparsity of email addresses made it ineffective as a resource for electioneering purposes. Additionally, while everyone had a postal address of some kind, there were still people who did not have e-mail addresses, and so it would be impossible to require either electors or candidates to provide them.
Synod members argued that this was a backward move and did not agree that the practical problems were good enough reason to stop making e-mail addresses available. The proposal was thrown out.
Note: In elections to General Synod candidates can send a two-page election address to each elector at the expense of the diocese. Candidates are also entitled to a list of names and addresses of electors so that they can send out further election material at their own expense. The number of electors in each constituency is typically several hundred.0 Comments
Updated Monday afternoon
The House of Deputies by more than a 2-1 margin adopted a resolution July 12 that declares the ordination process of the Episcopal Church open to all individuals while expressing its ongoing commitment to the Anglican Communion.
The vote was 77-31 in the lay order and 74-25 in the clergy order. It now goes to the House of Bishops, where it must be passed to be enacted.
Resolution D025 was created as a response to resolution B033, which was adopted in the waning hours of the 2006 General Convention and urged restraint concerning the election of bishops whose “manner of life” would cause offense to the wider Anglican Communion. That was widely believed specifically to refer to gays and lesbians in committed same-sex relationships.
Ruth Gledhill has a comprehensive report on what the Archbishop of Canterbury said during the first item of business on Monday.
Responding to a question by Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream, Dr Williams said: ‘As for General Convention it remains to be seen I think whether the vote of the House of Deputies will be endorsed by the House of Bishops. If the House of Bishops chooses to block then the moratorium remains. I regret the fact that there is not the will to observe the moratorium in such a significant part of the Church in North America but I can’t say more about that as I have no details.’ Dr Williams also responded to concerns about the funding for the ‘listening process’ saying that he had been personally involved in securing that funding and had been completely unaware of any ‘agenda’ attached to the funding.
The Church Times blog has a good report on the story from General Convention, see House of Deputies affirms ministry of gay and lesbian persons.
Updates Monday afternoon
The Times Ruth Gledhill Schism closer as US Anglicans vote to overturn ban on gay ordinations
Guardian Riazat Butt Archbishop of Canterbury ‘regrets’ move to ordain gay bishops
Press Association Martha Linden Archbishop’s ‘regret’ over US decision over gay bishops22 Comments
Mrs Joanna Monckton (Lichfield) asked the Chairman of the Council for Christian Unity:
Q. Has the Council considered the implications from the point of view of the Porvoo Agreement of the announcement by the Church of Sweden that it is going to change its marriage service to take a gender neutral form so that the same form of service can be offered to same-sex couples as to heterosexual couples?
The Bishop of Guildford, Christopher Hill, replied:
A. The Church of Sweden has not yet taken a decision in response to recent state legislation providing for gender neutral marriage. The Synod meets in September and again in October and there is a proposal before it that the marriage liturgy should not be gender-specific. In the light of a letter from the Archbishop of Uppsala advising the Porvoo churches of likely developments in the legislature and the Swedish Synod, the Faith and Order Advisory Group considered the issues raised by this proposal at its last meeting and the Chairs of the CCU and FOAG have published an open letter to the Archbishop reflecting FOAG’s concerns about the implications of any revision of its marriage liturgy by the Church of Sweden. This letter is now on the Church of England website and I have arranged for a copy to be placed on the notice board.
Mrs Joanna Monckton (Lichfield) asked the Chairman of the Council of Christian Unity:
Q. In the light of the considerable difficulties experienced in the Anglican Communion following the consecration of a practicing homosexual as a bishop, has the Council considered the implications of the recent decision by the Church of Sweden to appoint a practising lesbian as a bishop?
The Bishop of Guildford replied:
A. The Council for Christian Unity has not had the opportunity to reflect on this recent development. When it does so it will need to consider the similarities and differences between the Anglican Communion and the communion of Porvoo Churches. However, in both contexts, the interchangeability of ordained ministries is subject to the discipline of the churches involved, which in the case of the Church of England is the discipline set out in the Revd Tony Higton’s 1988 General Synod motion and in the 1991 report Issues in Human Sexuality. The CCU has proposed that there should be a consultation next year in which the Porvoo churches share the work they have done in human sexuality and the doctrine of marriage, in order to see where there is common ground and where there are genuine differences between them.10 Comments