Thinking Anglicans

primates’ meeting: the communiqué

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’.

These include:

  • a ‘Pastoral Council’ established by the Primates to consult with TEC, 2 members nominated by the Primates, two by the Presiding Bishop, one by the Archbishop of Canterbury as chair.
  • The Council to work with TEC to establish structures of pastoral care to meet the requests of the Windsor Report, including protocols for the participation of bishops, dioceses and congregations
  • A ‘Pastoral Scheme’ for those unable to accept the direct ministry of the PB. ‘We acknowledge and welcome the initiative of the Presiding Bishop to consent to appoint a Primatial Vicar.’ The Primatial Vicar to be nominated by those bishops participating in the Scheme with the consent of the PB, and the PB to delegate specific powers and duties to the Primatial Vicar.
  • AMiA and CANA to be encouraged to participate in this Scheme.

TEC is asked to clarify its position on the Windsor Report:

  • to ‘make an unequivocal common covenant’ not to authorize blessings of same-sex unions in their diocese or through the General Convention;
  • ‘confirm that … a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent’

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!

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Andrew
Andrew
13 years ago

Not too bad. A Primatial Vicar to keep the conservatives happy. The foreign primates stop intruding into the USA. The Episcopal Church keeps all of its real property, as it always has by right and law. At least for now, the Episcopal Church remains part of the Communion. Time will pass, primates will change, tolerance in the world will increase, and a generation from now this kerfluffle will all be an historical curiosity. It could have been much worse.
From the point of view of many Episcopalians, I think, the good news and the good works will proceed.

pete
pete
13 years ago

So, TEC has to comply with the WR, but Akinola and his thieves and anarchists do not? As they say in Texas, “That dog don’t hunt.”

I think PB KJS should say the Primatial Vicar alternative is as far as she’s willing to go. If the anarchists don’t like that, then we’ll see you in court and at the presentment trials of the clergy who have abandoned their ordination vows in TEC.

Merseymike
13 years ago

If TEC accepts this, then they have as little integrity as the rest of the communion.

I am certainly glad to have been confirmed as right in my decision to leave the church

Jonathan Clark
Jonathan Clark
13 years ago

At a guess, neither ‘side’ is going to feel happy with this, insofar as each was hoping for a resolution which would lead to the other leaving / being pushed out.

Instant feeling – the Primatial Council stuff is going to be less difficult to swallow for TEC than the pressure for specific and detailed response to the remaining Windsor recommendations. Any Episcopalians out there want to come back on that?

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“TEC is asked to clarify its position on the Windsor Report:

* to ‘make an unequivocal common covenant’ not to authorize blessings of same-sex unions in their diocese or through the General Convention;

* ‘confirm that … a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent’

Answers to be received by 30 September 2007.”

The question isn’t *whether* to say “Back to Hell with This!”, but HOW???

Lord have mercy!

badman
badman
13 years ago

This is a disgraceful document. The Episcopal Church is uniquely humiliated and degraded. No mention is made at all of the Nigerian Church’s contempt for the listening process required by Lambeth 1.10. Border crossing, which is condemned, not only by the Windsor Report but by numerous Lambeth Conference resolutions which the Primates have no power to revoke, is allowed to continue until such time as the burglars are satisfied with the voluntary handover of loot. And the prize if The Episcopal Church is so foolish as to agree to this? They get to sign up to a covenant which cedes… Read more »

Craig Nelson
13 years ago

“The episcopal ministry of a person living in a same-sex relationship is not acceptable to the majority of the Communion.” I really find this part to be the most shocking which is now exposing all the stuff and nonsense of Issues in Human Sexuality about sexual acts being the problem but non-sexual relationships being OK. Here the Primates are now insinuating that non-sexual relationships among gay people are sinful. So the only answer if you’re gay is a) don’t have sex b) don’t have a non-sexual relationship c) you’re probably better off not talking to anyone at all in case… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Why was the Episcopal Church not asked to remove the Bishop of new Hampshire..surely that must go hand in hand with the September deadline?

It leaves Gene Robinson in no-mans land.

Why no mention of Canada…what about New Westminster?

David Bayne
David Bayne
13 years ago

Oh dear, Oh Lord! So much for feeling a bit cheerier when the Covenant was published earlier. Unless I seriously misread the communique: 1. TEC’s response to Windsor is deemed inadequate and, unless it complies with the Primates’ requirements by September (a deadline it can’t possibly meet) it’s still threatened with expulsion. 2. The incipient schismatics in the USA are effectively rewarded with a parallel jurisdiction. Did the Presiding Bishop really sign up to this? 3.Those who have already left TEC get to keep the spoils, at least pro tem 4.Those Primates who have been busybodying in other Provinces are… Read more »

Nigel Taber-Hamilton
13 years ago

The Communiqué certainly reveals the genuine split among the Primates. For example: –paragraph 23 states that “….some of us believe….”; –paragraph 26 “those Primates who have undertaken interventions…” –paragraph 31 “….those of us who have lost trust…” –paragraph 32 “….those of us who have intervened….” –paragraph 34: “…Those who have intervened….” Each of these examples is clearly intended to represent the positions of some of the Global South primates _over_against_ other primates. I find it difficult to understand how the Primates can expect the Anglican Communion to respect what they say when the cannot manage consensus among themselves, and it… Read more »

Chris
Chris
13 years ago

JCF,

If the answer is “Back to Hell with This” the action is do nothing. Don’t call the HoB into session. Don’t respond. Let the deadline pass.

Of course, BP Schori has put her name to the Communique and Schedule and is implicitly required to respond lest her personal integrity be weakened. She has signed onto this and must now work positively to implement these actions.

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

I would like to hear what our Presiding Bishop has to say before rushing to any conclusions, but on the face of it, it doesn’t look good.

Nancy Olmsted
Nancy Olmsted
13 years ago

Lest it slip by: (1) The Primates appoint the Pastoral Council and (2) the Primatial Vicar (who is chosen by the dissenting Bishops with the consent of the BP, “shall be responsible to the Council.” And, since there may be a few qualms about this, “The Presiding Bishop in consultation with the Pastoral Council will delegate specific powers and duties to the Primatial Vicar.”

This is indeed a parallel jurisdiction. I think maybe General Convention has some say in that.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Well at mimimum I guess we need to hear fro PB KJS just what she thinks TEC can actually do with this whole business. If she and other non-realignment bishops, priests, and lay people can discern ways through – then maybe we can stand to take them. Otherwise I think it is pretty much a divergence of pathways in the global woods: (1) The traditional path is simply a return to the closet in every legacy sense – not a wise option for those of us parenting children and committed otherwise to legal protections for our partner so far as… Read more »

Robin
Robin
13 years ago

It almost looks like the Communique and the Schedule were written separately, and there were tradeoffs for votes and signatures. The bulk of the communique, as Nigel notes, is a succession of mutually opposing statements, while the schedule/list of recommendations is a tight set of demands (whatever wiggle room there is in the wording) that TEC “behave” or else.

I, also, will wait for word from the PB.

John D
John D
13 years ago

At the risk of sounding like my twenty-something
son(who calls BS when he sees it): this sucks.
God help us if any progressive Episcopalian is forced to accept this crock. You think only the Canon and the Moderator can raise a ruckus?

Tim
Tim
13 years ago

“‘confirm that … a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent’” Why? Where is God in this? The God who speaks through mute beasts in order that the right work be done in the right place by someone, so how much more so through a human? OK, so maybe it should be rare that someone with a lifestyle likely to cause issues to a large proportion of the province be appointed to a role of leadership – ie their other qualities should outweigh that potential for division – but you *CANNOT* rule… Read more »

matthew hunt
matthew hunt
13 years ago

The communiqué says: “at the heart of our tensions is the belief that the Episcopal Church has departed from the standard of teaching on human sexuality accepted by the Communion in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 by consenting to the episcopal election of a candidate living in a committed relationship, and by permitting Rites of blessing same-sex unions.” “If the reassurances … cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at the best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life… Read more »

Fr. Doug
13 years ago

Reminder to “pete”: We could use some actual presentment trials in TEC. In fact, bishops are afraid of them because the matter of one’s ordination vows being made to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ might come up and a real discussion of the empty basis of the recent innovations might ensue. Instead, bishops are resorting to a canon written for those clergy who simply drop out of Church life and/or join another denomination without bothering to renounce their ordination vows. It’s called “Abandonment of Communion” and does not require a trial, presumably because it’s pro forma. It’s… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

“Sadly, these requests are also an insulting admission that the Primates, as a whole, still do not understand that it is the baptized who, together, (“lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons”, and in that order, according to the Catechism) make decisions in our church.” We have been explaining our polity to the wider church for six years. Our catachism lists the ministers of the church as noted above in the Catechism on page 815 of the BCP. It appears that many have not understood this. Perhaps words of one syllable would work, but I don’t think so. This is something… Read more »

Bill Carrol
Bill Carrol
13 years ago

The goal should be non-compliance with these anti-Gospel, anti-Kingdom ultimatums. May God give us grace to follow the Gospel and our Baptismal Covenant, as well as the non-discrimination canons of the Episcopal Church, rather than the decrees of bigoted primates. Integrity recommends contacting one’s bishop. The other step for those in the Episcopal Church is beginning to organize for GC2009. I’d recommend that everyone throughout the Anglican Communion contact their bishop and begin working through local synods/conventions. No matter what others do, no matter what any gathering of bishops does, we can be faithful to the Gospel. LGBT folk will… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
13 years ago

One brief comment on this rather odd document is to note that it sweeps away the ground from under the feet of those who opposed Jeffrey John’s consecration. I can see no comfort for those who oppose the ordination/consecration of homosexual men and women per se, and this will greatly annoy the Nigerian axis.

I could, of course, be wrong….

NP
NP
13 years ago

Mynster – not really – the objections were to do with someone being made bishop when their public position was contradicting Lambeth 1.10 (and therefore the bible)

Not sure David Jenkins et al could get through these days – this is progress.

Steve Watson.
Steve Watson.
13 years ago

“I could, of course, be wrong….”

Yes, David, you are. A homosexual “orientation” – a strong attraction to one’s own sex – has never been a bar to ordination; the issue has always been the physical expression of that desire, as I’m sure you’re aware. Dr John never thought his own sexual life was wrong and he taught, in writing (e.g., in ‘The Way Ahead’) and in lectures, that St Paul was wrong on this matter.

Lambeth 1.10 affirmed The St Andrew’s Day Statement as one of the key ways of thinking about homophile affections.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Steve,
Since when can only priests with an conservative approved theology can become Bishops? Jeffrey John was celebate when he was to be appointed as Bishop, so which criteria did he not fulfill? Or would you now have all heterosexual bishops thrown out too if their views are too liberal for your liking?

Steve Watson.
Steve Watson.
13 years ago

Erika, Dr John did say he wasn’t sexually active at the time, while he was arranging to buy a house with his priest lover whom he subsequently formed a ‘civil partnership’ with. Well, so be it – but I think Christian leaders should avoid the appearance of sin as well as temptations – what catholic theology calls ‘the occasions of sin.’ Should recovering alcoholics hang around in bars? If I decided to share a house with an old girlfriend that I used to sleep with and was still in love with her (I am speaking hypothetically!), I imagine people would… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Steve,
my father is a recovered alcoholic and yes, he comes to pubs with us. Honi Soit qui Mal y Pense. What next – cameras in people’s bedrooms? Are you sure you still have this in proportion?

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
13 years ago

Am I right in thinking that not very long ago there were noises from the GS that those who had ordained homosexuals (NOT as I recall ‘practising homosexuals’) would be excoriated. The communique will not satisfy those who want no room in the Church for ordained gays of even the most chaste behaviour – it’s not much in the way of progress, but it’s a little. I seem to remember another gentleman writing in an affirming way about gays…. Didn’t stop his rising up the ecclesiastical tree. And if NP publishes another baseless attack on +David Jenkins (I didn’t know… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Mynster – you sound angry with me! The reason I have no respect for the “bishops” who had such fun rubishing scripture and tradition is that their work has produced lots of sad decline – ask all the area deans having to dig around for cash to support those “bishops” disciples… ….the experiment failed, fewer not more people came to hear the “inclusive” musings while the ignorant fundamentalists in the City of London and all over England have seen their minsitries multiply massively in England in the last 50 years. Yes, the ABC wrote some stuff he has called “provocative”… Read more »

Steve Watson.
Steve Watson.
13 years ago

David, such straw men you keep propping up. If a person has homosexual desires but never acts on them – including surfing on websites – in what sense “is” he a homosexual? As Bill Clinton would say, it depends on the meaning of “is”. By the standard of Matthew 5.28 I am an adulterer, and a lot of other bad things; by God’s grace I must strive to see it doesn’t go beyond my thoughts, and to keep my thought world pure as well. The issue at stake is very clear and fundamental, and you obscure it in your last… Read more »

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