OUTLINE REPORT TO THE DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH (Bishop Duncan)
Sunday, 19 October 2003, Ascension Church, 3 p.m. (following Evensong)
THE PRIMATES MEETING – WHAT HAPPENED?
- The “most honest, most difficult” meeting any could recall.
- Power of prayer and fall of the Holy Spirit reported.
- Questions of law and “constitutionality” nearly derailed the meeting.
- The Communion’s center and its power shifted to the Global South.
- The Primates Meeting replaced the Anglican Consultative Council as the Communion’s key decision-making body (between Lambeth Conferences).
- Rowan Williams achieved presidency on his terms and his turf.
- The “limits of Anglican diversity” were clearly delineated:
- Scripture and Lambeth Conference teaching are determinative
- Provinces may break communion with errant partners
- Ecumenical and Inter-Faith considerations matter profoundly.
- Time to organize provincial responses to schism provided (10/16-11/2).
THE PRIMATES MEETING – WHAT DID NOT HAPPEN?
- Primates did not enter into ECUSA’s constitutional & legal battles.
- ECUSA was rebuked and given an ultimatum, but not expelled.
MEETING WITH ARCHBISHOP ROWAN WILLIAMS – WHAT HAPPENED?
(Lambeth Palace, 17 October 2003, with the Bishops of Pittsburgh, Albany, Central Florida, and Fort Worth at the request of the American Anglican Council)
- The Communion will experience significant realignment
- New Hampshire will proceed despite ultimatum
- Uncertain whether the Presiding Bishop will participate
- Most provinces will break with ECUSA and/or participants
- An orthodox (in Communion) network in U.S. will emerge.
- In U.S. the “territorial principle” will give way to something more complex, more like Celtic missionary model.
- The Commission called for will deal with 1 and 2 (above) seeking an “ecclesial path forward,” but not with sexuality.
- The “Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes” has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement .
- Specifics will be developed Stateside
- Mechanism for requesting “adequate episcopal oversight “ is urgent
- Mission will be at the heart of the network’s concern
- Assumption that the Network will be open toward Canada and “continuing” Anglicans
- Resistance to “free enterprise” quick fixes and Balkanization
- The Primates Statement provides a mandate to move forward and direct conversations with “815” can be undertaken
- Legal issues cannot be settled by Canterbury or Primates
- The hour-long meeting was gracious, pastoral, affirming and prayerful.