Friday, February 6, 2009

Primates agree: hold the moratoriums while we talk further

From the Church Times (England)

THE PRIMATES have laid down the terms under which the parallel jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is to be considered by the Anglican Communion. It will be discussed as a matter of urgency in a “professionally mediated conversation” initiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, they say in a communiqué.

The communiqué was issued at the end of the Primates’ Meeting in Alexandria on Thursday. All the Primates were there bar the Moderators of the Churches of North and South India and Pakistan, and the Presiding Bishop of the Philippines. They shared, the communiqué states, “a strong desire to see our Christian World Communion flourish and remain united”, and experienced “a discernible mood of graciousness”.

The ACNA was set up last year as a coalition of conservative Anglicans in reaction to what they portray as the liberalisation of the Episcopal Church in the US. It has been recognised by a handful of conservative Primates, but not by Dr Williams or the Communion as a whole.

The Primates say that they unanimously support the recommendations in paragraph 101 of the Windsor Continuation Group report, which was published two or three hours after the communiqué. This states that there must be no attempt by ACNA to recruit and expand its membership; nor should it expect to negotiate with the rest of the Communion. “It is not for individual groups to claim the terms in which they will relate to the Communion,” says the report. It recommends finding “a provisional holding arrangement”, to be revisited when the Covenant process concludes or when long-term reconciliation in the Communion is achieved.

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