Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kenneth Kearon Defends Archbishop’s Decisions

From The Living Church

“To remove people from representative functions [within the Anglican Communion] is not to be [exclusive],” the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, told the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council in a morning session June 18. “Being in full communion does not require us to have people from [a particular church] representing the Anglican Communion.”

Kearon’s comments came during an open session held during the Executive Council’s spring meeting, held at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, Md. Acting on a decision by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Canon Kearon recently removed the Episcopal Church’s representatives from global ecumenical bodies.

A “full communion relationship” does not commit any church body to “everything” done in connection with the Anglican Communion, Kearon said, but indicates a shared fellowship.

Questions by Executive Council members largely focused on two issues: a belief that the Episcopal Church has been unjustly excluded from Anglican bodies, and opposition to the actions of other Anglican Communion provinces in planting churches within the United States and providing structures for parishes that leave the Episcopal Church.

The disciplinary action against the Episcopal Church is “removing precisely the voices that need to be heard,” said the Rev. Dr. Lee Crawford of Vermont, who declared her concern “as a lesbian priest in a 20-year relationship.”

The Rev. Jim Simons of Pennsylvania asked whether provinces “engag[ing] in … jurisdictional incursions” will face any discipline. He said the Southern Cone and the Province of Rwanda are “functioning in [the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh] without licenses and laying claim to some of our parishes … in clear violation of the canons.”

Canon Kearon responded that the Province of the Southern Cone has received a letter relating to these matters and “there is a deadline to this response.” He added that questions related to breaches of the third moratorium of the Windsor Report, which calls for an end to interventions in other provinces, “[have not] been answered by any [instruments] of the Anglican Communion” and he “would like to see it on the agenda of the Anglican Communion.”

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