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he new batch of fudge is ready

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Oct 16, 2003

Oh, well. Here's the Anglican primates (an excerpt from their full statement). A commission, to report in twelve months... Veddy Anglican. They are going to lose a lot of faithful people over this.

The sad thing is, our bishops are in no way ready to seize this moment, or even to allow members of the Catholic community to, in any focused way. I serve as the Chaplain of the Anglican Use Society, and I wish someone would explain to me why it is so difficult for most bishops to simply foster the good.

"Therefore, as a body we deeply regret the actions of the Diocese of New Westminster and the Episcopal Church (USA) which appear to a number of provinces to have short-circuited that process, and could be perceived to alter unilaterally the teaching of the Anglican Communion on this issue. They do not. Whilst we recognise the juridical autonomy of each province in our Communion, the mutual interdependence of the provinces means that none has authority unilaterally to substitute an alternative teaching as if it were the teaching of the entire Anglican Communion.

To this extent, therefore, we must make clear that recent actions in New Westminster and in the Episcopal Church (USA) do not express the mind of our Communion as a whole, and these decisions jeopardise our sacramental fellowship with each other. We have a particular concern for those who in all conscience feel bound to dissent from the teaching and practice of their province in such matters. Whilst we reaffirm the teaching of successive Lambeth Conferences that bishops must respect the autonomy and territorial integrity of dioceses and provinces other than their own, we call on the provinces concerned to make adequate provision for episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA) has explained to us the constitutional framework within which the election and confirmation of a new bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) takes place. As Primates, it is not for us to pass judgement on the constitutional processes of another province. We recognise the sensitive balance between provincial autonomy and the expression of critical opinion by others on the internal actions of a province. Nevertheless, many Primates have pointed to the grave difficulties that this election has raised and will continue to raise. In most of our provinces the election of Canon Gene Robinson would not have been possible since his chosen lifestyle would give rise to a canonical impediment to his consecration as a bishop.

If his consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).

Similar considerations apply to the situation pertaining in the Diocese of New Westminster.

We have noted that the Lambeth Conference 1998 requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish a commission to consider his own role in maintaining communion within and between provinces when grave difficulties arise . We ask him now to establish such a commission, but that its remit be extended to include urgent and deep theological and legal reflection on the way in which the dangers we have identified at this meeting will have to be addressed. We request that such a commission complete its work, at least in relation to the issues raised at this meeting, within twelve months."

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 19, 2003 12:21 AM ET USA

    There are Catholics who do great disgrace and cause grave scandal in their discharge of their ecclesiastical offices. Too often, the Catholic Church has said "Goodbye Good Men" to worthy men and women (consecrated nuns) of deep faith and piety. If God can call worthy pagans, then surely we can spare some ecumenical charity to those called out of Anglican, Episcopalian and other Protestant denominations. If for no other reason, than CS Lewis....

  • Posted by: - Oct. 16, 2003 6:28 PM ET USA

    "...I wish someone would explain to me why it is so difficult for most bishops to simply foster the good..." Perhaps we're the ones who have been consecrating potted plants.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 16, 2003 4:16 PM ET USA

    "As Primates, it is not for us to pass judgement..." "Nevertheless, many Primates have pointed to..." See guys, there's your problem: too many Primates! You only need one (sorry, we've got him) - the Primacy of Peter. Hasn't it sunk in yet - after 500 years? You are adrift - as usual. Too many Primates spoil the Faith - so to speak. But, come on over - there's room for you in the Barque of Peter. But you'll have to leave your 'Primacy' behind...

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