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Dublin primates meeting in doubt: The Church of England Newspaper, Nov 12, 2010 p 6. November 11, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Primates Meeting 2011.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has proposed suspending the Primates Meeting—the fourth ‘instrument of unity’ in the Anglican Communion—in favour of holding multiple small group gatherings of like minded archbishops.

In a letter to the primates dated Oct 7, Dr. Rowan Williams suggested that given the “number of difficult conversations” and the threat of a boycott of its meetings, a regime of separate but equal facilitated small groups sessions might better serve the primates’ “diverse” perspectives and forestall the substantial “damage” to the communion a full-fledged boycott would entail.

Dr. Williams also called for a reform of the structure of the meetings, suggesting that an elected standing committee be created and the powers and responsibility of the meeting of the communion’s 38 archbishops, presiding bishops and moderators be delineated.

Lambeth Palace did not respond to a request for clarification about the Oct 7 letter, while a spokesman for the Anglican Consultative Council said it could not address the question of a potential boycott as “the content of correspondence between the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury is private.”

On Oct 24 Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz warned a joint meeting of the Canadian Anglican and Lutheran House of Bishops of the boycott threat.  “There is a lot of tension within the group,” he said, as some primates were “unwilling to come to the table with everyone present.”

The Anglican Journal reported that Archbishop Hiltz believed Dr. Williams “might try to deal with this problem by arranging prior meetings of smaller groups of like-minded primates.”

The African primates attending the All African Bishops meeting in Entebbe on Aug 24 told Dr. Williams they would not attend future primates meeting if US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop Hiltz were there.  The African primates voiced their concern over unilateral actions taken by the North American churches and also upbraided Dr. Williams for what they saw as his pusillanimity in responding to the ensuing crisis of doctrine and discipline.

The Archbishop of Canterbury answered his critics in Entebbe by stating he did not have the authority to withhold invitations, CEN was told by those present at the meeting.  However, a formal boycott of the meeting has not been announced by the African primates, as further consultations with the Gafcon coalition and other like minded primates are scheduled.

The following month, Dr. Williams published notice that the next primates meeting would take place from Jan 25 to 31, 2011 at the Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre in Dublin.  On Sept 21 Bishop Jefferts Schori stated she had received notice of the meeting, and was planning on attending.

Subsequent meetings of the GAFCON primates in Oxford in October and a second meeting of the CAPA primates on Nov 8-9 in Nairobi have yielded a common resolve to oppose the North American block, but a common tactical response to the threat has yet to be decided, sources tell CEN.   Suggestions under consideration range from a boycott of the Dublin meeting, the convening of a rival primates meeting, the withdrawal of the Global South from all pan-Anglican gatherings for a season, or accommodating Dr. Williams and his pleas for restraint one more time.

What was certain, one primate told CEN, was the resolve of the Global South/Gafcon/CAPA coalition not to walk away from the Communion, but seek its reform and renewal.

Established in 1978 by Archbishop Donald Coggan as an opportunity for selected primates to meet for “leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation,” the primates meeting has grown haphazardly in recent years.  The heads of the communion’s 38 provinces are currently invited to participate in the gathering, while Dr. Williams has added the Archbishop of York to the meeting’s current roster.  The two-diocese Church of Bangladesh’s senior bishop attends the gathering, but not the senior bishop of the two-diocese Church of Ceylon.

The meeting has traditionally elected a standing committee from regional blocks: the Americas, Europe, Africa, South Asia, and East Asia, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its chairman.  The five regional members also serve on the newly formed standing committee with members from the Anglican Consultative Council.   The primate from the European block drawn from the Church in Wales, the Church of Ireland or the Scottish Episcopal Church has the same standing as the member for Africa, even though the African churches is over 50 times larger.

The appointment of the Archbishop of York to the meeting’s membership and the structural inequality of the regional blocks have prompted criticism from within the meeting, while its attempts at exercising authority over the wider communion have been attacked from without.

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Comments

1. Sinner - November 11, 2010

We pray that the GAFCON Primates will truly Stand Firm, will boycott this meeting, organise a Truly Christian Primate’s meeting, withdraw finally from the fatally-compromised liberal “Communion”, and serve the Lord in the beauty of truth.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ
Who died to forgive sin, not to tolerate it!
Amen!

2. Paula - November 12, 2010

I agree and would like to add that it is time that Archbishop Bob Duncan was invited to these meetings as primate of ACNA.

3. Anglican Mainstream South Africa » Blog Archive » Dublin primates meeting in doubt: The Church of England Newspaper, Nov 12, 2010 p 6. - November 12, 2010

[...] More…. [...]

4. Louie Crew - November 12, 2010

Clearly the primates are an instrument of disunity, not an instrument of unity in the Anglican Communion. For the historic bonds of affection
which have held the Anglican Diaspora together, many of the primates have attempted to substitute bonds of law.

The primates have postured quite beyond any authority given to them explicitly by the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. They have
prodigally wasted precious and limited resources by flying across the world time and time again to address not the world’s major needs, but their own private and personal meanness. They continue to snarl at each other over territory and power.

Rather than pray for their enemies or do good to them, most of the primates have attempted an unrelenting scourge of all who do not conform
to them.

The primates have been meeting for only 32 years and would do the world a favor if they disbanded. Their collective gathering has obviously fallen
apart in spitefulness and mutual distrust.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Louie Crew

Br. Hal Weiner, O.U.M. - November 13, 2010

AMEN.

5. St. Nikao - November 12, 2010

The FCA/GAFCON/Jerusalem/Global South Primates could do as +Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of SC and stop playing games with the $%*@#’s, ignore the compromised instruments of false unity and the unrepentant provinces.

One glaring inconsistency is the fact that the Church of England is also in violation of Lambeth 98, and Scripture – having ordained ‘gay’ priests and granted them spousal benefits for their same-sex partners.

6. kwiwanglo - November 12, 2010

Whatever turns out to be the Archbishop of canterbury’s decision on the next meeting of anglican Primates, it has become clear that the dissidents in the Communion intend to make their non-presence felt. In such a case, the Primates might revert to their original provenance – which was as leaders of the Anglican Church in their own respective territory. That would allow each Province to get on with the task of preaching the Gospel of OLJC in situ – without interference from anyone else.

7. St. Nikao - November 13, 2010

L.Crew you write: “The primates have postured quite beyond any authority given to them…”

Not at all. There is a primary and presumed authority and a primary mandate given to anyone born by the Holy Spirit into The Church, both ordained and lay members that comes from a higher authority than council, conference, canon and constitution can convey or challenge. (See Articles XIX and XX)

A. to HONOR and to ABIDE within the bounds God has set forth in His Word and Commandments, His Character, design, order and creation that reveal and define Holy Love, Truth and Life
B. to GUARD, PROCLAIM and PERPETUATE the Faith and the Gospel of Salvation by the Cross, Blood and Resurrection of Jesus Christ through the preaching, teaching, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit and making disciples (both by conversion of those outside and birth and child-rearing within holy matrimony).

Sadly, L. Crew, your agenda has been an effort to distort and undermine both of these and to foment an unhealthy, deadly lifestyle and a message that is antithetical to Scripture, the Gospel and the Faith.

8. Sarah - November 15, 2010

RE; “Clearly the primates are an instrument of disunity . . . ”

No — the current revisionist activist leaders of TEC are the instrument of disunity.

RE: “For the historic bonds of affection . . . ”

Which the current revisionist activist leaders of TEC trampled upon.

RE: “They have prodigally wasted precious and limited resources by flying across the world time and time again to address not the world’s major needs, but their own private and personal meanness.”

No — they have defended the faith from the current revisionist activist leaders of TEC.

RE: “They continue to snarl at each other over territory and power.”

Lol — “snarling” is what you do, Louie Crew. Tuck in your fangs there.

RE: “Rather than pray for their enemies or do good to them . . . ”

How do you know they do not pray for the current revisionist activist TEC leaders?

RE: “most of the primates have attempted an unrelenting scourge . . . ”

Yes — that is what revisionist activist TEC leaders believe telling the truth and refusing to lie is — “an unrelenting scourge.”

RE: “The primates have been meeting for only 32 years and would do the world a favor if they disbanded.”

Oh — those Primates which believe the Gospel will not be disbanding — although certainly they *would* be doing a favor to the current revisionist activist TEC leaders if they would.

RE: “Their collective gathering has obviously fallen apart in spitefulness and mutual distrust.”

Nah — those Primates which believe the Gospel are more unified and together in love than ever before, it appears.

RE: “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.”

A typical, repulsively smarmy and self-serving misuse of Christ’s name.

How predictable.

9. Mdimi Mhogolo - November 15, 2010

Surely Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church does not spend much of his time trying to make peace within the Anglican Communion but rather calls the Church to be and serve where Christ is – in the broken, hurting and sinful world, the concerns for which matter most in the heart of God than human sexual orientation – a luxurious concern of the powerful and glorious.

10. Sarah - November 16, 2010

RE: “a luxurious concern of the powerful and glorious. . . . ”

Yeh — nothing more luxurious, powerful, and glorious than the bishops of the Sudan.

RE: “the concerns for which matter most in the heart of God than human sexual orientation . . . ”

Well, it mattered enough for Him to mention it several times in His revealed word. Further, the “broken, hurting and sinful world” includes those who abuse their bodies by having sex with the same sex, not to mention all the rest of those who have sex outside of marriage. Why ignore certain parts of the “broken, hurting and sinful world” just because a tiny percentage of progressive activists have decided to declare one currently-trendy minority sexual desire as holy and blessed?

11. Covenant is a waste of time and money | Simon Sarmiento | News Team - November 18, 2010

[...] Anglican “instrument of unity” is now in disarray. A report last week said that, unless the American Presiding Bishop voluntarily absents herself, the next Primates [...]

12. The Covenant – a waste of time? | Kiwianglo's Blog - November 19, 2010

[...] Anglican “instrument of unity” is now in disarray. A report last week said that, unless the American Presiding Bishop voluntarily absents herself, the next Primates [...]


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