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Global South Primates: Postpone Lambeth: TLC 11.13.07 November 13, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Global South, House of Bishops, Lambeth 2008, Living Church.

The House of Bishops’ statement following their Sept. 20-25 meeting in New Orleans failed to answer the primates’ Dar es Salaam communiqué, according to nine Global South leaders who met Oct. 25-30 in Shanghai, China.

In a statement posted on the Global South Anglican website, the archbishops wrote that The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops “has not given an unequivocal response to the requests of the primates.” However, the Global South group stopped short of calling for immediate disciplinary action against The Episcopal Church.

They called for an “urgent meeting of the primates to receive and conclude the draft Anglican Covenant and to determine how the Communion should move forward,” and also urged the postponement of the Lambeth Conference in 2008 to a date when all of the Communion’s bishops could “participate in a spirit of true collegiality and unity in the faith.”

Primates present at the Shanghai meeting were Archbishops Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Justice Akrofi of West Africa, Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, John Chew of South East Asia, Fidèle Dirokpa of the Congo, Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Bernard Malango, (retired) Central Africa, and Henry Orombi of Uganda. The Primate of Korea, Archbishop Francis Park, was present for the consultation but did not endorse the final communiqué.

Archbishop Akinola subsequently sent an open letter on All Saints’ Day to the primates of all 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. He defended his province’s decision to offer temporary oversight to parishes and individuals who have left The Episcopal Church (TEC). A report prepared by the Joint Standing Committee of the primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, who met jointly with the House of Bishops in New Orleans, severely criticized those primates who have welcomed former Episcopalians into their provincial structures.

“These pastoral initiatives undertaken to keep faithful Anglicans within our Anglican family have been at a considerable cost of crucial resources to our province,” Archbishop Akinola wrote. “There is no moral equivalence between them and the actions taken by TEC.

“Until the Communion summons the courage to tackle that issue headlong and resolve it, we can do no other than provide for those who cry out to us. It is our earnest prayer that repentance and reconciliation will make this a temporary arrangement. One thing is clear, we will not abandon our friends.”

Published in The Living Church.


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