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Windsor Continuation Group meets, but is short on progress: CEN 1.02.09 January 6, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Windsor Continuation Group.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Windsor Continuation Group (WCG) has concluded its post-Lambeth Conference meeting on Mustang Island in Texas, but has not released details of the four-day gathering.

The WCG is expected to forward its recommendations to Dr Rowan Williams for consideration at the February primates meeting in Alexandria, and at the May meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Jamaica. However, events appear to have outpaced the WCG’s relevance as both left and right have rejected its plea for restraint on gay bishops and blessings, and cross-border incursions by bishops.

The six member team led by the former Presiding Bishop of the Middle East and Jerusalem, Bishop Clive Handford was appointed by Dr. Williams in February, and offered three presentations to the bishops of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, calling for a moratorium on gay bishops and blessings, and a “holding bay” for disgruntled conservatives.

It also rejected the “proliferation of ad hoc episcopal and archiepiscopal ministries,” asserting that such arrangements “cannot be maintained within a global Communion.”

However eight US dioceses have called for the repeal of the Episcopal Church’s pledge not to consecrate a gay bishop, and last week the Bishop of Los Angeles authorized gay blessing rites in his diocese. In Canada five dioceses have affirmed their desire to begin work on gay blessings.

The Dec 3 formation of the Anglican Church in North America by traditionalists, under the guidance of the Gafcon primates is likely to further limit the WCG’s relevance to the Anglican scene.

A degree of mistrust amongst conservatives arising from the manipulation of the 2008 Lambeth Conference is a further obstacle the WCG will need to overcome for its work to achieve a measure of relevance in the wider communion, one bishop told the Church of England Newspaper.

Comments made by Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker in Indaba and plenary sessions on the position of conservatives in the US were redacted from the daily listening documents — with the assurance however, that the WCG would hear his concerns. A spokesman for the Fort Worth bishop told us that although the WCG was meeting in Texas, he had not been contacted by the committee to explain his views. A spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and its Bishop Robert Duncan said it also had had no contact with the WCG.

The Bishop of New Hampshire told us on Dec 18 that “no member of the Windsor Continuation Group, nor anyone representing it, has been in touch with me or my office.” Bishop V Gene Robinson noted that the progressive wing of the church had sought to participate in the dialogue and that “prior to Lambeth” the New Hampshire “General Convention deputation and I painstakingly went over the Covenant and offered our written feedback on each part of the Covenant, as well as its overall intent. I have no idea whether or not that feedback was passed along or read.”


1. Steve L. - January 6, 2009

Rowan’s touted listening seems to have a trick element. If you neglect to ask someone (ie Iker & Robinson) you are not obliged to listen. WCG seems to be a lost cause. Canadian Bishops won’t abide by General Synod decision (Not that Fred XIII would enforce anything) so if WCG pronounces ACoC and TEC will just continue to ignore. They will continue to listen and walk thoughtfully with us, whatever that actually means.

2. Bill Channon - January 7, 2009

“offered three presentations to the bishops of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, calling for a moratorium on gay bishops and blessings, and a “holding bay” for disgruntled conservatives.”

“… “holding bay” for disgruntled conservatives …” is hardly a respectful description for hundreds of thousands of Christians who are trying very hard to hold to the Authority of Scripture and the traditions of the Church over the past two thousand years. I’m not a ‘disgruntled conservative’ but I am an Anglican who rejects the deviation of progressives in the Episcopal Church led by a presiding bishop who denies that Jesus is the only Way to God.

“Holding bays” are used for cattle, sheep and could be said to have been used by Nazis in places like Auschwitz.

Shame on the use of such derogatory descriptive language!

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