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Presiding Bishop to English Synod: Don’t Foster Schism: TLC 7.13.09 July 13, 2009

Posted by geoconger in 76th General Convention, Church of England, Living Church.

First published in The Living Church

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has told the Church of England to keep its hands off the Episcopal Church and not foster schism by entertaining ideas of endorsing the Anglican Church in North America.

“Schism is not a Christian act,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said on July 12 in response to questions from a reporter representing The Living Church concerning the private member’s motion that began circulating Friday among members of the General Synod meeting in York.

The motion has received the necessary 100 signatures from members of Synod to be laid before the committee for inclusion on the agenda in an upcoming session of the biannual meeting of the Church of England’s governing body. It asks “that this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.”

Six bishops supported the amendment, including Beverly, Blackburn, Burnley, Europe, Rochester and Winchester.

The Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright also told Synod that the ACNA constitution and canons had been tabled before the House of Bishops Theology Committee for review in its coming meetings.

Bishop Jefferts Schori stated she was unaware of the contemporaneous developments at General Synod. “I’m afraid I’ve been tied up with things here,” she noted.

However, she stated he hoped the “Archbishop of Canterbury and other visitors from around the Communion” who had been guests of General Convention would have had the opportunity to hear from the Deputies and Bishops and “go home and talk about the pain of departures in church.”

The secessions of the ACNA had been a cause of pain, she said, pain for “many Episcopalians in several places of being shut out of their traditional worship spaces, and the broken relationships, the damaged relationships between people who have gone and people who have stayed.”

Were the Church of England to recognize the ACNA, it would “unfortunately only encourage more of that kind of behavior,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said.

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