American centrist mission to Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, September 13, 2013 p 6. September 12, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Communion Parters, Justin Welby, Michael Smith
Six bishops represent the Communion Partners Group – a conservative centrist coalition of clergy in the Episcopal Church – have met with the Archbishop of Canterbury to brief him on the state of the American church.
On 26 August 2013 the bishops released a statement, under the signature of the Rt. Rev. Michael Smith, Bishop of North Dakota, saying they had “prayed together” with Archbishop Justin Welby at the Old Palace in Canterbury and had “discussed a range of issues concerning the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church.”
Bishop Smith’s letter did not give details of the meeting but explained “our vocation as Communion Partners” was “to navigate” the “dangerous extremes” dividing the Communion – a reference to Archbishop Welby’s Monterrey sermon of 13 August 2013.
In his Mexico sermon Archbishop Welby likened the Anglican Communion to a “drunk man walking near the edge of a cliff, we trip and totter and slip and wander, ever nearer to the edge of the precipice.”
Anglicans were treading a “narrow path” between “an absence of any core beliefs, a chasm where we lose touch with God, and thus we rely only on ourselves and our own message. On the other side there is a vast fall into a ravine of intolerance and cruel exclusion. It is for those who claim all truth, and exclude any who question.”
Archbishop Welby’s words were heard in the United States by some commentators to describe Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her liberal camp and Archbishop Robert Duncan and his conservative followers. The Communion Partners’ mission, sources tell CEN was an attempt to inform Archbishop Welby the American scene was more complex – with many seeking to walk the same path as the archbishop.