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The Primates in session at Dromantine February 19, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Church of England Newspaper, Living Church, Primates Meeting 2005.
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The Primates in private session at Dromantine on Feb 25, 2005. Photo first published in The Living Church and The Church of England Newspaper.

Traditionalists plan rival summit: CEN 12.21.07 p 7. December 20, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008, Primates Meeting 2005.
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akinola-and-williams.jpgPlans are underway to hold a global gathering of traditionalist Anglican bishops next June under the auspices of the Global South coalition of primates, sources tell The Church of England Newspaper.

However, Archbishop Rowan Williams’ Advent letter to the Primates may give organizers of the rival meeting occasion to pause, as they digest Dr. Williams’ statement that unity for unity’s sake will not be the purpose of Lambeth 2008.

Meeting in Nairobi last week, the Global South Steering Committee, under the presidency of the Primate of Nigeria Archbishop Peter Akinola, discussed plans for a gathering of bishops to be held weeks before the start of the 2008 Lambeth Conference at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

The meeting would not be a shadow Lambeth Conference, but would include traditionalists who may boycott Lambeth. Bishops from Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and other global south provinces are likely to sit out Lambeth 2008 due to Dr. Williams’ invitation to the liberal American bishops and his rejection of the African consecrated bishops to the US.

Dr. Williams has urged all of the Communion’s bishops to attend Lambeth. In an Advent letter released after the Global South Nairobi meeting concluded, he used his strongest language so far in making the case for all those invited to come. A refusal to attend Lambeth “can be a refusal of the cross – and so of the resurrection,” Dr. Williams said.

Plans for a Global South-led gathering of bishops have been in the works for over a year. However they have gained momentum in recent months as the pace of the disintegration of the Episcopal Church quickened, and as the perception that delay and obfuscation were all that could be expected from the central bodies of the Communion took hold among traditionalists.



Stalemate Reached in Gay Row: Southern Cross 3.30.05 March 30, 2005

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Communion, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Primates Meeting 2005, Southern Cross.
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Evangelicals were swift but mixed in their reaction to the historic ban of the United States and Canadian churches over their pro-homosexual stance, reports GEORGE CONGER from Newry, Northern Ireland.

Evangelical reactions to the Primates’ communiqué from Anglicans across the world were mixed. Some endorsed the report, others condemned it, while still others took a wait and see approach.

The Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh called the communiqué an “epochal” moment in the life of the Church while the liberal Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham, urged the American and Canadian Churches to reject it.

Read it all in Anglican Media Sydney.

Presiding Bishop: Primates “Out for Blood” at Meeting: TLC 3.15.05 March 15, 2005

Posted by geoconger in House of Bishops, Living Church, Primates Meeting 2005.
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First published in The Living Church.

Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold identified by name six Episcopalians for having detrimentally influenced the course of the primates’ meeting in remarks to the House of Bishops at their March 11-17 spring retreat at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.

The devil is a liar and the father of lies and the devil was certainly moving about Dromantine, the site of the primates’ meeting in Northern Ireland, the presiding Bishop said, according to accounts from several bishops who spoke to THE LIVING CHURCH on the condition that their names not be revealed. The primates were “out for blood,” Bishop Griswold told them.

The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh; the Rev. Canon Bill Atwood, general secretary of the Ekklesia Society; the Rev. Canon Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Parish, Fairfax, Va.; the Rev. Canon David Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council; the Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, canon theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina; and Diane Knippers, president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, were singled out for opprobrium by the Presiding Bishop for their behind-the-scenes roles at Dromantine.

Not present during the Presiding Bishop’s remarks, Bishop Duncan was allowed a point of personal privilege at the evening session on March 13 to respond to the Presiding Bishop’s charges. Bishop Duncan told the House of Bishops he had not manipulated the global south primates nor used nefarious means to influence their deliberations. After Bishop Duncan finished, the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, rose and stated he did not believe Bishop Duncan, and repeated the charges of inappropriate meddling that had been leveled by the Presiding Bishop.

The House of Bishops’ senior diocesan, the Rt. Rev. William Swing, Bishop of California, then rose and noted that the exchange between bishops Duncan and Robinson was illustrative of the personal dynamics dividing the House of Bishops. The evening session ran past its scheduled 9 p.m. conclusion keeping the bishops at work until 10:30. Debate over a response to the primates’ communiqué and the Windsor Report resumed at 9 a.m. the following day.

Primates Engage in ‘Intense’ Discussions: TLC 2.28.05 February 28, 2005

Posted by geoconger in Living Church, Primates Meeting 2005.
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First published in The Living Church.

Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold defended the Episcopal Church against sharp criticism from a coalition of Anglican archbishops during what has been described as “intense talks” from the first two days of the primates’ meeting Feb. 21-25 in Northern Ireland.

Unlike prior primates’ meetings, where African-led objections to the actions of the Episcopal Church and Canadian Diocese of New Westminster dissipated under the nonconformity of Bishop Griswold, the coalition of conservative primates, led by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, has maintained its call for accountability among partner provinces.

Thirty-six of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces were represented at the meeting with three primates absent: Northern India, Hong Kong, and Burundi, which sent a representative as a substitute after the sudden death of the archbishop’s daughter.

The primates of Canada, Sudan, and the United States were allowed to bring aides to the meeting. Bishop Griswold brought Barbara Braver from his staff at the Episcopal Church Center, and the primates of the Congo, Korea, and Japan were permitted to bring translators. A last-minute request by other primates to bring staffers from a hotel in Newry into Dromantine was vetoed by ACC secretary general Canon Kenneth Kearon.

A Windsor Report reception committee, initially chaired by Hong Kong Archbishop Peter Kwong, who had to step down Feb. 12 because of illness, was to present a distillation of the more than 300 responses to the Windsor Report received by the committee, led by Bishop Bruce Cameron, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Behind-the-scenes activities marked the days prior to the start of the meeting. On Feb. 17, Archbishop Rowan Williams told the General Synod of the Church of England during a debate on the Windsor Report that he endorsed its recommendations, arguing that risks had consequences signaling that he would take a firm line with the Episcopal Church.

Prior to the meeting, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria wrote to Archbishop Williams on behalf of a coalition of Global South primates, stating they would not share altar fellowship with Bishop Griswold.

In order to avoid a diplomatic incident over worship, a crisis that nearly derailed the special primates’ meeting in 2003, Archbishop Williams offered a number of half measures to placate Archbishop Akinola. He suggesting a “pastoral Eucharist” be offered, and then proposed that a priest be brought in to celebrate Communion. Archbishop Akinola’s response was that it was not the worthiness of the minister that prompted the objections to Bishop Griswold, but rather their belief that unity of doctrine preceded unity of worship. It was not a question of receiving “from” him, but “with” him, one primate told The Living Church.

Archbishop Williams relented and it was agreed that the Rev. T. Shane Forster, chaplain to Archbishop Robin Eames of Ireland, would celebrate a daily Eucharist for those whose “personal discipline” required it, formally recognizing the state of broken eucharistic communion.

Disagreements over the presence of support staff, the agenda, and use of the primates’ time were raised during the first two days of the meeting. The Anglican Consultative Council staff designed an agenda which included 22 activities on a wide range of topics. Among them were HIV/AIDS, poverty, and the tsunami. That agenda elicited strong objections from those who were concerned that the Windsor Report discussions would be sidetracked.

Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda said he received a communication from Canon Kearon during the week before the meeting, asking him to present a talk on “tribalism.” Archbishop Orombi demurred, saying he had neither the time nor was he willing to be diverted from a full and frank discussion of the Windsor Report. Archbishop Akinola repeated this argument to Archbishop Williams during the opening hours of the meeting, noting that it was the first duty of Christians to resolve their differences with one another before tackling social issues. Archbishop Williams agreed and discussions of the Windsor Report occupied Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

Sources in the meeting, which are closed to everyone but the primates and their interpreters and which are neither minuted or transcribed, said that though the presenting argument was whether homosexual practice was “good or bad,” it soon moved to an ecclesiological level. Archbishop Akinola and others from his coalition said if the Episcopal Church wished to remain part of the Anglican Communion, it must abide by its covenants. Sources said Bishop Griswold’s argument was the Episcopal Church wished to remain part of the Anglican Communion but would do so on its own terms.

In their first public appearance during the meeting, the primates traveled to Armagh for a service of Evensong in St. Patrick’s Cathedral with the bishops of the Church of Ireland. As communion was no longer a dividing issue, no primate absented himself from the public service as had been initially threatened. Joined by Archbishop Sean Brady, the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland, government ministers, and other church leaders, the primates heard Archbishop Williams call for peace between warring factions.

Preaching from Exodus 19, he developed the theme “you shall be to me a kingdom of priests” and stressed the need for friendship and godly love among Christian brothers. Archbishop Williams reminded listeners that it is God who will provide the ultimate solution to the Church’s troubles.

“How readily we turn to anxious striving, as if Christ had not died and been raised. How awkwardly we sit with one another to pray together and worship together. How easy it is for us to close our doors. But, we are called to be a kingdom of priests, and to be built as a holy temple so that the world may be invited, may see, may be transfigured.”

Read it all in The Living Church.

Conservative Anglicans Elated and Cautious: Christianity Today February 2005 February 20, 2005

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Communion, Christianity Today, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Primates Meeting 2005.
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Conservative Anglicans Elated and Cautious
Withdrawal request welcomed, but some wish statement had been stronger.

Traditionalist Anglicans around the world reacted to the news the primates of the Anglican Communion had suspended the Episcopal Church from membership in the 70 million member bodies’ international council with a mixture of elation and caution.

Conservative leader Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh called the February 25 communiqué an “epochal” moment in the life of the church, while the archbishop of Sydney adopted a wait-and-see attitude.

Read the article at Christianity Today