Tuesday, June 27, 2006
ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS’ STATEMENT HELPFUL IN SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION, SAYS BISHOP DUNCAN
Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, welcomed Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ recent statement on the future of the Anglican Communion.
“Archbishop Williams has clearly recognized the immediate need to stabilize the Communion according to agreed theological understandings and mutual submission. Further, for the first time, the Archbishop himself is acknowledging that some parts of the communion will not be able to continue in full membership if they insist on maintaining teaching and action outside of the received faith and order. Finally, the Archbishop clearly understands that the fault lines in the communion run not only between provinces, but through them and that there may well be a need within provinces for an ‘ordered and mutually respectful separation,’ between those who desire to submit to the Communion’s teaching and those who do not,” said Bishop Duncan.
In the United States, for instance, this will surely create a situation where affiliates of the Anglican Communion Network and others who so choose would be able to continue in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the worldwide church, while the majority of the Episcopal Church would have only “associated” status. ”No church can make significant decisions unilaterally and still expect this to make no difference on how it is regarded in the fellowship,” said Archbishop Williams.
Bishop Duncan also lauded Archbishop Williams’ call to the church to “give the strongest support to the defence of homosexual people against violence, bigotry and legal disadvantage.” “I, of course, could not agree more with the Archbishop in calling for the protection of those whose affections are ordered toward the same sex. Discrimination or violence against them as persons should be abhorrent to Christians, regardless of our understanding of what the church can and cannot bless,” said Bishop Duncan.
While the international actions Archbishop Williams is proposing will not come into being overnight, Bishop Duncan told affiliates and partners of the Anglican Communion Network that is no reason to simply sit down and wait for the outcome. “We are building a biblical, missionary and unifying future for Anglicanism in North America right now. While there are likely difficult times ahead, we can rest assured that when all is said and done, there will be a place for us in the worldwide Anglican Communion,” said Bishop Duncan, “What can you do right now? Do the mission.”