The Primate of the Church in Wales will oppose any attempt to form a parallel Anglican jurisdiction when the primates of the Anglican Communion meet next week in Alexandria, Egypt. Leaders of the GAFCON movement, however, have pledged not to back down from their support of Bishop Robert Duncan and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), setting up the potential for a clash of views when the primates meet.Read it all here. More on the 100,000 Anglicans here.
On Jan. 24, Archbishop Barry Morgan of Wales told delegates attending the annual council meeting of the Diocese of Virginia he would oppose the creation of the ACNA with “every fiber of his body.” Another North American province was “total nonsense,” he said, according to a report by Anglican blogger Mary Ailes, but the archbishop conceded that his views were in the minority among primates.
The degree of support for the ACNA among the primates is uncertain, but a core group representing a near majority have given public and private assurances of support. On Dec. 5 five primates from the steering committee of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral telling him that Bishop Duncan and the ACNA had their full support.
The political strength of the GAFCON primates will be tested against Archbishop Morgan and supporters of The Episcopal Church. The proposed agenda, however, seeks to avoid a direct decision, calling for further dialogue on the issue of rites for the blessing of same-sex unions, the consecration of non-celibate homosexual clergy to the episcopate, and the violation of traditional diocesan boundaries by overseas bishops.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams solicited the views of his fellow primates in crafting an agenda that includes business sessions on global warming, international finance, coordination of development work among church agencies, and the Communion’s theological working group. Time has been set aside for a discussion of the agenda for the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, in May, the proposed Anglican Covenant, and a presentation from the Windsor Continuation Group.
It is unlikely the agenda for the five-day gathering will go unchanged. At their meeting in 2005 in Northern Ireland and in 2007 in Tanzania, the primates insisted on confronting the issues that had split the Anglican Communion.
In an interview with the Anglican Journal of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said that he and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, along with the primates of Uganda, Pakistan and South Africa have been asked to prepare briefings on issues facing their churches around the issue of human sexuality. Leaders of the GAFCON movement also have been asked to present a paper on the third province movement in North America.
However, a spokesman for Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda said he was unaware of any request by Archbishop Williams for him to prepare a reflection paper. The primates of Pakistan and South India previously notified Archbishop Williams that they would be unable to attend. The deans or senior bishops of provinces currently without primates—the West Indies, Central Africa, and Melanesia—will represent those churches.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
From The Living Church: