Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The point of no return

Network Bishops Seek to Avoid Permanent Church Split
5/22/2006 - The Living Church

The bishops of the Anglican Communion Network called on General Convention to approve unconditionally the recommendations contained in the Windsor Report, stating that such acceptance offered the best chance to prevent a permanent tear within the Anglican Communion.

“[We] are prepared to be part of the efforts to reverse the situation, precisely because we are committed both to the Anglican Communion and the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, and because we long to be instruments of healing and reconciliation in the face of division,” the bishops said in a statement released shortly after a May 15-16 leadership meeting at a hotel convention center near Milwaukee, Wis.

The Network bishops are committed to participating “fully and prayerfully” at the 75th General Convention, said Jenny Noyes, a Network spokesperson. “They took care to ensure that their position statement did not appear in any way threatening, but clearly they believe that the 2006 General Convention is the point of no return,” she said.

“The schism occurred in 2003,” she explained. “It’s not like the break hasn’t already happened. The Windsor Report offers a way to reverse that break, to prevent the tear from growing wider.”

Ms. Noyes described the Windsor Report as “already a compromise” and said the Network bishops are in agreement that anything less than unconditional acceptance of its recommendations would be widely viewed as insufficient. She said the Network bishops did not believe it would be helpful at this time to specify what they would do in the event the Windsor Report was not unconditionally embraced, saying only that “there should be no doubt about their resolve.”

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