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Living Church: Amid Lowered Tensions, Primates Review Draft Covenant
Romans 12:2 ^ | 2/18/2007

Posted on 02/18/2007 4:14:26 PM PST by sionnsar

The Episcopal Church remained the focus of the second day of the Anglican primates’ meeting Friday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The primates continued their discussion of The Episcopal Church’s response to the Windsor Report, received a draft version of the proposed Anglican Covenant, followed the progress of the Panel of Reference, and heard a presentation on the status of the “listening process” within the Anglican Communion.

Outside the meeting, a statement of broken communion released on behalf of seven primates explained why they could not participate in the Eucharist with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori generated controversy, but had no impact on the day’s events, participants in the meeting told a reporter for The Living Church. Conference spokesman Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Australia told the media that he was unaware of the statement, but noted that it had “no new implications.” It was an “expression of the fact that relationships” within the Communion were perceived as “fractured.”

At the 2005 meeting in Northern Ireland, 14 primates declined to receive the Eucharist with Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. In Dar es Salaam, the formerly recusant primates of the West Indies, Pakistan, Central Africa, Congo and Tanzania received with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, as did the new primate of the Indian Ocean. The primate of Sudan, who in 2005 did not receive, is absent from Dar es Salaam. Two primates who arrived late to the meeting, representing the Philippines and Myanmar, were not present for the controversy.

Different times, circumstances and people prompted this change, one Global South leader noted, adding however that the resumption of eucharistic fellowship by some did not represent a relaxation of opprobrium for the actions of The Episcopal Church.

Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies noted that there were three camps: “those that had made no formal statement in response to The Episcopal Church’s actions, which included those supportive of its actions as well as those with no stated opinion; those in impaired communion; and those in broken communion.

The Province of the West Indies was in a state of “impaired communion” with The Episcopal Church, he explained. It was “no longer business as usual,” as links were not severed, but “the relationship will be dealt with as needs arise.”

Pre-meeting tensions and maneuvering also appear to have abated. The mood inside the meeting, one participant said, was considerably different than that of the 2005 session in Northern Ireland, with a noticeable drop in tension.

On the second day of the meeting the primates “moved from the intense listening mode,” Archbishop Aspinall said, to a “free and frank exchange of views” during the morning session. Following Morning Prayer, discussions continued on The Episcopal Church. There are some “real tensions for us to work through,” Archbishop Aspinall noted.

During the afternoon, a draft copy of an Anglican Covenant was presented by Archbishop Gomez. While the details will not be released until Feb. 19, after it had been circulated electronically to the bishops of the Communion, the covenant will not “deal with subjects” of specific concern, but will “provide a framework” for “mutual accountability,” Archbishop Gomez said.

It will be a “statement of classical Anglicanism,” he said, and was “faithful to our tradition.” The timeline proposed by the covenant design group would be a period of discussion and modification leading up to the Lambeth Conference in 2008; a revision by the conference that would then be returned to the primates for final corrections followed by distribution to the Communion’s 38 provinces for ratification.

Archbishop Peter Carnley, former Primate of Australia, then presented a report on the Panel of Reference. He noted that the panel had been subject to three sets of difficulties: the “sheer effort to establish the facts”; constraints provided by pending litigation in some instances; and “human problems.”

The conference spokesman noted the primates asked “very blunt” questions as to whether the “outcomes achieved were proportionate to the work of the panel.” Further constraints were imposed by human failings, he added. “There must be a will for reconciliation for the panel to be effective,” Archbishop Carnley noted.

The primates concluded their discussion of the panel and the covenant and received a presentation on the “listening process” by Canon Phil Groves. Canon Groves outlined preliminary proposals on the process for the 2008 Lambeth Conference, but noted that in some circumstances it would be necessary to “establish safe ground” in certain societies for “people to feel safe” to allow it to continue productively.

On the third day of the meeting, the primates are scheduled to discuss theological education across the Communion and to continue discussion of The Episcopal Church. No decision on its status has been made, Archbishop Aspinall noted, but one Global South primate noted the discussions appeared to him to be reaching a climax.

(The Rev.) George Conger

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 02/18/2007 4:14:28 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Way4Him; Peach; Zippo44; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; ..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 02/18/2007 4:15:06 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: polymuser

Looks like you called this one right.

3 posted on 02/18/2007 4:15:34 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

SSDD it seems.

4 posted on 02/18/2007 5:04:14 PM PST by Professional Engineer (So, when is the president going to announce his party change?)
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