The Archbishop of Canterbury has written (Nov 20) to Anglican Communion Primates and members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) with a summary of their individual responses to the outcome of September House of Bishops meeting of the Episcopal Church (USA). He made it clear that he was not at this stage advancing his own interpretation of these responses. He will include his own reflections in his (annual) Advent Letter to the Primates in December.
For the responses go to: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2007/11/22/ACNS4340
A PDF is also available here:
Comment from PT for what is it worth!
If I were the Archbishop having these responses on my desk, and seeking to ascertain the mind of the Communion of Churches, I think I would allow myself to think that a majority of the thirty-eight members of the Anglican Communion of Churches think that the American Episcopal Church has done enough to make it reasonably clear that it is on the right road—that is, it is seeking to abide by the terms of the Windsor Report and process. Thus I would suppose that there ought not to be any question of its place in the Anglican Family and the presence of its bishops at Lambeth 2008 (with the possible exception of Gene Robinson and those who were his consecrators). I would note that the only serious opposition to this position is that of the Global South Primates & Provinces so-called, and that they represent about one-third of the total number of Provinces.
So I think that I would go out of my way to speak to each of the Global-South Primates and urge him to come to the Lambeth Conference with his bishops, in order to ensure that there is truly a full expression of the variety of mindsets in the Communion expressed there.
In that these responses from provinces have strengthened the hand of the Archbishop of Canterbury and weakened that of the Global South in a political sense, Dr Williams has greater freedom than earlier to take right action for this crisis.. In charity, therefore, Dr Williams ought to dis-invite the consecrators of Robinson and urge the Global South to attend, and bring along their missionary bishops from the USA with them.
The point I make is that politically now Dr Williams can afford to be generous and, further, it is much more important for the Global South to be at Lambeth than the small group of American bishops (which are not more than 5% of the whole House) who “consecrated” Robinson.
I personally share much in terms of doctrine and devotion with the Global South; but I think that they are wrong to stay away from Lambeth 2008. However, if after going, they come to the conclusion that the present Anglican Communion is ICHABOD then they can then create a new form of global Anglicanism, into which they can receive the emerging new North American Province. But they must surely go the route of Lambeth 2008 truly to come to this conclusion.
The Revd Dr Peter Toon
President of the Prayer Book Society 2007