Group of ACC members, secretary general dispute meaning of resolution

Question hinges on interpretation of ‘receives’ in one resolution

Anglican Consultative Council members who attended the council’s 16th meeting April 8-19 pose on the steps of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Anglican Consultative Council members who attended the council’s 16th meeting April 8-19 pose on the steps of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] Two Anglican Communion leaders and some outgoing members of the Anglican Consultative Council are at odds about what exactly happened on the last full day of last month’s ACC-16 meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that the council passed a resolution accepting the so-called “consequences” called for in January by a majority of the primates – leaders of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces – for the Episcopal Church’s decision to allow same-sex marriage. However, some ACC members dispute that interpretation.

The latest two chapters in the continuing disagreement opened May 6 when six outgoing ACC and Standing Committee members released a statement saying the council did not accept or endorse those consequences.  The statement also said that the ACC imposed no additional consequences.

“In receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury’s formal report of the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting, ACC16 neither endorsed nor affirmed the consequences contained in the Primates’ Communiqué. There was no plenary discussion or decision with respect to the Primates’ Communiqué,” the six members from the provinces of Australia, Brazil, Central Africa, England, the U.S.-based Episcopal Church and Wales said in the statement. “From our perspective there did not seem to be a common mind on the issue, other than the clear commitment to avoid further confrontation and division.”

Welby declined a request from Episcopal News Service to comment on the ACC members’ statement. However, during the evening of May 8, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Anglican Communion secretary general, rejected the statement.

“They are entitled to express a view but I simply do not agree with their interpretation here,” he said in part. “The response of the ACC was clear and its support for the Primates was clearly expressed.”

The disagreement centers on the interpretation of a resolution the ACC passed with no debate on April 18, the last full day of the April 8-19 meeting. Then named C34 and now numbered Resolution 16.24 and titled “Walking Together,” the resolution says:

“The Anglican Consultative Council
1.    receives the formal report of the Archbishop of Canterbury [Justin Welby] to ACC-16 on the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting of January 2016; and
2.    affirms the commitment of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to walk together; and
3.    commits to continue to seek appropriate ways for the provinces of the Anglican Communion to walk together with each other and with the Primates and other Instruments of Communion.”

The key part of the primates’ communiqué, and of Welby’s report on it, are the so-called consequences the primates called for in response to the 78th General Convention’s decision to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and to authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054).

The primates said in the communiqué issued at the end of their January meeting that they were “requiring” that for three years the Episcopal Church not serve on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee, and that while participating in the Communion’s internal bodies, they could not be involved in decisions pertaining to doctrine or polity.

Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak moved Resolution 16.24 on April 18. It was seconded by Harriet Baka Nathan, that province’s lay member.

The resolution was one of 18 on a consent calendar that was passed without debate.

A related resolution, numbered C35, in which the ACC would have said it “welcomes” the primates’ communiqué, also had been on the consent calendar but was removed so that the council could discuss it. However, after discussions over lunch and as the April 18 afternoon session began, the movers said they wanted to withdraw C35 from consideration.

Such a request is normally not debatable but then-ACC vice chair Elizabeth Paver asked council members for their approval. Welby told the ACC that he would be “very glad” if C35 was withdrawn because C34 “covers the issues we need to cover.” With a show of hands, the members agreed to allow the motion to be withdrawn.

Action on the two resolutions was the second of only two times that the council formally considered the so-called consequences during the Lusaka meeting. The first came April 8 during Welby’s report.

He did not explicitly ask the council for its endorsement. “It is both my and the Primates’ desire, hope and prayer that the ACC should also share in working through the consequences of our impaired relationships,” he said in his one reference to potential council action.

When Welby finished, ACC members spent about 30 minutes discussing his report in their table groups. The groups did not report in plenary session on their conversations but a summary of the discussions was posted 10 days later, near the end of the meeting. It said a “desire to endorse the primates’ communiqué and the resolve to walk together” was one of five themes that emerged.

The summary cited only four comments as evidence of this desire, but each of the 10 table groups included ACC members who neither agreed with the primates’ call for consequences nor interpreted the ACC resolution as supporting them.

However, according to the ACNS article, Idowu-Fearon said that it was his understanding that feedback from those table discussions had been “overwhelmingly supportive” of the consequences.

The four comments were:

“To endorse all aspects of the Primates’ Communiqué as being supported by this ACC” – Table 2;

“Endorse Primates, keep the church together” – Table 7;

“Primates resolved that we walk together as a Communion” – Table 1;

“Sacrifices e.g. parents do to a disobedient child” – Table 4.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, left, and Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Anglican Communion secretary general, have each said the Anglican Consultative Council endorsed certain consequences imposed on the Episcopal Church by the Communion’s 38 primates. Their interpretation has been rejected by some ACC members. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, left, and Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Anglican Communion secretary general, have each said the Anglican Consultative Council endorsed certain consequences imposed on the Episcopal Church by the Communion’s 38 primates. Their interpretation has been rejected by some ACC members. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

After the table discussions, time was allotted for “clarifying questions.” The only person who spoke was Sudanese Archbishop Deng Bul. He urged that “the communiqué be adopted by the ACC to keep the church of God together.” No action was taken that day and Deng later submitted what became Resolution 16.24.

At the end of the session in which Welby gave his report, Paver, one of the outgoing members who later signed the May 6 statement, told the council that he had posed a “direct request from the primates to us” and called on the ACC members to affirm their desire to walk with the primates through applause.

Scattered applause followed Paver’s request but not all members participated, some later saying they were confused about exactly what she was asking for.

During a closing news conference on the evening of April 18, Welby was asked if the “Walking Together” resolution meant that the ACC concurred with the primates’ call for consequences for the Episcopal Church. “Well, it received my report which included those consequences,” Welby replied. Prompted by the reporter as to whether the consequences “stand,” Welby replied that they did.

In fact, the ACC never discussed overriding the primates. And since that news conference Welby has twice gone on to insist that Resolution 16.24 means that the council supported the primates’ requirements.

As ACC members began departing Lusaka the next day, he was quoted in an Anglican Communion News Service story as saying: “Given that my report, referred to in the resolution, incorporated the communiqué and was very explicit on consequences; the resolution clearly supports and accepts all the Primates’ Meeting conclusions.”

Ten days later Welby issued a statement saying that the resolution’s passage meant that “the ACC accepted these consequences entirely, neither adding to nor subtracting from them.”

In both instances, Welby amplified his contention that the ACC had enforced the consequences with the fact that none of the group’s three Episcopal Church members stood for election on the Standing Committee or as chair or vice chair of the ACC.

Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas, then one of three Episcopal Church’s members on ACC, was widely expected to stand for election as the council’s chair. He declined to do so, saying his decision was “not in response to the primates’ communiqué per se” but was due to his commitment to foster unity in the communion.

Read more about it

ACC background is here.

Complete ENS coverage of the ACC is here.

The House of Deputies News page also posted stories from the meeting.

The Anglican Communion News Service’s ACC-16 coverage is here.

The Twitter hashtag for the meeting is #ACCLusaka.

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg are editors/reporters of the Episcopal News Service.

Comments

  1. Randy Marks says:

    Anglican leaders: can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

    Mary: Thanks for a comprehensive and comprehensible article about the mystery of the church. Perhaps you’ll explain the sacred mystery of the Trinity next. 🙂

  2. Cynthia Katsarelis says:

    What a crazy mess. The ABC and the GS firmly believe that the six outgoing members of the Standing Committee, including the chair and vice-chair, didn’t know what they were doing when they “received” the report from the ABC from what was billed as an “informal gathering” of primates in January. Then they grasp at straws, four out of 10 tables kind of, seemed to support it, so it must be so…

    Meanwhile, the primates gathering in January was billed as an informal gathering to learn to walk together with different. Instead, it has been elevated to a PRIMATES MEETING with central powers to determine doctrine for all provinces, overriding the governance of individual provinces. This, despite the dismal failure of the Anglican Covenant.

    The ABC and primates have no authority to issue “consequences,” and the ACC was smart to say that they are independent. Of course, the ACC is far, far more diverse than the primates group of 38 privileged men.

    The ACC members made every effort to avoid confrontation and division, while the ABC and GS seem to be stoking the fire and fanning the flames. Meanwhile, the GAFCON members who didn’t bother to show are not buying the spin.

    Goodness. Many thanks to all those, communion wide, who are truly walking together. The Light of Christ is showing through the people of the Anglican family, if not the leaders.

  3. LLOYD S CASSON says:

    “Done made my vow to the Lord,
    and I never will turn back.
    I will go, I shall go
    to see what the end will be.”
    Hang in!

  4. To be honest, the ACC resolutions were not Justin’s to hijack and re-interpret in the way he seems to me to have done.

    It creates the impression of Justin as a kind of problem relative, at someone else’s party, with the other family members politely trying to avoid conflict for the sake of family unity.

    Justin has gone and asserted the authority to impose ‘consequences’ on good people in TEC. But it’s a PR mistake because he and his fellow primates don’t have that authority, and they’re called out on that before the ACC meeting.

    The ACC is wanting to (effectively) exercise unity in diversity… to major on love and grace and service, without any of the demands for uniformity and consequences.

    So Justin’s agenda, being parachuted into their meeting is awkward. But Justin has big problems, because he’s made kind of promises to appease the GAFCON critics. Promises he can’t carry off. They are already muttering about that before the ACC. Justin is in a fix.

    That fix gets worse, when it becomes apparent at ACC that they do not want to ‘welcome’ or endorse his ‘plan’. They just want to get on with being a ‘walking together’ church. It is inconceivable in all the days they were together… given that this was the most high profile and divisive issue, with a Communion in crisis about it… that Justin did not get ample opportunity to hear and understand the objections many there had to the Primates sanctions, not to mention the intrusion on ACC’s independence and autonomy.

    At that point, if Justin had PR support, well he was advised disastrously – or else, he just tried to bulldoze through his top-down agenda. It was a ‘spin’ (“the consequences accepted in their entirety”) that was doomed to be called out. He was claiming to speak for the ACC, and this must have really riled and disappointed. Any number of them could contradict his version of events. It was almost bound to happen, because Justin had sort of spoiled the loveliness of that ACC gathering with his spin and controversy. Someone should have told him in advance, “I don’t think this spin is a very good idea.”

    Justin is not unintelligent, but he was incredibly naïve at that point, trying to come on so strongly and think he could pull that off, claiming an endorsement that must have been a half-truth at the best when he’d had conversations with people. Being brutally plain, he WAS spinning their meeting… in a most unwanted way… the gathering was so full of grace in many ways. By brazening it out (because of pressure from the GAFCON primates?) he ended up damaging the trust people had in him because his statement seemed disingenous.

    Almost no-one will be happy with his ill-advised manipulation of words and the truth of what people felt: GAFCON will feel betrayed and let down that he’s made a promise (consequences) which he claimed had unanimous support among Primates, but it turns out he lacks the authority to implement that promise. We shall doubtless hear more about that from the GAFCON site, and they are sure to berate him and use it to illustrate the ‘feckless’ failure to restore discipline in the Communion.

    On the other hand, for many in TEC, or in Canada, or in Scotland, they will see a stark contrast between the very gracious conduct of members of the ACC meeting… an example of how unity in diversity can be sought with goodwill on many sides… and the political, seemingly cynical (but probably haplessly idealistic) manipulation of words, and the co-opting of the ACC gathering for his own spin and audiences, with hopelessly dubious claims of the ‘consequences’ being entirely accepted. Bluntly that was just untrue. Justin was at the gathering. I really find it hard to believe he simply completely misunderstood other people’s range of views, or wasn’t listening. The ‘spin’ (for that was what it was) was pretty desperate and pretty ruthless in my opinion.

    He needed ACC mandate in the light of the Primates own lack of authority or right to impose the consequences themselves. Otherwise his promise to GAFCON leaders unravelled and fell apart. He was in a very strait situation.

    But to decent, honest, TEC people, all this just came across as rather dishonest shenanigans, and it was crazy that Justin exposed himself to those charges. He *really* needed better advice.

    And then there’s that place one almost forgets Justin is commissioned to pastor to: England. The top-down attempt to impose uniform dogma (with threat of sanctions) has already been marketed once as the Anglican Covenant, and England rejected it. Now Justin is seen trying to achieve the same outcomes (with no English mandate) on other Provinces, as well as doing the same kind of thing with sanctions on his own priests.

    This top-down ‘imperium’ is Roman-style and goes against the broad traditions of the Church of England. It tries to impose one conscience on everyone, even though the Church in England is pretty much divided down the middle on conscience grounds. It seems disrespectful, and the scrabbling for power going on this week just adds to the impression of an Archbishop desperately trying to control people. That is not going to happen.

    Trying to control is exactly the problem. Its tied him up in knots, and compromised integrity, verging on the possibility of dishonest, disingenuous statements.

    Far from ‘walking together’, Justin – and I will admit I think he is acting in sincere faith and good intentions – has sided with those who keep threatening to ‘walk away’ unless others are kicked out or sanctioned. People in England can rightly feel that the needs of the Church of England (and more seriously, the wellbeing of lesbian and gay people) are being subordinated to the demands and other cultures and foreign provinces. Yet in England (and in the Church of England) the majority of people accept and are willing to affirm gay sex – with younger people affirming it more and more, and recoiling from the Church’s phobia of gay sex and treatment of its priests.

    It is a phobia. In some Provinces it is an almost paranoid phobia. Love becomes a crime. Even in England among the bishops (some of whom, let’s face it, are gay) there are those who basically still regard gay sex as sin. I cannot say (because he will not tell us outright) but I suspect Justin thinks gay sex is a sin too. He would have got taught all that at HTB when he was there. If he has moved on, to celebrating gay sexuality, he shows a strange way of doing it. This whole affair is an evangelistic disaster, disgusting decent people outside the Church, and putting them off.

    To summarise. Justin is sincere and loves God. But you can be sincere, and yet be sincerely wrong. Where I think he is wrong and mistaken, is not in his view in good faith about gay sex – that should be respected – but in his attempt to impose his own view top-down… ending up with gay priests being bullied and suffering sanctions… and in the mistaken idea that anyone in the church has a right to tell others what their consciences must be. We didn’t do it over women priests, we shouldn’t do it over human sexuality.

    As ACC demonstrated so well (and I think it’s really sad that this got tarnished by Justin’s claims and spin – a hijacking of that gathering’s voice, claiming it said what it didn’t)… it IS possible to walk together in diversity. We don’t have to dominate each other.

    We can disagree but still be one in Christ. Unity in diversity really is possible, and it’s the only sane and sensible way to resolve these difficulties. Grace and love to wish one another well in Jesus Christ. And conscience respected, so that Provinces and individual parishes can exercise their deep-felt convictions, and not be threatened with exclusion. We can co-exist. We can love one another.

    Being ABC must be a terrible responsibility and believe it or not, I do try to open up to the love God has for Justin (partly why I always call him by his first name). He is in a difficult place at the moment.

    However, I suggest that it is made more difficult if one gives way to opaque lack of clarity… if one engages in corporate-style spin and PR (again, I fear he’s been appallingly advised)… because really what we need is simple transparency. To GAFCON: ‘you can’t demand other Provinces to fall into line.’ To TEC: ‘you run your own affairs, you hopefully protect people whose conscience rejects gay sex.’ To England: ‘look, I’ll be honest. I don’t really agree with gay sex myself, but the public should know that there is no uniform view in the Church of England. I’ll be honest, half the Church accepts gay sex. There is no single Church of England position.’

    Honesty and straight talking, in the end, will serve Justin far better than trying to control and manage people’s conflicting consciences, with clever interpretations of other people’s words, and press releases to control bad news, and making promises to appease people, who then feel tricked when you don’t deliver.

    I recognise my words are quite excoriating. But I still believe in Justin’s kindness, his faithfulness, his good intent, his gentle personal disposition (though some of his dictats have been brutal in their effect). I know I should pray for him, because he is my brother, and I am happy to. He is deeply and tenderly loved by God. He is precious.

    We de-humanise at great risk. But my point would end with this: all over the world LGBTI people are de-humanised, and at present the Church lends succour and religious mandate to those who say gay sex is wrong, and then persecute gay people. If the Church says it’s wrong, then next time ‘I beat a fag up’, I know that ‘God is on my side’.

    And here in England, and the Church of England, LGBTI people suffer erasure, or marginalisation, or repudiation of the loveliest and best and most sacrificial of *who they are*. It is hurting, and it shocks more and more decent, reasonable and truth-seeking people in our country. Worse still, in some provinces the Church is complicit in the criminalisation of Lgbti sexuality.

    We need to open our hearts to grace and love – not clever words, not spin, not ‘I am right’ – but the grace to really value those we differ from, the grace to seek love and co-existence. And hopefully, the grace as well to become a vibrant, diverse, serving church… local priests and people serving local communities, in various and diverse ways.

    We are called by God to be a collection of unique and diverse individuals – each with their quirks no doubt – but all amazingly treasured and loved by God. Both Justin, and the scared trans girl I’ve been counselling this week, one week into transition, isolated, despairing. She badly needs the enfold and valuing of our loving God. She needs understanding and acceptance of who she is… or at least, to have a place, somewhere in our communion… for who she is, not who others (top down) tell her she ought to be.

    Because we are a diverse Communion.

    There is a place for her in our Church – not as an act of toleration and ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’; but as an act of affirmation and celebration. Quite simply, both she and Justin have on their foreheads “Loved by God”. May God bless them both. May God bless us all. May we find the grace and love to ‘walk together’ without dominating one another, just wishing one another well for each person’s flourishing and journey, love and commitments, service and hope.

    Susannah

  5. William Russiello says:

    Some people would say that the Archbishop’s spin on the ACC’s Resolution is actually a lie. He should be careful. Sin has worldly and spiritual consequences.

  6. David Harris says:

    Justin’s been in the business world and knows very well that there is a crucial distinction between receiving a report and ratifying and approving a report that has been received.
    Oddly, the secretary general’s comments offer no supporting evidence or even a claim that ACC supported the primates. He just says he disagrees with the letter that offers pretty clear evidence that the council didn’t agree with the primates.
    I think it’s too bad Ian Douglas didn’t let his name stand. If some members of the communion, such as it is, want to interpret unity as uniformity, let them do so. But don’t let them off the hook that their’s is a convenient interpretation unsupported by any logic or the statute of any so-called instrument of communion.

  7. The Anglican Consultative Council has some legislative authority in the Anglican Communion. The Primates’ Meeting does not, and was never intended to have any.
    Shame on the ABC and others for trying to hoodwink in the ACC.

    Get it through your thick heads: The ACC, which is widely representative of all the Anglicans in the world, wants no part of Sudan’s +Bul or +Welby’s hatred and division. End of story.

  8. David Masasi says:

    Another example of CEO Welby’s attempt at manipulation, control and attempts to devalue the independent thinking of the Anglican Communion ! A formidable business executive but sadly not aware of the collegiality of the global Anglican Communion.

  9. Jeremy Bates says:

    None of Welby’s machinations is fooling GAFCON at all.
    So we are left to suspect that his aggressive spin (putting it charitably) may be serving no useful purpose.
    David Harris’s point about Ian Douglas is a good one. It’s time for The Episcopal Church to stop consequenting itself.
    And if the price of peace is discrimination, then perhaps The Anglican Communion is a club we should not belong to.

  10. Andrew Sorbo says:

    As a Gay Episcopalian, I have to once again (emphasis on “again”) shake my head in disbelief that yet another year of discord is well under way about what should be a simple matter of equal rights for a minority that does not deserve to be treated with disrespect, contempt and outright cruelty by so many other fellow human beings, least of all those who dare to take on the mantle of spiritual leaders, shepherds of a flock of Christians.
    GAFCON and the row over what was really decided at ACC appears to me to be little better than what I saw transpire in the seemingly endless series of Republican presidential debates over the last year. They all gave the impression of being clown-led circuses, and the “leaders” of the Anglican communion should be thoroughly ashamed of their behavior. They exemplify leadership at its worst, a group of pompous, preening, prima donnas who have lost the meaning of what it is to be a Christian.
    I honestly don’t care any more what the Anglican Communion decides. Let them “punish” the TEC if they want, but let us refuse to bow to their demands that we go along with their cruel un-Christlike treatment of their own LGBT people or treat our own with anything less than full respect. If a church cannot stand up for its own most vulnerable members, it does not deserve to call itself “Christian.”

  11. Totally concur with the above commentary by Andrew Sorbo. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, which in this case, The American church should cease and desist making any
    fiscal contributions to the Anglican Communion. Remembering how the Episcopal church began
    after the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the BCP mandated allegiance to the Crown,
    perhaps history will repeat itself.

  12. Paul Ambos says:

    A resolution to “receive” a report is to act to permit it to be read, nothing more. Per Robert’s Rules of Order: “The reading of a communication does not in itself formally bring a question before the assembly. After the reading, or at the time provided by the order of business, a motion can be offered proposing appropriate action. If no member feels that anything needs to be done, the matter is dropped without a motion. ”

    Does the Old Testament prohibition against false witness not apply to bishops in the Church of England?

  13. Martin Reynolds says:

    And where is Wales in the list of the six who signed the contrary opinion? Let us pray to God we are not subsumed into “England”. Last time had the pleasure to meet, Paver was a she called Elizabeth.

    Those small matters of fact aside, this latest attempt of Justin Welby to claim consensus for a code of discipline solely on the say so of the Primates group has the potential to explode into a disaster.
    The consensus he claims was clearly not there. Those who were charged with the responsibility and authority to discern that consensus saw something completely different.

    This was wholly unnecessary. Welby overreached himself and Josiah followed in spades. The compulsion to punish “offenders” has to end.

    My real concern is how the Church of England are using the Communion to justify their continued homophobia. The excuse is wearing thin even with those who once believed it had some truth.

    • Martin Reynolds says:

      Ah, yes you know Elizabeth is a she, it’s just the awkward construction of the phrase.
      Just Wales then …..

  14. Fr. Charlie Grover says:

    It seems to me we must let other parts of the Anglican Communion work out their response to our witness. Meanwhile I suggest we go on about the calling God has given us within God’s greater call to mend the world. Thanks be to God that we cannot destroy the essential unity God has granted us in accordance with the Great High Priestly Prayer of the 4th Gospel.

  15. I agree, Father Charlie. After all…

    Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

    and shortly before his death, Jesus said:

    “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

    Paul later writes: “the greatest of all is love”.

    And the disciple John writes: “This is the message you heard from the beginning: we should love one another… God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.”

    That’s what I think is required of us: to remain in the love that was outpoured for us by Christ. That is the law and the prophets fulfilled. All the scriptures should be read and reflected upon in the context of this great primacy of love.

    It is not about legalistic rectitude, or ‘he is right’ or ‘she is right’ or ‘you are right’ or ‘I am right’.

    It is: ‘Who will open their hearts and their lives to grace and love, and come, and share that love that God pours out? That love that Jesus poured out to share with us, poured out to the point of no turning back?’

    That is what God requires of us. In submitting to this primary commandment – the commandment that comes before anything else – we submit to God. Not to the Bible, but who the Bible acts as a conduit for: the God, whose love sums up and fulfils all the law and the prophets. The God of love.

    As a communion, we need to stop struggling over who is first. Over who is right. We can only ever be one, and find unity, in God and the great sharing of love, with God, and between one another.

    In our diversity, in our differences of opinion, the true challenge is not ‘who is right’. The true challenge is who will hear the greatest commandment, and open their hearts to the great love, who is the very living God. That is submission to the Living Word of God. The Word who is Jesus Christ.

    We can hold a wide and diverse range of views and practices, but we can still co-exist in a unity in that diversity, and love one another. That, I believe, is what we should do. We should accept that we don’t all share the same views, but we can all share the same love, and in doing so, we fulfil God’s Word, and we remain and abide in God, and God in us.

  16. Frank Riggio-Preston says:

    The simple fact is that neither the AC, nor the ACC nor the A of C have AY authority to impose any consequences or sanctions on TEC. The AC has become a farce and the African nations can leave any time they want to do so. Welty is treading delicate territory and could find himself doing is primary Joe, pastor of England and kicked out of the Palace. Time has come for TEC to withhold funds to the Communion and get out of it.

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