From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Williams to gather primates in October

From "Mika Larson" <>
Date Fri, 8 Aug 2003 11:58:46 -0400

August 8, 2003

by Jim DeLa
[ENS] Reacting to events this week at General Convention, the Archbishop
of Canterbury has called a special meeting of the primates of the
Anglican Communion in London, October 15-16.

According to a news release on the Anglican Communion News Service's Web
site, Dr. Rowan Williams said a meeting is needed. "I am clear that the
anxieties caused by recent developments have reached the point where we
will need to sit down and discuss their consequences," he was quoted as

"I hope that in our deliberations we will find that there are ways
forward in this situation which can preserve our respect for one another
and for the bonds that unite us," he said.

In his official letter to primates, Williams writes, "I hope also we
will take quite seriously the intervening period to reflect carefully on
our life together as a Communion and to consider how we might best bring
our faith, experience and wisdom to bear constructively on these

On Tuesday, convention confirmed the Rev. Gene Robinson as the bishop
coadjutor-elect of New Hampshire. He is the first noncelibate gay priest
to be elected bishop in the Episcopal Church.

On Thursday, convention passed a resolution recognizing "that local
faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as
they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex
unions," but stopped short of authorizing liturgies for such services.

Members of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops said the
archbishop's announcement of a primates meeting was not unexpected. "I
think he's exercising his appropriate authority," said the Rev. Ian
Douglas, a deputy from Massachusetts. "He's doing what he needs to do." 

"I think there's some desire of the part of all that there be a
conversation that includes the primates, not just sound bites from
different parts of the world," said Bishop Wendell Gibbs of Michigan.
"We welcome the fact there will be a conversation."

Opponents of Robinson's election and same-sex blessings were also
pleased by the news of the October meeting. "We are extremely grateful
to Archbishop Williams for his swift response to our plea for
intervention," said Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh and chair of the
bishop's network of the American Anglican Council. "I am confident that
the archbishop will make adequate provision for mainstream Anglicans in
North America."

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