Episcopal News Service Friday, September 15, 2006
Williams writes to Primates, calls for leadership and prayer
[ENS, Source: Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has spoken of his prayers for ordinary churchgoers who are "puzzled, wearied, or disoriented" by the present controversies within the Anglican Communion in a September 14 pastoral letter to the Anglican Primates.
Williams says that the "ordinary people of God" do not want to see division as the consequence of the Anglican Communion's difficulties.
"Many say they simply do not want to take up an extreme or divisive position and want to be faithful to Scripture and the common life," he said. "They want to preserve an Anglican identity that they treasure and love passionately but face continuing uncertainty about its future."
In his letter, Williams updated the Primates on the Windsor process, reporting the initial thinking of a group set up to advise in the wake of the Episcopal Church's 75th General Convention.
"It is ... clear that the Episcopal Church has taken very seriously the recommendations of the Windsor Report; but the resolutions of General Convention still represent what can only be called a mixed response to the Dromantine requests [by the Anglican Primates]," he said. "The advisory group has spent much time in examining these resolutions in great detail, and its sense is that although some aspects of these requests have been fully dealt with, some have not. This obviously poses some very challenging questions for our February meeting and its discernment of the best way forward."
On requests for "alternative primatial oversight" received from seven dioceses in the Episcopal Church he warned against the tendency to think the matter was straightforward.
"I continue to hope that colleagues will not take it for granted that there is a rapid short-term solution that will remove our problems or simplify our relationships for good and all without the essential element of personal, probing conversation," Williams said.
He also announced the appointment of Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Primate of the Church of the West Indies, as chair of a group to design a Covenant between churches of the Anglican Communion, an idea Williams canvassed in a reflection offered following the General Convention.
The full text of the letter is available at:
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