Episcopal News Service Friday, September 22, 2006
Global South meeting issues communiqué
By Matthew Davies
[ENS] A meeting of Global South Primates, held September 19-22 in Kigali, Rwanda, has issued a communiqué criticizing the 75th General Convention's response to the Windsor Report and announcing that "some of us will not be able to recognize" the Episcopal Church's next Presiding Bishop "as a Primate at the table with us" at the next Anglican Primates' Meeting, set for February 2007 in Tanzania.
The communiqué -- which expresses regret that the Convention "gave no clear embrace of the minimal recommendations of the Windsor Report" -- is available in full online at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/articles/41/75/acns4193.cfm
The communiqué stated that 20 of the Anglican Communion's 38 Provinces were represented at the Rwanda meeting, but signatories among the Primates in attendance were not included with the statement. It is unclear how many, or which, Primates endorsed the communiqué.
According to the communiqué, the 20 provinces represented were: Bangladesh**, Burundi, Central Africa, Church of South India, Congo, Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and Middle East, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines**, Rwanda, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Southern Cone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa, West Indies (** not present but represented).
The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop-elect, Katharine Jefferts Schori, will become the first woman to lead an Anglican Province when she formally takes office on November 4.
The communiqué asserts that she "cannot represent those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion" and proposes that another bishop, "chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations."
In a June 19 statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, sent his greetings to Jefferts Schori offering his "prayers and good wishes as she takes up a deeply demanding position at a critical time."
He noted that she will bring "many intellectual and pastoral gifts to her new work," and acknowledged, with gratitude, "the strength of her commitment to mission and to the Millennium Development Goals," but also recognized that her election would have "an impact on the collegial life of the Anglican Primates."
The Global South Steering Committee is chaired by Archbishop Peter J. Akinola of Nigeria, a leading critic of recent actions taken by Anglican Provinces that affirm and uphold the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the life of the Church.
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, Primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, who attended the Kigali meeting, has been at the forefront of issues of peace, justice and reconciliation throughout the Anglican Communion and has repeatedly delivered a message of "open and loving support for our gay and lesbian members."
The Kigali statement says that Jefferts Schori's position on human sexuality is in "direct contradiction of Lambeth 1.10 [resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference] and the historic teaching of the Church."
On the day of her election, Jefferts Schori said: "I believe that God welcomes all to his table, those who agree and those who disagree. The Episcopal Church always has been a strong voice for including a variety of opinions; the marginalized are welcomed at the table."
Full story: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_78015_ENG_HTM.htm
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