Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bishop’s Note: Response to Canterbury 2016

Bishop Eric Menees

January 19, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of San Joaquin,

Greetings and peace to you in the mighty name of Jesus!

This past week the Primates (Archbishops) of the Anglican Communion gathered in Canterbury, England to speak the truth in love, with courage and deep conviction. They gathered to discuss the impact of the actions of the Episcopal Church in departing from the faith once delivered and the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. This conversation began in 2003 following the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and then continued in 2007 at the gathering of the Primates in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where the Primates agreed to be under authority to God and His Word, and to one another, and not to act unilaterally. 

We in the Diocese of San Joaquin know first hand that there was no follow up to the Dar es Salaam meeting, and the lawsuits and depositions (defrocking) of over 700 faithful clergy ensued. This past summer the Episcopal Church caused further pain and suffering in the Anglican Communion with the approval of same sex marriage rites.

After visiting all of the Provinces of the Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury - Justin Welby - called a gathering of the Primates to address the wounding of our Communion by both the unilateral actions of the Episcopal Church, and the preparation for similar moves by the Anglican Church of Canada. 

While I was not present in Canterbury, the news reports of the meeting give us cause for hope and pride in the actions of the primates from the Global South, GAFCON, and our own Archbishop Foley Beach, who was received as a full and equal partner. In true godly fashion, Christian brothers held one another accountable. They shared the pain and suffering that the departure from the faith has caused in their Provinces around the world, as well as here in North America, and in the end they imposed sanctions on the Episcopal Church. These sanctions remove the Episcopal Church from the governance bodies of the Anglican Communion for a period of three years and call upon them to repent and return to the faith and witness of Christ and the Anglican Church. While on the surface this may not seem like much, I believe that calling the Episcopal Church to re-examine their actions and, ultimately, decide to walk together or apart from their Anglican brothers and sisters around the world is significant.

I am grateful to God for our GAFCON and Global South Primates who were bold for the Gospel, and pray that we are all inspired to do the same. 

Below you will find hyperlinks to the statement of the Primates, an interview with Archbishop Foley, and different articles from religious and secular press. I commend them all to your prayerful reading and viewing.

Here is Archbishop Foley’s interview with AnglicanTV posted on January 17. 

Here is the GAFCON statement:

The official statement from the Primates Meeting:

Here is a news story from fox news:

 Your Bishop & Servant,                                   

   + Eric Menees

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