Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Primates Communique:What Does Walking Together Mean?

Fr. Dale Matson

The complete text of the 2016 Primates Communiqué can be found here: http://www.primates2016.org/articles/2016/01/15/communique-primates/

While most of the focus and discussions following the communiqué was on the consequences outlined for The Episcopal Church for departing from the historic faith and order of the World Wide Anglican Communion (WWAC), there was one phrase in particular that continues to nettle me (I was also concerned about new equivalency issues that were included in the statement and agreed to by the primates).

“Over the past week the unanimous decision of the Primates was to walk together, however painful this is, and despite our differences, as a deep expression of our unity in the body of Christ.” I’m not certain it was unanimous since the Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali left in protest on the second day. http://churchofuganda.org/info/archbishop-stanley-ntagalis-update-on-the-primates-gathering-in-canterbury

Prior to the January meeting, GAFCON had stated in their September 2015 response to an invitation to a meeting that they would not attend any meeting also attended by The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada.

“Consistent with this position, they have previously advised the Archbishop of Canterbury that they would not attend any meeting at which The Episcopal Church of the United States or the Anglican Church of Canada were represented, nor would they attend any meeting from which the Anglican Church in North America was excluded.”

I am left with the following question. “What constitutes ‘walking together’ for the next three years?”

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