Anglican Leaders Applaud Primates for Stand Against ECUSA
- Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Overseas Anglican leaders are being praised for issuing a statement that calls on the leadership of the Episcopal Church USA to repent within three months or face expulsion from the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Recently 18 primates from the Global South submitted the recommendation to the Lambeth Commission. The primates also want the ECUSA to revoke its election and consecration of openly homosexual New Hampshire bishop Vicki Gene Robinson, calling that action "deliberate disobedience of the revealed will of God" and "a flagrant departure from the consensual and clearly communicated mind and will of the Anglican Communion."
Canon David Anderson of the American Anglican Council says the primates are asking for very bold and positive steps to be taken, and their strong demands compel some sort of response.
"Even if the Lambeth Commission were not to pay attention to it, nevertheless, much of the world is reading that statement," Anderson says, "and I think that if the global Anglican leaders don't actually take some punitive steps toward the Episcopal Church in the United States, there is a significant possibility that there will be a tearing apart of the global Anglican Communion itself."
The primates also suggested that similar disciplinary action be taken against the bishop and synod of the diocese of New Westminster, Canada, for their approval and implementation of so-called "same-sex blessing ceremonies." Anderson calls the primates' statement "strong and clear," and he feels many in the ECUSA agree with its recommendations.
The American Anglican Council member notes that more and more Episcopalians are redirecting their money because of the Robinson controversy. And, he says, "people are voting with their feet as well."
Nevertheless, Anderson feels there is, unfortunately, no chance that the ECUSA will revoke its consecration of Robinson as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese. "There is still a significant number of people who are in the Episcopal Church that are kind of asleep at the wheel," he says. "They don't know what to do; they don't see any viable alternatives, and oftentimes they are being kept in the dark by their clergy and their bishops."
According to the Anglican Council, since General Convention 2003, the ECUSA's unilateral actions of confirming the election of an active homosexual and approving the equivalent of local option for same-sex blessings have resulted in 21 provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion declaring either impaired or broken communion with ECUSA.
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