Friday, May 28, 2010

What The Letter Means (according to the ABC)

Notes to editors re the Archbishop of Canterbury's Pentecost letter (see post below): [H/T to Thinking Anglicans]

Q. Practically, what does this letter mean for Provinces, national or regional churches who have broken any of the moratoria?

A. Representatives of those Provinces, national or regional churches whose decision-making bodies have gone against the agreed moratoria a) will be asked to step down from formal ecumenical dialogues such as those with Orthodox Churches or the Roman Catholic Church, and b) will no longer have any decision-making powers in the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order that handles questions of church doctrine and authority.

Q. What are the agreements that have been broken?

A. As far back as 2004, the Anglican Communion leadership agreed to three moratoria: 1) No authorisation of blessings services for same-sex unions; 2) No consecrations of bishops living in same-sex relationships; 3) No cross-border interventions (no bishop authorising any ministry within the diocese of another bishop without explicit permission). These have been affirmed repeatedly in subsequent years at the highest levels of the Communion.

Q. Is anyone being asked to leave the Communion?

A. No. By proposing these actions the Archbishop is working to safeguard the common life of the Communion. His proposals come after several churches broke the Communion’s agreed moratoria (their promises to the Communion). Nevertheless the churches concerned remain full members of the Anglican Communion.

Q. Why did the Archbishop decide to issue this letter now?

A. His comments are made at the season of Pentecost when Christians pray for a renewing of the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of communion and of fellowship. The letter also comes shortly after the Episcopal Church broke one of the moratoria by appointing a bishop in a same-sex relationship.


liturgy said...

Not wanting to distract those who comment here from the content of Rowan Williams' letter, but as an aside

"His comments are made at the season of Pentecost when Christians pray for a renewing of the Holy Spirit"

when is this "season of Pentecost"? Certainly not when Rowan published this letter which the Church of England, of which he is the Primate, calls "Ordinary Time", and (very unusually with respect to other Anglicans let alone the world-wide church) numbers Sundays "after Trinity".

Peter Carrell said...

He was thinking of me, Bosco!
I number the Sundays from now on as Pentecost X, Y, Z ... always worth swimming against the Ordinary Tide :)

Anonymous said...

Liturgy, there is far more than merely confusion about the church year. Rowan is confused about how the Anglican Communion actually operates. The Episcopal Church does not "appoint" bishops. It elects them.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous
Yesterday I stated that I would accept no more 'anonymous' comments. I will accept this one - but only this one - because it responds to a comment made before my new comments policy.