Relaymedia

First Worldwide Anglican Commission to Meet in England

( [email protected] ) Feb 10, 2004 09:16 AM EST

In lieu of the strokes of divisions faced by the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a special round table discussion between seventeen Church leaders, theologians and lawyers. This week’s council, the first full meeting of its kind, will consider how to structurally respond to the schisms that are rapidly spreading across the communion.



The Commission will consider two major issues at hand: the election of the first openly gay bishop in the Diocese of New Hampshire and the approval of rites for blessing same-sex unions in Canada.



While the commission is not responsible for making judgments on issues of sexuality, they must consider how to deal with subsequent divisions that arose throughout the communion.



The weeklong Commission will not make judgments on issues of sexuality, but rather on how the 77-million member Anglican Communion can deal with the subsequent divisions.



Robin Eames, Primate of all Ireland, has been assigned as chair to the meeting in England, At a meeting of Primates in Lambeth Palace last October the Archbishop of Canterbury was invited to appoint an international Commission under the chairmanship of Archbishop Eames.



“The divisions which are emerging are serious and question what sort of Anglican Communion its members wish to see in future. Sincerely held views are being expressed on all sides of the argument but it is vital that ways are found of dealing with division on any issue which will stand the test of time,” Eames commented.



“There is a widespread desire to maintain Anglicanism as a world Communion. To enable this to happen decisions need to be taken which will allow autonomy to relate to communion and relationships while acknowledging the on-going mission of the Church throughout the world,” he continued.



The reports and findings will be submitted to the Primates and Provinces shortly afterwards.



In related news, thirteen Primates that are part of the commission, released a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, criticizing the actions of the North American churches, and the lack of action thereafter.



The members of the Commission are:



Archbishop Robin Eames


Primate of All Ireland, Chairman



The Revd Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan


Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, the Anglican Church of Canada



Bishop David Beetge


Dean of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa



Professor Norman Doe


Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University, Wales



Bishop Mark Dyer


Director of Spiritual Formation, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA



Archbishop Drexel Gomez


Primate of the West Indies



Archbishop Josiah Iduwo-Fearon


Archbishop of Kaduna, the Anglican Church of Nigeria



The Revd Dorothy Lau


Director of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council



Ms Anne McGavin


Advocate, formerly Legal Adviser to the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church



Archbishop Bernard Malango


Primate of Central Africa



Dr Esther Mombo


Academic Dean of St Paul’s United Theological Seminary, Limuru, Kenya



Archbishop Barry Morgan


Primate of Wales



Chancellor Rubie Nottage


Chancellor of the West Indies



Bishop John Paterson


Primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council



Dr Jenny Te Paa


Principal of College of Saint John the Evangelist, Auckland, New Zealand



Bishop James Terom


Moderator, the Church of North India



Bishop N Thomas Wright


Bishop of Durham, the Church of England.