Primates Meet Today in Canterbury
Prayers for Archbishop Justin Welby, the Anglican Communion, and the primates beginning their meeting today in Canterbury.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited all 37 Primates to Canterbury to reflect and pray together concerning the future of the Anglican Communion.
The gathering, to be held 11-16 January 2016, will be an opportunity for Primates to discuss key issues face to face. These will include a review of the structures of the Anglican Communion and deciding together their approach to the next Lambeth Conference.
The agenda will be set by common agreement, with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions. It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality.
Archbishop Foley Beach, the leader of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), will be present for part of the time.
The Camaldolese community of San Gregorio al Celio entrusted the head of the pastoral staff associated with Saint Gregory, who sent Saint Augustine to Canterbury in 597, to Fr Robert McCulloch, Procurator General of the Society of St Columban and Fr Marcus Walker, associate director of Rome’s Anglican Centre. It will be at Canterbury Cathedral alongside the book of the Gospels given by St Gregory to St Augustine during the meeting, and comes with Roman Catholic commitment to pray for the meeting. The Camaldolese have a particular passion for Anglican/Roman Catholic ecumenism, which includes having shared a monastery with the Episcopal/Anglican Order of the Holy Cross.
Fr Robert says the idea of this ecumenical venture came to him after the Archbishop of Canterbury, last July, invited Australian Cardinal George Pell to celebrate Mass at the High Altar of Canterbury Cathedral – the first cardinal to do so since the Reformation.
Tensions and divisions over different approaches to sexuality have caused deep rifts in the Anglican Communion. I have previously suggested that, theologically, it was actually the ordaining of women that broke communion (I am in favour of ordaining women), and I coined the term Anglican Commnon for what we have left.
There are different understandings of what the Anglican Communion actually is. It is a homonym.
Those who suggest that it is not sexuality, particularly homosexuality, that is the issue – but that the issue is about faithfulness to scripture (for example) have a hard time explaining why there has not been this energy about evolution, women’s ordination, divorce and remarriage. It seems that many people need a “them” to strengthen the sense of “us”. My own understanding of the gospel is that Jesus has broken this – we do not need a “them” to all be together as “us”.
How do you get from a commnon to a communion? When u and i are always included!
What do you think?
If you are not sated by official sources
Why the Primates Meeting is Important by Mark Harris
Anglican Down Under by Peter Carrell provides another Kiwi Anglican perspective
Tobias Haller always provides thought-provoking perspectives (see also his blog In a Godward Direction)
The Anglican schism over sexuality marks the end of a global church by Andrew Brown
Open letter to the archbishops of Canterbury and York signed by Church of England members including many senior leaders (The link goes to the website, Thinking Anglicans, another good place to keep informed
Can you suggest other posts or websites?
… in the Southern Hemisphere, and certainly in Aotearoa-New Zealand, this is our go-slow time…