Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

No comment on claims Welby spun ACC16 falsely

The Archbishop of Canterbury will not comment on claims he had not been entirely straightforward in his characterization of the agreements reached by the Anglican Consultative Council at their Lusaka meeting

The Archbishop of Canterbury will not comment on claims he had not been entirely straightforward in his characterization of the agreements reached by the Anglican Consultative Council at their Lusaka meeting over the primates’ call to sanction the Episcopal Church of the USA. A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said the Most Rev. Justin Welby would not be responding to the statement issued last week by the outgoing chairman and vice-chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council and four members of the standing committee the ACC had “neither endorsed nor affirmed” the call for “consequences” for the US Church in response to their decision to create same-sex marriage rites. On 6 May 2016, the cross party group that includes liberal and conservative Anglicans, said: “In receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury’s formal report of the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting, ACC16 neither endorsed nor affirmed the consequences contained in the Primates’ Communiqué. There was no plenary discussion or decision with respect to the Primates’ Communiqué. From our perspective there did not seem to be a common mind on the issue, other than the clear commitment to avoid further confrontation and division. ACC16 did welcome the call for the Instruments of Communion and the Provinces to continue to walk together as they discern the way forward. No consequences were imposed by the ACC and neither was the ACC asked to do so.” The letter signed by Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi and Elizabeth Paver of the Church of England, the chairman and vice-chairman of the ACC, as well as delegates from the Church in Wales, Episcopal Church of the USA, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil and Anglican Church of Australia directly contradicted claims made by Archbishop Welby the primates’ call for consequences had been “fully implemented.” Before the meeting the primates of Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya stated they would not send delegations to Lusaka in response to the American Church being given full voice and vote, (however the Kenyan delegation defied their primate and attended the meeting), while the primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East declined to attend the meeting of the ACC’s standing committee due to the participation of the Bishop of Connecticut. In January the primates asked the US church not be permitted to vote on matters of doctrine, discipline or leadership within the church for the next three years. However in Lusaka the Episcopal delegation fully participated in all of the meeting, voting for new leaders and offering resolutions touching upon doctrine and discipline.  In response to criticisms from conservative primates, the Archbishop of Canterbury reported the ACC had unanimously backed the primates in outlining “consequences” for the Episcopal Church’s creation of gay marriage rites. This was untrue, the outgoing ACC leaders said. The secretary general of the ACC, the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon disputed the 6 May statement saying: “The signatories of the statement have served the Anglican Communion tirelessly over many years. Their prayerful presence and wisdom has been an enormous blessing and has enriched the Communion immeasurably. They are entitled to express a view but I simply do not agree with their interpretation here. The response of the ACC was clear and its support for the Primates was clearly expressed.” Dr. Idowu-Fearon, who last month criticized the boycotting primates for not understanding the finer points of English not for profit law, and who denounced the Archbishop of Kenya for disseminating “scurrilous” accusations of using the archbishop’s signature to advance an agenda at odds with the Kenyan church’s formal stance, added: “The theme that emerges is a desire for people to walk together, to acknowledge differences where they exist but to rejoice in our shared faith. Groups spoke of staying in mutual submission with each other for the sake of the kingdom and the gospel of Christ and of mutual respect for diversity. There were many other positive responses to the report which showed a strong degree of unity across ACC.”

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