Friday, 5 December 2003

impaired communion

The CEN reports that:

Nine Provinces of the Anglican Communion: Nigeria, Rwanda, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the West Indies and Central Africa, have formally broken off relations or entered into a state of “impaired Communion” with those elements of ECUSA that have endorsed the episcopacy of Gene Robinson.

Leaving aside the issue of how meaningful it is for a province to formally break off relations with elements of another province, let’s check the documentation available on this, province by province. So far, I can find evidence of only six formal provincial actions that do what the CEN describes, plus one (West Indies) that does not.

The official statement says

We, bishops of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, meeting at St. Cyprian’s Church, Port Harcourt, on November 15, 2003 condemn in its totality this consecration. We and our people will not recognize Gene Robinson and his ministry as bishop.
We continue to stand solidly behind the leadership of the Church of Nigeria in breaking relationship not only with the Diocese of New Hampshire but with all the bishops and dioceses in ECUSA that have joined in this divisive and unscriptural act.
We equally affirm our commitment to the decisions taken at our Theological and Liturgical Conference held in Abuja in July, 2003.
We also renew our mandate that the Primate should continue to act on our behalf as the cases of ordination or consecration of people who are openly gay to holy orders emerge in any part of the Communion in the future.

statement not yet found

West Africa
The only statement found so far is this news story.

Southeast Asia
The official statement says

(i) We do not recognize the ministry of Dr Gene Robinson as a Bishop in the Anglican Church.
(ii) We are no longer in communion with the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA and all those Bishops and Dioceses [Appendix A] who voted for the confirmation of Dr Gene Robinson’s election and those who joined in the consecration of the same.
(iii) We encourage and support our Primate to work with like-minded Primates, Bishops and churches in the Anglican Communion to urge ECUSA to repentance and to return to the faith that has been given to the Church Universal. If ECUSA refuses to repent, we will commit ourselves through our Primate to work with like-minded Primates for the realignment of the Anglican Communion.
(iv) We support the call of the Primates of the Provinces concerned ?to make adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates. We request our Primate to take an active part whenever required in this matter.
(v) We support and reaffirm ourselves to be in communion with that part of the Anglican Communion including those faithfuls in ECUSA who accept and endorse the principles as clearly defined by Resolution 1.10 [Appendix B] of the Lambeth Conference 1998 and the various Primates’ Meetings since 1998.

We affirm and endorse the Statement of Breaking Communion issued by the House of Bishops of this Province to the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada, dated 6th June, 2003 in consequence of its authorization of public rites for the blessing of same sex unions and the implementation of the same, effective 28th May, 2003.

The official statement says

We declare that, henceforth we are not in communion, namely, communion in sacris, with:
i. Bishops who consecrate homosexuals to the episcopate and those Bishops who ordain such persons to the priesthood and the deaconate or license them to minister in their dioceses;
ii. Bishops who permit the blessing of same sex unions in their dioceses;
iii. Gay priests and deacons;
iv. Priests who bless same sex unions.

[The declaration above is not limited to any particular province.]

The Anglican Church of Tanzania, therefore, resolves and states that:
It remains in communion with all faithful people of God in ECUSA; Bishops, priests and laity who oppose homosexuality and who uphold the orthodox faith of the Church and the teachings of the Anglican Church as contained, for instance, in the Lambeth Resolutions…

The official statement says

… In this case, the Anglican Church of Kenya will not recognize the ministry of this one Bishop.
As Anglican Church of Kenya we reaffirm our commitment to the Lambeth Resolution and the decision of the Primates in respect of same-sex unions. We also reaffirm our commitment to the continued unity of the Anglican Communion.
We give the assurance of our solidarity and Episcopal support to those Bishops, Clergy and laity in various dioceses in ECUSA who continue to uphold the historic faith and order of the Church.
All those Churches of our great Communion that have so far deviated from the norms and the historic faith of the Church have, by their own action, impaired communion.

The official statement says

i) We deplore, abhor and condemn in the strongest possible terms the resolution of ECUSA to consecrate Gene Robinson and all other resolutions related to the ordination of homosexuals and blessings of same sex unions.
ii) (a)The Church of the Province of Uganda (Anglican) cuts her relationship and Communion with the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) on their resolution and consequent action of consecrating and enthroning an openly confessed homosexual Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire Diocese in the Anglican Communion; and with any other Province that shall follow suit.
(b) Mindful of the fact that there are a number of Dioceses, Parishes and Congregations in the ECUSA, which are opposed to the resolution and action taken by their Convention and are determined to remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture on human sexuality, to those dear brothers and sisters, we extend our solidarity with them and assure them of our continued prayers.

West Indies
The official statement says

Until that time and dependent upon the findings and recommendations of the Commission we, as a Province, will maintain a formal relationship with the Episcopal Church (USA), as part of the Anglican Communion, while keeping the matter under critical review. However, we cannot accept the ministry of Canon Gene Robinson as a Bishop.

Central Africa
The primate has written this letter to Frank Griswold and earlier he wrote this letter but neither appears to contain any formal pronouncement by the province.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 5 December 2003 at 10:12 AM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: News

I wonder if the Anglican Church of Tanzania is in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. According to their statement, he does not qualify for fellowship with them.

Posted by: Don Temples at December 5, 2003 07:20 PM

More here
Having been married by the Archbishop of South East Asia, I’m very sad to find that I’ve been declared to be out of communion with him.

Posted by: Graham Ward at December 10, 2003 05:35 PM