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A series of essays in the Episcopal Church


Should We Mount Another Anglican Congress?

Should We Mount Another Anglican Congress?

By Rt. Rev. Peter John Lee

Dear Louie

Without wishing to respond to your last circular directly, can I use your network to ask a question which may perhaps help the debate?

There have been several suggestions recently that we should mount another Anglican Congress, as perhaps a more representative wa of addressing some of the Communion's issues. However the first such Congress in Toronto in the 1960's embraced the notion of "Mutual responsibility and interdependence" (if I remember the word order correctly). That notion guided the Communion powerfully for a number of decades, in very practical ways. In effect, though without using the term, the Windsor Report bemoans the departure from that principle, both by those groupings in North America whom it considers out of line, and by those who have been border-crossing. Without passing any comment on the rights and wrongs of all that, can I suggest that we have lost sight of a historic guiding principle which was widely accepted, which served us well, and which might have helped us if we had not forgotten it? It certainly puts all the (mistaken) talk of provincial autonomy into perspective. My question is simply whether we might do well to revisit that Communion-wide commitment, and maybe take it as a point of departure in our current dispute-resolution initiatives?

Yrs
+Peter John Lee
Anglican Church of Southern Africa

----- Original Message -----

From: "Louie Crew" To: "Bishoops of the Anglican Communion
Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 1:45 PM
Subject: Are primates an instrument of unityommunion

> I can think of no instrument of DISunity in the Communion more vexatious
> than the primates themselves.
>
> * They arrogate to themselves authority they do not have.
>
> * They promise to listen but rarely do.
>
> * Several of them cannot humble themselves to receive Communion with
>    the other primates: they trust in their own superior righteousness
>    rather than in God's manifold and great mercies.
>
> * Many fly around the world invading other jurisdictions to perform
>    episcopal acts while folks in their own jurisdiction face incredible
>    poverty, pervasive violations of human rights, war, pestilence, and
>    all manner of other conditions needing their attention.
>
> * They have exchanged their moral authority for a mess of politcal
>    porridge.
>
> Clearly some of the primates know nothing about genuine repentance in the
> demands they make on The Episcopal Church. Even if they are right in their
> judgment of TEC, they are going about calling us to repentance in a most
> ineffective way.  Jesus loves sinners into repentance; he does not shame us.
> While we were still sinners, he died for us.  Even at the first table, he
> served Communion to those who he knew would betray him.
>
> St. Francis embraced the leper; he did not jump back or point his finger as
> many of the primates have done to those whom they consider moral lepers.
>
> The primates never met as group until a few years ago.  We would have far
> more unity in mission and bonds of affection in the Communion if the
> primates would stay in their own jurisdiction.
>
> Louie
> Newark deputy
> Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12d, East Orange, NJ 07018.  973-395-1068
> http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew
>
>

You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to lcrew@newark.rutgers.edu Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.

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