The Primates' Statement, like the Windsor Report, manifests long term solutions, rather than precipitous dissolution, for the Anglican Communion.
We welcome their statement which builds on the profound theological insights of the Windsor Report, provides sensible provision for voluntary discipline in terms of a 3 year withdrawal of the provinces of ECUSA and Canada from Anglican Consultative Council meetings, and sets in motion a listening process on issues of sexuality.
In particular we welcome the:
- reaffirmation of the central place of the authority of scripture
- acceptance of the key Windsor Report concept of 'autonomy-in-communion'
- request to the provinces of ECUSA and Canada to withdraw from ACC meetings for the three-year period leading up
to the next Lambeth Conference in 2008
- moratorium on the public rites of blessing for same sex unions and on the consecration of any bishop living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage
- urgent setting up of a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by provinces for their dissenting churches
- commitment neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions
- strong language of 'anathema' used to deplore the 'victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex'
- reaffirmation of Lambeth 1.10 in its entirety including a listening process, which is now to be set up at the ACC Nottingham meeting in June 2005
- request to the provinces of ECUSA and Canada to explain the theological thinking behind their recent actions to the ACC Nottingham meeting
We continue to pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the Primates, the ACC and those planning Lambeth 2008.