Statement of Breaking Communion_Province of SEA, 20 Nov 2003

RESOLUTION passed unanimously at the Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the 2nd Session of Synod of the Province of South East Asia on 20 November 2003 at Kudat, Sabah, MALAYSIA


1. Episcopal Church of the United States of America [ECUSA]

On 5th August, 2003, despite the strong and clear warning and pleading of a large majority of the Provinces in the Anglican Communion, the General Convention of ECUSA confirmed the election of the Dr. Gene Robinson to be the Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Dr Gene Robinson thus became the first known practising homosexual who had divorced his wife, separated from his two children and chosen to live with his male partner for 13 years to hold the office of a Bishop in the Anglican Communion. His confirmation created a crisis of faith and leadership in the Anglican Communion which led to the convening of a special emergency meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury in London from 15”’ to 16”’ October, 2003.

At this special meeting in Lambeth, many Primates reiterated the profound pain they felt which was caused by the controversial confirmation on Dr Gene Robinson’s election. The Primates declared:

“These actions threaten the unity of our own Communion as well as our relationships with other parts of Christ’s Church, our mission and witness, and our relations with other faiths, in a world already confused in areas of sexuality, morality and theology, and polarized Christian opinion.”

In the same meeting, the Primates warned against the consecration of Dr Gene Robinson and further declared that:

“If his Consecration proceeds, we recognize that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognized by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).”

Yet on 2nd November, 2003 the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA and some of his Bishops went ahead and consecrated Dr Gene Robinson to be a Bishop. We are appalled that ECUSA proceeded with the said consecration in total disregard for the faith and unity of the Anglican Communion.

Thus at this first opportunity, we, the members of the Synod of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia, want to support and endorse the Statement issued by the Bishops of our Province dated 13”’ August, 2003 and the Statement of the Global South Primates issued on their behalf by Archbishop Peter Akinola dated 2nd November, 2003.

In view of the serious breach of fundamental teachings of the Bible and the long established doctrines of the Church Universal, we make the following declarations:

(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.

2. Diocese of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

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 6”’ June, 2003 in consequence of its authorization of public rites for the blessing of same sex unions and the implementation of the same, effective 28”’ May, 2003.

We further support our Primate’s involvement in giving appropriate help and support to those orthodox parishes under persecution, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Concluding Remarks

The act of breaking communion is carried out with the greatest reluctance and pain. It is a response of last resort as the actions of ECUSA and the Diocese of New Westminster have gone blatantly contrary to the teachings in the Holy Bible. These actions have not only undermined and damaged the witness, mission and ministry of the Anglican Church in our multi religious context, but also weakened our credibility in our relationships with other ecumenical bodies. Appendix A New Hampshire Consecration I] List of Bishops who voted for the Confirmation of Dr Gene Robinson 1. Bishop of Alaska 2. Bishop of Arizona 3. Bishop of Arkansas 4 Bishop of Atlanta 5. Bishop of Bethlehem 6. Bishop of California 7. Bishop of Central New York 8. Bishop of Central Pennsylvania 9. Bishop of Chicago 10. Bishop of Churches in Europe 11. Bishop of Colorado 12. Bishop of Connecticut 13. Bishop of Delaware 14. Bishop of East Carolina 15. Bishop of Eastern Michigan 16. Bishop of Eastern Oregon 17. Bishop of Easton 18. Bishop of El Camino 19. Bishop of Hawaii 20. Bishop of Idaho 21. Bishop of Indianapolis 22. Bishop of Iowa 23. Bishop of Kansas 24. Bishop of Kentucky 25. Bishop of Lexington 26. Bishop of Long Island 27. Bishop of Los Angeles 28. Bishop of Maine 29. Bishop of Maryland 30. Bishop of Massachusetts 31. Bishop of Michigan 32. Bishop of Minnesota 33. Bishop of Missouri 34. Bishop of Navajoland 35. Bishop of Nevada 36. Bishop of New Hampshire 37. Bishop of New Jersey 38. Bishop of New York 39. Bishop of Newark 40. Bishop of North Carolina 41. Bishop of Northern California 42. Bishop of Northern Michigan 43. Bishop of Ohio 44. Bishop of Oklahoma 45. Bishop of Olympia 46. Bishop of Oregon 47. Bishop of Pennsylvania 48. Bishop of Puerto Rico 49. Bishop of Rhode Island 50. Bishop of Rochester 51. Bishop of South Dakota 52. Bishop of Southeast Florida 53. Bishop of Southwestern Virginia 54. Bishop of Spokane 55. Bishop of Utah 56. Bishop of Vermont 57. Bishop of Virginia 58. Bishop of Washington 59. Bishop of West Missouri 60. Bishop of Western Michigan 61. Bishop of Western New York 62. Bishop of Western North Carolina 63. Bishop Wyoming Participating Bishops at the Consecration of Dr Gene Robinson Primates The Most Rev. Frank T Griswold Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and Chief Consecrator The Most Rev. Martin De Jesus Barahona Primate of the Province of Central America and Bishop of El Salvador International Bishop Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Church of Sweden Bishop Emeritus of Stockholm and Co-consecrator The Rt. Rev. Bruce Stavert, Bishop of Quebec (Canada) The Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster (Canada) Episcopal Diocesan Bishops The Rt. Rev. Joe Burnett, Bishop of Nebraska The Rt. Rev. John B. Chane, Bishop of Washington The Rt. Rev. George Councell, Bishop of New Jersey The Rt., Rev. Thomas Ely, Bishop of Vermont The Rt. Rev. James J. Jelinek, Bishop of Minnesota The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, Bishop of Maine and co-consecrator The Rt. Rev. James A. Kelsey, Bishop of Northern Michigan The Rt. Rev. Jack M. McKelvey, Bishop of Rochester The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop of Massachusetts The Rt. Rev. Andrew Smith, Bishop of Connecticut The Rt. Rev. Douglas Theuner, Bishop of New Hampshire The Rt. Rev. Orris G. Walker, Jr., Bishop of Long Island Suffragan, assisting and retired Episcopal Bishops The Rt. Rev. Craig Anderson, Bishop of South Dakota (retired) The Rt. Rev. G. P. Mellick Belshaw, Bishop of New Jersey (retired) The Most Rev. Edmund L. Browning, retired Presiding Bishop and co-consecrator The Rt. Rev. William G. Burrill, Bishop of Rochester (retired) The Rt. Rev. Roy F. Cedarholm, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts The Rt. Rev. Otis Charles, Bishop of Utah (retired) The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Bishop of Alaska (resigned) The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry, Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut The Rt. Rev. Jane H. Dixon, Bishop Suffragan of Washington (retired) The Rt. Rev. Herbert a. Donovan, Jr., Bishop of Arkansas (retired) and co-consecrator The Rt. Rev. A. Theodore Eastman, Bishop of Maryland (retired) and co-consecrator The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, Bishop of lowa (retired) The Rt. Rev. Richard F. Grein, Bishop of New York (retired) The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts The Rt. Rev. Barhara C. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (retired) and co-consecrator The Rt. Rev. Donald P. Hart, Assistant Bishop of Southern Virginia The Rt. Rev. Clarence Hobgood, Bishop Suffragan of the Armed Forces (retired) The Rt. Rev. Harold A. Hopkins, Bishop of North Dakota (retired) The Rt. Rev. George N. Hunt Ill, Bishop of Rhode Island (retired) The Rt. Rev. Edward W. Jones, Bishop of Indianapolis (retired) The Rt. Rev. David B Joslin, Bishop of Central New York (retired) The Rt. Rev. H. Coleman McGehee, Jr., Bishop of Michigan (retired) The Rt. Rev. Vincent K. Petit, Bishop Suffragan of New Jersey (retired) The Rt. Rev. Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, Bishop Suffragaon of Connecticut The Rt. Rev. Walter C. Righter, Bishop of lowa (retired) The Rt. Rev. Hays H. Rockwell, Bishop of Missouri (retired) The Rt. Rev. Cathy Roskam, Bishop Suffragan of New York The Rt. Rev. Bennett J. Sims, Bishop of Atlanta (retired) The Rt. Rev. Philip. Smith, Bishop of New Hampshire (retired) The Rt. Rev. Daniel L. Swenson, Bishop of Vermont (retired) The Rt. Rev. Arthur Walmaley, Bishop of Connecticut (retired) The Rt. Rev. O’Kelley Whitaker, Bishop of Central New York (retired) The Rt. Rev. R. Stewart Wood, Jr., Bishop of Michigan (retired) Appendix B ‘EXTRACT’ - 1998 LAMBETH RESOLUTION 1.10 This Conference:

(a) commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality;

(b) in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;

(c) recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;

(d) while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialism of sex;

(e) cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;

(f) requests the Primates and the ACC to establish a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion and to share statements and resources among us;

(g) notes the significance of the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality and the concerns expressed in resolutions IV.26; V.1, V.10, V.23 and V.35 on the authority of Scripture in matters of marriage and sexuality and asks the Primates and the ACC to include them in their monitoring process.

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