Japan gives covenant backing

09 December 2010 - Print Version

News & Views

Japan gives covenant backing

CONCERNS THAT section IV of the Anglican Covenant is ‘un-Anglican’ should be set aside in view of the parlous state of the Anglican Communion, the Primate of Japan told the 58th General Synod of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) meeting at St Barnabas Church, Ushigome in the Diocese of Tokyo.

In his presidential address to the May 25-27th general synod, published last month in the NSKK’s English-language newsletter, Archbishop Nathaniel Uematsu reported the NSKK House of Bishops’ Theological and Doctrine Committee “have expressed their opinion that such a Covenant should not be necessary, as it provides restrictions and exclusions”.

In 2008 the NSKK’s 57th General Synod received the covenant for study. The bishops’ theological committee was not convinced that all Anglicans could or should be “ruled by this one agreement,” and balked at section IV. “One of the major characteristics of the Anglican Communion has been that in its long history the richness of diversity has been widely appreciated,” the Japanese Primate explained.

“However given the present situation of confusion and disagreement among the Anglican Communion, the expectation of the Anglican Covenant is increasing and NSKK needs to consider its suitability,” Archbishop Uematsu said.

In summarizing the state of the Communion, the Japanese Church leader used uncharacteristically strong language, laying the blame for the dissension upon the Episcopal Church (TEC) and Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). However, the solutions proposed by leaders of the Global South coalition were troublesome, he stated.

“It is strongly felt that the disorder in the Anglican Communion has increased. The dangerous possibility of a split in the Anglican Communion continues to deepen,” Archbishop Uematsu said.

In the interval between the 57th and 58th Japanese general synods, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the Anglican Consultative Council made “requests and recommendations” that the US and Canada forebear from pursuing gay bishops and blessings, while the “Archbishop of Canterbury has repeatedly given appeals and requests to address the problems.”

Yet, “in spite of the recommendations and appeals [TEC] and the [ACC] have proceeded with the ordination of a homosexual Bishop and recognising the ‘marriage’ (union) of same sex couples, further complicating the situation and resulting in some provinces threatening to sever relations” with the two North American provinces, while other “provinces have expressed their intention of establishing a separate ‘Province’.”

“These unfavourable movements have created the situation where a number of Provinces, Dioceses and Churches are unsure of where they stand, dangerously affecting their identity within the Anglican Communion,” Archbishop Uematsu warned.

“Furthermore, certain movement has occurred that may create a new Anglican Communion which excludes the TEC and the ACC even going as far to say they may even exclude the Archbishop of Canterbury!” the Japanese Primate said.


Source: CEN 10th Dec 2010

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