Statement by the Synod of The Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia (2008)

L-R: Bp Ng Moon Hing (West Malaysia), Bp Albert Vun (Sabah), Bp Bolly Lapok (Sarawak), Abp John Chew (Singapore)


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1. The SYNOD of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia, meeting in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 27 - 28 February 2008,

2. RECALLED that the Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10 on Human Sexuality expresses the mind of the Communion, as further endorsed in the Statement of the Primates’ Meeting (Lambeth, 15-16 October 2003) “as having moral force and commanding the respect of the Communion as its present position on these issues.”  The Diocese of New Westminster, Canada (DNWC) authorized the Public Rite of Blessing for those in same sex relationship (May 2003) and the 74th General Convention of ECUSA confirmed the election of a priest in active same-sex relationship to the episcopate (May 2003), clearly against the letter and spirit of the abovesaid Resolution. Of particular grief was TEC’s decision to proceed with the consecration of Gene Robinson (Nov 2003) notwithstanding the unanimous agreement and plea of the Primates (Oct 2003) that if they go ahead with the decision, “the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy” and that it will “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level.

3. NOTED TEC’s and DNWC’s further failure to adequately adhere or respond to the call for repentance by The Windsor Report (2004), the Communique of the Primates’ Meeting at Dromantine (Feb 2005) and in particular the various requirements in the most recent Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting at Dar es Salam, Tanzania (Feb 2007) i.e. that TEC to unequivocally comply with moratoria on the consecration of persons in same-sex unions and on authorising any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions, to cease all legal action against those who feel unable to accept the direct ministry of their bishop or Presiding Bishop, and that TEC make provision for a Primatial Pastoral Council and Pastoral Scheme for pastoral care;

4. WAS DISAPPOINTED that while the Archbishop of Canterbury has not invited Gene Robinson to the Lambeth Conference 2008, invitations have been extended to TEC bishops who approved of and participated in the consecration of Gene Robinson.  On the other hand, the Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to invite bishops consecrated by some Provinces outside TEC to address the pastoral exigencies in North America. These pastoral exigencies have been exacerbated by inaction on the part of the leadership of the Communion and TEC in effecting the agreed measures for a “Primatial Pastoral Council” and a “Pastoral Scheme”.

5. REMEMBERED the many Windsor-compliant dioceses and parishes especially within TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada as they continue to face canonical and juridical pressures from their own respective national and diocesan bodies as a consequence of their desire to remain true to the orthodox Anglican position with respect to issues of faith and order and to be in faithful fellowship within the Anglican Communion;

6. WAS MINDFUL of our deep desire to provide encouragement to, express support for, and be in solidarity and undivided fellowship with those orthodox bishops within the Anglican Communion who for these and their own principled reasons are not in a position or are otherwise unable to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008;

7. ACKNOWLEDGED the critical role played by the Anglican churches within the Global South in preserving, protecting and defending orthodoxy and anchoring the Anglican Communion in the historic faith and order once delivered to the saints, expressed essentially in our partaking of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; 

8. VALUED the significant contributions made by the leadership of the Anglican churches within the Global South in the drafting of the Anglican Covenant, which is the only commonly agreed and acceptable basis to frame the future of the Anglican Communion;

9. WAS ENCOURAGED by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphasis in his Advent Letter (12 Dec 2007) that “acceptance of the invitation (to Lambeth Conference 2008) must be taken as implying willingness to work with those aspects of the Conference’s agenda that relate to implementing the recommendations of Windsor, including the development of a covenant”;

10. CONSIDERED the need to provide strong active participation in the discussion and debate on the acceptance and adoption of the proposed Anglican Covenant at Lambeth 2008, and thereafter, to expeditiously and definitively conclude the task of defining and explicating publicly the common standard of faith and order, proper accountability and discipline within the Anglican Communion; and

11. CHERISHED the unity and collegiality of the House of Bishops, and also of the Synod of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia;

Hereby:

1. encourages the bishops of our Province to participate in the Lambeth Conference 2008 yet also fully understands and respects the decision of some who for their own principled reasons may choose not to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008;

2. supports our bishops in fully and actively expressing our on-going concern for the issues and challenges facing the Anglican Communion, and our continued participation in and commitment to the position of the Global South; and
3. gives support for such appropriate further action on the part of our House of Bishops as they may among themselves decide in order to give full effect to this Statement, and to report any such further action taken to the Provincial Synod and/or Provincial Standing Committee as soon as practicable for ratification.


Publicly released on 18 March 2008

 

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