Statement of East Asian Bishops on the Crisis and Future of the Anglican Communion
We, the undersigned Bishops of East Asia, meeting in Manila, Philippines, 6-12 October 2004, are deeply concerned with the ongoing crisis in, and the grave uncertainties and threats to the unity and continuity of, the Anglican Communion. We feel duty bound for the whole Communion we all deeply love to express our pains and to unequivocally urge the following:
We unanimously reaffirm: (a) the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolutions on Biblical authority, Uniqueness of Christ and Human Sexuality; (b) the unanimous Statement of the Primates’ Meeting of Oct 15 & 16, 2003 urging no unilateral action be taken to further aggravate the critical state of fellowship within the Communion pending the Report of the Lambeth Commission under the Chairmanship of the Most Revd Dr Robin Eames. We firmly believe these to be the clearly expressed mind of the Anglican Communion on the matters concerned.
As such, we deeply regret that:
(1) ECUSA on July 2003, through its General Convention (a) passed the Resolution to approve the Blessing of Same Sex Union in ECUSA; (b) confirmed the election of a practicing homosexual to be a Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire and (c) despite the strong warning, urging and pleading of the Primates at their special meeting in London 114-15 October 2003, the Presiding Bishop and other bishops in ECUSA went ahead to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop Co-adjucator of the Diocese of New Hampshire on 2nd November 2003.
(II) The Diocese of New Westminster, Canada, against the appeals and protests of many provinces in the Anglican Communion, proceeded to approve and bless same sex marriage in its churches since June 2003; and the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada passed in August 2004 the resolution to uphold the sanctity and holiness of life-long same sex marriage.
By these unilateral acts, the ECUSA, the Diocese of New Westminster, and the Anglican Church of Canada, have willfully ignored the deep concerns and pleas of the worldwide Anglican family by “tear(ing) the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”. Thereby precipitating the current crisis of collegiality and unity within the Communion on matters of Apostolic Faith and Order and causing provinces/diocese to be in impaired, and in some instance broken, communion.
We collectively urge the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, to be in active consultation and concert with the vast majority of the Primates of the Communion, to exercise spiritual and moral responsibility, authority and leadership to urgently decide on necessary and effective disciplinary measures to preserve and ensure the fullest unity of the Communion for the sake of its life, witness and missions in the world, especially in the Global South, upholding the Faith and Order of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
In affirming and urging the above, we recognize, however, that in both the ECUSA and Anglican Church in Canada, there are those who continue to uphold the Lambeth Resolutions, despite the action taken by their own churches. We therefore also urge the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Primates in the Anglican Communion to urgently explore ways that these brothers and sisters can be protected, supported and recognized within the Anglican Communion.
Personally signed by the following:
**Most Rev Ignacio Soliba, Prime Bishop, Episcopal Church of the Philippines.
Rt Rev Miguel Yamoyam, Asst Bishop, Episcopal Church of the Philippines.
Rt Rev Edward P Malecdan, Bishop of Northern Philippines.
Rt Rev Joel A Pachao, Bishop of North Central Philippines.
Rt Rev Danilo Bustamante, Bishop of Southern Philippines.
Rt Rev Dixie Taclobao, Bishop of Central Philippines.
Rt Rev Alexander A Wandag, Bishop of Santiago.
Most Rev Matthew Chul Bum Chung, Primate of Korea and Bishop of Seoul.
Rt Rev Andrew Hyun Sam Shin, Bishop of Taejon.
Rt Rev Joseph Dae-yong Lee, Bishop of Pusan.
**Most Rev Peter Kwong, Primate and Bishop of Hong Kong Island.
Rt Rev Louis Tsui, Bishop of Eastern Kowloon.
Rt Rev Thomas Soo, Bishop of Western Kowloon.
Most Rev Datuk Yong Ping Chung, Primate of South East Asia and Bishop of Sabah.
Rt Rev Yong Chen Fah, Asst Bishop, Diocese of Sabah.
Rt Rev Bolly Anak Lapok, Asst Bishop, Diocese of Sarawak and Brunei.
Rt Rev Tan Sri Dr Lim Cheng Ean, Bishop of West Malaysia.
Rt Rev Moses E Ponniah, Asst Bishop, Diocese of West Malaysia.
Rt Rev Dr John Chew, Bishop of Singapore.
** Indicated agreement but not personally present at final meeting to sign.