A response to recent statements from The Episcopal Church House of Bishops and the Common Cause College of Bishops from Anglican Mainstream in Britain and Ireland
We are disappointed that the response of The Episcopal Church House of Bishops [TEC HoB] fails to address the specific questions asked of it by the Primates’ Meeting in February.
The first two points - on the election of non-celibate gay and lesbian bishops, and on public rites for blessing same-sex unions - suggest that the TEC HoB has agreed not to walk further away from the rest of the Anglican Communion for the moment. However, the TEC HoB gives no indication of being prepared to turn and walk back towards us so that we may walk ahead together, and in reality same-sex blessings are continuing.
The third point - on Episcopal visitors - makes no progress beyond the previous inadequate proposals. It indicates a refusal by the TEC HoB to address the stated needs, for orthodox oversight and also for protection from legal action, of those congregations within TEC who wish to remain faithful to the Bible and the teaching of the Communion. Moreover, there is no response to the Primates’ request to suspend all actions in law against congregations with whom TEC is in dispute over property.
We affirm that the good news of Jesus Christ in the scriptures offers hope and transformation to those who are struggling with same-sex attraction. But, regrettably, the TEC HoB ‘s sole standard of reference appears to be the decisions of General Convention rather than the teaching of the Bible or the Anglican Communion. We note also that the TEC HoB Statement makes no reference to the Anglican Communion Covenant.
We express our full support for the statement issued by Anglican Communion Network on 26 September 2007 and the work of the Common Cause College of Bishops.
Philip Giddings, Convenor, Anglican Mainstream UK
Chris Sugden, Executive Secretary, Anglican Mainstream UK
Contact 01865-883388 or 0118 931 8207 or 0118 954 3892
For further reference see:
The analyses of TEC HoB’s statement by the American Anglican Council and by Fulcrum
The responses of the Anglican Communion Network, Bishop Ed Salmon, the Primate of Nigeria and Reform
The statement of the Common Cause College of Bishops
All are available on www.anglican-mainstream.net