Friday, October 13, 2006

Panel of Reference's Report on New Westminster

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Panel of Reference has issued a report regarding the Diocese of New Westminster. It contains a few things worth noting. For instance, paragraph 8 includes this statement:

...The stated aim of both TWR (Windsor) and of the Panel is to achieve reconciliation and healing. Steps which formalize the transfer of Episcopal ministries on a long term basis cannot be justified unless formal reconciliation has demonstratably proved impossible to achieve...
In case their position is not yet clear, the Panel expands this point in paragraph 21:

The argument that in order to remain ‘in full communion with the Church of England throughout the world’ it is necessary for dissenting clergy and parishes to separate themselves from the diocese of New Westminster, adopting a title for their organisation which implies that they represent the Anglican Communion in New Westminster, in addition to or instead of the diocese and Bishop Ingham, can not be sustained. The Church of England itself remains in full communion with the Diocese of New Westminster and Bishop Ingham, pending resolution of the presenting issue, and therefore with all of its clergy, members and parishes, unless they formally withdraw themselves from the Anglican Church in Canada. Even if this were not the case there is no evidence that communion with dissenting parishes would in fact be broken since such provinces which have declared impaired communion have made it clear that they remain in communion with those whom they regard as faithful...
In other words, according to the Panel of Reference, the Global South's recommendations contained in the Kigali Communique "cannot be sustained."

This is probably as close as we're going to get to an official refutation of Kigali. One would hope that it would be sufficient to make clear to the Network that to proceed with their plan to establish a 39th Province (thank you, Bp. Ackerman, for that clarification) will be viewed as an act of schism.


UPDATE: We now have responses to this report from Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies, and Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone. Bottom line, they don't like it.

Archbishop Andrew Hutchison of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of New Westminster have both responded to the report. They welcome it.

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