Concerning the Anglican Primates' Meeting in Armagh, Ireland
February 2005
 
The following statements have been issued in response to the Primates’ Communiqué  
     
 

Statement of the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan
Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network


The clarity with which the Primates have spoken is breath-taking. Individual provinces do have the freedom to act as they see fit under their various constitutions, but the exercise of that freedom beyond agreed teaching and practice will imperil their standing and participation in the Communion. The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have been asked to withdraw their representatives from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) effectively immediately. This suspension of relationship continues until the constitutional assemblies of each church indicate their willingness to conform to what was asked of them in the Windsor Report.

The teaching of the Communion is sustained. The authority of Scripture is upheld. ‘Autonomy in Communion’ is defined. Moratoria are called for Communion-wide. The need to turn our global attention to the great social crises of disease and poverty is re-asserted.

Provision for the ‘integrity and legitimate needs’ of theological minorities is guaranteed by the creation of an international ‘panel of reference.’ This is an extraordinary and essential development. The Anglican Communion Network, together with the much wider circle of orthodox believers in the United States and Canada (including especially the Common Cause movement) now has an international promise and an Anglican Communion provision that should stem the flow of three decades of believing life-blood.

For some months now, I have maintained that the 2005 Primates Meeting would prove a defining moment in Anglican history. So it has proved. As the Synod of Whitby in 664 AD decided for unity with the universal Christian Church in matters of worship and church order, so the 2005 Primates meeting has decided for unity with the universal Christian Church in matters of doctrine and morals. The decisions taken at Newry in Northern Ireland are epochal.

For all of this, we should be profoundly grateful to Almighty God and to the godly leaders of the Anglican Communion for a new day dawning for Anglicanism and for us.


 
 

Statement of the Anglican Communion Network and the American Anglican Council

We are thankful for the work of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in addressing the complicated issues before them this week. This is a pivotal moment in Anglican history in which Biblical faithfulness has been reaffirmed. At last a clear and unequivocal choice has been presented to the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. Being asked voluntarily to withdraw, the two provinces have been effectively suspended from the Communion until at least July 2008 in order to consider their place within that body. They must choose between repentance marked by compliance with the Windsor Report or continued theological innovations that separate them from the teaching and life of the Anglican Communion. We applaud the pastoral sensitivity with which the Primates have addressed the concerns of those who feel betrayed by their church leadership as well as those of homosexual orientation.

Out of twenty-two paragraphs of the Communiqué, 15 focus on the Windsor Report, clearly indicating that the theological crisis faced by the Communion was the primates’ central concern. The Communiqué gives hopeful evidence, however, that having dealt with this issue, the Communion can turn to critical matters such as developing effective strategies to address HIV AIDS, TB, malaria, absolute poverty and hunger reduction.

We will continue to pray for the Communion in this solemn period of transition as the church sorts out the various implications and ramifications of the Primates’ 2005 Communiqué.

 
  A report published Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, in the London Times