Episcopal Church: ++Rowan Writes to the Episcopal Majority
On November 9, the Rev. Bill Coats, on behalf of the Steering Committee of The Episcopal Majority, sent two letters to the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding alternative primatial oversight and the Anglican Covenant.
In a letter dated November 20, the Archbishop has responded.
The first Episcopal Majority letter urged the ABC to reject the requests of a few bishops of The Episcopal Church for "alternative primatial oversight" (or a "commissary").
The second recommended that the Archbishop ask the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies, to step down as Chairman of the Covenant Design Group.
About ++Cantaur's reply, the Rev. David K. Fly, President of the Episcopal Majority, says , "we are grateful for the clarification of his thinking on these issues. We, too, continue to pray for this 'troubled but very precious fellowship.'
The text of the Archbishop's letter follows. (Hat tip to Lisa Fox of the Episcopal Majority.)
Dear Mr. Coats,
Thank you for your letters about various questions affecting the Episcopal Church and its future. Without going into detail, there are one or two things I ought to say for clarity's sake. I fully accept that I have no jurisdiction in the USA and I have not sought and am not seeking to impose any new structure. I share your own concern that we avoid so far as humanly possible both rhetoric and action that further fracture the Episcopal Church and other Anglican provinces. I have had informal discussions with a number of parties in TEC, of very diverse opinions, as to what future possibilities there are, but I do not appproach this with a pre-cooked agenda of my own. The principle of a 'covenant' has been brought forward chiefly because of a widespread recognition that existing historic links and bonds are not proving effective as expressions of mutual accountability. This conclusion is sufficiently widespread to give some ground for thinking that the Quadrilateral may need some glossing or expansion. What the shape of that will be is far from clear, but the support of the Windsor commission and the Primates has to be taken seriously. The group that will be working on this will certainly include people who hold differing perspectives on the question, whatever the views of the chair. Since nearly every primate in the Communion has some sort of 'record' on the divisive questions of the day, I simply note that it is practically impossible to find a chair unequivocally acceptable to all.
Thank you for your continuing prayers for this troubled but very precious fellowship that is the Communion at present.