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The Episcopal Church Seeks Reconciliation on Its Own Terms

“The Episcopal Church tragically continues to walk apart of the rest of the Anglican Communion.” -IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb

Contact: Loralei Coyle, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton jwalton@ird-renew.org

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- According to a Global South Primates press release, seven Anglican province leaders (called “primates”) have refused to take the Holy Eucharist with their fellow bishops due to the “impaired” or “broken communion” between their provinces and the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church’s primate, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, participated in the Eucharist.

IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb said in response,

“The primates who have taken this sad step have cited three reasons for doing so: the lack of reconciliation between the Episcopal Church and their provinces, obedience to Scripture, and the admonitions of the Book of Common Prayer. In other words, for them it’s a question of faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

“They are communicating something deadly serious: that the Episcopal Church, which upholds ‘reconciliation’ as its mission in its catechism and many of its public statements, has not demonstrated that regard to its sister churches in the Anglican Communion. They are saying that there can be no reconciliation without repentance on the American church’s part.

“The Episcopal Church tragically continues to walk apart of the rest of the Anglican Communion. A report released this week at the primates’ meeting found the Episcopal Church non-compliant on one of three major issues. The church was judged compliant on the other two issues, but with major reservations noted.

“Unfortunately, it seems that the Episcopal Church wants reconciliation on its own terms. It will take a few steps toward the Anglican Communion if it must, as it did at last summer’s General Convention. Yet since then, progressive Episcopal bishops, priests, and laypeople alike have worked to ensure that the church takes backward steps at its next General Convention—if not sooner.

“Reconciliation cannot be partial if the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion is to mend and the Episcopal Church’s own self-inflicted wound is to heal. And sadly, without repentance, the Episcopal Church’s progressively clearer stands undoubtedly will contribute to greater breaches of communion among the Anglican churches.”