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The Episcopal Church: To Equivocate or Not to Equivocate?

"The primates do not desire a forced acquiescence to their requests. Equally, they do not want a response that seeks to take advantage of the larger Anglican Communion based on perceived loopholes in the wording of the communiqué. Rather, they hope for a wholehearted repentance from the Episcopal Church that lays a firm foundation for a healed and strengthened 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. 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- Late on Monday, February 19, the leaders of Anglican Communion provinces (called "primates") issued a communiqué regarding their meeting in Tanzania. The communiqué reasserts that the Episcopal Church has disregarded the teaching of the Anglican Communion on human sexuality. Among other requests, it asks the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops to reverse the denomination's course regarding the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of bishops in a same-sex relationship. The House of Bishops is to inform the primates of its decisions on these matters by September 30.

 

IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb commented:

 

"All reports indicate that the primates only were able to produce this document out of much struggle. Nonetheless, it's remarkably unified in its call for the Episcopal Church to turn around and chart its course in the direction of the larger Anglican Communion.

 

"The word choices within the communiqué are extremely important. The primates ask the Episcopal Church to make an 'unequivocal' change in direction and are concerned about the 'lack of clarity' it has shown to date. They also describe the current relationship between the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Anglican Communion as 'damaged'--not merely 'strain[ed],' as the Episcopal Church said at its last General Convention.

 

"These words cannot be dismissed lightly. In the language of the communiqué, can the Episcopal Church 'in good conscience' and without equivocation meet the requests of the primates? The primates do not desire a forced acquiescence to their requests. Equally, they do not want a response that seeks to take advantage of the larger Anglican Communion based on perceived loopholes in the wording of the communiqué. Rather, they hope for a wholehearted repentance from the Episcopal Church that lays a firm foundation for a healed and strengthened Anglican Communion."