Reflections on Lambeth Press Conferences
By Chris Sugden
July 28th, 2008
1. At the Press Conference on Inter-Faith Relations the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Alexander Malik, said that Muslims were not interested in dialogue in situations where they are in the majority. Bishop Tom Butler said that interfaith relations are high on agenda because we live in a multi-faith environment and they have become high on the agenda of politicians.
This gave the impression that inter-faith dialogue was determined by the necessity of political agenda and was somewhat asymmetrical and one sided. So what is the Anglican Communion doing in inter-faith dialogue to enable Christians in countries such as Saudi Arabia to have freedom to meet for worship? In answer to this question, journalists were told that Saudi Arabia was an extreme example, and more to the point was joint work between Anglicans and Muslims in Zambia to address HIV-AIDS.
2. The third presentation of the Windsor Continuation group calls for three moratoria in relation to the public Rites of Blessing of same sex unions, the consecration to the episcopate of those living in partnered gay relations and the cessation of cross border interventions. Does this moratorium apply to the practice of same-sex blessings, or only to their authorisation? Bishop Clive Handford, the chair of the Windsor Continuation Group, answered journalists to the effect that what should cease would be the authorisations. Pressed afterwards, Bishop Handford said that no there could be no direction of the behaviour of individual parishes. 3. The proposal of the Windsor Continuation Group is that there should be a scheme in which existing ad hoc jurisdictions could be held 'in trust" n preparation for their reconciliation with their proper Provinces. Bishop Handford clarified that this would only apply to those currently in dispute with their provinces and under other jurisdictions, and would be a diminishing group. It would not be open to new applications.
The Pastoral Forum - oversight for churches not getting on with their parents
July 28th, 2008 Posted in Homosexuality, Lambeth Conference | Edit |
In the Press Conference today, Bishop Clive Handford expanded on the proposal of the Pastoral Forum. These are based on notes of what he said and while accurate do not claim to be word for word what was said.
It sums up what has been called for by Windsor, Dromantine, and Dar-Es-Salaam.
The Archbishop of Canterbury appoints the members. A Bishop will be the chair and the membership will recognise the breadth of the communion and in terms of view,.
It is a body which could respond quickly where there is a pressure point in the communion. It is suggested that as the covenant process unfolds, this could be included in the covenant as a mechanism for achieving reconciliation.
Provinces like Uganda that have been involved in interventions will all be included in the moratoria. We are seeking to find a way of healing the breach caused by these interventions.
Oversight by the forum will be a safe space into which these bodies ( which have left their own provinces) can come. They will not be dependent on primates in other provinces. They will have a real link to the pastoral forum. They are being held in trust till the day when they can return to their parent bodies. It is like a member of a family not getting on with their parents at the moment. An unt or an uncle can take them under their wing and work for the restoration of family. It gives us a basis on which to draw breath and go forward.
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