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LAMBETH: Episcopal Church Will Face Discipline If Gay Consecrations Continue

LAMBETH: Episcopal Church Will Face Discipline If Gay Consecrations Continue

By David W. Virtue

In an effort to keep the Anglican Communion from splitting while holding a numerically diminished Lambeth Conference together, Bishop Clive Handford, Chairman of the Windsor Continuation Group, said that even if the Episcopal Church doesn't sign up to the covenant, they will get little more than an ecclesiastical slap on the wrists.

At a press conference today, Handford, a former Middle East Archbishop, said that The Episcopal Church or any province would have a "diminished" role and "a slight dilution of representation" as a possible consequence if any church or part of the church did not follow agreements that have generally been reached here.

"It could come up in terms of a response to the covenant," said Handford. "There could be possible consequences although the '"Pastoral Forum" ' was not put in there to sound at all punitive." Handford stressed that all preliminary observations were at this time, "tentative."

Asked by VirtueOnline if the newly formed "Communion Partners", outlined in the third revision of the Windsor Continuation Group, was designed to isolate the GAFCON Primates Council, Handford said, "Not at all. We do not want to isolate anybody. We want dialogue and meeting together to be as wide as possible."

Asked if Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola is still head of the Global South primates Council, Handford said, "Yes, unless he removes himself from it."

"We need to listen to one another. The final ruling on discipline would have to be the Archbishop of Canterbury."

Asked what had changed since Dar-es-Salaam where discipline was promised for errant provinces but not carried out, Handford replied, "We have to a fair degree affirmed the spirit of the Primates meeting in Tanzania. We are moving towards that as part of the process of this conference."

Handford said they would not be producing another paper.


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