#primates2016 releases official statement

Statement from Primates 2016

14 Jan 2016

Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.

The Primates regret that it appears that this document has been leaked in advance of their communiqué tomorrow. In order to avoid speculation the document is being released in full. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.

Questions and further comments will be responded to at a press conference tomorrow at 1500. Full details are available here.

The full text is as follows:

1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.

2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.

3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.

4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.

6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.

7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ.

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  1. Jeremy Bates

    Is the Anglican Communion now an Instrument of Oppression?

    • My kids are zoo keepers, so “primates” to me are monkeys and apes, just saying. };-) anonemoose monk

      • Zechariah

        So African primates are “apes”? Really?

      • Jeremy Bates

        Perhaps I should ask the question again:

        Is the Anglican Communion now an Instrument of Oppression?

  2. James Byron

    TEC sanctioned for marrying same-sex couples; not a word about the primates who support the criminalization of homosexuality, and who regularly vomit up the most repugnant hate speech against LGBT people.

    Hopefully this will radicalize progressives in other provinces, and get the latter-day white moderates off the fence. If England’s General Synod in particular doesn’t condemn it when it next meets, it owns it, and is complicit in this injustice.

  3. Rev Dr Ellen M Barrett

    Is TEC now only allowed to ‘walk together’ in this grace and love with a gun pointed at our backs?

    • Jon White

      That seems somewhat hyperbolic; what is the gun exactly? We’ve made a strong witness to our desire, as a church, to be loving and inclusive. Why should we expect that there won’t be consequences and struggle as we work for justice? Doesn’t it always work that way? And how can we convince others if we refuse to talk with them or turn our backs away.
      “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.

      Jesus’ command here is difficult to pull off, but it seems that being willing to walk among thieves is the right thing to do.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        Thank you, Jon, that’s the first Good News I’ve heard about this.

      • Melissa Holloway

        Yes. Thoughtful words. To experience scorn. Not a common situation for most Episcopalians given our demographics.

      • Harry M. Merryman

        When has TEC “refused to talk . . . or turn[ed] our backs away?” It is precisely the opposite. Others refuse to talk to TEC, and now, TEC is sanctioned for its witness. The implication (threat) seems to be that TEC must repent of its conduct if it wants to be fully included in the AC. I have nothing against talking, but it does seem to come with this implicit gun-to-the-head threat. If it comes to a choice between being true to its witness or acceding to the demands of others in order to be in full communion, I would hope that TEC would opt for the former.

  4. Prof Christopher Seitz

    +Hiltz is seeking space vis-à-vis TEC.

    • Jon White

      This is twice you’ve said this – do you have a report somewhere to confirm this?

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        “Canada only escaped a similar fate thanks to some fast talk from Fred Hiltz. Same-sex marriage now dead as a doornail in Canada and all other provinces still active members of the Communion. TEC faced with Hobson’s choice: roll back equality, or cease to be Anglican. I wouldn’t like to bet on which way it’ll go.”

        From a sympathetic commentator at another blog.

      • James Byron

        That was me Prof. Seitz quoted, and the info about Canada originally came from Anglican Ink, which got every other detail of this right, so am willing to accept their report.

        Though I’ll happily retract the end. Was feeling despondent when I wrote it: now confident that these sanctions ain’t gonna see TEC roll back anything, and may well inspire other provinces to solidarity and justice.

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      “Leaders of the GAFCON movement, at the start of the meeting, sought to group the Anglican Church of Canada with the Episcopal Church, but Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz told the gathering his church had yet to adopt provincial-wide rites for same-sex marriage. It would come before the next meeting of General Synod, he explained, but had not been settled. Archbishop Hiltz’s explanation appears to have satisfied the group as a whole as the motion proposed and its accompanying debate focused on the Episcopal Church.”

      This could of course be false, but then it wouldn’t explain why only TEC was the focus.

      God bless.

      • Rod Gillis

        “Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz told the gathering his church had yet to adopt provincial-wide rites for same-sex marriage. It would come before the next meeting of General Synod, he explained, but had not been settled. ”

        This part of the post is a fact. Archbishop Hiltz has a right and a duty to present the state of the question in the Canadian church factually. Speculation on what rhetorical use was made of this fact at the meeting is just that, speculation.


  5. Wendy Owens

    So because we act in love toward LGBT individuals, we get smacked, but the primates who condone violence (even murder!) of LGBT individuals don’t? I haz a confused.

  6. Patrick Grannan

    So instead of giving voice to different opinions the Anglican Community response is to simply ban the minority voice from any participation. This is not a good look although I suppose if minority voices are simply banned from participating in the discussion you eliminate the risk of progress.

  7. Ven. Malcolm French

    The Primates Meeting has no authority to impose this. None.

  8. I expected much, much less from Welby so this is interesting indeed. Proverbs 27 seems apt.

    Prayed the Daily Morning Prayer, especially the sentences, for TEC and the Communion.

  9. Eric Bonetti

    Mutual accountability? I don’t recall the primates asserting this line of reasoning during the cross-border raids from GAFCON and the Southern Cone.

  10. Márcio

    Please follow the comment policy and use your first & last names for the approval of future comments. – ed


  11. Roger Barton, AIA

    I have lived as a member of the Episcopal Church since the age of 14, and have served as a parish musician (organist, choir director, and cantor) throughout that time. I find it unlikely in the extreme that the Episcopal Church in the USA will renege on its commitments to the GLBT community, now that those commitments have been made and are in place. If the Anglican Communion seeks once again to stigmatize and punish ECUSA for trying to follow the gospel too closely, then perhaps it’s time for ECUSA to “shake the dust from our shoes” and leave a household which does not welcome us.

  12. Susan Russell

    One initial comment with more to follow:


    The Reverend Canon Susan Russell
    All Saints Church, Pasadena

    • David Starr

      Amen, Susan. The cost of love!

  13. John Chilton

    Where do they say they don’t want our filthy lucre for three years?

    And, yes, Ven. Malcolm French is correct, primates meeting/gathering has no authority to require anything.

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      One might find this kind of talk self-incriminating.

      Is the point that TEC was contributing ‘filthy lucre’ to gain its way, but it will now cease to do so?

      Te Deum.

      • Jeremy Bates

        No, the point is that it makes very little sense for Episcopalians to continue to fund structures and organizations that discriminate against God’s children.

  14. I’m not nearly as upset about the sanctions, or about the prospect of leaving the Communion, as I am about two things.
    One is the precedent this sets for sanctioning over things more superficial than an article of faith. Nothing about TEC, including our new Presiding Bishop, leads me to think any tenet of the creeds or catechism has been or will be violated.
    But the other is much more serious. The other is that I hear reluctant but solid affirmation for the negative view of being gay that fuels violence in these countries. I am not saying the AC is unclear about condemning such violence. They clearly condemn it. So what? They’ve just said “we condemn criminalizing gayness but we understand why it’s done.”
    This is pretty horrifying to me. I hope it does not cause anything worse than statements and counter-statements and posts and paperwork, and that my fears about what it means are unfounded.

    • Brian Cannaday

      Q. What is Holy Matrimony?
      A. Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        Thank you, Brian, that is exactly what is needed today. A reminder that revelation stopped at exactly the moment some people wanted it to.

        People are hurting. Rubbing it in is not demonstrating the Love of Christ and just reminds of the injustice of this day.

      • Brian Cannaday

        “Nothing about TEC, including our new Presiding Bishop, leads me to think any tenet of the creeds or catechism has been or will be violated.”

        This is a factually incorrect statement. The catechism has most certainly been violated, and because the catechism is a commentary on the creed, the creed has also been violated. I’m not asking anyone to like it. Further, I would argue it is exactly what is needed today, that is being reminded of the historic, orthodox, biblical tradition that has been so quickly abandoned wrongly in the name of equality and injustice (the definitions of which have also been morphed into unrecognizable drivel).

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        No Brian. I know that you’d like to think that we’re all just making it up. Alas, we actually do believe that inclusion (and yes, justice) is the imperative of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have tons of evidence for it, as well as Reason. As for Tradition, the tradition is that of an ever expanding circle of who is Child of God (from uncircumcised, the Ethiopian Eunuch, etc.). There is also a tradition of the church using “Holy Scripture” to justify slavery, burning of heretics and witches, and antisemitism.

        I was raised Greek Orthodox. Most of us know what the orthodox position is. We aren’t stupid, Brian. We know what it is, but we’ve embraced what we have come to discern as the Good News.

        The issue at this meeting was advertised as how do we live with difference? This is a good question for us too. You hold the conservative view for your reasons, I hold the inclusive view for my reasons (well educated and well lived reasons) and if they are different, what do we do?

        Again, I’m not seeing any of the conservatives deplore the human rights abuses that the GAFCON archbishops advocate for so powerfully and successfully. This fact alone takes street cred as Christians away from the conservatives posting here.

      • Hi Brian. The creeds have stood for centuries. Certainly, this is an example of a specific issue not addressed in them. I expect every approved catechismal change has been considered by the majority to be in line with the creeds.

        That is absolutely not a statement that there can’t be differing views about whether a change is creedal. Changes and expansions of the circle (as beautifully described by Cynthia in her reply) may be by majority but I expect they are rarely unanimous. For my part, they should not divide the Communion, or on an individual level, should not divide you and me.

      • Brian Cannaday

        If I have somehow missed a newly published catechism or re-written creed that has been adopted officially by TEC and/or the AC, please enlighten me.

        “Most of us know what the orthodox position is… we know what it is, but we’ve embraced what we have come to discern as the Good News.” – Ah yes, because orthodox understanding couldn’t possibly be Good News, could it? Only those who drink the current cool-aid can claim Good News. It’s this intolerance that keeps the conversations that you and the entire communion (on both sides) from moving forward.

        “You hold the conservative view for your reasons, I hold the inclusive view for my reasons (well educated and well lived reasons)”… is that to suppose conservative views (as you call them) are therefor not well educated and well lived? Again, the intolerance is laughable and sad. ‘Everyone come to the table and let’s talk, so long as when the conversations are over, you agree with us, because we are enlightened and educated and you aren’t, and if we can’t beat you into submission, we have no use for you.’

        “For my part, they should not divide the Communion, or on an individual level, should not divide you and me.” – I could not agree more!

      • Gregory Orlfof

        Well, Brian, some will tell you that the creed was violated long, long, long before any of this, with the not-universal addition of the Filioque clause to the original text many moons ago. That violation of the creed still fuels schisms.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        “Ah yes, because orthodox understanding couldn’t possibly be Good News, could it? Only those who drink the current cool-aid can claim Good News. It’s this intolerance…

        After telling me that I’ve drunk the cool-aid, you then go on about MY intolerance. Hm.

        “I hold the inclusive view for my reasons (well educated and well lived reasons)”… is that to suppose conservative views (as you call them) are therefor not well educated and well lived?

        No, Brian, I was simply countering the idea that liberation is based in culture rather than Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. I had actually tried to point out that we were both referring to those three pillars and coming to different conclusions.

        Touchy, aren’t we?

        It isn’t the cool-aid that makes me feel as I do. It is the Eucharist and the Living Christ who loves me and my wife.

        Is it possible for you to live into your orthodoxy without condemning, mocking, and/or oppressing others? Because I can live with conservatives. I just can’t live with conservatives who attack my well being and belittle my being as a Child of God, created in the Image of God.

        If you are attacking the well being of people, you really think Jesus justifies and authorizes you to do so? And please remember the LGBT suicides, victims of hate crimes, outcasts from “religious” families, and those being imprisoned in hell holes for who God created them to be. Jesus tells us that we can distinguish the real prophets from the false ones by the fruits of their labor. So try comparing the fruits of same sex marriage with the fruits of human rights violations.

      • Tom Downs

        Oh Brian, since you feel free point out shaky generalizations of others, you might want to reconsider you statement that the Catechism is a commentary on the Creeds. Most of the former addresses unconsidered in the latter…. Such as marriage.

      • Brian Cannaday

        “This catechism is primarily intended for use by parish priests, deacons,
        and lay catechists, to give an outline for instruction. It is a commentary
        on the creeds, but is not meant to be a complete statement of belief and
        practices; rather, it is a point of departure for the teacher, and it is cast in the traditional question and answer form for ease of reference.”

        Just sayin’…

      • David Fite

        And there is no “Christian matrimony” in this country that is not first “blessed” by a license issued by the legitimate civil authority. Of the two, from a legal standpoint, the latter is determinative; just try to get your Christian Matrimony recognized as marriage by an insurance company or a hospital without legal sanction. Same-sex couples can now, thank God, get married and no longer be denied a civil right open to other citizens of legal age. And why on earth ANY church would want to deny the guidance of their religion in helping any lawfully-married couple from living a good life in concert and respect of each other is beyond me, other than simply being punitive and tribal. And given how the Anglican Church first got its start, we are the LAST ones who should be passing judgment on who should be married to whom!

  15. Daniel Lamont

    As an Anglican layman, nurtured by the CofE, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, I cannot accept this ‘sanctioning’ of the TEC for being inclusive and loving to all, regardless of orientation, gender, ethnicity. It behoves us to think of the true meaning of Christian charity. I cannot be in communion with churches who demonize gay people, support attempts to criminalise them and promote homophobia. I am not sure if I can be in communion with the current CofE or Welby PLC as we must now think of it. Of course, the CofE is divided and it will be interested in seeing how these divisions work out. I write to express solidarity with the TEC.

  16. Br. Gregory Shy, CoS

    I don’t know whether the primates have authority to impose the sanctions, but supposing they don’t, they could still do it through other avenues. Fine, we can “take it” and with it the gloating of the “moral majority” who feel that they have achieved some sort of victory. I suspect that the persons who jailed Dr. King felt a similar sense of victory – for a while at least. Who ever said that “giving birth” to the Reign of God was going to be easy?

    Noting Mtr. Susan Russel’s “Cost of Discipleship” hashtag, I wonder if another quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be useful to ponder in our “reprimanded” state?

    “In Christian brotherhood everything depends upon its being clear right from the beginning, first, that Christian brotherhood is not an ideal, but a divine reality. Second, that Christian brotherhood is a spiritual and not a psychic reality.

    Innumerable times, a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great general disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves.” – from “Life Together”

    • Yes, the Sanhedrins of this world enjoy their triumph for a time…

      • Sarah Dylan Breuer

        Tobias, I know your heart’s in the right place, so I want to ask you please (and personally as the spouse of a recent convert to Judaism) to consider how many Jewish people hear language that uses an institution or broad movement within Judaism as synonymous with hypocrisy or intolerance. Furthermore, the book of Acts points out actively that the Sanhedrin, led by Gamaliel, upheld freedom for potential movement of God’s Spirit in early Christianity, and that some of the Christians in the so-called “Jerusalem conference” were Pharisees! Please pardon me if I’m over-sensitive, but I have long worked to further Jewish-Christian relations by pointing out such potentially problematic language. Blessings, friend!

      • Harvey Bale

        In reply to Haller, Breuer makes a very good point about broad brush comments that can be misconstrued. I wanted only to say that her ref to Gamaliel being supportive of the “freedom for potential movement of God’s Spirit in early Christianity” is weak at best. Later in Acts (22:3) we learn that he tutored “Saul” — and look at the result of that education! More likely it is that Gamaliel in Acts 5 was just being judicious and cautious in allowing what he most probably thought this new movement would fail too as just another human rebellion against religious and secular authority (recall, he cites two earlier failed human efforts) . But TBTG!

  17. Cynthia Katsarelis

    It is quite terrible that there’s no mention of the brutal human rights against LGBTQ people happening in Christ’s name with the support of the church in some of the provinces. If that had been mentioned, if the churches that support this affront to the Body of Christ were also being sanctioned, then that would have appeared even handed, alas.

    This meeting was billed as an effort at reconciliation. To find a way to live with difference. That’s what Justin said. It was billed as a gathering, not a resolution making meeting. This is a betrayal of that expectation. We’ve been had, bamboozled, hoodwinked. One hates to say that the ABC is a disingenuous liar, but there it is.

    • Jeremy Bates

      He quite obviously tried to manipulate the meeting (into small groups) and the conservative primates saw that for what it was.

    • Philip Snyder

      Cynthia – “Reconciliation” does NOT mean “to find a way to live with difference.”

      Reconciliation is the repairing of a broken relationship. When one part of the communion tears the fabric of communion at the deepest levels (and that is exactly want Robinson’s consecration and the changing of the definition of marriage have done), then reconciliation requires that the party that tore the fabric of the communion first acknowledge that they have done so, repent of doing so, and try not to do so again.

      For example, if you and your spouse are talking about purchasing a new car and have decided that you will not purchase a new car until you both decide to, how do you think your spouse will feel if you go out and purchase the new car anyway – knowing that your spouse does not want that car and believes that you both cannot afford it. When your spouse confronts you and you say that you discerned (by yourself) that the car would be good for you and you still want to talk about the car and all you talk about is how wonderful the new car is, how do you think your spouse will react? Now, instead of a new car, ask yourself how you would feel if your spouse decided that she wanted an “open marriage” where you are both free to have sexual relations with other people. You say that would destroy your relationship, but your spouse goes ahead and does it anyway and spends a lot of time around you talking about how wonderful the “open relationship” is for her. Would you be willing to “live with the difference?” Would you not feel betrayed and abandoned? That is exactly how the Global South feels. In
      communion wide meeting after communion wide meeting TEC promised that it would not proceed on its own and then broke that promise in 2003 and continued to break that promise over and over again.

      • Ariane Wolfe


        While I won’t defend the church’s action in breaking promises (if it did), I don’t think that taking the step to treat an oppressed and abused group as equal human beings can quite be compared with buying a car (or having an open relationship, for that matter). I understand the analogy; I just don’t think it’s on the same level so doesn’t really work. This was not self-serving, as either of those would be; it’s doing the work Jesus told us to do, extending love to our neighbors and bringing about social justice. To use a potentially trite or overused phrase, “it was the Christian thing to do”.

      • David Allen

        In communion wide meeting after communion wide meeting TEC promised that it would not proceed on its own and then broke that promise in 2003 and continued to break that promise over and over again.

        The only body that can speak for TEC (make commitments or promises) is the General Convention. So I don’t recall how this statement that you make is true as General Convention didn’t promise anything of the sort. IIRC, the only time that GC allowed the ABC to browbeat it into kowtowing to the AC party line, the following GC nullified that move.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        Dear Philip,
        I was using the words that Justin used to describe and define this gathering. Justin defined reconciliation as “learning to live together in difference.” This is how he billed the “informal gathering” where there was no expectation.

        I think you should stop lecturing me. We have 5 advanced degrees between the two of us, one PhD in medieval church liturgy and music (where a lot of the theology was being incorporated), and even an EfM certificate. The problem is not that I don’t know enough.

        The problem is precisely that people disagree. But in this disagreement, some believe they are entitled to exclude a whole class of God’s children, while others, using the same Scripture, Tradition, and Reason are appalled by the oppression.

        It is possible for you to live into your orthodoxy in a conservative parish without oppressing gay people in the liberal parish next door. It’s possible. But no, instead we’re seeing cruelty and arrogance insisting on casting judgment on others.

        I’m gay. We got married in our parish. That hurt no one. But the exclusionary rhetoric does hurt people, and your friends in Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya are actual human rights violators. You aren’t doing a good job of Ethics 101. Jesus told us we can discern false teachers from true ones by the fruits of their labor. LGBTQ bullying, suicide, hate crimes, imprisonment. Those are the fruits.

        You should stop lecturing me.

  18. Dennis Roberts

    Stabbed in the back again by bigotted English leadership. This should feel familiar enough to Episcopalians I suppose. I hope that this inspires anger in the representatives to GC. Someone should pen and GC should pass a strongly-worded reprimand to the rest of this so-called communion. Enough is enough. And cut the cash, too. And put bishops and missionary dioceses in England to help the non-bigots escape from the Church of England.

    • John Chilton

      I so did not expect that retort, Prof. Seitz. See it as you wish. The honorable thing would be for the primates to also say the Anglican Communion Office “should” return the check from The Episcopal Church for the ACO and the Anglican Communion Council. It is the Anglican Communion Council (ACO administrates for ACC) that would have to do many/all of the “should nots” in the statement.

      Recipients usually return moneys when they determine a donor is unsavory from their point of view.

      Here’s Dec 2014 ACO budget report,

      • Jon White

        I’m very uncomfortable with this sentiment because it suggests that our giving is transactional and that because many of our brothers and sisters disagree with us and hold us accountable for our witness that we aren’t getting value for our donations. This seems contrary to anything Jesus had to say about the intersection of money and faith. We don’t give (I would hope) in a spirit of “pay to play,” but because we have ample gifts from God to be shared. Are we committed to our Communion partners or not? Or is our commitment only relative to our sense that everyone should immediately agree with us because we’re wealthy? The bonds of Communion should strengthen our resolve to support our beliefs and choices whether they want to hear it or not. Retreating into an echo chamber of agreement won’t serve those oppressed by the choices of the GAFCON primates.

      • John Chilton

        Jon, you misunderstand me, as does Professor Seitz. I am saying nothing about a transaction or pay to play. I just want to know if we’re bad enough to be sanctioned our money is still acceptable. Yes, we give out of our abundance (much of it gained at the expenses of native Americans and African Americans). I’m asking why our money is not being declined if we are being labeled as so immoral and decadent?

        I happen to concur with the Rev. Susan Russell’s sentiment: #thecostofdiscipleship

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        Thank you for that report. Wow. Only England and the US pay 6 figures per year into ACC. Who pays nothing? Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan and South Sudan, Rwanda…

        Nigeria couldn’t get a little oil money into it?

        What is funding GAFCON? I keep hearing that it is American and British conservatives. Is there a paper trail on that?

        My impulses are to stay engaged, and that means ponying up. But there certainly could be a case for putting that money into mission. I wouldn’t care if it all went to our projects in Africa. Surely not all the partnership automatically unravel, do they? Does anyone know about that? We support an organization doing amazing work in South Sudan. Does that get cut off on their end? Can the work continue?

      • Harry M. Merryman

        Jon White:
        You seem to be saying that it is understandable that our witness should come with consequences. What should be the consequences of the Primates’ conduct? TEC was not asking for agreement; we have only sought continued communion, which this sanctioning seems to delimit. Withholding our money does not have to mean lessening “our resolve to support our beliefs and choices.”

      • Jon White

        Why shouldn’t we expect our push for justice and equality to have consequences of opposition. On a communion-wide scale, our collective actions are a kind of civil-disobedience. We should note favorably that our calls for justice are taken seriously enough to merit opposition; that means we’re making a difference. Of course, it is beyond disappointing that TEC was singled out and others not also held accountable for their actions which have undermined our Communion relationships. Also disappointing was that the frankly appalling support of horrible anti-LGBT laws in some nations by their churches not called out as counter to the gospel. Jesus reminds us that our faith has real-world consequences and that we should expect the gospel road to justice will be difficult, but he also reminds us that refusing to engage isn’t an option for us.

      • Harry M. Merryman

        But TEC is NOT refusing to engage. Quite the opposite.

      • TEC should continue to fund humanitarian aid and diocese to diocese and church to church cooperation within the Anglican Communion, but I think we should consider turning off the spigot for funding meetings like the one taking place now. The relationship seems abusive to TEC, and why should we continue to enable our own abuse? Image! Our church is excluded for being inclusive.

        At best, I’d be willing to wait to see what comes of the voting at the primates meeting, which has no power to legislate or decree as to who’s in and who’s out. If the ACC follows up with further exclusion, then it would be time to act. Isn’t TEC already excluded from ecumenical conversations as a discipline for some past perceived – what to call it? – disobedience? Indescretion?

  19. Eric Bonetti

    I guess this means that the AC will be returning the check from 815, eh?

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      Is your point, ‘we paid for an outcome we did not get?’

      That is American exceptionalism in its special liberal guise.

      • Eric Bonetti

        Taking one’s money under false pretenses is the common law tort of conversion. We give to the AC under the notion, set forth in the Instruments of Communion, that we are one co-equal province among many in the AC. If the primates are saying that is not the case, then they need to have the moral integrity to treat the entire relationship as one of unequals, not just the parts that suit that them. And yes, that includes resources.

      • Dennis Roberts

        How about “We need this money to pay for missionary dioceses in England so that the people in England who aren’t bigots have a place for Christian worship.” Would that be better clarification?

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        No, Christopher, we haven’t been paying for an outcome. We’ve been paying to support the Body of Christ and our sisters and brothers who can’t pay. The Body of Christ is larger than the Anglican Communion, so there are other options for meaningful engagement and stewardship that lifts people up.

      • Doug Simpson

        I think the point is more “You cannot take my money, and then in turn use it to discriminate or abuse me”.

      • Jeremy Bates

        Doug Simpson has it right.

        We shouldn’t enable the abusers.

      • Dave Thomas

        Well Prof. Seitz, if that is indeed the case, you may ought to stop for a moment and consider how many “conservative Anglicans” in the USA have been withholding funds from their own Episcopal Church. Lo, these many years, we have had several diocese who have either refused or reduced funding the mission and ministry of TEC because they didn’t agree with some things. If the dollars cease to flow from TEC to Canterbury, it is certainly a page taken from the conservative playbook.

        Personally, I think we should increase funding, but just move it away from Canterbury and contribute directly to ministries in the Communion.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        I have no view of what TEC should do with its money, and did not offer one.

        My comment was re: the very swift recourse to the topic of ‘filthy lucre’ in response to a Primates statement.

        God bless.

  20. Daniel Handel

    I am a product of the Anglican Communion. Converted through the grace of God operating through the Church of England, baptized in the Church of Ceylon, confirmed in the Episcopal Church and now helping plant a congregation in the Church of Rwanda alongside an ACNA priest.

    My years in the Episcopal Church were Spirit-filled and I consider it my home, but I find this step lovely and blessed. It’s a step of honesty. The Episcopal Church may well be leading an authentic and prophetic movement on the nature of sexuality and marriage, but it straightforwardly does not represent the agreed and received faith of the communion nor the views of the majority of its members. The Episcopal Church is not representative of the communion so therefore should not represent it in an official capacity. This does not strike me as vindictive, just honest.

    • Margaret Sjoholm-Franks

      Fair enough…therefore the Anglican Communion should not be funded by a denomination that does not represent Anglicanism nor the views of the majority of its members.

    • Brian Cannaday

      Exactly… well said. #everyonetakeachillpill

    • Leslie Marshall

      honesty and Jesus are one.

  21. I realized the schism when I keep getting censored here for having a relatively conservative opinion. I’m not even radical. There are lots of ways to handle differences in doctrine without alienating everyone.

    But neither is there any freedom of speech in this Body any longer. One can only speak freely from the “progressive” point-of-view. Failing that, one’s contributions to the discourse are culled.


    • Brian Cannaday

      correct… it’s interesting the hate spewing from comments about how the AC is nothing but a bunch of haters. #hypocrite

  22. Couldn’t this informal gathering, with no authority whatsoever to do anything but talk, just shun us on Facebook and Twitter and let it go at that?

    +Michael, welcome to the Communion!

  23. William Bockstael

    Meanwhile…somewhere in Africa an Anglican bishop/priest spouts homophobic drivel at the pulpit while his three wives listen from the pulpit

    • Philip Snyder

      Can you name names? The African provinces said that no one who has multiple wives is eligible to be ordained. That was discussed at Lambeth and other Communion meetings


    • Isaac Bonney


      What kind and Christian words tinged with racial stereotype. Please point out to me an African bishop with three wives. It is interesting to know that we behave in an intolerant fashion when accusing others of being intolerant. You should be ashamed for this comment. After all, what is your problem with African bishops? It couldn’t be that they are holding on to the ‘drivel’ in Scripture that was handed by the colonial masters? Shame on you for such a drivel. This is exactly what the global south has been complaining about.

  24. Margaret Sjoholm-Franks

    ECUSA should stop any funding of the Anglican Communion for the next three years…so their money will not taint the holiness of the church. No more students coming to the USA to get theological training, no more money going for missions in Africa, no more funds to keep the shop going at the Anglican Communion Office or to fund gatherings…no more homosexual funds going to fund anything, the ECUSA money is of the devil and should not be used by the righteous and God-fearing African bishops.

    • John Herring

      We did choose to walk apart from the wider communion. This is true. It means there are consequences for that. But, these are consequences I am willing to accept. The people in my church, and in all our pews, are more important to me anyway. Families have been reconciled because of the way our churches have treated their sons and daughters. I’ll take that any day over the approval of some Bishop overseas.

      I agree that while being sanctioned, this means our money should be sanctioned too. They should not receive our tainted support, nor should we send it.

      However, we should continue to seek relationships and partners at Diocesan and Parish levels and continue to offer a generous Christianity. We should continue to help financially where we can and where we are welcome. And we should absolutely continue to train anyone who desires to come to our seminaries to be trained. To turn our backs on those who desire continued relationships and training alongside of our people would not be helpful.

    • Bruce Anderson

      I have felt we should be “above” that manner of thinking – for my whole life. At this point in my life however, having lived as the sinful, vilified homo for 58 years (30 of them married to the same man, though not legally until recently), I’m now reluctantly inclined to agree with this. Spending money which came from me (yeah, I know it isn’t “mine;” I get that) to tell me that my interpretation of the Gospel is wrong and I’m bad doesn’t seem to be very salubrious. They may need to preside over the dismantling of the communion before we get their attention, I fear.

  25. Matthew Pemble

    “Same-sex marriage now dead as a doornail in Canada and all other provinces still active members of the Communion.”

    With any luck, the longest surviving member of the Communion will go some way to proving this wrong at General Synod next year. With love and prayer from the SEC.

    • James Byron

      As the guy who originally wrote it (in a post-sanction funk), couldn’t agree more; having shaken off the blues, would say there’s good odds of several provinces amending their canons to allow for equal marriage. If anything, this slipshod bullying might swing the vote in favor.

    • Jeremy Bates

      Obviously that was the GS hope–“See, wayward liberal provinces? Mend your ways or you are next!”

      I doubt this will work.

      Meanwhile Archbishop Ntagali is going to start his own global Anglican family.

      Three years from now the situation on the ground will be very different.

  26. Doug Simpson

    Will we get to see which primates voted in which direction? Obviously we know how many voted, but I’m curious to see the entire slate.

  27. The Rev. Canon T. Mark Dunnam

    Sorry. I’m an old Civil Rights worker and advocate from way back. Placating injustice is cowardly. The so called sanctions are unjust. Therefore, the Episcopal Church should send no funds to the Consultative Council nor should we participate in any activities as observers, for a period of three years. I hope the Executive Council will not compromise. The issue is not about “pain”: there’s enough of that on all sides. Sorry, the “Boys Club ” is silly and needs to get over itself. Injustice is injustice regardless how it is clothed or presented. Don’t leave. Absent oneself for three years with no funding. We cannot compromise with injustice.
    The Rev. Canon T. Mark Dunnam
    Rector, St. James Church
    Florence, Italy

  28. Bill Reeder

    This will not matter to the average person in the pew. So only those really into church politics will pay attention.

  29. Anthony Christiansen

    Clearly, sisters and brothers, this comes as a sting now. Yet it is important to remember that history will view it as a badge of honor. As MLK taught us, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That arc is also a conduit of the Holy Spirit and “in all these things we are more than conquerors.” For TEC to be admonished for making space for love while many of those doing the admonishing are also advocating violence and hatred toward a specific group of people . . . well, one need not be a theological genius to see who stands on the side of the gospel. Let us rejoice in that and respond with the love of the same gospel.

  30. John D Lane

    That TEC is not to have representation on any Anglican bodies brings back a revolutionary slogan: “No taxation without representation.” I don’t see this as punitive, just realistic. Sent from a seat at the table to stand in the corner, not allowed to participate in decision-making, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to fund the AC. The cost of discipleship fits both our decisions and the Primates’. Or as Groucho said, “I wouldn’t join a club who would have me as a member.”

    • Philip Snyder

      I seem to recall that, when Robinson was consecrated, many people talked about stopping their pledges and many dioceses refused to support the national church, the progressives said that withholding funds because of a disagreement like this was unjust and should not be tolerated. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the minority group wants to withhold their funds as an act of “justice.”

      So, please make up your minds. Is withhold funds because you disagree with the decisions of the majority just or unjust or is it only just when YOU do it and unjust when others do it?

      • Carolyn Peet

        There does seem to be a rather unholy focus on the money.

      • John Herring

        We did not kick anyone out over Gene Robinson. Those who remained, by all means they should have contributed. But, to remain and not pledge was the problem. In this case TEC was told it is not welcome. It is a very different proposition.

        I am happy to give away my money. But, I would rather spend it with those who want to advance a generous Gospel, rather than those who support killing and jailing LGBTQ and those who call those who call us heretics.

        TEC agreed to walk separately than the communion on this. There are consequences. But, the wider communion want us kicked out, and have succeeded to a degree. There are consequences for the choosing of this action too.

        I would rather it not be that way. I am happy to be in communion with anyone who wants to be communion with us. But, if they want to walk separately moving forward. Let them be separate from us, including our purse.

      • Jeremy Bates

        Money, and the right use of money, is actually a topic to which Jesus spoke quite a lot!

      • Leslie Marshall

        Could we please open the bible, and talk about Jesus?

  31. Dan Ennis

    Good. This is the clear, sharp, slap that clarifies, after a decade of confused and foggy declarations, communiques, and resolutions. TEC is already a worldwide church, with strong bilateral agreements with churches in every populated continent. We can move on without rancor, and let the Anglican Communion be our historical cousins. Archbishop Welby has had his Munich moment, and we should leave him to the path he’s chosen.

    • Kurt Hill

      I don’t think that we should walk out of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church (and the Anglican Church of Canada) were instrumental in founding the AC 150 years ago. It was the work of the English-speaking North Americans in the 1820s-1860s that paved the way. I think that we should force the conservative Evangelicals/Pentecostals to throw us out kicking and screaming in three years.

      I do agree, however, with those who say that we should not contribute another dime to the Anglican Communion in any way. We can still support projects that are worthwhile, but we should do so as TEC. No more “laundering” money for the Anglican Communion. If some do not want to take our “tainted” money, it will be clear that they value ritual “purity” issues more than they do the problems of their own peoples. If, as some suspect, TEC “leaders” continue to insist on funding the Anglican Communion, we in the pews should withhold that percentage from our pledges–and make it very clear, publicly, why we are doing so.

      Also, we should open more public communications with groups such as the Old Catholics, who are liberal theologically and very much like us. Perhaps we can even join them and demonstrate that if we are kicked out of the AC we will still be an international presence.

      We certainly should campaign against those human rights violators in Africa and elsewhere who advocate the murder and imprisonment of gay people. Nor should we be shy in encouraging oppositionists in the Church of England from slamming the current conservative Evangelical Archbishop of Canterbury.

      Finally, I am amazed that many of these Con-Evo provinces are not more self-reflective. They all have their own fracture points. Up until now TEC has encouraged dissidents to remain despite the disagreements. Perhaps this should change.

      Kurt Hill
      Brooklyn, NY

    • Jason Li

      There goes Godwin’s law:
      “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”

  32. Stephen Mills

    Archbishop Welby steps out on the balcony and proclaims: “I believe it is peace for our time.”

    • Jeremy Bates

      By that logic, Chamberlain was the only person in history to go down in ignominy for appeasing bullies.

      • Jeremy Bates

        Sorry, this was directed to the comment by Jason Li.

      • Jason Li

        All I was saying is that “Munich moment” refers to appeasement of Hitler. Calling this a Munich moment relates GAFCON to Hitler

      • Jeremy Bates

        Jason, I understand what you were saying.

        The lesson I draw from Munich is that it’s dangerous to appease bullies. They come back and ask for more.

        It seems to me that TEC has been learning that lesson for a decade or two. Having learned it, perhaps we should now act on it.

  33. Michael Russell

    The Primates can opine what they please, but they have no authority to do anything to TEC. They have no power over the Anglican Consultative Council. They only have power in their own Province and none outside it. So the majority got to be all self-righteous in public again, no surprise there. We have heard it all before, and have made the decisions we made.

  34. Br. Gregory Shy, CoS

    Although I am not altogether happy about the possibility of sanctions (and I think we need clarification about this), I also absolutely do NOT think that withdrawing financial support to the Anglican Communion or the GS Churches would be consistent with Christian Charity.
    We need to “practice what we preach,” not stoop to “the ways of the world.” How many times should we “forgive?” “Seventy times seven.” We need to think of our brothers and sisters in the world in need as we do what we should to support them, through the Anglican Communion and otherwise. We don’t ask the beggar at the gate if he is “worthy.” The poor of the world should not be targeted for reprisals because their leaders are corrupt. We are ALL sinners and fall short in the eyes of our loving God. We need to “turn the other cheek,” receive our “slap” on the face, and continue to respond with Love as Christ has so clearly taught us to do.
    At the same time, should the sanctions be placed, and our continuation in the Anglican Communion come with “conditions,” then our continued support of this structure/organization may need to come with some conditions of our choosing as well. I do not think that we should fund structures that support/endorse directly the oppression of LGBT persons. We need to look carefully at where money is going and ensure that our support conforms to our “conditions” perhaps as well. We need to be sure that the funds we supply are not being used to support bigotry and harm to LGBT persons or to any other vulnerable minority. I am sure that there are many worthwhile projects in the Anglican Communion that are NOT supporting oppression/hatred/bigotry, and we need to be allowed to give to those structures, and not to others. At the very least, we need to express our direct and most sincere request that the funds we give (and the funds of the communion as a whole) not be used as such.
    Finally, I really would like for the “minority” primates to be allowed to issue their own statement of recommended terms/conditions for moving forward, even if they are not given any traction on the ground because they are a minority report. We always have experienced this at GC in TEC where the conservative minority insists on making its voice heard and respected. The communion owes us at least that much in simple charity and decency.

  35. It does seem quite amazing that those who proclaim Christian tolerance as a reason to ignore the traditional interpretation of both Scripture and Church Tradition, also feel quite free to declare the other a sinner.

    Trust me, pretending that the global North is somehow free of proclaiming others to be sinners seems quite odd indeed, especially given these comments.

  36. Michael Morris

    I think perhaps the money question is easy to oversimplify. I don’t really see any diocese or local congregation stopping mission funds where they are helping genuinely needy people in poverty-stricken parts of Africa or elsewhere where they have cultivated relationships.

    However, I have no problem with the thought of withholding funds from any international Anglican body or committee where we are asked to give up voice and vote–I would rather see those resources put to use in a manner which better reflects the discerned mission of TEC. Our resources are not unlimited, and there have always been more needs than we have been able to address. There is a difference between mission and corporate church.

    • Michael Morris

      I should have said “oversimplify”.

  37. Margaret Cooke

    “All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.” I imagine this was said many times over the years following open condemnation of LGBT community. It is ironic that this now be said following a declaration of inclusion and respect in the true spirit of Jesus.

  38. I have to admit I’m saddened, surprised and troubled about this response from the primates. So… TEC is sanctioned for recognizing and supporting “the dignity of every human being” and the rest of the AC would rather support GAFCON’s heinous crimes than allow that people of the same gender should marry? I don’t understand how this is “walking together in the grace and love of Christ”. Seems to me that it’s delivering the message that the AC approves of violence rather than love as an acceptable way to shepherd God’s people. Personally, that point of view doesn’t speak for me as a Christian or an Episcopalian. Or a human being for that matter.

  39. Damien - BRAZIL

    In the future please follow the comment policy of using your first & last name. – ed

    The Episcopal Church have to worry about his mission as God’s work in the United States and around the world, especially among those Anglicans who recognize the TEC in its mission. This sanction is simply a result of the manner of evil and unjust structures that gorvenam this worldwide.

    • Mark E. Mason

      Our Lord will judge all our hearts. If thinking a Christian marriage is between one man and one woman makes “them” evil and unjust, Christ Church has been so for a very long time. If it is true, why were “we” ever Anglican in the first place? Does proclaiming the Gospel of Christ mean that “we” do God’s Work and “they” are evil and unjust? Evidently qualified true believers are indeed very rare! We should be the true Puritans.

      • David Allen

        If thinking a Christian marriage is between one man and one woman makes “them” evil and unjust, Christ Church has been so for a very long time.

        Where has anyone said something so stupid? The evilness that folks have consistently pointed out here is the hatred that certain Primates/Anglican Churches in Africa practice by supporting criminalization and imprisonment of GLBT folks in those countries.

  40. Rod Gillis

    One wishes the Primates who voted against this would have the courage of their convictions by not signing it and issuing dissenting statements. Fat chance I’m sure.

    I am waiting eagerly to learn the direct response of my own Primate, Archbishop Hiltz. This maneuver will probably hand both the nervous Nellies and conservatives in the Canadian Church, most especially its house of bishops, just what they need to derail the consideration of revising our Marriage Canon in favor of marriage equality.

    The decision to invite the ACNA guy together with this decision is an open disregard for the integrity of The Episcopal Church as an autonomous province. It’s also a warning shot to any other province/national church that presumes that its synodical government cannot be vetoed by prelates off shore. No amount of pious rhetoric can make it otherwise.

    I wonder if this will add additional problems for the Episcopal Church with regard to its civil litigation cases?

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to continue to belong to this outfit with any kind of integrity.

  41. Rod Gillis

    The following is from the GAFCON statement on the conference note the bit that states, this is not the end but just the beginning:

    “We are pleased that Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America has played a full part in the Canterbury meeting of Primates and that sanctions have been applied to the Episcopal Church of the United States, (TEC) recognising the need for mutual accountability on matters of doctrine within the family of the Communion.

    However, this action must not be seen as an end, but as a beginning. There is much that causes us concern, especially the failure to recognise the fact that the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has also rejected the collegial mind of the Communion by unilaterally permitting the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of those in active homosexual relationships. We fear that other provinces will do the same.”

    The Canadian Church needs to be clear that appeasing these guys will-not-work.

  42. Robert Howard

    I am still an Episcopalian, but apparently no longer an Anglican. I can live with that. The Peace of the Lord be with you.

    • Actually, Robert, I wouldn’t worry about that. These same folks who want to define “Anglican” without including us were involved in defining “Anglican” according to history and belief statements, and not by membership in the Communion. And other commentators are correct: It is not clear that this has any effect on the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. We’re not even asked not to participate – just not to participate as equal partners. We can still show up and stand in silent witness.

  43. Paul Fromberg

    Reading through the thread, and trying to attend to all the hopes and fears expressed, leads me to think that there is a lot of “insider baseball” talk surrounding this event/pronouncement/punishment/whatever. I think we need to (as our Presiding Bishop says) keep our eyes on the prize. We can’t be isolated by this – we just need to keep working.

    The work of TEC is moving forward in the incarnate life of God. Some of that incarnation is expressed in the lives, loves, and bodies of LGBTQ people. It is messy. People are afraid. We are doing our best.

    Irrespective of the Primates, the work – and the struggle – continues. That’s what gives me hope.

    • Gregory Orloff

      Beautifully put, Paul. Even if others won’t sit and eat with us because they deem us sinners beyond the pale, at least we know Jesus still will. I take heart in how he had a soft spot for dining with prostitutes, tax-collecting turncoats and other “unclean” folk. (And let’s not be so naive to believe he only did so after they “repented” or “reformed” — had that been the case, all those Pharisees and Scribes wouldn’t have be so scandalized.) “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!” (Luke 15:2)

  44. Gary Paul Gilbert

    Does the Episcopal Church need the Anglican Communion or the Church of England for anything? Can’t it just continue being a member of the World Council of Churches?

    Gary Paul Gilbert

  45. Gary Paul Gilbert

    It seems the Canadians abandoned the Episcopal Church.

    I don’t see how this will play out in Canada, a nation which has had full civil marriage equality in all provinces for over a decade. It sounds like evangelical suicide for the Primate of Canada to do nothing.

    Gary Paul Gilbert

    • Rod Gillis

      @ Gary Paul Gilbert, as of yet Primate Hiltz has made no comment that I know of. I’ve attached a link from Anglican Journal with Archbishop Fred’s comments just before the meeting. Interesting to read it after the news of today. Not quite the Boy Scout Jamboree some were hoping for.

      He does say there he would write a reflection on the meeting after it is over. Given the congenital deference to authority here, whatever the Primate eventually says will have great sway.

      One very important symbolic gesture that Canada and our Primate could make is inviting Presiding Bishop Curry to our General Synod this year. It will be our first GS since his election.

      As for how this plays out here, that is a good question. Folks in the socially conservative camp, including several conservative Canadian bishops, will clearly use this as leverage to oppose or even derail the proposed amendment to our Marriage Canon. GAFCON has at least two fans in the Canadian episcopate plus several more who are long time conservatives among about 40 some odd bishops. A couple of our bishops left The Canadian Church upon retirement.

      Others of us will be even more determined to solider on for justice. However, it is my experience that the Canadian Church has a long history of dealing with conservatives by trying to appease them. It is a failed strategy. They feel entitled to accommodation but have no ability to work and play well with others.


  46. Wayne Rollins

    Many thoughts come to mind after reading this somewhat expected announcement. One is that how TEC spends money for mission may already have guidelines in place with resolutions and decisions regarding how money is invested at the local church, diocesan, and denominational levels. I’m reminded of the scene in Acts 5:34ff when the apostles continue teaching despite the orders of the Sanhedrin. Remembering this could have saved us a lot of posturing over the past decade or so. Finally, there are the words of Jesus himself teaching his disciples that the Spirit will tell them all things, meaning that Jesus hasn’t told them everything they will need to know (Jn 14. See also John’s note at the end of the Gospel that he has left a lot out.) It’s most often in hindsight that we know with any certainty that God has led us to where we are. To cast judgement now, before any official body with authority does so, if that actually matters in the larger focus of God’s mission, is at least premature, and at most makes us guilty of doing that which we oppose while possibly opposing God at the same time. In the meantime, there are hungry folks needing food, hurting folks in search of healing, and lonely souls in need of a friend. If the shadow of the cross can’t shade them, then it must be rooted in our own hearts.

  47. TEC will not abandon our commitment to tolerance and compassion for our LBGT members, or anyone else for that matter. I do suggest that we reassess our financial commitment to the AC; we have a fiduciary responsibility to our donors to see that their money is not spent to insult them and oppress others. I would also encourage TEC to join the Porvoo Communion and recruit others to do the same. Old marriages fall apart, new ones are enjoined.

  48. Gary Roberts

    Sitting here in the Diocese of Florida, whose bishop has prohibited any same sex marriages, I find the discussion of $$ interesting. I still pay my pledge to my parish (which would readily perform this sacrament, if allowed). I support my rector and vestry, but recognize the impossibility of keeping any of my $$ out of the hands of my bishop, who I have no desire to meet, but if and when I do, I intend to seriously critique his absence of leadership. I am glad that our theology allows anyone baptized to speak the truth as they see it! At least we are better off than Central Florida that refused to baptize the baby. Yeah moral arc of the universe!!!

  49. Gary Roberts

    Sitting here in the Diocese of Florida, whose bishop has prohibited any same sex marriages, I find the discussion of $$ interesting. I still pay my pledge to my parish (which would readily perform this sacrament, if allowed). I support my rector and vestry, but recognize the impossibility of keeping any of my $$ out of the hands of my bishop, who I have no desire to meet, but if and when I do, I intend to seriously critique his absence of leadership. I am glad that our theology allows anyone baptized to speak the truth as they see it! At least we are better off than Central Florida that refused to baptize the baby. Yeah moral arc of the universe!!!

  50. Jace Windsor

    “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.

    Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

    Central Florida Diocese and Greg Brewer must be jumping for joy!

    The Central Florida Dioceses would say…

    “Our commitment to be an inclusive church as long as you have deep pockets, play golf with the Dean and are not part of the LGBT community. We base our beliefs on social theory augmented by members with deep pockets, but our belief that Bishop John Howe (retired) and Bishop Gregory O. Brewer are right to exclude the LGBT community from communion with God but our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.*

    * except those of the LGBT community – you are NOT welcome in our diocese.

    • Doug Simpson

      I’m sure there is similar sentiment in the Diocese of Springfield.

  51. Hollis Dodge

    I was almost relieved that the AC took this step at last. It has been a long time coming. Perhaps this is an opportunity for TEC to recognize and endorse the sentiments it shares with the Old Catholic Churches in the US & Europe, the United Church of Christ, United Church in Canada, the PCUSA, and Reformed Churches in America. It may make for the establishment of a Progressive Communion.

  52. Gregory Orloff

    Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to his brother primates:

    “Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome.”

    “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

    “For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain. For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.”

    “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.”

    “The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way.”

    Well said, Bishop Michael.

  53. the Rev. Grant Barber

    My initial reaction: yank the money. My second, man do I loathe with the “I’m upset so I’m going to withdraw my pledge,” response. Final thought: time to heap burning coals. I assume without knowing the details that the people who benefit from the Episcopal Church’s money are the poor, those of no power. As always it is those most vulnerable who would suffer the most. (OK, if we’re helping pay the salaries of the bishops behind all of this, yank the money.)

    • Ann Fontaine

      We mainly pay for meetings and bureaucracy of the Anglican Communion – money to help actual poor or suffering mainly goes through Episcopal Relief and Development.

      • Ann Fontaine, thanks. All the more reason then to choose wisely and compassionately where church funding should go. There are great needs within the Episcopal Church that are not being met, such as in Haiti, Native American parishes, and poor parishes throughout the country. The church’s wealth, as well as our own personal wealth, are God-given and not truly ours, and it is our obligation to use the gifts to do good and further the Gospel.

        As I have said elsewhere, it appears to me, at least as evidenced at the primates gathering, that TEC is in an abusive relationship, and to continue to contribute to such a group is to enable abuse.

        I find it difficult and even impossible to believe that the vote to exclude TEC for being inclusive of all God’s children is in any way in line with Jesus’ words and actions in the Gospel.

  54. Dan Ennis

    I wonder if any of the conservatives who have been howling about church polity since Bishop Robinson was consecrated will has the consistency to object to a “Gathering of Primates” assuming disciplinary powers. This would appear to be a New Thing.

    • Jeremy Bates

      Well said. I thought this was not going to be a formal primates’ meeting?

      This sanction isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  55. Karen MacQueen

    The Episcopal Church includes within its several Churches, the Church of Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and the Church of Haiti is among the poorest Churches in the world.

    My diocese (Los Angeles) has several growing congregations in upscale suburbs, with an almost complete absence of Episcopal Church presence in East Los Angeles and a minuscule presence in South Central Los Angeles.

    LGBTI persons are being harassed, bullied, imprisoned and executed with the gracious support of the primates who have chosen to exile us from their gathering. The Archbishops of the CofE have chosen to protect their authority and power on the backs of LGBTI people. Has it not always been so?

    My suggestion would be for GC to designate the money usually given to the Anglican Communion office to be given to work in the Church of Haiti, to support for mission in poor areas of our cities, and to supporting “underground railroads”, safe houses, and support for refugee status for LGBTI persons, currently at risk of their lives in the provinces of these primates, and elsewhere in the world.

    To do less will send a message to the LGBTI people of the U.S. who don’t know the Episcopal Church that it strives to sit in authority with those who would imprison or kill them.

    Oh, and send a message to Justin Welby, “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.”

  56. Matthew Dutton-Gillett

    Not only is the violence supported, either actively or tacitly, against LGBT people by a number of African bishops not even mentioned here, the primates gathered do not have the power to implement what this resolution requires. To quote from the Anglican Communion website, “The primates have no authority as a “body” and their own national churches determine how their ministry is carried out in their own context.” It will be interesting to see what the Anglican Consultative Council decides to do.

  57. Stuart Kenny

    Just as a thought experiment–what if it turns out that homosexual behavior is wrong?

    I have been a supporter of same-sex marriage and openly gay priests. I’ve responded to this decision a bit differently than most. Rather than think GAFCON is wrong, what if their strong convictions are due to the fact that they correctly discern the Holy Spirit on homosexuality and ECUSA doesn’t?

    Because of this decision, and because of the fact that most Christian churches believe homosexuality is wrong, I’m going to carefully look at my supposedly inclusive beliefs. Maybe homosexual behavior is a sin and God wants something better for homosexuals that the ECUSA doesn’t offer.

    It is, you know, possible.

    • M. J. Wise

      Maybe homosexual behavior is a sin and God wants something better for homosexuals that the ECUSA doesn’t offer.

      By better do you mean something like being sentenced to spend years being abused inside a third-world prison? Because that’s what the GAFCON primates want. A strange comment indeed from a purported supporter of same-sex marriage and openly gay priests.

      • Odd that you feel the need to throw all southern Christians/GAFCON in the same boat but then again that’s not extremely surprising.

        Have you read the communique?

      • Carolyn Peet

        Could you please provide some citations to support your statement that the GAFCON primates want LBGT persons sentenced to spend years being abused inside a third-world prison? Because the moderators generally disapprove of unsubstantiated general statements presented as fact.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        Carolyn Peet, the archbishops of Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya very strongly support the “jail the gays” legislation that passed in their countries. The church has a powerful voice there, and these leaders used it. The sentence in some places for being gay is 14 years. Can you imagine what a living hell that is? Rape is common in US prisons, what about the conditions in these 2/3rds world prisons?

        In addition to the support of the laws, the hateful rhetoric of the church fans the flames of homophobia. There are newspapers that publish the names and addresses of gay people, and they often get attacked and murdered.

        Some of those GAFCON bishops actually are human rights abusers, enabling, supporting, and encouraging the jailing, and contributing to terrorizing our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. This is not in dispute, you can look it up.

        There are plenty of conservatives who are aware of the abuses and say nothing. They are seemingly complicit. This is much uglier than simply disagreeing. People are being hurt and murdered in Christ’s name.

        Those are your allies in the Culture Wars.

    • Carolyn Peet

      Stuart, I also question whether it has to be all or nothing. A person who is unable to resist their homosexuality is still a beloved child of God, just as a person who has divorced and remarried. You ask forgiveness for your weakness, and be thankful that it is the Grace of Christ that saves you, not your own, sure to be imperfect, adherence to God’s laws. Those of us who object to calling sin a blessing doesn’t automatically mean that we want those *particular* fellow sinners beat up, persecuted, shunned, executed, or what have you. We are all sinners, and all fall short of the Glory of God.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        Carolyn, all the science is pointing to what we’ve known anecdotally. We gay people are created as we are. There’s nothing to “resist.” For those in the church, God is very present in our lives. Our partners, now spouses, are gifts from God who loves us.

        The problem for conservatives is that they need to consider the fruits of the rhetoric and actions around exclusive beliefs. Historically, any group that has been regarded as less than fully human, fully equal, and fully Children of God have been vulnerable to all sorts of nasty abuse, from bullying to discrimination to the psychological abuse that attacks our well being. Bullies feel enabled, and bullying of LGBTQ teens is school and on social media contributes to a high rate of LGBTQ suicide, for one example.

        Jesus tells us that we can discern true from false prophets by the fruits of their labor. The fruits of liberation is a lot of joy and only busy bodies get “hurt.” The fruits of exclusion, and the rhetoric that goes with it, includes a great deal of pain inflicted by jerks plus the constant verbal abuse.

        The question is how we get on amicably in disagreement? That’s tough, because the conservative rhetoric inevitably is actually harmful. “Unable to resist [our] homosexuality” is an attack on our very being and the people God created us to be. No matter how you intend it, it comes across as a very mean spirited attack against me, my wife, and my LGBTQ sisters and brothers.

      • David Fite

        And yet, that convenient righteousness often enables just that sort of violence, social and physical, to occur by those less high-minded as yourself. And if you really believe homosexuality is a “sin”, you need to revisit your own preconceptions, as well as review exactly what Jesus Christ said on the subject.

  58. The Rev. Richard Belshaw

    Priests break away, we move on and find new ones. Parishes have broken away and we move on, establishing new ones. Dioceses break away and we move on, establishing new ones. The Anglican Communion can break away, we will move on and establish a new one. Doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me…living justice, compassion, and reconciliation can’t be beat. Peace!

  59. Jeffrey Coc

    This decision is really hard for inter-ecumenical work within the Anglican Communion. What it really does is split the Anglican Communion into two branches. The American Church and increasingly others will not change. There will be others that will be “sanctioned” over time along with the American Church. In many ways, “speaking with one voice” ended in the 2000s if not earlier. The traditional branch of the Anglican Communion can resume Orthodox and Roman Catholic ecumenical dialogues that have been stalled for years.

  60. Gary Paul Gilbert

    Rod Gillis, What you say about the Anglican Church of Canada is discouraging. If I were living in Canada, I probably would go with the United Church of Canada. How can the Primate of Canada not have a statement ready for the press in this era of instant communication? Gary Paul Gilbert

    • Rod Gillis

      @ Gary Paul Gilbert, I don’t disagree with the sentiments behind your comment. This decision by the Primates is going to play into the conservative opposition here.

      I was critical of playing this game as soon as the meeting was announced. As far as I can tell progressive oriented Provinces had no strategy going into this except Pollyanna speeches and hoping for the best.

      I’ve attached a link from Canadian Broadcasting Crop.’s coverage of this. It states that this decision has put Canada on notice. The fact that CBC is even covering this, given their disdain for religious news, is indicative of the size of the story. PB Curry is their photo caption.


  61. Rick Knuth

    We should wipe the dust from our sandals, and leave voluntarily. We were alone in 1789; we survived and thrived. Now we are free to commit our full energies and resources to working with ecumenical partners who not are accessories to a shotgun marriage.

  62. Prof Christopher Seitz

    Waking up on European time, I confess I would never have thought the thread would be all about money.

    You can’t predict much anymore.

    As for the statement.

    It seems clear that the actions of TEC have created a wide alliance among the Primates, especially throughout the GS.

    There is also a declaration that the Primates are an Instrument and as such must honor what they have agreed.

    I agree with the comment above that what is being honored as well is honesty. TEC has a New Vision it wishes to pursue. It does not agree with the Communion’s Instruments and wants to forge ahead. So it will.

    +Hiltz is factually correct that the ACoC is not yet at the place where TEC has got, and the Primates have acknowledged that.

    No one expects TEC to meet in 2018 and roll back its New Vision. There will be BCP revision with new marriage rites. Exemptions will be eliminated and loop-holes closed.

    So three years is a place-holder for giving TEC the scope to finalize its direction in accordance with its special polity.

    The fact that the Primates have stayed through the week means that a new sense of themselves as a body will have emerged.

    These would be the brief observations the published statement gives rise to.

    What one does with US dollars I suspect will sort itself out in time.

    • M. J. Wise

      Please follow the comment policy and post using your first & last names. – ed

      There will be no BCP revision in 2018. There may be a plan for making revisions passed, but realistically, even at top speed, a BCP revision cannot be submitted until 2021 and voted on again until 2024.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        If you are saying there will be no BCP rite for same-sex marriage for use everywhere, without exception, in 2018, that is certainly news.

        And that is all I meant by my comment.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz


        I have changed mine to France time now.

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      Must be new math.

      That is my second on 15 January 2016.

      Don’t count this one…or is that the idea?

      Perhaps it is a surprise to you Christopher, but we know everyone’s IP address and the date and time stamp on all of their comments. Since soon after midnight EST you had made 4 comments in this topic. However, we are suspending the limit for today as the topics are quite popular. -ed

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        I am in Europe, French time.

      • David Allen

        The software doesn’t care, the time stamps are EST.

  63. Neale Adams

    Oh God, and I say that honestly, how long must this business go on?

  64. Jim Burns

    Seems as though the AC has chosen to be religious but not spiritual. The only things love will not conquer are a closed mind and a closed heart. Onward TEC – God’s future belongs to love.

    • Seems like a very odd judgement on the spiritual life of tens of millions of Anglicans, not to mention hundreds of millions of Christians.

      It seems quite an odd theory of ecclesiology bouncing around Episcopal Cafe these days; the True Church consists only of western, upper middle class, predominantly white liberal aging congregations in the global North. Everywhere else is anathema.

      • David Allen

        Perhaps what he said was actually directed towards the Primates and not the AC as a whole.

        And we know from boots on the ground in Africa, that millions of African Anglicans don’t agree with their prince bishops on this topic.

  65. The Rev. Stuart Schadt

    My first reaction was to say we should with hold our money, but after reading the comments I have become convinced that for the next three years we should reduce our contribution possibly by a third but continue to give a significant amount and stay in relationship. We can accept positions as observer on various committees or what ever. I believe this would give us a position of witness and give other bodies within the communion the courage to follow our lead. Inclusiveness will win.

  66. Ok, the sky hasn’t fallen. We’re alright. My hope is that there will be a spiritual revival led by our LBGT sisters and brothers and proclaim with boldness the freedom and life abundant found in our Lord, Jesus. I pray for a queer Billy Graham to sweep throughout our denomination. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. It’s all about Jesus.

  67. Doug Desper

    Being sanctioned isn’t being removed from the Communion. We must be honest — really honest right now. We HAVE spoken (as a Province) with a forked tongue. We agreed to self-restraint on making seismic shifts in sexuality issues and broke our word within months of 2007. If that’s what we wanted, then fine. In fact, it WAS what TEC’s power base wanted. So, let’s stop messing about. Let’s just get on with breaking from the Anglican Communion. Have the guts to do it. Instead of 85 million members it will now have 83.5 million (absent us). But we cannot continue to have it both ways. To disparage, accuse, defame, and blame the others (in elitist and racist tones), and want the legitimacy that being aligned with the ancient See of Canterbury brings to this Province is hypocrisy. Choose, but stop the “having it both ways” temper tantrums. We’re still a part — but what has been recognized is that we’re doing things APART from the previously (and repeatedly) stated positions. Now, live with it — or get on quitting the Communion. That way, the pews can decide where to go. Have the integrity to accept that we’re part of blowing this relationship. Have the integrity to live with our chosen trajectory in the Communion or quit it. But stop the elitist and racist nonsense that paints a horrible picture of who we are.

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      Courageous and rational both. Thank you.

      • Leslie Marshall

        wise advice.

    • Cynthia Katsarelis

      The nonsense, Doug, is the presumption that there is an Anglican Communion with a central body creating doctrine and policy for the whole. In reality, it has been an association of independent, autonomous churches. Anglicanism has a big foot on the Protestant side that split from a central authority, Rome. This movement towards centralization is an “innovation” and one that that moves away from the historic position.

      I can’t find Jesus in all this mean spirited talk about who’s in and who’s out. The hypocrisy of lifting the gay issue up, while not observing the Biblical teachings on divorce is hard to escape.

      The human rights abuses by some of the GAFCON archbishops is another stumbling block that makes the sanction of TEC a total joke.

      The “fabric of the communion is torn” by an issue that isn’t even addressed in the Bible, but it isn’t torn when archbishops of the church, in Christ’s Most Holy Name, support and encourage abuses and terror against some of God’s Children.

    • Br. Gregory Shy, CoS

      Or, you could say that we HAVE repented of speaking with a forked tongue. We HAVE repented of agreeing to keep the bathwater of unity while throwing out the baby of compassion/inclusion that was our voice of prevarication in the past, with “going along” for the sake of “getting along.” We now do have the courage of our convictions and we have the courage to say that, minority position in the primates club or not, we believe that we have listened to the Word and God and the spirit (see again Presiding Bishop Curry’s statement). We have searched the scriptures, studied, prayed and listened again and again and again. (and if I may say so, I don’t see that so prevalent amongst conservatives, many of whom simply accept that the way its been in my memory is “now and always to the ages of ages, Amen.” Jesus Christ may be the same yesterday, today and forever, but the human community is not. We “do not yet know what we shall become.”)

      I do not see, as well, that, as a voice of dissent we need to simply “accept and repent” capitulating to the “majority” of this primates club or get out. We need to stay right where we are. To me, it always seems that it is the conservatives who lack the courage of their convictions. How many dramatic “walk outs” have we seen so far? And, I, honestly, hope that the “conservative majority/minority” stops the incessant threats/sanctions and walkouts and also stays along. I have not despaired of our hearing the Spirit together. Have you despaired? Did God lose and give up?

    • David Allen

      You will be very hard pressed to find that we have allowed any racist tones to pass moderation. In addition to racist comments we also weed out false accusations. Please tread lightly, avoid the hyperbole and stick to the facts.

    • Excellent letter by Bishop Marc Andrus. Thanks Ariane.

  68. Karl Kuhn

    Been thinking a lot this week about the idea of “winners and losers” in the Anglican Communion. The real winners are those who recognize that they are sinners who have been redeemed by the grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the losers are those who continue to try to earn salvation through their self-righteous pandering. To God be the Glory for His mercy and shame on those who think they have earned it by being “right” or “pious” because of their viewpoint/works of so-called justice.

    • Cynthia Katsarelis

      Your piety and righteousness is showing here, which is the problem with judging others. You aren’t seeing the log in your eyes as you complain about the speck in others.

      I refer you to +Michael’s statement on how our inclusion is the result of real Jesus Work, as he calls it.

      Salvation is God’s job, and you aren’t qualified to judge.

      • Karl Kuhn

        WOW! I don’t even know how to respond.

  69. Gary Paul Guilbert

    Rod Gillis, It sounds as if Fred Hiltz has failed as a leader. His website has no statement on the meeting. Basically, the Anglican Church of Canada has failed to represent liberals and LGBTs probably because it takes them for granted.

    Thank you for the CBC link. Yes, this is an important story because it seems to be part of a backlash of full equality for same-sex couples.

    Gary Paul Gilbert

  70. Florine Postell

    I just read the primates statement. Reminds me yet again why I left the Catholic Church to be Episcopalian. Which doesn’t make me Anglican. A 3 yr sanction from committees, meetings, decisions, means we have 3 yrs to go out into the world and show support to those oppressed by homophobia in other Anglican communities. Maybe we can’t marry same sex couple for a period of time, but we sure can consolidate our mission work toward gays under oppression around the Anglican community. One day, perhaps they too can realize that Jesus preferred the company of sinners to those who kept the laws. I’m still furious about this action.

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