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Anglican-Lutheran panel meets. Episcopalian included.

Anglican-Lutheran panel meets. Episcopalian included.

The third Anglican–Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) held its sixth and final meeting in the holy city Jerusalem between 18 and 25 June 2011, under the leadership of the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, and of the Reverend Dr Thomas Nyiwé, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon.

So begins the press release from the Anglican Communion News Service on a recent ecumenical meeting.

What caught our eye, however, was the list of Anglican participants:


The Most Revd Fred Hiltz, Canada (Co-Chair)

The Revd Canon Dr Charlotte Methuen, Germany and United Kingdom

The Rt Revd Dr Musonda T. S. Mwamba, Botswana

The Revd Professor Renta Nishihara, Japan

The Very Revd Dr William H. Petersen, USA

The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Anglican Communion Office (Co-Secretary)

Mr Neil Vigers (administrative assistant)


The Revd Dr Cathy Thomson, Australia

Folks who follow this sort of thing will remember that the Very Rev. Petersen was kicked off this panel by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who wrote in his Pentecost letter of 2010:

“I am therefore proposing that, while these tensions remain unresolved, members of such provinces – provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion and recently reaffirmed by the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) – should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged. I am further proposing that members of such provinces serving on IASCUFO should for the time being have the status only of consultants rather than full members”.

You may also remember that this led to a difficult session between the Very Rev. Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.

The matter was further confused by the Communion’s decision to appoint the Rev. Mark McIntosh, a priest of the Diocese of Chicago to the Anglican-Roman Catholic panel, and justify the appointment by noting that he was also, at the moment, a canon of an English Cathedral.

It would be interesting to know the exact status of Episcopalians and members of the province of the Southern Cone–whose now Primate was also bumped–on these panels.


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Bill Ghrist

Perhaps someone had enough sense to realize that it would be a bit absurd to forbid attendance by someone from one of the Anglican Provinces that is now in full communion with the Lutherans.

Robin Walker

The Communiqué from the the Anglican News Service simply lists him among those attending, without any differentiation except for Anglican or Lutheran.

Jim Naughton

The interesting thing is that Bill Petersen is very well liked by the Lutherans. Bexley Hall, the seminary where he taught, is on the grounds of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus. He is steeped in this stuff and very widely respected. The ABC shot himself in the foot by alienating the Lutherans when he moved against Bill.

John B. Chilton

The answer seems clear: they are consultants not members. Whether that has any practical meaning when you’re discussing and not deciding is another matter.

To me it would be even more interesting to know if the Lutheran members were informed by the ACO that Petersen had second class status.

Tongue firmly in cheek, perhaps it matters that the meetup was about diakonia not koinonia.

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