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Archbishop Kwong of Hong Kong elected to lead ACC

Archbishop Kwong of Hong Kong elected to lead ACC

The Most Revd Dr Paul Kwong, Archbishop and Primate of Hong Kong, has been elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council – the legally constituted body that brings together Anglican churches from around the world.

ACNS:

He said that the mission of the Anglican Communion was expressed through discipleship, and in addressing issues of poverty, human trafficking and violence. “There are far too many things and we have to [tackle] them together for the world,” he said.

He explained how his Hong Kong background would be an asset in helping the Communion to hold together. Hong Kong – despite its mix of Western and Eastern cultures, was “basically a Chinese community,” he said. “Chinese culture is very inclusive. Normally, we don’t judge who is wrong and who is right. We walk together with those who are right and also with those who are wrong.

“Coming from this kind of culture, perspective and attitude I think I would probably make some contribution to the life of the Communion. But I don’t know how successful I will be because I don’t think a single person can achieve all these things. In order to achieve these goals, in order to hold the Communion together, I have to work with every single person in the ACC and within the other instruments of unity.”

Archbishop Kwong is the first Primate to be elected to chair the ACC. This would mean that the only official body of the Anglican Communion that allows for the voices the laity is led (again) by a Bishop who is also a Primate.

Kwong says that his election is a way to draw the various instruments of communion together because he has “access to the other Instruments of Unity – the Primates Meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

“The role of the chair of ACC is not just to chair meetings,” he said. “The chair of ACC, as I see the role and responsibilities, is to connect people – or reconnect people – in the Communion.” He said that the four Instruments of Communion were “not independent from each other” and needed to be connected to each other “for the purpose of holding the Community [together], building up the community and making the community relevant to the world.”

ACNS reports that Archbishop Kwong received 40 votes while Professor Joanildo Burity from Brazil, received 25 votes. Archbishop Kwong will succeed Bishop James Tengatenga, who will step down at the end of the current meeting on Tuesday, April 12.

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Jerald Liko

I don't know much about +Paul Kwong, but I think the election of an Anglican from Hong Kong provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of the communion, and to that I say Alleluia.

I also believe that Abp. Kwong's statement about his intention to focus on "poverty, human trafficking, and violence" offers an opportunity to take on new issues of great urgency for the people of Christ, which have perhaps been under-attended in the past few years.

I hope his election represents a way, as he suggests, for the people of the communion to walk together. Indeed, I imagine that he was elected because those who knew him believed that he represented the best hope for walking together.

I pray that God will bless his ministry.

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Paul Woodrum

How did Kwong vote on TEC at the Primates' Meeting (not their gathering)? Is TEC in his black or white column? Did the TEC delegates vote on his election?

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David Allen

Sadly he should never have been a delegate to the ACC to have been nominated. Again we see the patriarchal power of male bishops in the conservative provinces of the Anglican Communion. +Paul's province, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, also known as the Hong Kong Anglican Church, is so small that is is entitled to one delegate to ACC. It is preferred that provinces with one delegate choose a lay person from their midst. Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui could have honored the concept of ACC representing the non-primatial members of the provinces by choosing a lay person, a priest or a bishop, but it somehow sent its primate.

It's also sad that his concept of diversity is so black & white; those who are right vs those who are wrong.

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