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How does Archbishop Welby remember the controversial Primates’ gathering?

How does Archbishop Welby remember the controversial Primates’ gathering?

The Church of England is holding their regular annual General Synod this week; Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby used his presidential address to make remarks about the Primates’ gathering. Reading a pre-written speech, Archbishop Welby stressed that the Episcopal Church was neither ‘sanctioned’ nor ‘punished’; he sought to clarify the attendance of Archbishop Foley Beach of the non-member Anglican Church of North America, and provided some contextual stage-setting to let others know the circumstances and history behind the occassion.

In a memorable quip, he referred to the media coverage as more spun than Donald Trump. From the speech:

The Primates’ Meeting held in Canterbury between 11th and 15th January 2016 occasioned much comment and even more misrepresentation. It has been spun more than Donald Trump, and you would be well advised to set your spin meters to “detect” as I am hoping both to say something about what happened, at least from my point of view… and more importantly, why and what it says to us. I have no doubt most people will disagree with one or the other aspect, or all of them.

The full video, from Youtube, is 23 minutes long, and the Archbishop has also provided a transcript on his website.

Why do you think so much misinformation flowed from the meeting? How do you feel about the clarifications? Do you think it was prudent to invite Archbishop Foley, seeing how his presence was regarded in tandem with the Primates’ statement?


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Cynthia Katsarelis

Oh my. The ABC was dispensing Anglican fudge… He reports so beautifully on the powerful Friday Eucharist, rich in symbolism of unity… Yet he doesn’t mention that the GAFCON bishops were absent. They likely did not sign on to the the gay friendlier bits of the communique.

Meanwhile, in England, there are three Jeremy’s who have suffered nasty discrimination from the CoE hierarchy for getting legally married. There’s no fudging that. It speaks volumes for the muddle and moral position of the ABC.

Dr. William A Flint, MDiv, PhD

The damage was done to TEC and ACofC when Canterbury past and present did nothing to keep foreign bishops out of the Canadian and American Jurisdictions. I haven’t seen Canterbury sign on as a friend of TEC in any of the disputes in US Courts over stolen properties, nor sanction foreign bishops for interference.

Paul Powers

As far as I know, neither TEC nor any TEC-affiliated diocese or parish has asked the ABC to sign an amicus curiae brief in any of the church property cases. It’s doubtful that any of these cases hinge on TEC’s relationship with Canterbury.

With respect to sanctioning foreign bishops, the ABC’s powers are limited. Bishops in other Provinces are autonomous (as TEC’s leadership has often point out).

Paul Woodrum

No credibility, no risk.

John Chilton

1. ACNA’s Foley Beach says he agreed to “walk together” up until the consequences were agreed upon after which he walked apart. I trust Justin Welby has taken note of Beach’s duplicity, and that that will have consequences for their relationship.

2. Beach further reports that he and many Gafcon primates withdrew from the gathering on Thursday afternoon. I suppose I could suppose he’s lying, but I’m inclined instead to think that Welby is painting a rosy picture and not giving us all the facts. Were “the primates” all there for some of the most important parts of the gathering? Like the footwashing, and the approval of the full communique? Are we not told because the answers are inconvenient for the story Justin wants to tell? I suspect Justin is putting his credibility at risk.

Jeremy Bates

This is the worst sort of archiepiscopal whitewash.

Why not admit that the Primates’ meeting, which he called, was a complete disaster?

Of course TEC was sanctioned. Why the mealy-mouthing?

Why pretend that all the primates stayed? Uganda left on Tuesday. Other GAFCON primates left on Thursday. What kind of “beauty” is this? The historical record is clear; why try to fudge it?

Such a meeting has no moral “power” or “force” at all.

And Lambeth 2020 will be a train wreck.

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