The Dar es Salaam Communiqué
The communiqué from the primates of the Anglican Communion was released late on2/19/2007. You can find the entire communiqué HERE or HERE
The Rev. Matt Kennedy has written several articles to help us read the communiqué well:
The Dar Communique: Hope and a Future
Reading the Dar Es Salaam Communique: Part 1
Reading the Dar Es Salaam Communique Part 2
The reaction of our orthodox Anglican leadership has been universally positive. If I would dare to summarize the thrust of their common response, it has been that, given the trajectory of the Communion overall and the Primates' meeting inparticular, the communiqué is:
(a) the best we could have hoped for,
(b) meets the requirement to recognize that The Episcopal Church has not sufficiently complied with the Windsor Requests, put The Episcopal Church in the penalty (discipline) box for, and provides protection the faithful still within The Episcopal Church, and
(c) provides a short deadline (September 30, 2007) for The Episcopal Church's response.
I shall catalog some of the main responses so you can see them yourself, as you should:
Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network:
HERE or HERE or HERE
You can also see video or just hear audio of Bishop Duncan's talk to the Pittsburgh diocese here:
Audio/Video or Audio/Video
Bishop Jack Iker's response is HERE or HERE.
The American Anglican Council's response is HERE.
Bishop Martyn Minns pastoral letter to CANA congregations is HERE.
AMiA Response is HERE or HERE.
Anglican Mainstream Statement is HERE or HERE.
Global South primates responses we have so far are also positive:
Archbishop Orombi's (Uganda) Letter is HERE.
Pastoral Letter From Archbishop Greg Venables (Southern Cone) is HERE.
Although there is no official response from Archbishop Akinola (Nigeria) or Nzimbi (Kenya), a couple of news stories running at allAfrica.com reveal how seriously they both view the September 30 deadline:
Though there appear to be some problems with certain facts in both stories, a news release on the matter has been promised from Nigeria as reported HERE.
So, what is The Episcopal Church going to do with this "one last chance" they have been given? Good question. The responses from non-network bishops have been almost universally negative or whiny, complaining that the request of the primates has technical issues with regard to The Episcopal Church's polity.
What could happen with The Episcopal Church's response? Here are some simplified possibilities:
1. The House of Bishops could belly up to the bar and meet the letter of the request.
This may be the worst possible of all outcomes. If it is true that The Episcopal Church cannot be reformed, and I believe it is true, this has the effect of kicking the decision point into the future leaving faithful Episcopalians waiting for a Communion-based solution while being stuck in The Episcopal Church.
2. The House of Bishops could reject the request with a decision to walk apart.
The may be the best possible outcome. It provides clarity and lets the Anglican Communion begin to recognize a new province in the Americas.
3. The House of Bishops could respond with some form of ambiguity forcing a difficult decision upon the Anglican Primates.
This or some other form of obfuscation is what could cause a split in the Anglican Communion caused by the primates being unable to come to a decision point when faced with further ambiguity.
So far, the leading indicators lean towards serious ambiguity from The Episcopal Church that are exemplary in official responses from the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies here:
Related SF story
Related SF story
Many diocesan bishops have also provided official statements (not pretty) and we are doing our best at Stand Firm in Faith to keep up with them. You may find and read them at: http://www.standfirminfaith.com/, your one stop shop for Orthodox Anglican news.
So, faithful readers, we find ourselves in a countdown to September 30, 2007, and then till the next meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to deal with it. Please stay tuned. Till then I am,