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Editor: The Rev. Diane Shepard



A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice

Although there were earlier hints, the passage of resolution I.10 at the 1998 Lambeth Conference signaled that future conflict over human sexuality among the Anglican Communion provinces was inevitable. The authorization of a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions in the Anglican Church of Canada’s New Westminster diocese and the vote to consecrate Gene Robinson Bishop of New Hampshire sparked a conflict that threatens the very existence of the Anglican Communion as we have known it.

The resources listed below all relate to the ongoing conflict between The Episcopal Church and certain elements of the Anglican Communion.

Note: Recently added items are marked “New.” Use “Next” and “Previous” links to move easily between entries. To view a document, click on “View.”

TITLE Unity and Diversity in the Lambeth Conference
AUTHOR The Rev. Christopher L. Webber
DATE 2/16/2008
ADDED 2/16/2008
TYPE Essay
DESCRIPTION A brief history of the Lambeth Conference, describing all conferences to date.
COMMENT A version of this essay first appeared as a four-part series of posts on The Episcopal Majority Web site. The version presented here has been reformatted and corrected, but pictures from the original posts have been omitted. This is hardly a definitive history of the Lambeth Conference, but it is a quite useful introduction. It emphasizes how attitudes toward the conference have changed over the years. It also points out that the bishops have taken very different positions on particular topics at different conferences.
TITLE The death of liberal Anglicanism?
AUTHOR Lynda Patterson
DATE Winter 2007
ADDED 9/18/2007
TYPE Magazine article
DESCRIPTION Patterson, writing in a New Zealand publication, argues that the center of Anglicanism is being squeezed out, and she suggests what liberals should do about it.
COMMENT Current church controversies are most often portrayed as a battle between conservatives and liberals. This model ignores the fact that the “conservatives” are both Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics, who share only some of the same views and have usually been considered opponents of one another. Patterson offers a more useful model, suggesting that the traditional Anglican via media represents a liberal middle, the preservation of which requires immediate action on the part of liberals. Anglicanism in the abstract is being analyzed here, but, because the analysis applies specifically to The Episcopal Church, even thought that is not the author’s primary concern, we have placed this entry in the “Episcopal Church” category as well.
TITLE Anglican schism? Archbishop Rowan Williams strives to preserve the communion
AUTHOR John Wilkins
DATE 9/14/2007 (cover date)
ADDED 9/14/2007
TYPE Magazine article
DESCRIPTION A profile of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William, this is the 9/14/2007 cover story in National Catholic Reporter. The original version on the Web can be found here.
COMMENT On the eve of the Archbishop’s meeting with The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, National Catholic Reporter has published this portrait of Rowan Williams from a Roman Catholic perspective. Wilkins paints Williams as a spiritual, thoughtful, scholarly, non-politician committed to unity in the Anglican Communion and the wider Christian Church.
TITLE Windsor is the Middle Way
AUTHOR The Rev. S. Greg Jones
DATE 8/31/2007
ADDED 9/1/2007
TYPE Blog post
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Plea for The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to “bend over backwards to seize this moment, not to dictate terms, but to engage in the costly relationship mending and building with our brothers and sisters in Christ overseas.”
COMMENT Jones, on his blog, “The Anglican Centrist,” assumes that the “Separatists” are ultimately going to leave the Anglican Communion, and he urges The Episcopal Church to stay engaged in the reconciliation process. He does not offer advice to the bishops as to what, exactly, they should say at their September 2007 meeting.


TITLE Rewriting History: Scapegoating the Episcopal Church
AUTHOR Savitri Hensman
DATE 7/16/2007 (approx.; the document is undated)
ADDED 8/23/2007
TYPE Essay
DESCRIPTION (From the introduction) In this essay, she [the author] laments recent developments in Anglicanism, where she says: ‘Genuine interdependence, respect and a common understanding across theological and cultural divides are under attack not from “liberal” America but from a new “tidy minded ferocity” within the “conservative” and puritan wing of this family of churches.’ She urges that ‘what is of value to the church and world in the Anglican heritage should not be lightly discarded.’
COMMENT This 82-page document offers a perspective from outside The Episcopal Church. (The author is originally from Sri Lanka.) The essay is extensively documented.
TITLE Bishops’ ‘Mind of the House’ resolutions
AUTHOR Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops
DATE 3/20/2007
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE House of Bishops resolutions (embedded here in news story)
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Three resolutions address to the Executive Council, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primates’ Standing Committee, and to The Episcopal Church
COMMENT The House of Bishops recommended to the Executive Council that it reject the Pastoral Scheme proposed in Dar es Salaam by the primates as being contrary to the polity of the church. The bishops urged the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates’ Standing Committee to meet with the House of Bishops. (It was later arranged that such a meeting would happen at the regularly scheduled House of Bishops meeting in September 2007.) The bishops also explained their actions to the church.


TITLE The Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam
AUTHOR Anglican Primates
DATE 2/19/2007
ADDED 8/25/2007
TYPE Communiqué
DESCRIPTION Statement from Primates’ Meeting
COMMENT A major item on the agenda of this meeting in Tanzania was the response of General Convention to the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Meeting of February 2005. Although a committee reported suggested that The Episcopal Church had done a conscientious job of responding to Communion concerns, the final communiqué was draconian.
TITLE Report of the Communion Sub-Group
AUTHOR Sub-group of the Anglican Communion Joint Standing Committee of the Primates meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council
DATE 2/15/2007
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Report
DESCRIPTION Report evaluating the adequacy of the response of General Convention 2006 to requests by the primates. (The group that prepared the report met in September 2006. It is not clear exactly when the final report was prepared.) Included in the report are the relevant resolutions passed by General Convention.
COMMENT This reported was presented to the primates at their meeting in Dar es Salaam. It admits that The Episcopal Church “took the Windsor Report and the recommendations adopted by the Primates extremely seriously.” Moreover, it declares that “[t]he response of the 75th General Convention to the Windsor Report as a whole in its resolutions was positive,”  while admitting that General Convention could have been clearer regarding same-sex blessings. Although it seemed, for a time, that the moderate tone of the report would be translated into similarly moderate language in the communiqué released at the end of the meeting, heated, eleventh-hour discussions resulted in a much more radical statement from the meeting (see above).
TITLE Saving Anglicanism: An Historical Perspective on Decisions Facing the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church
AUTHOR Lionel Deimel
DATE May 31, 2006
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Essay
DESCRIPTION A review of the condition of the Anglican Communion and a plea that General Convention 2006 make “a more principled,
straightforward, and courageous response” to the requests by the primates than was recommended by the Special Commission on The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
COMMENT The author argues that it is not the Anglican Communion that we must save, but Anglicanism. He asserts that the Communion is headed in the wrong direction and that the Windsor Report does not represent the only way forward.
TITLE One Baptism, One Hope in God’s Call
AUTHOR Special Commission on The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion
DATE 4/7/2006
ADDED 8/25/2007
TYPE Report
DESCRIPTION Episcopal Church report recommending a response to the Windsor Report and Primates to be adopted at General Convention 2006
COMMENT The Special Commission recommended a set of resolutions for adoption by General Convention. The resolutions actually passed were greatly influenced by this report—it formed the basis of discussion by the legislative committee—but they were certainly different. The final outcome was influenced by many factors, including insufficient time to fully consider what General Convention should have done.


TITLE To Set Our Hope on Christ
AUTHOR The Episcopal Church
DATE 6/2005 (see ENS story of 6/21/2005 here)
ADDED 8/24/2007
DESCRIPTION Paragraph 135 of the Windsor report made this request of The Episcopal Church: “We particularly request a contribution from the Episcopal Church (USA) which explains, from within the sources of authority that we as Anglicans have received in scripture, the apostolic tradition and reasoned reflection, how a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ.” This book is the church’s response to that request.
COMMENT Whether or not one agrees with the decision to consecrate Gene Robinson, the church here succeeds in making clear that its decision was not made lightly or offhandedly.
TITLE The Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting at Dromantine
AUTHOR Anglican Primates
DATE 2/24/2005
ADDED 8/25/2007
TYPE Communiqué
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Statement from Primates’ Meeting at Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, in Newry, Northern Ireland
COMMENT The primates received and discussed the Windsor Report at this meeting. In the communiqué, they endorsed the report, with some reservations. Notably, the primates requested that The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada absent themselves from meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council until the Lambeth Conference of 2008.
TITLE Presentation of the Windsor Report 2004
AUTHOR Archbishop  Robin Eames
DATE 2/2005
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Presentation
DESCRIPTION Presentation of the Windsor Report prepared for the meeting of the Anglican primates
COMMENT This can be considered something of an executive summary of the Windsor Report
TITLE The Windsor Report
AUTHOR Lambeth Commission on Communion
DATE 10/2004
ADDED 8/25/2007
TYPE Report
DESCRIPTION Report requested by the primates in their special meeting in October 2003
COMMENT This report, written by a commission chaired by Archbishop  Robin Eames, pointedly avoided discussion of human sexuality issues, concentrating instead on how the “highest degree of communion” could be maintained “both within and
between the churches of the Anglican Communion.” The report has widely been viewed as outlining the “best way forward” for the Communion, but no one outside the Commission seems seriously to have considered alternatives.
TITLE A Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Lambeth Palace
AUTHOR Anglican Primates
DATE 10/16/2003
ADDED 8/25/2007
TYPE Communiqué
DESCRIPTION Statement from Anglican primates at emergency meeting called by the Archbishop of Canterbury after General Convention 2003
COMMENT The primates responded both to the actions of General Convention and to developments in the Diocese of New Westminster. The primates warned against consecration of Gene Robinson and called for the writing of what would become the Windsor Report. (The consecration of Gene Robinson proceeded.)
TITLE Consider Blessing Committed, Same-Gender Relationships (Resolution 2003-C051)
AUTHOR General Convention 2003
DATE 8/7/2003
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Resolution of General Convention
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Resolution declaring that “local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions.”
COMMENT Although the originally proposed resolution would have authorized a liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions to be included in the Book of Occasional Services, the resolution passed only allowed “exploration” of the use of such liturgies.
TITLE Pastoral Letter from the Primates of the Anglican Communion
AUTHOR Anglican primates
DATE 5/27/2003
ADDED 8/25/2007
TYPE Pastoral letter
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Statement from Anglican primates meeting in Gramato, Brazil
COMMENT This statement was issued before General Convention 2003 and shortly before the election of Gene Robinson in the Diocese of New Hampshire. This statement is sometimes construed as having delivered a “warning” to General Convention. What the primates actually said was this: “Therefore, we as a body cannot support the authorisation of such [public] rites [for the blessing of same sex unions].” General Convention subsequently passed a resolution tolerating, but not authorizing, rites for blessing same-sex unions.
TITLE Resolution I.10: Human Sexuality
AUTHOR 1998 Lambeth Conference
DATE 7/18/1998 – 8/9/1998
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Resolution
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Lambeth Conference resolution on human sexuality
COMMENT This resolution was the product of acrimonious debate. The expectation was that the resolution on human sexuality would be rather moderate, but American conservatives and representatives of the Global South managed to pass this resolution describing “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.” Although Lambeth resolutions have never before been considered definitive statements of the Anglican Communion, conservatives regularly declare this resolution as the official “teaching” of the communion. The commitment “to listen to the experience of homosexual persons” has, in many provinces, not been kept.
TITLE The Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality
AUTHOR 2nd Anglican Encounter in the South
DATE 2/10/1997 – 2/15/1997
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Communiqué
FORMAT Web page
DESCRIPTION Early statement from Global South on human sexuality
COMMENT This is an early statement from the Global South on sexuality. The attitude expressed in the statement would inform the discussion at the Lambeth Conference the next year.
TITLE The Virginia Report
AUTHOR Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission
DATE 1997
ADDED 8/26/2007
TYPE Report
DESCRIPTION Report commissioned by the 1988 Lambeth Conference to consider the “meaning and nature of communion”
COMMENT Like its more famous descendant, the Windsor Report, this report is a study of communion. In this case, it was the advent of women’s ordination that led to the call for a report. We see here (and earlier in the 1988 Lambeth Conference itself) suggestions that the Communion might benefit from more centralized authority.

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