Primates’ meeting opens in Canterbury

Oct 3, 2017 by

by George Conger, Anglican Ink:

A five-day meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion kicked off this morning, amidst a flurry of press speculation of what might and might not arise from the closed door meeting at Canterbury Cathedral.

Sixteen of the 39 primates and moderators of the Anglican Communion have been elected to their posts since the 2016 gathering in Canterbury. Three primates who attended the last meeting, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, Archbishop of Stanley Ntagali of Uganda, and Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje of Rwanda, stated they were boycotting the meeting in response to the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to honor the promises he made at the last meeting. Three other primates are unable to attend. A final count of who is present is expected sometime this week.

The first Monday morning session of the meeting has been charged with setting the agenda for the week. Issues such as Human Trafficking, Global Warming, Migration and other secular issues have been put forward by individual primates before the meeting.

Conservatives in the Global South and GAFCON groups are expected to raise the issue of the change in marriage canons by the Scottish Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada to permit same-sex marriages. They are also expected to voice concern over the failure of Archbishop Justin Welby to honor the pledge he made to the primates in 2016 over the Episcopal Church.

At the 2016 meeting, Archbishop Welby said he would form a task force to monitor the Episcopal Church in light of the decision of the 2015 meeting of General Convention to permit same-sex weddings. Representatives from the Episcopal Church would also be forbidden to serve on ecumenical dialogue committees and to make decisions affecting doctrine and discipline on pan-Anglican bodies.

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