Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Living Church: Primates' Official Opening Session Likely to Be Contentious

The Latest from the Rev'd George Conger reporting from Tanzania for the Living Church


The Archbishop of Canterbury has backed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s invitation to the primates’ meeting over the protests of the Global South primates, setting the scene for a clash of wills at the opening session Thursday in Tanzania.

“There is no question of her presence” at the meeting. She is “here by right,” said Canon James Rosenthal, director of communications for the Anglican Consultative Council, at a press briefing on Wednesday. This was “confirmed this morning” by Archbishop Rowan Williams, Canon Rosenthal said.

The Global South coalition of primates had lobbied Archbishop Williams to rescind the invitation to the Presiding Bishop in light of her doctrinal views and actions as Bishop of Nevada.

Writing on behalf of the Global South coalition to Archbishop Williams on Feb. 12, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria raised issues and questions of concern held by the coalition about The Episcopal Church and other issues surrounding the primates’ meeting. The text of the letter has not been released, but is understood to include a request that the status of Bishop Jefferts Schori and Archbishop of York John Sentamu be addressed at the start of the meeting.

Archbishop Williams dined at private breakfast with Archbishop Akinola and the Primate of South East Asia, Archbishop John Chew, on Wednesday to discuss the Global South letter. However, there had been no discussion of Bishop Jefferts Schori’s status at this point by the wider primates’ meeting, Canon Rosenthal said.

The full text is here.


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