Anglican Agenda Laid Out for Upcoming Meeting

The Church of England newspaper released the agenda for the global Anglican meeting that may determine the continued unity or break of the Communion.

According to the released report, the 2007 Primates meeting will devote four hours to discussing the Episcopal Church and its response to the Windsor Report – the 2004 compiled report that called for a moratorium on the consecration of homosexual candidates and for repentance by the parties who attended the ordination of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003.

Among the three sessions devoted to the Episcopal Church, U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is reportedly scheduled for two of the sessions to respond to criticisms against the U.S. body for not honoring the recommendations of the Windsor Report.

Throughout the six-day meeting, Feb. 14-19, bishops representing the 38 Anglican provinces are scheduled to partake in a daily Eucharist. The Eucharist services are optional, according to the report, as they cater to some of the members of the Global South coalition who stated in a September 2006 communiqué that they would not break bread with Jefferts Schori, who supports the consecration of homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The document had stated, "Some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate at the table with us. Others will be in impaired communion with her as a representative of The Episcopal Church."

The Global South leaders proposed for another bishop representing the Episcopal Church to attend the Primates meeting. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams invited three other U.S. bishops to hear their voices.

The invited bishops are Christopher Epting, the presiding bishop's deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations and the former bishop of Iowa; Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, moderator of the conservative Anglican Communion Network; and Bruce McPherson of Western Louisiana, president of the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice. The three bishops are said to represent the different theological stances of the Episcopal Church. They are scheduled to make presentations at an extra-curricular session during a recess of the Primates meeting.

One session, the Church of England newspaper noted, has been set for a time of "listening" to the experience of homosexual persons – a process that was envisioned by the 1998 Lambeth Conference where all Anglican bishops had agreed that homosexual practice is incompatible to Scripture while calling the church to minister to homosexuals. The "Listening Process" will also serve to assure homosexual persons that they are loved by God and are full members of the Body of Christ.

Archbishop Peter Akinola of the Church of Nigeria said earlier that the issue of homosexuality must be resolved before the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Otherwise, the church will walk separate ways and hold its own Lambeth 2008.