Co-Chair of Anglican-Catholic Commission to Step Down

In lieu of the escalating tensions between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion initiated by the ordination of an openly gay bishop in the Boston Diocese, the presiding bishop of the American branch of the Anglican Church - Episcopal Church (USA), stepped down as the Anglican Co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.

The following is the complete letter sent by the ECUSA Bishop Frank Griswold to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

My dear Rowan,

Given recent events in the life of the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the strain they have caused in the relationship between the Holy See and the Anglican Communion, I wish to submit my resignation as Anglican Co-chair, and member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission. I do so not without regret, but in the interest of not jeopardizing the present and future life and work of the Commission of which I was privileged to be a member.

With continuing prayer for the full and visible communion of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, for the sake of our broken and divided world, I am,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

The Most Revd Frank T. Griswold

The following is the full letter of acknowledgement sent by Rowan Williams to Frank Griswold.

Dear Frank,

This is to confirm formally that I have received the notice of your resignation from ARCIC. As you will know, I am very sorry that this has seemed the best course, but I cannot let the moment pass without paying tribute to your outstanding labour and commitment in this context over many years. Thank you for all you have done for this crucial dialogue.

With every blessing,

Archbishop Rowan Williams

The ARCIC opened in 1970 following the historic meeting between the Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI in Rome in 1966. It has produced agreed statements on many of the questions that have divided the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, particularly in the areas of Eucharist, Ministry and Authority. Bishop Griswold has been the Anglican Co-chair since 1998. The Roman Catholic co-chair is Archbishop Alex Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle. A new Anglican co-chair will be appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, after consultation with the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council.