A network of conservative U.S. Anglicans has praised a recent statement from Anglican leaders in the Global South that urged The Episcopal Church to repent and change to restore true communion to the worldwide Anglican churches.
The statement from the Global South Steering Committee is "a clear warning to both Presiding Bishop Schori and Archbishop Williams," said the Rev Canon David C. Anderson, president and CEO of the American Anglican Council.
"The Global South and their 40 million congregants refuse to sit by and watch The Episcopal Church (TEC) defy Communion agreements and legally persecute those U.S. parishes that wish to remain faithful to the Gospel and church teaching," Anderson added, in a statement last Friday.
The Anglican leaders from the Global South, called primates, last week urged TEC to reconsider its rejection of February's Dar Es Salaam Communiqué, which requested the U.S. arm of Anglicanism to recommit to the Windsor Report, and called for TEC's "heartfelt repentance and genuine change" in order to restore true communion.
The 77 million-member Anglican Communion is on the brink of schism over recent actions of The Episcopal Church in the United States. In 2003, The Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay bishop and last November installed Katharine Jefferts Schori, who supports ordaining openly gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions, as its head bishop. Jefferts Schori has also indicated that Jesus Christ is one of many ways to salvation.
The Global South statement also called the Anglican Church of Canada to task for their declaration that "same-sex blessing is not core doctrine" and their defiance of Windsor Report recommendations.
Although Anglican delegates of the Church of Canada rejected the blessing of same-sex unions at the national meeting of the General Synod – the Anglican Church of Canada's highest governing body – some 300 delegates the day before agreed that same-sex blessings do not conflict with the "core doctrines" of the church.
In its statement, the Global South Steering Committee made clear its intention to continue extending pastoral care to U.S.-based churches and to make similar provisions for biblically faithful churches in Canada.
The statement also indicated the Global South's resolve to not attend next year's decennial Lambeth conference unless the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, reconsiders his invitations for the worldwide gathering and allows for discipline in the communion and true reconciliation.
Anderson said the statement "is the best news and the clearest word we have received in a very long while."
The Global South Steering Committee also reiterated the primates' request for TEC to immediately suspend litigation against "congregations and individuals which wish to remain Anglican but are unable to do so within TEC."
It also alluded to a future where orthodox Anglican churches in the United States have their own ecclesiastical structure separate from The Episcopal Church.
"This is more than a message of hope for weary Christians; this is a call to action from the Global South Primates. Our plan at the AAC is to act alongside the Global South and fellow orthodox Anglican Christians," Anderson said.
Anglican leaders have set a Sept. 30 deadline for The Episcopal Church to make an unequivocal pledge not to consecrate another openly gay bishop or bless same-sex unions. Episcopal leaders in the United States, however, have indicated no intention of moving "backward" on their 2003 decision.
Christian Post reporter Eric Young in Washington contributed to this report.