Commission Calls for Ceasefire

Article excerpt

The Archbishop of Canterbury's commission on communion has called for a ceasefire among Anglicans at odds over the issue of same-sex blessings in Canada and the ordination of a gay bishop in the United States, saying it is finding ways of "maintaining the highest degree of communion possible" among members of the Anglican Communion.

"The commission requests all members of the Anglican Communion to refrain from any precipitate action, or legal proceedings, which would further harm 'the bonds of communion' in the period whilst it completes its work," the commission said in a communique released after it met for the first time from Feb. 9 to 13. The group, dubbed the Lambeth Commission, was formed last October by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to report on the "nature, extent and consequences of impaired communion," in the Anglican Communion.

(Based in England, the Anglican Communion is a federation of 38 national or regional churches.)

The 17-member commission said it was "saddened that tensions within the communion, exacerbated by the use of strident language" have escalated in recent months. "In addition, there has been the declaration from significant numbers of Anglican provinces of impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church (USA) and the diocese of New Westminster (Canada)."

Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, the only Canadian member of the commission, said the call for a cessation of hostilities was meant for everyone in the communion. …