Magazine article Anglican Journal

Hutchison Brings Canadian Response to Windsor Report to Global Primates

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Hutchison Brings Canadian Response to Windsor Report to Global Primates

Article excerpt

Archbishop Andrew Hutchison has expressed hope that the primates' meeting, which he was scheduled to attend in Belfast Feb. 20-26, would have a "moderating influence" on the current debate over the issue of homosexuality, which has deeply divided the Anglican Communion.

(The Journal went to press before the primates' meeting. For breaking news during the gathering, visit the newspaper's Web site,

"When talking across thousands of miles electronically and by e-mail and so on, the quality of that exchange is quite different from when we're sitting face-to-face as human beings," he said in an interview prior to his departure.

He also said he hoped that other primates "will have consulted their churches" about the Windsor Report released last October by the Lambeth Commission, which was formed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to seek ways of finding "the highest communion" possible amid deep disagreements over the blessing of same-sex unions in the diocese of New Westminster, and the ordination of gay bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Primates from 38 self-governing provinces in 164 countries are expected to discuss the Windsor Report in their meeting.

"My hope and prayer is that most of the primates will have done that (conducted consultations) and don't simply come and say, 'here's where we stand' without having consulted anyone," he said. "The primacy operates quite differently in some countries. There are some primates who have enormous personal authority, jurisdiction and power in a way that we don't. We're very consultative. When I speak it has to be the voice of the church."

Shortly after the publication of the Windsor Report, the primate invited Canadian Anglicans to respond to the report through a group composed of clergy, lay leaders and staff from the national office. The response group was scheduled to brief the primate about the submissions a week before his departure to Belfast. "There's an enormous range of opinion and I wouldn't risk a guess yet on what the church is going to come up with," said Archbishop Hutchison.

However, Archbishop Hutchison said, he would likely express his concern over a proposal in the Windsor Report for a covenant among members of the Anglican Communion "saying that they wouldn't effect any significant changes without having consulted formally or informally the instruments of unity and so on."

He said that Canadian Anglicans have "varying views" on this issue. …

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