Magazine article Anglican Journal

ECUSA to Bow out of Meeting

Magazine article Anglican Journal

ECUSA to Bow out of Meeting

Article excerpt

The Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) has agreed to withdraw temporarily its members from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), but attend the international group's meeting in June in Nottingham, England as observers.

Meeting on April 13 in a special session near Chicago at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, ECUSA's Executive Council said in a statement that it suspended its membership on the ACC to "express our openness to the concerns and beliefs of others."

In February, the primates (national bishops) of the worldwide Anglican Communion, many of them expressing anger at the North American churches' more-liberal attitudes toward homosexuality, asked the U.S. and Canada to "voluntarily withdraw" their delegates from the ACC until the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The Executive Council, which has 38 members, said it "struggled to discern how best to respond" to the primates' request. The ACC, it noted, "is the primary instrument of communion in which the fullness of the body of Christ is represented." The ACC, which meets every three years, is the only international Anglican gathering with representation from bishops, clergy and laity. Only bishops attend the decennial Lambeth Conference.

The Executive Council also said it believes that "the only way to address the things that divide us is for 'Christians of good will ... to engage honestly and frankly with each other.'" Therefore, said the council, it was heartened to note that the primates asked for, and the ACC chair requested, that the American and Canadian churches be given an opportunity at the Nottingham meeting to explain their positions on homosexuality. …

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