Abp Williams writes to Bp Howe

Centrists / General Convention

A letter written from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Bishop of Central Florida has been released to the public. You can find the text of the letter here.

There’s some real confusion about the implications of the letter. From what I’ve read on blogs and websites, and in some private conversation, I think the Living Church’s sense of how to read the Archbishop’s words in this context is most likely the correct one:

“In a letter dated Oct. 14 to Bishop John W. Howe of Central Florida, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he will await the views of all the primates before issuing any statement on The Episcopal Church’s status within the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Williams discouraged ‘separatist’ plans [emphasis added], urging all Windsor-supportive Anglicans ‘to regard the bishop and the diocese as the primary locus of ecclesial identity, rather than the abstract reality of the ‘national church’.’”

As a friend pointed out, if a diocese is (by virtue of being committed to the Windsor process) already in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, then what is to be gained by leaving the Episcopal Church in an attempt to maintain communion with the Archbishop?

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

1 Comment

  1. I’m afraid (but not convinced) that there is something to be gained. Traditionalists no longer want to be associated with The Episcopal Church. They feel soiled merely walking with us. This message says, no problem, pretend the national church does not exist, take down the Episcopal sign and the flag, don’t support the national church financially, don’t make any effort to be reconciled with or to listen to others in the church with whom you disagree. Break the canons of the church. Do all that and there still will be no consequences to your Anglicanism. If you affiliate with a foreign province there will be displeasure, but no consequences.
    I hold out hope that the ABC means there will be consequences if you do those things but The Episcopal Church is regarded as Windsor Compliant.
    I do note that the ABC says he’s saying nothing new as regards WC dioceses: “without forestalling what the Primates might say, I would repeat what I’ve said several times before – that any Diocese compliant with Windsor remains clearly in communion with Canterbury and the mainstream of the Communion, whatever may be the longer-term result for others in The Episcopal Church.”

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