Dear Archbishop ….
In the wake of the recent ECUSA
General Convention we hope and
pray that appropriate action will now be taken to safeguard the
future witness of the Anglican Communion.
It should be clear to all that ECUSA and others have stepped
well beyond the boundaries of orthodox, apostolic Christianity.
We believe that postponing action any longer can only damage
the Communion and the witness of Anglican churches worldwide.
Discipline is a “mark” of “the true Church” (Homily
28 on the Holy Spirit – part 2). Whilst in a local, or
provincial church there will be clear means of discipline, at
the international level discipline must be exercised carefully.
The primary means of discipline in this way is to formally break
fellowship with those in error. The purpose of this is to bring
the erring to their senses by showing that they have separated
from the truth, to safeguard the faithful from such error and
to show to the world that we do not agree with them.
In the light of this we ask you to bring about the following:
- The removal of ECUSA from the instruments of unity of the
Anglican Communion, in particular membership of the ACC and
invitations to the Primates Meetings and the Lambeth Conference.
The Archbishop of Canterbury should be strongly requested to
declare himself out of communion with ECUSA as a body.
- The agreement within individual provinces that the orders
of those now ordained within ECUSA will no longer be recognised.
- The breaking of fellowship, including sacramental fellowship,
at all levels with members of ECUSA, particularly its Bishops
unless they show clear evidence as standing against the errors
of their church. Such moves should not prevent discussion
by appropriate channels as with those of other religions
nor prevent humanitarian concern.
- The establishment of a mechanism to establish fellowship
with those in the United States who remain faithful to orthodox,
apostolic Christianity and thus reject such innovations as
the acceptance of same sex sexual activity. We suggest that
a Commissary be appointed by the orthodox Primates who will
work with the various bodies and individual churches in the
US so that they can establish some means by which they can
be welcomed formally into fellowship.
- We advise strongly that the Primates give consideration
as to how, as in the great creeds, statements can be crafted
and required to delineate truth from error on the matter
of sexual conduct.
- We strongly advise that the Primates also recognise the
innovation introduced within some provinces of admitting
women as Priests and Bishops is divisive and that the only
way to retain genuine unity is to call on all Anglicans to
submit to the Biblical teaching that Presbyters/Elders should
be male (1 Tim 3, Titus 1).
You may be assured of our prayers and support.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
David Phillips, General Secretary
on behalf of the Council of Church Society