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 Issues | Communion Divisions | Letter to Primates

Letter to the Anglican Primates

from Church Society - July 2006


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:

  1. 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.
  2. The agreement within individual provinces that the orders of those now ordained within ECUSA will no longer be recognised.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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


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