Contact: Jenny Noyes
Phone: 412-325-8900 x108 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2006, 12:20 p.m.
Bishops’ Meeting in New York Fails to Reach Mutually-Satisfactory Solution
Pittsburgh, PA –Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, thanked the people of the Network for their prayers and support during the just-completed meeting of Episcopal Bishops in New York. The meeting, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, has not led to a mutually agreeable way forward.
“It was an honest meeting. It became clear that the division in the American church is so great that we are incapable of addressing the divide which has two distinctly different groups both claiming to be the Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Duncan, “Our request for Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO) still stands. We wait on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to answer our request,” he added. Among the many items discussed in New York was the fact that even if fulfilled, the APO request only deals with the situation of those in Network dioceses. While that situation is important, a far more desperate situation exists for congregations in non-Network dioceses. Bishop Duncan made it clear that as moderator of the Network, he will make every effort to see those needs fully and honestly addressed.
Bishop Duncan encouraged the people of the Network to continue focusing on the local mission of their churches in the days ahead. “In season and out of season, we have the Good News of Jesus Christ’s love to share with all the world. As I said after General Convention this summer, pray, but don’t worry.”
Below is the full statement released from the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS):
New York Bishops Meeting: A Statement
Issued 13 September 2006, 3 p.m. GMT
A group of bishops met in New York on 11-13 September at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop to review the current landscape of the church in view of conflicts within the Episcopal Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury had received a request from seven dioceses for alternative primatial pastoral care and asked that American bishops address the question. The co-conveners of the meeting were Bishops Peter James Lee of Virginia and John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida. Other participating bishops were Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishops Jack Iker of Fort Worth, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, James Stanton of Dallas, Edward Salmon of South Carolina, Mark Sisk of New York, Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina, and Robert O’Neill of Colorado. Also participating was Canon Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.
We had honest and frank conversations that confronted the depth of the conflicts that we face. We recognized the need to provide sufficient space, but were unable to come to common agreement on the way forward. We could not come to consensus on a common plan to move forward to meet the needs of the dioceses that issued the appeal for Alternate Primatial Oversight. The level of openness and charity in this conference allow us to pledge to hold one another in prayer and to work together until we have reached the solution God holds out for us.
The Anglican Communion Network is a biblical, missionary and uniting movement of North American Anglicans in fellowship with the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion Network is comprised of over 900 parishes, over 2,200 clergy serving more than 200,000 constituents. Since General Convention, there has been a considerable increase in parish and clergy applications to affiliate with the Network. The Anglican Communion Network operates under the legal name of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.