Where Ecusa stands with the rest of the Communion following Bishop Gene Robinson’s consecration

By the middle of January 2004, nine Provinces of the Anglican Communion had issued formal statements declaring some kind of “impaired communion” with the Episcopal Church over the actions of General Convention and the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson. These are: Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southeast Asia, Southern Cone of the Americas, Tanzania, Uganda and West Indies.

The archbishop of Central Africa also spoke of impaired communion, but the province itself had issued no statement. Burundi’s bishops issued a statement of disapproval of the consecration of Bishop Robinson. Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, on behalf of an unnamed group of Anglican Primates of the Global South,” declared themselves to be in a state of “impaired communion.” In addition, several dioceses in other provinces have issued similar statements, such as the diocese of Recife in Brazil and the diocese of Botswana in Central Africa.

A common element of these statements has been the differentiation between those bishops and dioceses who approved or participated in the consecration of Bishop Robinson and those who did not. Impaired communion has therefore been declared with a part, not the whole, of the Episcopal Church.

Very little of practical significance has happened as a result of these declarations. No missionary has been asked to leave. No requests for missionaries have been withdrawn. No grants have been declined by the provinces that currently receive grants (Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, West Indies, and the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa). No United Thank Offering grants for 2003 have been declined. No Episcopal Relief and Development grants since General Convention have been declined. To date, only one Companion Diocese, Recife in Brazil, has formally and publicly broken its companion relationship, with the diocese of Central Pennsylvania.

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