Archbishop Robin Eames says American Church ‘never likely to face discipline’

The Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Robin Eames, has warned in an interview with the Church of England Newspaper that the Communion’s conservative provinces should not expect calls to be answered for the American Church to face discipline for its decision to consecrate the Anglican Communion’s first practising gay bishop or the diocese of New Westminster to be punished for authorising same-sex blessing rites.

Dr Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh and chair of the Lambeth Commission, urged the warring factions to avoid recriminations and look to the future. He said: “I would welcome decisions [at February’s Primates’ meeting] more if they’re directed to how we deal with the nature of Communion rather than reiterating ‘they did something wrong’ or ‘they didn’t express regret’. “I think we need to move on in terms of what have we learned from this – I’m a great believer in trying to learn the lessons of these things. I think we must move on.” “Expulsion was one of the things that confronted us,” Archbishop Eames said. “We didn’t fudge the issues, but I have to be a realist and recognise that maybe there won’t be expressions of regret.”

Archbishop Eames said that the meeting of Primates in February would mark the start of attempts to implement the Windsor Report, but conceded that the homosexuality crisis had changed the Anglican Church. “We’re going to have to take some decisions on some of the proposals on the Windsor Report. The Council of Advice, [for example], needs to be looked at. We’ll need to see if people have moved on in their thinking from the positions that they took up before the Windsor Report was published. “I’d have hoped that what the report has drawn attention to will provide a clearer roadmap as to how to deal with other differences that arise in the future. Those differences are going to come as the world develops and the Church develops and the Communion develops. There are going to be issues that will divide. “I don’t think the Anglican Communion will ever be quite the same again, but I can’t foresee what it’s going to be. I think there will be a sense in which people will still want to be Anglicans, the question of how they relate to one another remains to be seen. If people feel that they can’t be part of this process of reconciliation then we have to see what situation that creates for the rest. But I don’t know if there’ll ever be a time drawn for this.”

Statement from the Most Revd Robin Eames, the Primate of All Ireland and Chairman of the Lambeth Commission
[Church of Ireland Press Office]

“I have been dismayed that certain remarks of mine in a telephone interview with the Church of England Newspaper have been taken completely out of context to mean I believe the Windsor Report will not have much effect. Nothing could be further from my hopes and convictions for the Windsor Report which contains the unanimous recommendations of the Lambeth Commission after a year’s prayerful work. Those unanimous recommendations are already receiving widespread and thoughtful study and response. They will now go to the Primates Meeting in February with my full endorsement as Chairman of the Commission. Some of the recommendations relate to long-term adjustments to the way we do things as Anglicans and will need a process of
continued study and discussion. Other unanimous recommendations relate to immediate problems and need to be implemented by the Primates. I would again emphasise that the Lambeth Commission Report contains the unanimous recommendations of a widely representative body of Anglicans from around the world. The Report has my full support and endorsement as Chairman of the Lambeth Commission and represents my own personal views on the problems facing the Anglican Communion at this time.”

The Most Revd Robin Eames
Chairman of the Lambeth Commission on Communion

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