The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA), the Most Revd Frank Griswold, and the President of the House of Deputies, the Very Revd George Werner sent a letter sent on Thursday of last week to the Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand, the Rt Revd John Paterson, who chairs the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).
The letter told Bishop Petterson of the decision taken by the Executive Council of ECUSA to be present at the June ACC meeting in Nottingham in order to listen and contribute but “in the spirit of the Covenant Statement recently adopted by our House of Bishops”, they will not take any official part in the proceedings. This is because ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada were asked by the Primates who met in Northern Ireland in February to withdraw from the next ACC meeting.
The Executive Council, which met in Mundelein, Illinois, had been “heartened” by the request that “the American and Canadian Churches be given an opportunity at the Nottingham meeting to explain their positions on homosexuality”. It expected “major contributions”. ECUSA’s members would also be there “to listen to reports on the life and ministry we share across the Communion and to be available for conversation and consultation”.
US Bishops’ moratorium affects 7 dioceses
The US Bishops’ moratorium on confirming episcopal elections, decided as a response to the Primates‘ communiqué, affects the plans of seven dioceses, in addition to Southern Ohio where the election planned to take place on 11 June has been postponed, according to a report in The Living Church. The 15 October election of a suffragan bishop for West Texas has been postponed until 2006, and the diocese of Tennessee is “exploring its options”, as its Bishop, the Rt Revd Bertram Herlong, will reach the mandatory retirement age, 72, next year.
Other dioceses named as needing to change plans are South Carolina, Southwest Florida, El Camino Real, and Central Ecuador.
Canada’s Council of General Synod to take decision on 6 May
The Canadian Church’s Council of General Synod meets on 6 May in Mississauga, Ontario, when they will also decide whether to comply with the Primates’ request.