AN OPEN LETTER TO THE DIOCESE OF OTTAWA
At their recent meeting in Tanzania the Primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Church of Canada, (ACC), and the Episcopal Church in the United States, (TEC), issued and signed a Communiqué that seeks to address the current crisis faced by our Communion. In their Communiqué the Primates affirm that:
1. The Biblical and traditional Christian teaching on human sexuality is faithfulness in heterosexual marriage and abstinence in singleness. The Primates uphold this as the standard Anglican teaching, definitively expressed in the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10.
2. The unity of the Anglican Communion has been threatened by the actions of TEC and the ACC in challenging the Anglican standard of teaching on human sexuality.
3. There is no “moral equivalence” between those Primates who have intervened in TEC to offer protection to Episcopalians upholding Biblical and Communion teaching, and the actions of TEC in departing from that teaching. The Primates deem the latter to be a more serious threat to the Communion than the former.
4. In order to avoid further walking apart from the Communion, TEC, (and by extension ACC), must follow through on the recommendations of the Windsor Report, including a moratorium on all same-sex blessings and the Episcopal Consecration of those living in same-sex relationships, as well as an affirmation of 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10. The Primates have given the House of Bishops of TEC until September 30, 2007 to respond.
5. The Primates have also requested that all lawsuits in TEC involving property be suspended, and that congregations alienated from their diocese or national church be allowed full access to their buildings. The Primates are committed to ensuring adequate pastoral oversight for those who uphold Communion teaching within a diocese or national church that does not.
In response to the serious nature of the Communiqué we call upon the Diocese of Ottawa as a body, and its members individually, bishop, clergy, and laity to:
1. Carefully consider our attitudes and actions and take whatever steps necessary, including repentance, to conform our lives and teaching to the standards outlined in the Communiqué.
2. Pray for healing of relationships so as to restore the bonds of affection.
3. Read Communiqué in full. You can do so at http://www.anglicancommunion.org
We make this urgent appeal as concerned clergy of the diocese and for the sake of the unity of the church, the cause of the Gospel, and the greater glory of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
The Very Rev’d Roger Briggs
The Rev’d Andrea Christensen
The Rev’d Pat Coulombe
The Rev’d David Crawley
The Rev’d Archie Hunter
The Rev’d Frank Kirby
The Rev’d Alex Lewanowicz
The Ven. Tim Parent
The Rev’d Stephen Silverthorne
The Rev’d George Sinclair
The Rev’d Desiree Stedman
The Rev’d Neil Stephens
The Rev’d Donald Tudin
The Rev’d Scott Whitfield
The Rev’d Margo Whittaker
The Rev’d Jennifer Wickham
Diocese of Ottawa
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