Photo Credit: Anglican Church of Canada
Anglicans should use moderate language and not be judgmental as they discuss areas of disagreement. That was the message from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, today (Wednesday) in a speech to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
“As we move forward as a Communion, let us also consider our contexts”, he said. “Let us acknowledge and respect the different contexts of the Anglican Communion. On the issues that we disagree on, it is important that we moderate our language and not be judgemental in our response. Such respect needs to be extended to those who we do not agree with within our own provinces, dioceses or regions.”
He made the comments after summarising various initiatives underway to reshape the Instruments of Communion – the four uniting bodies of the Anglican Communion: the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Anglican Communion is a family of 42 autonomous and independent-yet-interdependent regional, national and pan-national churches active in more than 165 countries around the globe.
Bishop Anthony said: “The Anglican Church in Canada and its members, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, is one of the 42 autonomous yet interdependent provinces in the Anglican Communion and is a very valued member. We are a Communion that spans over 165 countries with an estimated membership of 86 million people, consisting of different languages, cultures, contexts, challenges, and expectations.
“Of course, we also remember the last Anglican Congress, which met in Toronto in 1963. At that meeting, the whole Anglican Communion committed itself to ‘mutual responsibility and interdependence.’ That high standard is a calling from God that we all should cherish and seek to cultivate: a deep common concern for one another, and concern for our unity of faith and life.”
The Synod agenda includes a draft resolution calling for peace in Sudan, where an armed conflict between rival factions that broke out in April has resulted in an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 deaths, two million internally displaced people, and 600,000 people who have sought sanctuary in other countries.
“While it is not my role to influence your debate and voting, I do want to indeed highlight the draft resolution calling for peace in Sudan”, Bishop Anthony said. “As I have said, each of the 42 provinces of the Anglican Communion are independent and autonomous, but they are also interdependent. This draft resolution is an example of one province offering support and, solidarity with another.
“Archbishop Linda, I know you know Archbishop Ezekiel [Kondo, Bishop of Khartoum and Archbishop of Sudan]. You meet at Primates’ Meetings. Your ACC members know the Episcopal Church of Sudan’s ACC members. They meet at plenary sessions.
“It is this – the inter-connectedness across continents, cultures and languages – which is the strength of our Anglican Communion.
“In my recent communication with Archbishop Ezekiel, he asked for prayers for peace in Sudan. And I do hope that this Synod will do exactly that.”
- Read Bishop Anthony's full speech here.