Primates meeting drawing to a close

The Primates of the Anglican Communion have thus far refrained from committing news at their meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, and that is all to the good. But there is still one day to go.

As we’ve noted, yesterday’s news conference focused primarily on the situation in Sudan. Audio is available online from the Anglican Communion office. Colin Coward and Brenda Harrison have done invaluable work on the Changing Attitude blog, which is also worth a look.

The report the Primates received on enhancing the Communion’s relief and development efforts is online. As Archbishop Philip Aspinall of Australia noted, it is “not a proposal to establish a new super agency.” The Primates also received a report on global warming that got very short shrift at the press conference.

There are two issues worth clearing up. Archbishop Daniel Deng of Sudan said under questioning at last summer’s Lambeth Conference that Bishop Gene Robinson should resign. He was asked at the press conference if he stood behind that call. He said he did. This was reported in the press. What was not reported in the press is that relationships between The Episcopal Church and the Church of Sudan have become more extensive since Lambeth. The Cafe first reported on that here. (And sent the item to a number of British journalists, none of whom have reported on it.)

For a report on the Diocese of Missouri’s recent trip to Sudan, led by our friend Lisa Fox, you can visit either of these blogs.

Additional information about the relationship between Sudanese and American churches and diocese is very easily found.

It is irresponsible of reporters to keep quoting Deng’s statements while turning a blind eye to his actions.

Secondly, there has been some concern that the Primates are proposing to add to increase the number of Primates included on the Anglican Consultative Council. Rather, what they are proposing is to increase the number of Primates on the Primates Standing Committee. This would, by definition, increase the number of Primates on the awkwardly named Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. But it would not add to the number of primates on the ACC. This may sound rather technical. It is rather technical. But it’s worth spelling out at a time when the authority of various “instruments of unity” is up for grabs.

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