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Primates depleted as Dublin summit kicks off

by Ed Beavan

For the latest news from the Primates' Meeting see Ed Beavan's updated reports.

MORE than one third of the provinces of the Anglican Com­munion are not represented at the Primates’ Meeting in Dublin, it was confirmed on Wednesday, as the summit got under way.

An official list showed that 22 of the possible 38 Primates arrived in Dublin; 15 were absent. In addition, the Province of Central Africa, where there is currently a vacancy, is being represented by its Dean; and the Archbishop of York is also attending, to allow the Archbishop of Can­terbury to preside at the meeting.

As expected, a significant number of Global South Primates have boycotted the summit, although the Anglican Communion News Service said that just seven had stayed away because of “recent developments in the Episcopal Church”, namely its policy of ordaining gay bishops and allowing same-sex blessings.

These are the Primates of the Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Nigeria, Uganda, South East Asia, the Southern Cone, and West Africa.

Of the eight other absent Primates, the Primate of Congo was unable to attend because of visa difficulties, while the Primates of Mexico and Myanmar could not attend owing to health reasons. The Primates of Kenya and North India were absent because of “diary commitments”; while the Primate of Tanzania was not attending for “personal reasons”.

The last two absentees cited “provincial matters”: the Primate of Sudan because of the recent ref­erendum in his country, and the Primate of Rwanda, who was in­stalled only on Sunday.

Among the Primates in attend­ance, the Primate of Brazil, the Most Revd Mauricio Andrade, said that he was looking forward to a positive meeting, and that it was important that “dialogue continues between the different parts of the Anglican Communion”.

The secretary-general of the Angl­ican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon, said that it was “regrettable when a Primate is unable attend, because it means that that particular perspective is not rep­resented, but it is ultimately the decision of each individual Primate in consultation with their province”.

Last Friday, a statement from Global South Anglican Online said that “it would be extremely difficult — and, in fact, quite pointless” to be present without a commitment to honour decisions from previous Primates’ Meetings.

For the latest news from the Primates' Meeting see Ed Beavan's reports here.

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