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Reluctant Primates to be offered a new sort of meeting

18 November 2010

by Ed Beavan

THERE has “never been any intention” to suspend next year’s Primates’ Meeting in Dublin, its secretary, Canon Kenneth Kearon, said this week.

Canon Kearon, who is secretary general of the Anglican Commun­ion Office, was responding to reports that said that the Arch­bishop of Canterbury had proposed suspend­ing the two-yearly meeting and replacing it instead with gather­ings of like-minded archbishops meeting in groups.

Canon Kearon said that talk of suspending the meeting was in­accurate, but confirmed that there is “a suggestion that this be a different kind of Primates’ Meeting, driven by the need for discernment and di­alogue around issues affecting the life of the Communion”.

He said: “The proposal is that it begins with a number of different conversations taking place simultan­eously at first. This is to provide a safe space where dialogue can begin and progress together in a spirit of discernment.”

Regarding the possibility of a boycott of the meeting, Canon Kearon said: “The majority of Primates have already indicated that they will be attending this import­ant Instrument of Communion to con­tinue to explore together the life and witness of the Anglican Com­munion today.”

Last week the Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, told the Primates’ meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) that the decision to attend [the Primates’ Meeting] rests solely on the individual Arch­bishop.

He said he had been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his capacity as CAPA chairman to be part of a preparatory committee for the Dublin meeting, and that Dr Williams was “anxious that a small group of Primates meet with him”.

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