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Southern Primates ‘expect consultation’ on Canterbury

03 August 2012

SEVENTEEN Primates from the global South said last week that they "expect to be consulted" about the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, who should "understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion".

The Primates, who met in Bangkok last week ( News, 27 July), wrote to the chairman of the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), Lord Luce, on 20 July. The letter was copied to the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, who was chosen to represent the Communion on the CNC by members of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

The CNC met on Thursday and Friday of last week, at an undisclosed location. Another meeting is scheduled to take place in September, and an announcement is expected in the autumn.

The signatories to the Primates' letter include the President-Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Revd Mouneer Anis, and the Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh. Archbishop Okoh, with the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala - another signatory - suggested earlier this year that the Archbishop of Canterbury should no longer chair the Primates' Meeting ( News, 27 April).

Nevertheless, the letter, which was published on the Episcopal Café website on Sunday, states that the next Archbishop of Canterbury "must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates' Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion".

It says that the successor to Dr Williams "should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion", and "be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. . .

"The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian 'faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints' (Jude 3)."

The next Archbishop of Canterbury should "work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion", and avoid "any further actions that may widen the gap" between Anglicans and "ecumenical partners", the letter says.


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