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Respect each other’s contexts, Bishop Poggo advises differing Anglicans

29 June 2023


Bishop Poggo addresses the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada

Bishop Poggo addresses the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada

ANGLICANS should “consider” their “contexts” when they disagree, the Communion’s secretary-general, the Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, has said.

Speaking on Wednesday at the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Poggo referred to disagreements within the Communion, which have led to calls for it to be restructured (News, 20 February).

“Some would like us to maintain the status quo, while others would like changes to be made outside of the existing structures. My view is that doing nothing is not an option. However, any changes to the current instruments, to our structures, should only be undertaken through and within the existing structures of the Anglican Communion, not by any other avenues,” he said.

He laid out steps that are being taken to review the structure of the Communion, including the possibility of change to the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury as one of the Instruments of Communion.

In February, the Archbishop indicated that he would welcome a review of that aspect of his office (News, 17 February), and Bishop Poggo confirmed that this remained the case.

He urged Anglicans to “acknowledge and respect the different contexts of the Anglican Communion”, and said: “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.”

Bishop Poggo then addressed the theme of the Canadian Synod: “Let there be Greening”.

“We are all acutely aware of the climate crisis and how the integrity of creation is under threat. Despite all the horrifying news, there are many good and encouraging stories from around the Communion responding to the environmental crisis,” he said.

Initiatives including the Communion Forest (News, 3 August), and the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, which he signed this month on behalf of the Anglican Consultative Council (News, 6 June), were indicative of hope, he suggested.

Bishop Poggo also praised “inter-connectedness across continents, cultures and languages”, which he described as “the strength of our Anglican Communion”, and encouraged dioceses in Canada to explore the possibility of making links with their counterparts around the world.

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