Citing religious and secular challenges to the Christian faith, primates and representatives of the Global South have called on the committee choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury to pick a candidate that is committed to upholding the faith's Orthodoxy as they also expressed "great sadness" over an Episcopal Church decision to authorize a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions.
The comments came in a letter by primates who met between July 18-20 in Bangkok Thailand for a conference. A communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting alluded to a letter written to the Crown Nominations Commission with concerns from the Global South and principles for consideration as it nominates candidates for the appointment.
In the letter, posted online in full by Episcopal Café on Monday, primates restated the CNC's description of the Archbishop's role in the Communion: "the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion… primus inter pares among the bishops."
The primates said the Archbishop:
- Must be committed to uphold the Christian "faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3).
- 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.
The primates also addressed the Archbishop's responsibility "to work with ecumenical partners "for the unity of the 'one holy catholic and apostolic Church.' The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners."
Participants in the Bangkok conference also discussed trends in mission for the 21st century amidst the post-1989 global landscape and evaluated the effectiveness of Anglicans in missions. They also created task forces on:
-Theological Resourcing – Evangelism and Discipleship, Mission
-Emerging Servant Leaders