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Secretary General rejects criticism over Walking Together resolution

Posted on: May 8, 2016 8:14 PM

[ACNS] The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has rejected criticism from six former members of the Anglican Consultative Council’s standing committee of statements made during and after ACC-16. The comments centre on Resolution 16.24 – “Walking Together” – which deals with how the ACC responded to the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting in January.

The critics issued their own statement which they said was to clarify their understanding of that response. In it they say that in receiving a report on the gathering by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the ACC “neither endorsed nor affirmed the consequences contained in the Primates’ communiqué”.

But Archbishop Idowu-Fearon said he took a different view.

“The signatories of the statement have served the Anglican Communion tirelessly over many years. Their prayerful presence and wisdom has been an enormous blessing and has enriched the Communion immeasurably. They are entitled to express a view but I simply do not agree with their interpretation here. The response of the ACC was clear and its support for the Primates was clearly expressed.”

Resolution 16.24 notes that the ACC received the formal report from Archbishop Welby; affirmed the commitment of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to walk together; and committed itself to seek appropriate ways for the Provinces of the Communion to walk together with each other and with other Primates and other Instruments of the Communion. The resolution was part of a consent list which was agreed by the Council.

Members of the ACC had the opportunity to discuss the Archbishop’s report in small groups immediately after it was presented on 8 April. Archbishop Idowu-Fearon said feedback from those discussions was overwhelmingly supportive.

“The theme that emerges is a desire for people to walk together, to acknowledge differences where they exist but to rejoice in our shared faith,” he said. “Groups spoke of staying in mutual submission with each other for the sake of the kingdom and the gospel of Christ and of mutual respect for diversity.

“There were many other positive responses to the report which showed a strong degree of unity across ACC.”