Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Primate’s letter

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has written to Canadian Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz to say that he “cannot support or sanction” foreign interventions in the affairs of the Canadian Church.

Archbishop Williams was responding to a letter Archbishop Hiltz wrote to all the Primates of the Anglican Communion earlier this year in which he explained where the Canadian Church was in its discussion of same-sex blessings.

In that letter, Archbishop Hiltz appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury “in his capacity as one of the Instruments of Communion and as chair of the Primates’ Meeting to address the very serious issues raised by this intervention and to make clear that such actions are not a valid expression of Anglicanism.”

The full text of Archbishop Williams’s letter follows:

“Thank you very much for your letter about the situation in the Canadian Church; I thought it very helpful, clear and eirenic, and I hope it will be well received.

“I noted also the reference to the appeal of the Canadian Church to myself about interventions and irregular ordinations: as you will understand, I have no canonical authority to prevent these things, but I would simply repeat what was said in my Advent Letter, to the effect that I cannot support or sanction such actions, in line with what successive Lambeth Resolutions and Primates’ Communiqués have declared, as well as the statements of my predecessor about irregular ordinations and the clear directions of the Windsor Report.

“I apologise for not responding sooner to this, but had had to focus in December on the preparation of the Advent Letter, which was intended to set out a perspective within which all such irregularities should be viewed.”


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