The agenda is the first item on the agenda at the Primates gathering

Author:

George Conger

The opening business session of the meeting of primates of the Anglican Communion is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm, local time, sources tell Anglican Ink. Some primates drawn from each of the competing factions attended public worship of Morning Prayer in Canterbury Cathedral on the morning of 11 January 2016, and the day’s events will be concluded with Evening Prayer in the Cathedral. Attendance at these services is a matter of private conscience, AI has learned, and is not part of the meeting’s program. A Eucharist service will be offered as well, but it also is not part of the formal agenda as the primates as a corporate body have been unable to celebrate communion together since their 1993 meeting at Lambeth Palace.

The first item on the agenda is the creation of the agenda. Some primates have urged the gathering to address issues of social and environmental concerning — global warming, income inequality and the like. Others hope to have issues close to their church’s heart brought before the wider church world through a statement from the church’s archbishops — military and political tensions on the Korean peninsula. Members of the Anglican Consultative Council, Lambeth Palace and Church of England staff have also floated in the media their hopes and understanding of the purposes of the meeting — the Guardian cited one church insider as saying Archbishop Foley Beach of the ACNA would be asked to leave sessions where a vote was to take place. However, sources familiar with the proceedings tell AI that until the meeting begins at 2:00, there are no certainties as to what will be discussed and how these discussions take place. GAFCON leaders have said that they will ask the question of the Episcopal Church of the USA and Anglican Church of Canada’s tearing of the bounds of communion be the first item on the agenda — and that Archbishop Beach be seated as an equal, with voice and vote. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali has called for the restoration of “godly order” within the communion as a precondition for African participation in the meeting. However, the Prime Bishop of the Philippine Episcopal Church told AI “We can have different definitions of godly order.” However, Bishop Renato Abibico agreed with Archbishop Ntagali, stating “Yes, it’s time for soul searching. It is time to vow to God in humility and prayer for wisdom and guidance.”

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