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From New York's Bishop Mark Sisk

2/25/2005

The Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk,  Bishop of New York
  

 
[Episcopal News Service]  I welcome the statement of the Primates of our Anglican Communion as a constructive attempt to address the diverse and importantly different perspectives represented by our worldwide fellowship.  I appreciate our Presiding Bishop’s own “Word” on the Primates’ Communiqué.  I look forward to hearing his personal reflections at the March meeting of our House of Bishops.  That occasion will, as well, afford the opportunity to benefit from the insights of other colleagues.

Clearly the Primates’ Communiqué reflects the different currents which flow in our Communion.  It shows careful thought and prayerful wrestling with the challenges that confront us. Obviously elements in this document will delight some and disappoint others.  I was encouraged by the words of paragraph 6, “….we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people.  The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.” 

I was, however, surprised and even puzzled by the Primates' sense of their own responsibilities and authority by inviting constituent Provinces of our Communion to withdraw from participation in a completely separate and distinct body, the Anglican Consultative Council, which, on its own not only stands as an “instrument of unity” but is also senior to the Meeting of Primates, in terms of years of
existence.

The strains which mark our Communion, and indeed our global community, are evident in this document.  What is also evident is a deep, painful, and costly struggle to stay in Communion.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have shared in these conversations with such
faithful dedication.

The many opportunities for fellowship and work with churches and dioceses of the Anglican Communion all around the globe remain an important part of our common life. Therefore, I encourage Episcopalians in the Diocese of New York, and elsewhere, to continue their work on global mission initiatives, to spread the Gospel and to serve the poor in Christ’s name.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk,
Bishop of New York