Saturday, September 22, 2007

Opening Remarks

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Opening Remarks: Meeting with the ECUSA House of Bishops 21 September 2007

I and the other members of the Joint Stadning Committee were very glad to accept the invitation of the Presiding Bishop to join the House of Bishops for part of this session.

One of the greatest privileges of being here has been the chance to see something of quite outstanding work being done by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta in the ongoing work of social reconstruction in a city still deeply scarred by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina two years ago. I was able to visit a project yesterday in the lower 9th Ward and to see the wonderfully committed and vibrant new church community that has sprung up into being around the construction work. This new Church of All Souls has come into being as a direct result of the sacrificial generosity if the Episcopal Church in this city and its work with those who have suffered most, and it should be an inspiration to the entire communion.

It has been a valuable opportunity to listen carefully to the thinking of the bishops here on the problems that face the Communion; and also for us to share with the House some perspectives from elsewhere in the Communion. I think that in light of the conversations we have come to a better understanding of the House in response to the questions and proposals of the Dar Es Salaam Primates’ Meeting. I hope that the House, equally, has understood more fully what those questions an proposals were meant to achieve. The House will continue to reflect on them over the weekend.

Despite what has been claimed there is no “ultimatum” involved. The Primates asked for a response by 30 September simply because we were aware that this was the meeting of the House likely to be formulating such a response. The ACC and Primates Joint Standing Committee will be reading and digesting what the Bishops have to say, and shall let me know their thoughts on it early next week. After this I shall be sharing what they say, along with my own assessments, with the Primates and others, inviting their advice in the next couple of weeks. I hope these days will result in a constructive and fresh way forward for all of us.


No comments: