Statement from the Anglican Communion Institute

Written by:
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

The Rev’d Mr Harris has released via his blog confidential emails not addressed to him. We assume him to be a man of civility and honor, in view of his role as a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. The Anglican Communion Institute has long been on record as supportive of the Anglican Communion, the Covenant process, and the flourishing of the Episcopal Church and the defense of its Constitution. We have welcomed the Pastoral Visitors idea as emerging from the Communion’s common life, and have been engaged, through Communion Partners, with a plan that would honor the polity of this Church and find a way to maintain the unity of the Church and of the Anglican Communion. Communion Partners has from its inception been on record as wishing to prevent churches from leaving because, given the season we are in, they were unclear about the place of their own mission within the larger Anglican Communion. Our understanding of the proper role to be exercised by the Presiding Bishop, consistent with the Constitution of The Episcopal Church, is the subject of a public document to be found on our web-site (see the 12 March 2009 essay below) and so no secret.

Mr Harris has put before the public email communications that are not addressed to him, but are fully consistent with this larger goal of maintaining the witness of the Anglican Communion and the role of The Episcopal Church as integral within that. The statement that be refers to, signed by Bishops of this Church, is equally fully consistent with this position on the place of The Episcopal Church within the world-wide Anglican Communion. We would request that he indicate, given his role on the Executive Council, what the justification for this publication of email correspondence not addressed to him is; and further, why he did not discuss the matter of private emails with the principals before releasing them on his blog and passing them on to his colleagues elsewhere. We request that Mr. Harris explain to the public how he obtained access to this confidential communication.

The Revd Canon Professor Christopher Seitz
Research Professor of Biblical Interpretation
University of Toronto, Wycliffe College
Director, Incarnation School of Theology, Dallas
President, Anglican Communion Institute

April 22 2009 02:30 pm | Articles