The Windsor Report 2004

Ecclesiastical procedures

  1. Such a process would require appropriate ecclesiastical procedures. Such procedures that do exist have developed within the Anglican Communion over a period of time and in response to particular earlier problems. We have described in the previous section the ways in which they were followed quite carefully in the run-up to the consecration of women to the episcopate. Several recent Anglican documents, notably The Virginia Report (1997), have spelled out explicitly and in detail what procedures could be applied and the way in which they could function, making it clear (among other things) that these procedures are not merely pragmatically determined but express the theology they seek to serve. Furthermore, a special resolution of ACC-12[19], meeting in Hong Kong in September 2002, called for the observance of such procedures in the introduction of any controversial policies which touched on the wider life of the Communion[20]. True, Anglican structures have sometimes posed problems by their dispersed nature, but this has normally been regarded as a small price to pay for the flexibility for mission which they permit, whilst nurturing the increased sense and strength of koinonia that they invite and sustain.

  2. The second reason we have reached the present impasse is that neither the Episcopal Church (USA) nor the Diocese of New Westminster, in deciding and acting as they did in 2003, went through the procedures which might have made it possible for the church to hold together across differences of belief and practice.