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Resolution 54 - The Unity of the Church - The Anglican Communion and the

Resolution 54

The Unity of the Church - The Anglican Communion and the Church of South India

In the sphere of immediate and practical action, the Conference recommends:

    1. That former Anglicans, clerical or lay, who are now members of the Church of South India, and also Anglicans who hereafter join should be accepted and allowed full privileges of ministry and communion in any Church, province, or diocese or the Anglican Communion, subject to the regulations of the responsible authorities in the area concerned.
    2. That members, whether clerical or lay, of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, who may go to South India, should not be subject to censure if they join the Church of South India or take work of any kind in it.
    3. That clerical or lay members of the Churches of the Anglican Communion visiting the territory of the Church of South India should not be subject to censure if they accept the hospitality of that Church for the performance of priestly functions or the receiving of Holy Communion, subject to the regulations of the Churches, provinces, or dioceses to which they belong.
    4. That ministers of the Church of South India who have not been episcopally ordained should not be regarded as having acquired any new rights or status in relation to the Anglican Communion as a whole solely by reason of the fact that they are ministers of that Church.
    5. In regard to the bishops, presbyters, and deacons consecrated or ordained in the Church of South India at or after the inauguration of that Church, the Conference is unable to make one recommendation agreed to by all. It therefore records the two following views:
      1. one view (held by a majority) that such bishops, presbyters, and deacons should be acknowledged as true bishops, presbyters, and deacons in the Church of Christ and should be accepted as such in every part of the Anglican Communion, subject only to such regulations as are normally made in all such cases by the responsible authorities in each area;
      2. another view (held by a substantial minority) that it is not yet possible to pass any definite judgement upon the precise status of such bishops, presbyters, and deacons in the Church of Christ or to recommend that they be accepted in the Anglican Communion as bishops, presbyters, or deacons.

      The Conference records the fact that no member of the Conference desires to condemn outright or to declare invalid the episcopally consecrated and ordained ministry of the Church of South India. It recognizes that there will be differences in the attitude of Churches, provinces, or dioceses regarding the status of the bishops, presbyters, and deacons of the Church of South India, but it expresses the unanimous hope that such differences may never in any part of the Anglican Communion be made a ground for condemnation of action taken by any Church, province, or diocese.

    6. That lay communicants who in the Church of South India have received episcopal confirmation should, in Churches of the Anglican Communion, be received as communicants, subject to the approval of responsible authority, but should not thereby acquire any new status or rights in relation to the Anglican Communion as a whole; and
    7. that other recognised communicants of the Church of South India should, in Churches of the Anglican Communion, subject to the approval of responsible authority and to any such regulations as may locally obtain, be admissable to communion by an exercise of the principle of "economy."