Hiltz welcomes proposed ‘mediated conversation’

By on March 1, 2009

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he was “encouraged” by the proposal for a “professionally mediated conversation” involving North American churches at odds over the issue of sexuality and said he was prepared to be a part of it.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he was “encouraged” by the proposal for a “professionally mediated conversation” involving North American churches at odds over the issue of sexuality and said he was prepared to be a part of it.

In a telephone interview at the end of the primates’ meeting, held Feb. 1 to 5 in Alexandria, Egypt, Archbishop Hiltz also said that it appeared relationships among church leaders, which had been ruptured because of bitter divisions over the issue, were being repaired. “I think we’re on the way toward healing within the communion,” he said, describing the mood at the meeting as “generous and gracious.”

Archbishop Hiltz said that, although he was disappointed that there had not been a “focused conversation” among primates involved in cross-border interventions right at the meeting, he was nonetheless “encouraged” that the primates chose to adopt a recommendation made by the Windsor Continuation Group for a mediated dialogue.

The primates agreed that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams should initiate a dialogue “which engages all parties at the earliest opportunity.”

Archbishop Hiltz said he was “realistic enough to know that a mediated conversation will only be successfully initiated if everyone is committed to coming to the table at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), which has been working with the Common Cause Partnership, issued a statement saying that its members “appreciate the primates’ recognition that members of the Common Cause Partnership and the Anglican Church in North America are fully Anglican and their unanimous support for the Windsor Continuation Group’s recommendation that the Archbishop of Canterbury initiate professional mediation to address the difficult issues in North America.”

Archbishop Hiltz said that, while there was “a range of opinions” among primates about the new province being proposed by the Common Cause Partnership, “there’s no doubt that a strong majority had little interest or energy for any notion of a parallel jurisdiction.” He said the opinions ranged from his own position of “absolutely not,” to those who said, “well, for the sake of those who feel that they haven’t got a home in the Anglican Church of Canada or The Episcopal Church maybe we should be creating some kind of a provisional measure for them.”

Author

  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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