Ecumenical guests welcome involvement at Anglican Consultative Council
[ACNS] The ecumenical representatives at the Anglican Consultative Council have welcomed their inclusion as “full members” at ACC-16 in Lusaka, and praised the work of the Anglican Communion in promoting social justice for women. The ecumenical representatives met last night and their deliberations were reported this morning by Father Tony Currer, officer for Anglican relations at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The ecumenical representatives had held “good and interesting discussions”, Father Currer said. “We were very heartened by the commitment to listening across the Communion . . . and to building communication across the provinces; to learn about and celebrate what is at work in the Communion and through the work of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO).
“Like you, we are all tremendously impressed by how much work the relatively small office of the ACO manages to achieve.”
He continued: “We were impressed by the desire to walk together and to keep the channels of communication open.
“Particular, it was noted that in the field of gender equality, the Anglican Communion is a leader in the field of gender justice [the rights of women] and we have much to learn from the Anglican Communion.”
He said that the ecumenical representatives were “very grateful” for the invitation to be at ACC-16 “and particular for the extraordinary graciousness of the Anglican Communion in your inviting us to participate, inviting our opinion, and for making us full members of this meeting.
“All of us saw that as an exemplary exercise in ecumenical hospitality and were tremendously grateful for it.”
In view of the inter-Anglican currents of dis-satisfaction which has been evidenced by intentional absence on the part of a few Gafcon Provinces, it is refreshing to read this account of sincere appreciation of being invited to ACC16 by the Roman Catholic representative, Father Tony Currer, of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Together with the other ecumenical representatives, who were welcomed as full participants in the meetings, Fr. Tony obviously appreciated the insights gained – not least from the participation of the women who were present as elected members from different parts of the Anglican Communion. His assessment that Anglicans are at the spearhead of emancipation of the women of the Church is salutary.
No doubt the word ‘consultative’ contained in the title of ACC would have been another factor of the Anglican meetings that occasioned the comment on how open was discussion among the delegates, and how they welcomed the ecumenical guests felt at being invited to fully participate as guests – of ACC..
Whatever value may be attributed to ACC16 by its critics in the Anglican world, it should be obvious that their work is taken quite seriously by Christians of other traditions, whose appreciation of Anglican hospitality seemed unstinting.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand