The following is from the office of the archbishop: The College of Bishops appointed a Task Force on Holy Orders to provide the College with a scholarly and informed study on Holy Orders. This past January Bishop Hicks presented a report on the last phase of the process to the College, and we are now releasing the whole report to the Province.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In 2012 the College of Bishops appointed a Task Force on Holy Orders to provide the College with a scholarly and informed study on Holy Orders and, specifically, women in Holy Orders (the enabling resolution is reprinted in what follows). The Task Force, led by Bishop David Hicks, consisted of people representing differing perspectives and practices. They have met for the past 5 years and during that time have periodically released progress reports. This past January Bishop Hicks presented a report on the last phase of the process to the College, and we are now releasing the whole report to the Province.
Please note the following:
- The Task Force was not commissioned to resolve the issue, but was asked to develop resources to help the bishops in future conversation on this topic.
- Therefore the report does not answer the questions of what the College is to do, but it is a study presented to the College to help the College in our discussions.
- The report does not change our current practice regarding women’s orders as stated in our Constitution. Our current practice allows each diocese to determine whether it will ordain women as deacons or priests.
- The report will now be sent to the GAFCON Primates for their input and guidance for our discussions.
- The College of Bishops will now be studying the whole report, and we will meet in special session later in the year to discuss how we move forward together.
As your Archbishop, I ask the following from you:
- Don’t comment on the report until you have read it all.
- Don’t comment on the report until you can fairly articulate the opposite point of view.
- Remember that no decisions have been made at this time to pursue changing our Constitution.
- Remember that we are all followers of Jesus Christ on mission together, holding those with the opposite point of view in Christian love and charity.
- Lastly, sincerely pray for your bishops as we seek to serve Jesus Christ in this matter.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Thank you to:
The Rt. Rev. David Hicks,
Chair The REC Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
The Rt. Rev. Kevin Allen,
The Diocese of Cascadia
Mrs. Katherine Atwood,
The Diocese of Ft. Worth
The Rev. Dr. Leslie Fairfield,
The Diocese in New England & Trinity School for Ministry (Ret.)
The Rev. Canon Mary Hays,
The Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Rev. Tobias Karlowicz,
The Diocese of Quincy
The Rt. Rev. Eric Menees,
The Diocese of San Joaquin
for your service to the Province by serving on the Task Force. Your hard work is much appreciated!
~ The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America