Primates Meeting 2016 Statement

Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This
agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous
commitment to walk together.

1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in
Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding
of marriage.

2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on
marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority
of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could
further exacerbate this situation.

3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our
Communion.

4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as
between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm
this teaching.

5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions
on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from
the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with
each other in the Anglican Communion.

6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This
results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the
Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing
relationships.

7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters
we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The
Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be
appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the
internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any
issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain
conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding
of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and
exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of
Christ.

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