Thursday, February 05, 2009

Acns: Primates' Communique

February 5, 2009

Deeper Communion; Gracious Restraint

A Letter from Alexandria to the Churches of the Anglican Communion

1. At the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the Primates and Moderators of the Churches of the Anglican Communion[1], we gathered for prayer and consultation in the ancient city of Alexandria, with the Most Revd Mouneer Anis, President Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, as our host. We prayed, worshipped God, and studied the Scriptures together, seeking to be faithful to the call of God in Christ, and to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit. There was a common desire to speak honestly about our situation.

2. Since we were meeting in Alexandria, we were conscious of the historical, cultural, ecumenical and inter-faith contexts of our meeting. This was reinforced during our visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. We met with the State Governor of Alexandria, General Adel Labib; we were received warmly by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of Alexandria, and Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. He spoke to us powerfully of the vocation and calling of a bishop to witness to the Gospel of Christ. We were also conscious that we were meeting in a country which is majority Muslim, but in which there is a strong Christian heritage and presence. We were able to celebrate the heritage of faith received from SS Mark, Clement, Anthony, Athanasius, and the desert fathers and mothers. Meeting in Egypt, a country which is the home of Al Azhar Al Sharif, one of the historic intellectual centres of the Muslim world, we were also very conscious of the importance of constructive engagement between Christians and Muslims in many Provinces of the Anglican Communion. We draw attention to the significant recent initiatives[2] undertaken by the Archbishop of Canterbury and by the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa. the rest

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