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Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Most Revd
Robin Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh, on the Windsor Report 2004
15 October 2004
Thank you for presenting to me the Lambeth Commission Report. Before
saying anything further, I must pay the warmest possible tribute to you
and your colleagues in this work; I am deeply appreciative of the
dedication and skill you have all brought to this task and for what you
have achieved. Expectations have been high - and divergent as well - and
the pressure on you in these last months must have been very heavy.
I shall continue to read the report with care, but should like to offer a
few immediate thoughts, recognising that we shall all have the opportunity
in the coming period for more extended reflections.
The road you have travelled in the Commission as not been a simple one and
you are not offering the Communion any easy solutions now. As you have
made clear, you have kept firmly in view the principle that the goal of
any action must be healing and restoration, not punishment, as an end in
itself; but you have certainly not commended a passive response.
You have called us to behave in a maturely Christian way so as to become
the Church God wants us to be. I hope that the Communion will, at every
level, reflect not only on the specific recommendations you set before us
but also on the spiritual challenge you present, before we begin to offer
our responses. You have given all of us work to do and you do not suggest
any short cuts.
I am very pleased that you have been able to stand together as a
Commission in commending these proposals. I am well aware that the members
of the Commission entered on their work with a great variety of loyalties
and convictions, and represented people looking for very different
remedies. That you have been able to offer the communion a unanimous
report gives me great encouragement that the process you have been through
as a group may help set a pattern for the Communion itself in the
demanding journey that lies ahead.
I commend this report and its proposals for discussion and reflection by
our fellow primates, a task which we are due to begin at the Primates'
Standing Committee next week. I am sure we will also wish to give serious
consideration to facilitating responses to the report from Anglicans and
Our shared aim must be the strengthening of our understanding of and
commitment to our common life. May God help us to listen afresh to each
other as we think through what you have given us and work out its
implications. The Commission evidently longs to see a renewed and re-energised
Communion, better able to work in co-operation. God help us to move
towards that goal in faithfulness and confidence.
With every blessing and good wish,
Archbishop of Canterbury
Anglican Communion News Service
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