Commission Appointed by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams
A Preliminary Analysis by Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
October 30, 2003
Canterbury Rowan Williams announced the composition of the Commission
requested by the Anglican Primates at the recent emergency meeting at
Lambeth. (See announcement from Anglican Communion News
Service). A preliminary analysis of the membership of the new
Commission suggests that the Commission has reasonable ideological
balance. As such, it is unlikely to please conservatives within the
Episcopal Church represented by the American
Anglican Council (AAC).
The members of the Commission are the following:
- Archbishop Robin Eames, Primate of
All Ireland, Chairman: Senior primate. Supporter of traditional
Anglican diversity and governance.
- The Revd. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan,
Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, the Anglican Church of
Woman who heads ecumenical desk and oversees diversity, dialog on
sexuality, etc. for Canadian Church.
- Bishop David Beetge, Dean of the
Church of the Province of Southern Africa. Works with a very diverse
constituency in a diocese with an extensive AID/HIV ministry.
- Professor Norman Doe, Director of
the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University, Wales. A
specialist in canon law and international Anglicanism.
- Bishop Mark Dyer, Director of
Spiritual Formation, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA, and retired
Bishop of Bethlehem. Has a strong voting record on women's ordination and
is on record as opposing sodomy laws in Virginia. Overall voting record
in the House of Bishops is less obviously liberal.
- Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Primate of
the West Indies. An AAC supporter and author of a white paper of
sexuality that argues against ordination of homosexuals. One of the
editors of To Mend the Net:
Anglican Faith and Order for Renewed Mission.
- Archbishop Josiah Iduwo-Fearon,
Archbishop of Kaduna, the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Little
information has been found about this Archbishop other than he attended
the Future of Anglicanism Conference organized by
English evangelicals last summer.
- The Revd. Dorothy Lau, Director of
the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council. Runs over 380 social
welfare programs and schools in the diocese.
- Ms. Anne McGavin, Advocate, formerly
Legal Adviser to the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal
Church. Has been at the Center for Law and Religion run by Norman Doe
- Archbishop Bernard Malango, Primate
of Central Africa. One of those who has been actively opposed to the
consecration of Gene Robinson, but his province has problems of its own
in Zimbabwe that could result in intervention.
- Dr. Esther Mombo, Academic Dean of
St Paul's United Theological Seminary, Limuru, Kenya. Identified
as a feminist theologian who has been active in AIDS/HIV ministry with
women and who has been a guest speaker at Primates' meetings on
sexuality. Attended the the Future of Anglicanism Conference organized by
English evangelicals last summer.
- Archbishop Barry Morgan, Primate of
Wales. Archbishop Morgan's statement after Robinson's election is a
model of embracing Anglican diversity.
- Chancellor Rubie Nottage, Chancellor
of the West Indies. Canon lawyer who works with Archbishop Gomez (see
- Bishop John Paterson, Primate of
Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Chairman of the Anglican
Consultative Council. New Zealand has not yet discussed gay clergy, and
Paterson appears to be moderating between factions in his own province.
He has issued no condemnation of Gene Robinson.
- Dr. Jenny Te Paa, Principal of
the College of Saint John the Evangelist, Auckland, New Zealand, and also a
doctoral graduate student at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley,
California. She is interested in race and diversity issues and
identifies herself as a liberal.
- Bishop James Terom, Moderator, the
Church of North India. Bishop Terom has been associated with the
African bishops, but he seems not to have made significant public
statements on matters of homosexuality and the church.
- Bishop N. Thomas Wright,
Bishop of Durham, the Church of England. Serves on the Angican Communion's
Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission. He is a new bishop but
is a well-known historian. Bishop Wright was quoted in the spring of this
year as saying, "Anglicanism at its best has always been rooted in scripture,
nourished by the sacraments, ready to think fresh thoughts and open to the
leading and energy of the Spirit." Sometimes characterized as an “old-fashioned”
English evangelical, other Evangelicals have not been happy with his historical
approach to scripture.
- The Revd. Canon John Rees, Legal
Adviser to the Anglican Consultative Council, who will act as Legal
Consultant to the Commission.
- The Revd. Canon Gregory Cameron,
Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Studies, Anglican Communion Office,
who will act as Secretary to the Commission. Fr. Cameron assumed his
current post this past spring. He had served as Chaplain to Archbishop
Rowan Williams when Williams was Archbishop of Wales.