Statement by the Very Rev. Francis Fornaro on the Anglican Primates Meeting

In the wake of last week’s announcement by the Anglican Primates Meeting suspending The Episcopal Church from “decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity” of the Anglican Communion, I feel saddened for our church—and saddened that this group of church leaders has attempted to marginalize and sanction The Episcopal Church.

Over the last several days, much has been said about the role of the Primates and the extent of their authority in the church, about the polity of our church and how we organize and govern ourselves, and about the future of the Anglican Communion. These are important issues that all Anglicans must consider.

I applaud Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who has said that The Episcopal Church is still a member of the Anglican Communion, that we are still committed to the work of mission in the world, and in so doing has affirmed the dignity of all people and the communion of Anglicans everywhere.

Indeed, if, as the Primates said in their statement, we are all to “walk together in the grace and love of Christ,” we must work to ensure that the dignity of all is affirmed and that all are sincerely included.

I believe that God’s hope for us is a world of mutuality, hospitality, and communion. I believe that God’s dream for us is to achieve holiness through the diverse world God has created. I believe that the exclusion of anyone from that divine hope is an affront to God and stifles the work of the Holy Spirit in the emerging realm of God on earth.

Together—all of us together—we are called to do that work: to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, ransom the captive, house the homeless. Together, we are called to live out our baptismal vow of respecting the dignity of every human being. Together, we are called to constantly search out God’s will in our lives. Together, we are called to keep bonds of love and care as the foundation of our true commitment to love God, ourselves, and one another. In other words, we are called to care for all people of the world.

We differ in so many ways. God has created that diversity among us so that we can truly bond with neighbors to work for the good of the world. God honors and celebrates all differences in the creation breathed into being by holy and hopeful breath.

Let us pray, then, for all people in the Anglican Communion. Let us pray for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the Primates of the Communion. Let us pray for unity, not uniformity.

The Very Rev. Francis Fornaro
Interim President and Dean
Episcopal Divinity School

About Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is a progressive seminary and theological graduate school for lay and ordained leaders of all denominations. Committed to a mission of social justice and inclusive education and grounded in the Anglican tradition, EDS awards Masters’ degrees in Divinity and Theological Studies, Doctoral degrees in Ministry, and Certificates in Anglican Formation; Justice, Reconciliation, and Mission; and Christian Spiritualities for the Contemporary World.

EDS offers unparalleled flexibility in its programs. Students may complete their course of study as Traditional Learning students, in residence at the school’s historic Cambridge campus, or as Distributive Learning students, taking blended online classes and completing four weeks of intensive campus residency per year.

EDS graduates serve as lay and ordained ministers of the Episcopal Church as well as in other Christian denominations. They are also leaders in a variety of professions and industries, including non-profit executives, mental health professionals, social workers, community organizers, academics, artists, and writers, often in addition to their work as clergy or church leaders.

EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of ten eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion in the Boston area.

A seminary for the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Divinity School is grounded in the Anglican tradition and committed to growing in relationship with other Christian and faith traditions. Episcopal Divinity School is an academic community of biblical, historical, and theological inquiry that respects students as responsible learners with valuable experience, supports spiritual and ministerial formation, and provides tools for the life-long work of social and personal transformation.