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‘Distinctive Coexistence’

Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney has asked the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia (ACANZP) to consider a model for peaceful coexistence of divided Anglicans in its province.

Speaking at the invitation of ACANZP’s three archbishops, Davies proposed a model of overlapping jurisdictions that he compared to the jurisdictions in Europe.

“It is interesting to observe that within Europe there are two overlapping Anglican churches: the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe under the jurisdiction of the presiding bishop of TEC,” he said.

“Each has differing constitutions and canons, yet they share the same Anglican heritage. No one seems to have complained all these years that they coexist distinctively and exercise separate jurisdiction over the same territory. This is different from the current arrangement in the ACANZP, which has overlapping jurisdictions within the one province.”

His proposal follows ACANZP’s decision to allow for blessing same-sex couples without revising the church’s doctrine of marriage.

“After thirty years of debate about these issues, including the calling of meetings, writing of reports, convening of panels and the essential element of listening to one another (as per Resolution I.10), humanly speaking, we have exhausted the possibility of convincing each other of our position,” Davies said. “If Paul and Barnabas could separate due to differing views on mission strategy, then we should be able to separate on differing views of doctrine.”

• Related: Russell Powell reports on the meeting for Sydney Anglicans.

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