Released for publication here.
Traditional Anglican Communion
Office of the Primate Archbishop John Hepworth
28th January 2012
To the Bishops, clergy and people of the Traditional Anglican Communion
My Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
In June of 2003, I was elected as the second Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion. At the Plenary Meeting of our College of Bishops, held in Australia in conjunction with the inauguration of my Primacy, it was made strongly clear – without dissent – that I was to further the ambition of this Communion since its beginnings to discover a means by which Anglican ecclesial communities might come into the fullness of Catholic Communion in a corporate manner, without loss of the treasures of the Anglican tradition.
I prosecuted that mandate of the College in National and Diocesan Synods, in meetings and discussions with anyone whom I thought might assist in both Anglican and Roman Catholic circles, having made clear to the Holy See that I would not allow my own circumstances to become an impediment to unity.
With the promulgation of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the mandate given to me by the College is now complete.
I have been deeply concerned that most of our Communion has been marginalised by the process of implementing the Apostolic Constitution. My correspondence and personal representations have not been as effective as I would have wished.
I have been equally concerned that several of the Bishops of our College continue to set aside the provisions of the Concordat that regulates our life as a College. The Concordat is a deeply Anglican document. It cannot be changed or disregarded by bishops alone. The clergy and laity meeting as the National Synods of our Member Provinces must confirm changes before they become effective. Neither bishops nor anyone else can be expelled from Communion at the whim of the bishops. Several bishops have started to exercise prelacy of this most disturbing kind.
I have also been concerned at the lightness with which the most solemn decisions of the College are being set aside.
I indicated last December that I would spend some weeks discerning the moment when my retirement might best be accomplished. Some of the bishops have expressed impatience; others have dissented from their actions.
I have today forwarded to the Secretary to the College (an elected position of the College, not an appointment of the Primate) a deed of resignation to be effective on Easter Day of this year, and I have instructed the Secretary to conduct an election for the next Primate, in strict accordance with the procedure laid down by the Concordat, and according to the detailed process determined by the College prior to the resignation of Archbishop Falk, my predecessor.
I remain the Bishop Ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.
I ask the prayers of the whole Communion for their bishops at this time, as once again they seek the Divine Will.
So the Primate will no longer resign at Pentecost. It is now Easter Day. 50 days sooner…
The resignation can be downloaded in pdf. Click here.