Final Action on the Church of South India by General Convention 1958

RESOLVED that we, the Bishops and Deputies assembled in General Convention, receive with gratitude the testimony of the Lambeth Conference of 1958 to the growth of inner coherence in the Church of South India during the last ten years, affirmed as well by the action taken by five of our sister Anglican Churches recognizing the Bishops and episcopally ordained clergy of that Church.

RESOLVED that in taking parallel action we recognize that we act in the face of some very real anomalies which appear to be inevitable in the state of divided Christendom:

1. That of recognizing Episcopal Order within the life of a Christian Body which is still to some extent in process of formulating its agreed standards of faith;

2. That of recognizing only the Bishops and episcopally ordained clergy in a Christian Body which though it adheres to episcopal ordination acknowledges its non-episcopally ordained clergy to be of equal status.

3. That of entering into a limited measure of intercommunion with a Christian Body itself in full communion with other Christian Bodies with which we have no such relations.

Resolved therefore that we call attention to the fact that our action is of an interim character, a nature imposed upon it by these anomalies and necessarily remaining so until their resolution in such manner as may permit full communion between the Church of South India and the Churches of the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, that having considered the form and practice of consecration and ordination in use in the Church of South India and the intention explicitly asserted in its Constitution "that eventually every minister exercising a permanent ministry in it will be an episcopally ordained minister" (CSI Constitution, II, 21) we acknowledge the bishops, presbyters and deacons episcopally consecrated or ordained in the Church of South India at or after the inauguration of that Church as true bishops, priests and deacons in the Church of God.

Resolved, that

a. A Bishop or episcopally ordained Presbyter of the Church of South India when temporarily within a diocese or district of the Protestant Episcopal Church maybe invited to celebrate the Holy Communion in churches of the diocese or district in accordance with the Order for the Administration of the Holy Communion in the Prayer Book of this Church, with the permission of the Bishop, provided that he be willing while within that diocese or district to celebrate in Protestant Episcopal churches only except upon occasions recognized by the Bishop as having major ecumenical significance.

b. An episcopally ordained deacon of the Church of South India when temporarily within a diocese or district of the Protestant Episcopal Church may be invited to assist at services of the Holy Communion in churches of the diocese or district, with the permission of the Bishop.

c. Bishops, presbyters and deacons of the Church of South India may be invited to preach in churches of the Protestant Episcopal Church, with the permission of the Bishop of the diocese or district.

d. A bishop or episcopally ordained presbyter or deacon of the Church of South India may be granted license or permission for a stated period of time to act and officiate as a bishop, priest, or deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and such bishops, presbyters and deacons shall be thereupon subject in all respects to the canons and other regulations governing ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

e. The Bishop of a diocese or district may upon special occasion authorize the celebration of the South Indian Liturgy (An Order for the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Eucharist, approved by the Synod of the Church of South India, January, 1954) in a church within his jurisdiction for the congregation of that Church by a bishop or episcopally ordained presbyter of the Church of South India.

f. Bishops and priests of the Protestant Episcopal Church who visit the territory of the Church of South India may accept the hospitality of that Church for celebrating the Holy Communion within it.

g. Communicant members of the Church of South India when temporarily within the dioceses or districts of the Protestant Episcopal Church may receive Holy Communion in Protestant Episcopal churches. Members of the Church of South India who desire to become habitual communicants or communicant members of the Protestant Episcopal Church shall be required to conform to the regular discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

h. Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church who visit the Church of South India may accept the hospitality of that Church for receiving Holy Communion and other sacramental ministrations at the hands of its bishops and episcopally ordained presbyters.

Transcribed by Richard J. Mammana for the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, 2018

Document Date: 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 19:45

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