TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN COMMUNION

PRESS RELEASE
mandated by the signatories of the petition to Archbishop John Hepworth December 14, 2011

There has been undue speculation, comment and deliberate misinformation in the press with regard to a recent vote taken after much prayer and deliberation by the Bishops with jurisdiction serving the Traditional Anglican Communion. The indiscretion of this exposé is regrettable.

In order that the facts be placed before you, the following sets out the details:

A ballot paper was sent to all (32) Bishops and Vicars General eligible to vote in the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion. Retired Bishops and Bishops outside of the TAC were not included in the process. The afore mentioned poll was conducted in response to the Archbishop’s press release when he intimated the intention to resign only at Pentecost 2012. The relevant correspondence had also been sent to Archbishop John Hepworth in his capacity as Bishop Ordinary for Australia. Those participating included serving Bishops who have submitted dossiers to Rome under the provisions of the document known as Anglicanorum Coetibus. In addition a subsequent private and personal letter had been forwarded to the Archbishop informing him of the outcome of the poll for his consideration and reply thereto. There was no need to involve the Secretariat.

The results were as follows: 1. 3 Bishops / Vicars General (three) did not respond at all. 2. 6 Bishops / Vicars General (six) indicated that they wished to abstain, but nonetheless condoned in private the necessity for Archbishop Hepworth to relinquish control of the TAC. 3. 2 (two) E-mails were returned as undelivered. 4. 21 Bishops / Vicars General (twenty one) voted in favour of the necessary steps being taken by Archbishop Prakash, in his capacity as senior serving member of the College of Bishops, to call an extraordinary meeting of the College of Bishops with the objective to, inter alia, remove Archbishop John Hepworth as the Primate of the TAC, should he not voluntarily and unconditionally step down from Office on or before midnight (EST) on 13 December 2011.

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It needs to be placed on record that no votes (0) were recorded in favour of Archbishop Hepworth remaining in Office as Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

It must be noted that this action is not attributable to any individual Bishop(s). This has come from a collective concern to minimise and contain the damage to the global Traditional Anglican Communion emanating from the perceived animosity between the Archbishop and the CDF. It is also imperative that personal issues Archbishop John Hepworth has with the Holy See are not to be conflated with the matters that are being addressed by the individual member churches of the TAC with regard to acceptance into Ordinariate(s) already erected or to be formed at any time in the future. Those negotiations should be allowed to continue and be concluded without prejudice. Not all the Bishops, Priests and faithful of TAC member churches in Africa, India, South America, and the USA will proceed into an Ordinariate, and sections of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom have also indicated their reluctance to be absorbed into the Roman Catholic faith by individual conversion. The serving Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion sincerely regret that this delicate matter had been unwrapped in the blogosphere. The intention was, and is, to keep all correspondence with Archbishop John Hepworth as Private and Confidential, and to deal with this matter only in the appropriate forum. Archbishop John Hepworth and his family remain in our prayers.

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