They have until the end of today, the last day of the meeting near Dar Es Salaam, to reach agreement before issuing an official communiqué, which is supposed to reflect the consensus of the primates.The Living Church adds:
The conservative group of about a quarter of the primates, who represent more than half of all Anglicans in the world, was deeply unhappy over the weekend with the draft communiqué.
A number of them refused to share Holy Communion yesterday at a service in the Anglican cathedral in Zanzibar and the official group photograph of the primates had to be cancelled for the first time because they would not take part.
One senior official said yesterday that he could not rule out the possibility of both a majority and minority statement. The conservatives want the communiqué to give the green light to a "parallel" Church for like-minded Americans.
But liberal primates insist that any enclave for conservatives must remain within the Episcopal Church, and must not include several groups with links to African provinces.
The service also suggested a leftward shift from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams. In his sermon to the cathedral congregation, he offered oblique criticisms of those not receiving the sacraments, and encouraged an inclusive church centered round love. At the June 2005 Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Nottingham, England, and at the February 2005 primates' meeting in Dromantine, Northern Ireland, Archbishop Williams' tone spoke strongly to the need for order and discipline within the Communion, deprecating the actions of The Episcopal Church.
Two of The Episcopal Church's staunchest allies within the primates' meeting will have left before the final document is completed. Archbishop Mauricio Andrade of Brazil flew to Rio de Janerio on Feb. 18 to attend a meeting of his province's House of Bishops, while Southern Africa Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane returns to Capetown at noon on Feb. 19.