Lord Carey's response to the Open Letter and subsequent Sunday Times Report.

April 18th 2006

An open letter addressed to Lord Carey, originating from a group of clergy in Western Australia was subsequently reported by the Sunday Times (April 16, 2006, ˜Open letter tells Carey: end feud with archbishop). A number of inaccuracies relating to the Letter and the Report are addressed in the statement that follows:

It is with sadness that on Easter Day 2006, the day associated with Peace that the Risen Christ gave to his followers, I am accused of actions that undermine harmony in the Anglican Communion. It is a great pity that I was not contacted before the Open Letter was sent because I could have informed the authors that their concerns are baseless and ill-informed.

Firstly, I am fully supportive of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Windsor Report. The authors of the Open Letter seem intent on creating division where there is none.  I have no role in the Anglican Communion except that of a priest and bishop, and only have a continuing Episcopal ministry through the invitation of diocesan bishops.

Secondly, the Open Letter addresses the confirmations which I have conducted three times in the Diocese of Virginia for a group of Churches which are at odds with the prevailing policy of the Episcopal Church of the USA and are in dispute with the Bishop of Virginia. The truth of the matter is that I have conducted these confirmations only at the invitation of the Bishop of Virginia, a longstanding friend of mine. Through his generosity in allowing these parishes to receive a form of extended ministry with these confirmation services, it is my conviction that he has averted a damaging split. The alternative could well have been another example of bishops from elsewhere in the communion crossing diocesan boundaries without permission. Furthermore, the Bishop of Virginia consulted with Lambeth Palace before taking these steps.

Thirdly, my support for the LEAC survey was confined to commending two men as known to me and stating that I believed they would handle the data from the survey responsibly.

The Sunday Times Report raised a number of other issues:

My 2004 memoirs ˜Know the Truth’, Harper Collins) in no way breached any private of pastoral confidentiality as far as my relationship with the Royal Family was concerned. I prefer to trust in the evidence of continuing friendships with the Royal Household than a contrived media story, as instanced in my involvement in the wedding of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall last year.

With regard to General Synod’s vote on disinvestment and Israel, I at no time criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury. I opposed the decision of General Synod in my capacity as President of the International Council of Christians and Jews and as an active participant in the Alexandria Process which brings together people across religious divides in the search for peace in Israel and Palestine.  It remains my belief that to single out Israel among nations for such opprobrium is inappropriate, offensive and highly damaging to relationships between Jews and Christians.

In conclusion, it is mischievous and damaging to the Anglican Communion to suggest that I am opposed to the ministry of Dr Rowan Williams. The vast majority of my commitments and interests in retirement are low-key, non-Anglican and dedicated to reconciliation.?

George Carey