The Anglican Church of Mexico has issued a statement urging a calm and conciliatory reaction after media and social media reports, many of them erroneous, about a rift between the worldwide Anglican Communion and the U.S. Episcopal Church (TEC) based on TEC’s approval of same-sex marriage last July.
Rumors about an “expulsion” or “excommunication” of TEC (the Anglican province that includes many U.S. dioceses as well as Venezuela, Ecuador, Taiwan and other far-flung areas) began to circulate after a vote taken last week by 38 bishops at the Anglican Primates Meeting in Canterbury, England.
While the primates’ decision requires that TEC, for a period of three years, not represent Anglicanism in interfaith groups nor participate in some other pivotal activities, Alfonso Walls, secretary general of the Iglesia Anglicana de México, pointed out that “the Episcopal Church is not kicked out by any means.”
But social media posts and even prestigious publications are characterizing the decision in stark terms. The Atlantic magazine and Daily Beast, for example, used a tone of outrage and expressions such as “punishment” to describe what more sober Anglican organs called “consequences” for TEC’s change of the marriage doctrine.
The hyperbole appears to be what led Walls and Francisco Moreno, the primate bishop of Mexico, to take pains this week to send out a letter in Spanish to Anglican clergy and lay people here saying that even though “we don’t always agree with everyone, we can seek to remain united with each other in understanding and love.”