A Report on Present Day Movements towards Reunion prepared by a Committee of the Union and put forth by Authority of the President and Council.
London: English Church Union, 1929.
I. THE CONFERENCE AT LAUSANNE.
THE Conference held at Lausanne on August 3 to 21, 1927, was due to the Faith and Order Movement which had its impulse from the Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910, and was initiated at the General Convention of the American Church later in the same year. In the years between 1910 and 1927 much work had been done by means of committees and commissions and inquiries and a preliminary conference at Geneva in 1920. The gathering at Lausanne included members of almost all religious bodies except the Church of Rome: the President was Dr. Brent, the Bishop of Western New York; the Deputy-Chairman was Dr. Garvie, the Principal of Hackney and New College, London; the Vice-Presidents were Dr. Soderblom, the Archbishop of Upsala, Dr. Germanos, the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Thyatira, Dr. Merle d’Aubigné, Pastor at Neuilly sur Seine, and Dr. Deissmann, Professor at the University of Berlin. Among the members were such well-known English Churchmen as the present Archbishop of York then Bishop of Manchester, the Bishop of Gloucester, Dr. Gore, and Mr. Athelstan Riley. On the other hand, a very large proportion of the representatives were of Protestant traditions and background. As a matter of procedure it was agreed that the. subjects should be [3/4] discussed first by appointed sections, which should report to the full Conference; that these reports, if alterations in them were proposed, might be referred to a Drafting Committee for consideration and report; that remaining differences as well as agreement reached should be recorded; and that
“No statement shall be declared to be accepted by the Conference unless it be accepted either unanimously or nemine contradicente” (Faith and Order: Proceedings of the World Conference, Lausanne, pp. 40, 41, 197).
Seven subjects—namely (1) The Call to Unity; (2) The Church’s Mission to the World: the Gospel; (3) The Nature of the Church; (4) The Church’s Common Confession of Faith; (5) The Ministry of the Church; (6) The Sacraments; and (7) The Unity of Christendom in Relation to Existing Churches—were discussed in the sections and in the full sessions of the Conference. A “preamble” to the reports’ was “unanimously adopted by the full Conference.” It explained that the Conference had been “assembled to consider the things wherein we agree and the things wherein we differ”; that it did not attempt “to define the conditions of future reunion;” that its object was “to register the apparent level of fundamental agreements within the Conference and the grave points of disagreements remaining; also to suggest certain lines of thought which may in the future tend to a fuller measure of agreement”; and described the reports “as containing subject-matter for the consideration of our respective Churches in their common search for unity” (op. cit., pp. 459, 460). The first report, The Call to Unity, which emphasized the need and hopes for unity and the obligation of labouring “in penitence and faith to build up our broken walls,” was [4/5] “unanimously adopted by the full Conference” (op. cit., pp. 460, 461). The second report, The Church’s Message to the World: the Gospel, described in glowing terms the preparation for the Incarnation, the Incarnation itself, our Lord’s ‘work of redemption, the appeal of God’s love “shown in its completeness on the Cross,” the Gospel as “the victory over sin and death,” “the revelation of eternal life,” “the prophetic call to sinful man to turn to God, the joyful tidings of justification and of sanctification to those who believe in Christ,” “the comfort of those who suffer,” “the assurance of the glorious liberty of the sons of God,” “the sure source of power for social regeneration,” and “a gracious invitation to the non-Christian world, East and West, to enter into the joy of the living Lord” (op. cit., pp. 461-463). In the third report, The Nature of the Church, after a statement that “there is and can be but one Church, holy, catholic, and apostolic,” “certain characteristics whereby it can be known of men,” are said to “have been, since the days of the Apostles, at least the following”:—
“1. The possession and acknowledgment of the Word of God as given in Holy Scripture and interpreted by the Holy Spirit to the Church and to the individual. . . .
“2. The profession of faith in God as He is incarnate and revealed in Christ.
“3. The acceptance of Christ’s commission to preach the Gospel to every creature.
“4. The observance of the Sacraments.
“5. A ministry for the pastoral office, the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the Sacraments.
“6. A fellowship in prayer, in worship, in all the means of grace, in the pursuit of holiness, and in the service of man.”
It was added that the differences among members of the Conference “as to the extent and manner in which the Church thus described finds expression in the existing Churches” chiefly concerned:—
“1. The nature of the Church visible and the Church invisible, their relation to each other, and the number of those who are included in each. . . .
“2. The significance of our divisions past and present.”
Instances were added describing the most widely divergent opinions as to the nature of the Church as follows:—
“1. Some hold that the invisible Church is wholly in heaven; others include in it all true believers on earth, whether contained in any organization or not.
“2. Some hold that the visible expression of the Church was determined by Christ Himself and is therefore unchangeable; others that the one Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit may express itself in varying forms.
“3. Some hold that one or other of the existing Churches is the only true Church; others that the Church as we have described it is to be found in some or all of the existing Communions taken together.
“4. Some, while recognizing other Christian bodies as Churches, are persuaded that in the providence [6/7] of God and by the teaching of history a particular form of ministry has been shown to be necessary to the best welfare of the Church; others hold that no one form of organization is inherently preferable; still others, that no organization is necessary” (op. cit. pp. 463-466).
The fourth report, The Church’s Common Confession of Faith, declared that:—
“Notwithstanding the differences in doctrine among us, we are united in a common Christian Faith which is proclaimed in the Holy Scriptures and is witnessed to and safeguarded in the Ecumenical Creed, commonly called the Nicene, and in the Apostles’ Creed, which Faith is continuously confirmed in the spiritual experience of the Church of Christ.
“We believe that the Holy Spirit in leading the Church into all truth may enable it, while firmly adhering to the witness of these Creeds (our common heritage from the ancient Church), to express the truths of revelation in such other forms as new problems may from time to time demand”;
and notes were added that:—
“The Orthodox Eastern Church can accept the Nicene Creed only in its uninterpolated form without the filioque clause; and that, although the Apostles’ Creed has no place in the formularies of this Church, it is in accordance with its teaching”;
and on different opinions in regard to the relation of tradition and creeds to Holy Scripture (op. cit., pp. 466, 467). The fifth report, The Ministry of the Church, [7/8] recorded “substantial accord in the following five propositions”:—
“1. The ministry is a gift of God through Christ to His Church and is essential to the being and well-being of the Church.
“2. The ministry is perpetually authorized and made effective through Christ and His Spirit.
“3. The purpose of the ministry is to impart to men the saving and sanctifying benefits of Christ through pastoral service, the preaching of the Gospel, and the administration of the Sacraments, to be made effective by faith.
“4. The ministry is entrusted with the government and discipline of the Church, in whole or in part.
“5. Men gifted for the work of the Ministry, called by the Spirit, and accepted by the Church, are commissioned through an act of ordination by prayer and the laying on of hands to exercise the function of this ministry.”
This statement of agreement was followed by a recognition of differences concerning “the nature of the ministry,” the nature of ordination and of the grace conferred thereby, the function and authority of bishops, and the nature of apostolic succession.” The need of “provision of a ministry acknowledged in every part of the Church as possessing the sanction of the whole Church” was said to be “urgent”; and it was added that “episcopal, presbyteral, and congregational systems” “must all, under conditions which require further study, have an appropriate place in the order of life of a reunited Church.” It was said further that:—
“If the foregoing suggestion be accepted and acted upon, [8/9] it is essential that the acceptance of any special form of ordination as the regular and orderly method of introduction into the ministry of the Church for the future should not be interpreted to imply the acceptance of any one particular theory of the origin, character, or function of any office in the Church, or to involve the acceptance of any adverse judgment on the validity of ordination in those branches of the Church universal that believe themselves to have retained valid and apostolic Orders under other forms of ordination; or as disowning or discrediting a past or present ministry of the Word and Sacrament (sic: ? Sacraments) which has been used and blessed by the Spirit of God.”
Notes were added describing the belief on the subject of the Orthodox Eastern Church, and the differences in Western Christendom (op. cit., pp. 467-472). The sixth report, The Sacraments, while mentioning the existence of widely divergent opinions in regard to the Sacraments, recorded agreement that:—
“Sacraments are of divine appointment, and that the Church ought thankfully to observe them as divine gifts”; that:—
“in the Sacraments there is an outward sign and an inward grace, and that the Sacraments are means of grace through which God works invisibly in us. We recognize also that in the gifts of His grace, God is not limited by His own Sacraments”;
and about Baptism and the Holy Communion that:—
“We believe that in Baptism administered with water [9/10] in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins, we are baptized by one Spirit into one body”;
“We believe that in the Holy Communion our Lord is present, that we have fellowship with God our Father in Jesus Christ His Son, our Living Lord, who is our one Bread, given for the life of the world, sustaining the life of all His people, and that we are in fellowship with all others who are united to Him. We agree that the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is the Church’s most sacred act of worship, in which the Lord’s death is commemorated and proclaimed, and that it is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving and an act of solemn self-oblation” (op. cit, pp. 472, 473).
The second to the sixth reports were not, like the preamble and the first report, “unanimously adopted by the full Conference,” but were simply “received by the full Conference, nem. con.” that is, received for transmission to the various bodies’ represented for their consideration. The seventh report, The Unity of Christendom in relation to existing Churches, was “received by the full Conference” “for transmission to the Continuation Committee, which then appointed a committee with the duty of considering the whole situation with regard to Subject VII. and reporting to the Business Committee” (op. cit., p. 474). In consequence of this action, an amended and revised report was presented to the Business Committee on December 21st, 1927, and “after full consideration and the adoption of certain minor amendments,” was “by them submitted to the Churches for such consideration as they may desire to give it.” In this revised report, after a brief statement about [10/11] the second to the sixth reports and a recognition of differences of opinion as well as:—
“Widespread agreement that there must be some unity of faith and practice and some liberty of interpretation as to the nature of sacramental grace and of ministerial order and authority,”
suggestions were made for the consideration of the religious bodies concerned as to “more intimate knowledge of the faith and life, worship and order of the others” and “practical co-operation along social, evangelistic, and other lines”; and it was said:—
“Complete fellowship in the Church will be realized only when the way is opened for all God’s children to join in Communion at the Lord’s Table. . . . Some of us believe that full Communion can be reached only at the end of the process of unification; others that it may be used by God as the means to that end” (op. cit., pp. 535-541).
A “concluding statement” was drafted by the Chairman of the Conference at its request, which contained an earnest appeal for the study of the reports which “the representatives at Lausanne” would “bring home to their several Churches” (op. cit., pp. 474, 475). The facts that the second to the sixth reports were “received” and not “adopted” by the Conference, and that the eventual form of the seventh was not submitted to the Conference at all, and that the reports are entitled “Documents received by the Conference for transmission to the Churches,” involve the circumstances that there is little to which the Conference as a whole is committed. This absence of tangible result is not to be regretted. The important facts have been the [11/12] significance of the Conference itself; the proved possibility of such divergent elements meeting together for friendly, patient, and frank discussions in which differences as well as agreements were clearly shown; and the submission of statements to the religious bodies represented at the Conference for their consideration. There is a distinct advantage in the absence of conclusions to which representatives are committed. It is frequently the case in conferences that the discussions are good and useful, but that ambiguities used to cover disagreement on important matters do harm. It is important to observe that the large amount of acceptance which the reports did in fact receive at the Conference was due to the terms used in them, such as “union” and “church,” admitting of different interpretations. Indeed, the Declaration made by Archbishop Germanos on behalf of the Eastern Orthodox Church was occasioned by this ambiguity. In it the Archbishop said:—
“We hold it to be of importance that we should specify here certain points in order to make manifest the differences which separate us from other members of the Conference. For example, while the Report on the Message of the Church, since it is drafted on the basis of the teaching of the Holy Scripture, is in accordance with the Orthodox conception and can be accepted by us, it is otherwise with the two other Reports, on the Nature of the Church and upon the Common Confession of the Faith of the Church. The drafting of these two latter was carried out on a basis of compromise between what in our understanding are conflicting ideas and meanings, in order to arrive at an external agreement in the letter alone; whereas, as has often at other times been emphasized in statement by representatives of the Orthodox [12/13] Church, in matters of faith and conscience there is no room for compromise. For us, two different meanings cannot be covered by, and two different concepts cannot be deduced from, the same words of a generally agreed statement. Nor can we Orthodox hope that an agreement reached upon such statements would remain lasting” (op. cit., pp., 383, 384).
Among the many notable utterances in the discussions those which may be specially valued by Catholics include the words of the present Archbishop of York that:—
“agreement to differ as regards the ministry and sacraments would be the way to ensure disruption almost as soon as reunion on such a basis were achieved” (op. cit., p. 136);
of Bishop Gore that:—
“any reunion between Catholic and Protestant in a large sense is inconceivable except on the basis of acceptance in common of the Creeds as authoritative statements of the Faith in Christ” (op. cit., p. 165);
of Dr. Stefan Zankow that: —
“where the Church is found, there must also ipso facto be found Faith, Doctrine, and Creed; and . . . where the one Church of Christ is found, there are found, or ought to be found, one Faith, one Doctrine, and one Creed” (op. cit., p. 193);
of the Bishop of Gloucester that:—
“we build ourselves on the faith of Christ, the Holy Scriptures, and the expression of the faith in the Ecumenical Creed” (op. cit., p. 203); [13/14] and of Archbishop Germanos in the Declaration which he presented on behalf of the delegates from the Orthodox Church that:—
“the mind of the Orthodox Church is that reunion can take place only on the basis of the common faith and confession of the ancient, undivided Church of the seven Ecumenical Councils and of the first eight centuries” (op. cit., p. 384).
II. THE MALINES CONVERSATIONS.
The history and character of the Malines Conversations were very different from those of the Lausanne Conference. They had their origin in an interview of Lord Halifax and the Abbe Portal with Cardinal Mercier at Malines in the autumn of 1921. As a consequence of this interview meetings were held, at which were present Cardinal Mercier, Lord Halifax, Dr. Armitage Robinson, Dr. Frere, Mgr. Van Roey, and the Abbe Portal, to whom were afterwards added Bishop Gore, Dr. Kidd, Mgr. Batiffol, and M. Hemmer. After the first meeting “the Anglicans . . . came with the friendly cognizance of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Roman Catholics with the knowledge of the Holy See” (The Conversations at Malines, p. 18). In all, there were five Conversations in 1921, 1923, 1925, and 1926. Agreement was reached on very important points in regard to the sacraments and episcopacy, notably that “in the Eucharist ... by consecration the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ,” that “the sacrifice of the Eucharist is the same sacrifice as that of the cross, but offered in a mystical and sacramental manner,” and that “Communion in both kinds is not a matter of doctrine, but one of ecclesiastical discipline.” Further, it was agreed that the Pope “has a primacy among all the bishops of Christendom; so that, without communion with him, there is in fact no prospect of a reunited Christendom” (op. cit. pp. 32, 33, 78-81). The cessation of the Conversations after the death of Cardinal Mercier prevented the full discussion of the relation of the papacy to the episcopate which, the Committee understands, was contemplated. It should be noticed that the question of doctrinal authority was not formally discussed.
III. THE PROJECT FOR UNION IN SOUTH INDIA.
Conferences variously constituted have been held in South India with a view to reunion since the latter years of the nineteenth century. Early in the twentieth century beginnings of actual union affecting the “Dutch Reformed Church,” the “United Free Church of Scotland,” the “London Missionary Society” and American Congregationalists took place; and in 1908 the “South India United Church” was formed. In 1919 a conference of representatives of the Anglican Church and of the “South India United Church” was held, and a statement was issued declaring the aim to be a united and visible Church in which the Congregational, Presbyterian, and Episcopal elements should be preserved. A joint Committee was appointed, and very important meetings of this Committee, including representatives of the Anglican Church, of the “South India United Church,” and of the Wesleyan Methodists, were held at Bangalore in 1928 and at Madras in 1929. As a result of the Madras meeting a “Proposed Scheme of Union” was drawn up for presentation to the different religious bodies concerned. It proposes union between the following: —
“(1) The Church of India, Burma and Ceylon (formerly known as the Church of England in India) with regard to the dioceses of Madras; Tinnevelly, Madura and Ramnad; Dornakal; and Travancore and Cochin.
“(2) The South India United Church . . . itself the result of a movement which brought into organic union the Churches in South India and Ceylon established [16/17] by the missions of certain Presbyterian (Reformed) Churches in Great Britain and the United States of America; the London Missionary Society and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, both of which are supported mainly by Congregational Churches; and (in the Malabar District) by the Basel Evangelical Mission, a union Mission supported by Lutheran and Reformed (Presbyterian) Churches in Germany and Switzerland.
“(3) The South India Province of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, including the Districts of Madras, Negapatam and Trinchinopoly, Hyderabad, and Mysore” “(Proposed Scheme of Union, Section I.)
The magnitude of the scheme, and the practical importance of it, may be seen by the estimate that of these three sections there are nearly 400,000 members of the first, nearly 240,000 of the second, and nearly 112,000 of the third. The proposals for union start from the basis which the Lambeth Conference of 1888 adopted from the General Convention of the American Church in 1886, namely, “the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,” the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, “the two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord,” and “the historic episcopate,” and it is said:—
“The uniting Churches hold the faith which the Church has ever held in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind; and in accordance with the revelation of God which He made, being Himself God Incarnate, they worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.
“They accept the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as containing all things necessary to salvation and as the ultimate standard of faith.
 “They accept the Apostles’ Creed and the Creed commonly called the Nicene, as witnessing to and safeguarding that faith, which is continuously confirmed in the spiritual experience of the Church of Christ, and as containing a sufficient statement thereof for a basis of union.
“They believe that the Sacraments of Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, ordained by Christ Himself, are means of grace through which God works in us; and agree that they should be ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
“ They believe that the Ministry is a gift of God through Christ to His Church; that God Himself calls men into the Ministry through His Holy Spirit, and that their vocation is to lead God’s people in worship, prayer and praise, and through pastoral ministrations, the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments (all these made effective by faith) to assist men to receive the saving and sanctifying benefits of Christ and to fit them for service; and they believe that in ordination God, in answer to the prayer of His Church, bestows on and assures to those whom He has called and His Church has accepted for any particular form of the Ministry a commission for it and the grace appropriate to it, which grace, if humbly used, will enable the ministers to perform the same” (op. cit., Section III. A).
“The uniting Churches, recognizing that the episcopate, the councils of the presbyters, and the congregation of the faithful must all have their appropriate places in the order of life of the united Church, accept in particular the historic episcopate in a constitutional [18/19] form as part of their basis of union, without intending thereby to imply, or to express a judgement on, any theory concerning episcopacy” (op. cit., Section III. B).
It is proposed that this “United Church” shall:—
“seek to be in full communion with the Churches of the Anglican Communion, and equally to be in such relations of communion and fellowship with other Churches as are now maintained with those Churches by the South India United Church and the Wesleyan Church in South India” (op. cit., Section IV. A. 1);
and there is no sign that this is not a permanent arrangement which may continue after the interim period estimated at thirty years. There is “intention and expectation” (op. cit., Section IV. B. 6) that eventually all the ministers of the United Church shall be ordained by bishops; but this is not definitely secured.
During the interim period:—
“all the other ministers [i.e., other than the bishops] of the uniting churches in the area of the union shall be acknowledged as ministers of the Word and of the Sacraments in the United Church, each retaining the standing (whether as a minister authorized to celebrate the Holy Communion, or as a deacon or a probationer) which he had before union in his own Church” (op. cit., Section III. C. 1);
and at the end of this period the question of “exceptions to the general principle of an episcopally ordained ministry” will be considered and decided (op. cit., Section IV. B. 6).
 The suggestions in regard to the receiving of Communion during this interim period are somewhat vague, in this respect differing from the explicit proposal in the earlier Bangalore report that a non-episcopally ordained minister might be in charge of a hitherto Anglican congregation if no objection to this was made by any communicant of the congregation. It is said:—
“The complete spiritual unity within the Church in South India which is the aim of the uniting Churches will not be attained till all the members of the United Church are willing and wishful to receive Communion equally in all of its Churches, and it is the resolve of the uniting Churches to do all in their power to that end.
“They recognize that the act of Union will initiate a process of growing together into one life and of advance towards that complete spiritual unity. If during this process difficulties and anomalies arise, the United Church will be careful not to allow any over-riding of conscience by Church authorities or by majorities; nor will it in its administrative acts knowingly transgress the long established traditions of any of the uniting Churches.
“They believe that these ends can rightly be attained not by the framing of detailed regulations, but by assurances given and received in a spirit of mutual confidence and love.
“They therefore pledge themselves and fully trust each other that in the United Church no arrangements with regard to Churches, congregations or ministers will knowingly be made, either generally or in particular cases, which would offend the conscientious convictions of any persons directly [20/21] concerned, or which would hinder the development of complete unity within the Church, or imperil its subsequent progress towards union with other Churches” (pp. cit., Section IV. B. 3).
An important point is in regard to Confirmation. It is laid down that:—
“all persons who at the time of the union are communicant members of any of the uniting Churches in the area of the union shall have the privileges and responsibilities of communicant members of the United Church, and as such shall be at liberty to receive Communion in any of its churches Cop. cit., Section III. D);
“Until the synod of the Church shall frame general rules with regard to full or communicant membership, either the rite of confirmation administered by a bishop of the Church, or such a service of admission to full membership as was in use in the South India United Church before the union, or such a service for the recognition of new members as was in use in the Wesleyan Church in South India before the union, shall be employed in admitting persons to full or communicant membership of the united Church, and persons so admitted shall be recognized as communicants throughout the whole Church” (op. cit., Section VI. 5).
LAUSANNE.—It is greatly to be hoped that conferences like that at Lausanne may be continued. The frank expression of agreement, and disagreement, the real endeavour to understand and appreciate the positions of other men, and the promotion of kindly feelings and intercourse, are most valuable. The danger in such conferences, as has already been suggested (see p. 12 above), is lest by an unreal use of language and by ambiguous phraseology actual differences, particularly in regard to the fundamental character of the Church and the ministry and the Sacraments, should be cloaked by an apparent agreement which contains the seeds of future difficulty and conflict. The more facts, including those of disagreement, are clearly recognized, the more conferences of this kind are likely to be practically useful. Further, it is of great importance that such conferences should avoid recommendations for immediate action before unanimity is secured. The possibility of such recommendations tends to create an atmosphere of suspicion rather than of sympathy and confidence.
MALINES.—It will be of great service if such conversations as those at Malines can be resumed. In these smaller gatherings of picked theologians and ecclesiastics the meaning of historical events, of documents, and of policy can receive much illumination, and here again the spirit which makes for union can be cultivated.
SOUTH INDIA.—The project for union in South India is of special importance. So vast a movement, animated by so strong a spirit of Christian charity and good will, must claim great sympathy; and it is impossible not to recognize [22/23] the courage with which there has been the resolve to overcome obstacles which might well have seemed insuperable.
At the same time, the proposals obviously ought to receive the most careful criticism as well as consideration before they are accepted by the Church in India, the Episcopal Synod and General Council of which, it is understood, will proceed to deliberate on them early in 1930. Among other matters, and apart from details, careful attention is needed to (1) the relation of the United Church to such other bodies as the Wesleyans and Congregationalists in England; (2) the position of affairs during the interim period in regard to the ministry and Sacraments of the United Church; (3) the provision of some security for universal episcopal ordinations at the end of this period; (4) a means for the requirement of Confirmation as a sacramental rite completing Baptism, and a necessary element in the life of the Church, and not merely a ceremony for admission to Communion.
It may indeed be hoped that, where so much has already been accomplished, further negotiations and patient effort may produce a scheme which all can accept without violence to conscience. But, if the Lambeth Conference approve and the English Episcopate assent to the South India proposals in their present form—in particular, if the Church of England is to be in full communion with those who are simultaneously in full communion with non-episcopal bodies; if concessions are made for an interim period on grounds of “economy” but without definite provision, required in the judgement of the Committee to justify such concessions, that at the end of the interim period episcopal ordination and confirmation will be universal; or if approval is given or necessarily implied of the view that episcopal ordination is not necessary, at least in all ordinary circumstances, for the valid celebration of the Holy Eucharist—then the gravest question will arise for many Churchpeople as to whether it [23/24] is possible to remain in conscientious communion with the see of Canterbury. So far as members of the Committee can at present judge, there are many for whom it would not be possible; and, after full consideration and with a very heavy sense of responsibility, they feel bound to say this expressly both in view of statements which are being made that “there is no real risk, of separation “and in order that those who have the same apprehensions as the Committee may be earnest in prayer, above all that this issue may not arise, but also that, if it does arise, they may be strengthened by God to face in unity and with courage the many dangers and the great sacrifices which would be involved.
This Report was presented and the following Resolutions were passed by the President and Council at a Special Meeting held November 27, 1929:—
“That the report of the Committee on Faith and Order be received.”
“That the President and Council express their “agreement with the conclusions in Section IV., and in particular with the grave Words which the Committee has used in paragraph 3 of this Section.”
“That copies of the above report and resolutions be sent to all members of the Lambeth Conference, and to the members of the Lower Houses of the Convocations of Canterbury and York.”
Signed on behalf of the Council.