Primate of Hong Kong Elected As The New Anglican Consultative Council Chair; Hong Kong Archbishop Says He Will Work 'To Serve Communion By Coordinating Work Initiatives'

Hong Kong archbishop elected to chair Anglican Consultative Council
Hong Kong archbishop elected to chair Anglican Consultative Council (photo: Photo Credit: ACNS)
By Michelle GuanzonApril 20th, 2016

The primate and archbishop of Hong Kong, Rev. Dr. Paul Kwong, has been recently elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council or ACC on April 15th ACC election.

The second and current archbishop and primate of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Rev. Kwong said during the press conference that he was "deeply honored and humbled" for the new position.

"There are far too many things and we have to [tackle] them together for the world," he said.

Hong Kong - despite its mix of Western and Eastern cultures, was "basically a Chinese community. Chinese culture is very inclusive. Normally, we don't judge who is wrong and who is right. We walk together with those who are right and also with those who are wrong," Kwong explained how his background would be a great advantage in helping the Communion together.

"Coming from this kind of culture, perspective and attitude I think I would probably make some contribution to the life of the Communion. But I don't know how successful I will be because I don't think a single person can achieve all these things. In order to achieve these goals, in order to hold the Communion together, I have to work with every single person in the ACC and within the other instruments of unity," he further added.

Dr. Kwong will be replacing former Southern Malawi Bishop James Tengatenga who was elected as ACC-14 seat in 2009 in Jamaica.

Kwong's leading the ACC marks the second time that the Communion has elected a primate as its chair. It was remembered that it was Auckland Bishop John Paterson was a primate of Anglican Church in Aotearoa in New Zealand and Polynesia when he was being elected during ACC-12 in 2002.

The ACC was found in the year 1969 and the chair has moved from a lay member, to clergy, to bishops and now to a primate.

Some people like Jim Naughton took to Twitter about his concern for having a primate as the ACC chair.


While some people might see it negative, others may see it as an advantage according to Kwong.

"The role of the chair of ACC is not just to chair meetings," he said. "The chair of ACC, as I see the role and responsibilities, is to connect people - or reconnect people - in the Communion." He said that the four Instruments of Communion were "not independent from each other" and needed to be connected to each other "for the purpose of holding the Community [together], building up the community and making the community relevant to the world."

Archbishop Kwong received 40 votes while his opponent on the position, Professor Joanildo Burity from Brazil received 25 votes.

Anglican Consultative Council or ACC's role is to facilitate the co-operative work of the Anglican Communion churches. It also helps exchange information between churches and provinces and coordinates common action. It advises structures and organizations of the Communion and finds ways to develop policies including ecumenical matters.

The ACC convene every two or three years in different parts of the world.


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