Living Church: Church of Mexico Adopts Anglican Covenant

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church of Mexico, which was part of the Episcopal Church until 1995, has become the first province to adopt the Anglican Covenant.

The province adopted the Covenant during its sixth General Synod, which met June 11-12 in Mexico City.

“We are delighted to hear that Mexico has agreed to adopt the Covenant,” said the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. “Provinces were asked to take their time to seriously consider this document, and we are glad to hear from recent synods that they are doing just that.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican Covenant* International News & CommentaryMexico

42 Comments
Posted June 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Hmmm.  So the first province officially to adopt the Covenant has a primate with a history of favoring the relativist pro-gay agenda?  I’m not sure that’s what the ACI team had in mind, but no wonder Canon Kearon is happy.  Alas, I’m afraid this tends to show that the current Covenant, with its toothless section 4 built around the notoriously untrustworthy “Standing Committee of the AC,” is in serious danger of proving useless.

David Handy+

June 30, 5:00 pm | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

As it ever was and ever shall be, until the end of the Anglican Communion.  Amen.

June 30, 5:53 pm | [comment link]
3. robroy wrote:

I think that Ms Schori wanted her crony provinces to not sign the Covenant. Does this bode ill for The Episcopal Communion?

June 30, 10:54 pm | [comment link]
4. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

David,
I think Mexico will immediately be discounted as an unimportant player in whatever pan-Anglican agenda lobby. 
Fickle.

July 1, 3:48 am | [comment link]
5. wvparson wrote:

Robroy, I do think it interested that a province regarded as being within the TEC “sphere of interest” has broken ranks and adopted the Covenant.

July 1, 7:24 am | [comment link]
6. Bishop Daniel Martins wrote:

David (#1), the party most qualified to evaluate the sharpness of any given set of teeth is probably the one being bitten. By the lights of the “progressive” majority in TEC and elsewhere, the Covenant’s teeth are plenty sharp. The decision in Mexico is hugely significant. It bodes well for a convenant-based Anglican Communion, and bodes ill for the maverick trajectory of TEC. I’m going to fix myself a margarita in thanksgiving!

July 1, 9:31 am | [comment link]
7. Neal in Dallas wrote:

David (#1), for Mexico, being so friendly to TEC and its direction, to adopt the Covenant is tremendously positive. It shows their unwillingness to walk apart from the Anglican Communion.

I think we’re seeing that Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori has signaled her displeasure for the Covenant and her fear of its teeth. Yet, in the global family of Anglicanism, she may end up alone in walking apart. just the very thing that the drafters of the Windsor Report intended, namely, to help those on the edge to understand what actions are not in keeping with the unity of the Communion.

July 1, 10:02 am | [comment link]
8. optimus prime wrote:

David (#1)
I might suggest that you look closely at the PB claims in her pastoral response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pastoral Letter of late May. There are two key points here. First, she insists that Archbishop has acted as if the Covenant were currently in effect even though it is not. Second, in the letter, she recognizes that TEC has taken a path not consonant with the larger Church’s understanding of the matter of the consecration of gay and lesbian bishops. It would follow, based on her logic alone, that a church’s signing onto the Covenant would indicate a separation of life and order between that church and the Episcopal church. Therefore I would suggest that Mexico’s signing on would be viewed by the PB, again according to her own argument, in both a negative light, and as departing from the life of autonomous action that TEC has chosen.

Further, I cannot imagine that Mexico does not recognize that it has departed from the path taken by TEC. Of what is this indicative? Who knows exactly; but it is in fact, a clear indication of a willingness to engage in common life (there certainly was no coercion in signing on; it was done freely and willingly). It has now knowingly agreed to bind itself in relationship with the next church that signs on with all responsibilities and implications this entails. Section four is not punitive. This was never its intent. The Christian life is about the willingness to stay steadfastly in relationship - even through suffering and disagreement - and this is what the Covenant offers: an explicit framework for identifying what it means to be in relationship as we discern Scripture and our traditions (reception of Scripture, order and practice) over time, and the procedures for dealing with issues where there is perceived break in the commitments to that relationship. But that relationship is one that is freely entered into and relies upon a moral authority of faithfulness, trust and commitment to maintain.

So Mexico has chosen to enter into this life. Who will sign on next and how will this shape the life of the covenanting churches? Who knows. But our life together in the church is God’s to order. We are called to trust in his provision despite our desire to control all things with legalistic measures of ecclesial existence. The Christian life is not about assurance. It is not about assurance brought about by our own measures, mechanisms and structures. Rather it is about our willingness to submit our lives to being ordered and shaped in ways that are often painful or frightening or not in accordance with out own desires or goals - by God’s work through our church. So Mexico has chosen to bind itself to those willing to enter into relationship with it. It will be very interesting to see what God makes of churches (here I obviously make the hopeful assumption others will sign on) who are willing to commit to enduring common life in this particular way given that our last 500 hundred years have been marked by a running away from common life in various ways. Very interesting indeed.

July 1, 10:51 am | [comment link]
9. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thanks for the thoughtful responses of Dan Martins+ (#6), Neal Mitchell+ (#7), and OP (#8) to my #1.  I’m sorry if I came across as a killjoy, raining on a festive parade.  I agree that this is a potentially very significant development, and that it bodes well for the whole Windsor/ABoC/ACI Covenant-based approach of trying to contain the epidemic by isolating TEC within the AC and relegating it to a lesser second-tier status.

We’ll see how it pans out as more provinces make their decisions for or against the Covenant (in either its current or perhaps some form with a stronger section 4).  I’m glad if Covenant supporters are encouraged and even thrilled by this rather surprising move by the former TEC satelllite, the province of Mexico.  That’s perfectly understandable.  A margarita is an apt celebration, Dan.  Some may even want to break a pinyata or put on a mariachi album and enjoy a little dance.  On the whole, I’m encouraged too.

But I remain skeptical that the Covenant will come anywhere close to being adequate to deal with the deep-seated, pervasive ills that trouble the AC.  However, in the meantime, I rejoice with you that our Anglican neighbors to the south have turned away from the reckless follies of TEC and turned toward the wider global Anglican family instead.

David Handy+

July 1, 11:52 am | [comment link]
10. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Oops, I left out a key word in the 2nd paragraph.  I meant that we’ll see how things develop as more provinces decide to adopt or not adopt the Covenant, in either its current or some future form.

As we all know, among the ways that love is decribed by Paul in 1 Cor. 13 is the idea that love doesn’t rejoice at wrong, but “rejoices in the right.”  Even if Mexico’s adoption of the Covenant is only a partial step in the right direction, at least it is indeed a positive move, and I’m not so cynical about the Covenant that I can’t rejoice in that.  Party on, Fr. Dan, Canon Neal, and company.

David Handy+

July 1, 12:01 pm | [comment link]
11. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

I’d like to hear others who have been in partner relationship with various dioceses in Mexico to chime in here, but I’m going to suggest from my own experience and understanding that the “sphere of influence” regarding Mexico to TECUSA has largely been limited to one person, +Carlos Touche-Porter (Primate) and his own sphere of influence.  Mexico as a whole, however, I would suggest, does not share the kind of trajectory that TECUSA is on.  And so they all get together and make it a vote for Anglican Communion rather than a vote for liberalist separation.  I think this helps explain why a certain Mexican bishop (now retired) found it necessary to leave Mexico and find a job in a certain “progressive” diocese in TECUSA.
I just don’t think the revisionist ties are that deep.  Thus it will be easy for anti-Covenant leader voices in TECUSA to simply move on from this vote and will not take it hard.  Rank-and-file revisionists in TECUSA, though, who have been sold the idea that “Mexico is with us” will respond with fretting, fuming and general angst.
The vote might indeed encourage other Provinces to get on with approval.  I’m looking forward to more and more smaller Provinces making such announcements.

July 1, 12:07 pm | [comment link]
12. Jeff Walton wrote:

Does anyone know if Northern Mexico still has a partner diocese relationship with Fort Worth? I vaguely recall that after DioFW left the Episcopal Church, the Northern Mexico diocese sent a letter of encouragement.

July 1, 12:49 pm | [comment link]
13. tjmcmahon wrote:

Jeff,
The press release of last week, issued by the Diocese of Ft. Worth after their success in the appeal (see Baby Blue who has it posted) ended with the following quote:
“The diocese enjoys companion relationships with the Dioceses of Northern Malawi and Northern Mexico.”
Of course, I suppose the TEC faux diocese also claims such a relationship, but clearly Bishop Iker and the real diocese have maintained the relationship.

July 1, 7:40 pm | [comment link]
14. tjmcmahon wrote:

Rob+ Thank you for the clarification on the rank and file clergy and laity in Mexico.  I have always been surprised by how revisionist statements have poured out of Mexico.  Now I know why.  I know that there was substantial disappointment with TEC’s own Latin American dioceses when one after another withheld consent from Forrester, and I believe a number withheld consent on Glasspool as well.  Perhaps the TEC hegemony over the Americas is not quite so complete as 815 would have us believe.

July 1, 7:44 pm | [comment link]
15. Stephen Noll wrote:

Leaving aside the question of the politics of Mexico and TEC, I am curious whether commenters here think it is a wise and good thing for ANY province to adopt the Covenant which gives final authority to a Standing Committee which includes five Primates, Katherine Schori, Wales, NZ, with Middle East and Uganda abstaining) and nine others including Ian Douglas, with Bp. Azad Marshall withdrawing. Remember that Rowan Williams has just defended the Standing Committee as it stands.

July 2, 8:34 am | [comment link]
16. cseitz wrote:

Let us see what the Standing Committee ends up looking like, especially in a season where the PB appears to be isolating herself and TEC as a victim. The ‘baby bishops’ were told by Beers that Rowan Williams had written a letter asking the PB to recuse herself. He and Kearon have spoken clearly about the moratoria as criteria (even face to face in the Daniel’s Den of Executive Council, and cf the ensuing ire on the Left). Can a rep from the Primates remain as a voted member of the SC—they are the ones who placed her there, not the ACC. I suspect that is the question, and it may be one that the PB has some sense of the answer to, which would explain her whistle stop campaign to Canada, SEC, NZ, Australia. The Left is united in its opposition to the Covenant, and they are the ones now being (and perceive themselves as being) pressured by developments. I also wonder if we have received the final word re: Bishop Douglas. Not only is it questionable one can resign and be voted in for another slot at the ACC without touching on the SC composition issue—unless there has been a change of policy, SSBs are approved in CT. I can’t speak for the commenters here but assume they see the adoption of the covenant as moving in the right direction because it is what TEC so vehemently opposes and because it offers some hope for a Communion majority view to emerge and shape the Anglican future, including a SC which reflects the actual mind of the Communion. That is something worth working for and not conceding, given especially the question mark hanging over the SC. The resignations of Bishop Azad and PB Mouneer may have their own final good effect, if they focus light on the problems with Schori and Douglas serving on this committee. RDW indicated he was taking counsel with the Primates. It would be hard to imagine that matters like Schori’s standing within the Primates Meeting were not under discussion, and the letter to her and the campaign she is on suggest the likelihood that the stakes have been raised.

July 2, 8:59 am | [comment link]
17. tjmcmahon wrote:

Drs. Noll and Seitz-
With the Anglican Communion News Service reporting that Abp Orombi has resigned as a rep on the Standing Committee, and Abp. Akrofi resigning as the alternate, and with ++Mouneer and +Aziz having been “replaced” by some unknown process outside of election by a meeting of the Standing Committee, Primates, ACC or anyone else, and with +Douglas on the official list of attendees, at least according to ENS, just where does this leave us?
  Obviously, the SC is compromised, but honestly, that has been obvious since the day the JSC report was issued at Dar that whitewashed TEC and was never seen by the GS primate on the JSC prior to its publication in the world press.
  It seems that if the Standing Committee meets under the current circumstances, and KJS and Douglas are seated, irreparable harm will be done to the Communion.  And with virtually the entire membership of the Standing Committee being from the revisionist and moderate-revisionist wing of the Communion (it being quite obvious that anyone who might be termed orthodox is refusing to sit in the vacated seats), it seems unlikely that Douglas and KJS will be barred from their seats.  However, if you have any insight into what is going on that might cause this to happen, I for one would be thrilled to hear it.

July 2, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
18. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Dr. Noll (#15),

I’m glad you raised that important and timely question.  As my #1 implies, I remain deeply skeptical about the Covenant’s effectiveness, especially in its current form.  Personally, I think the GS leaders in Singapore were quite right to hold off and not sign the thing as it currently stands.  The resignation of ++Akrofi and ++Orombi instead points in the right direction: refusing to play along with the AboC’s futile games.

Potent new wine often demands new wineskins.  The attempt to patch up the old wineskins of the AC as we know it and to salvage its current institutional forms is not only futile but is highly likely to prove counter-productive and make things worse in the end.  Just as the Master warned us (Mark 2:22).  The genius of Anglicanism is precious and I believe it will survive the inevitable collapse of its obsolete, weak polity arrangements at the international level.

David Handy+

July 2, 12:45 pm | [comment link]
19. cseitz wrote:

The news from ACNS and ENS is worrisome. How can the Standing Committee have voted to replace a lay woman from South Africa with a clerical appt (Janet Trask); unless the bylaws were amended, this is not kosher. Also, how was the Asia rep chosen to replace Mouneer? That would need to be a primatial vote, unless I am mistaken.

July 2, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
20. cseitz wrote:

TJ—you can’t have rule breaking (Trask), musical chairs (Douglas), moratoria claimed to be pertinent but then irrelevant on the SC (Schori and Douglas), disproportional systems for determining Primate-reps (Americas and Africa get one each) and expect the system to work and be credible. If these matters are not addressed and rectified, the SC is unworkable. The ACNS speaks of ‘membership issues’ being on the agenda in July’s meeting. If something does not happen to address these ‘issues’ then the SC will lack all credibility and the choices will narrow down.
Radner and ACI have also raised the larger question as to whether such a committee was truly what the covenant had in view. At issue is allowing the largest body of anglicans a way to remain a Communion, and not devolving into ‘let’s start all over with our new winner-polity.’ Sarah Hey has been tireless in pointing out, in her inimitable way, that whatever else may be good about it, GAFCON is not the GS or what one might call the conservative majority.

July 2, 3:13 pm | [comment link]
21. tjmcmahon wrote:

Dr. Seitz,
You will get no argument from me over the lack of legitimacy of the Standing Committee.  However, it is pretty clear that they are poised to give TEC another pass, and like as not reappoint TEC members barred by the ABC and who knows what else.
I do not confuse Gafcon and the GS.  I note that 2 of the 4 members who resigned (going back to Abp. Mouneer) are NOT members of Gafcon.
However, as of this morning, Douglas remains listed as a member of the committee, which indeed means that TEC is in the driver’s seat- else he would have been gone in mid April, when under the constitution and bylaws he ceased to be a member of the ACC (as you and your colleagues have substantiated in a couple excellent papers).  That he remains there is an indication that TEC’s power remains undiminished, even if it has been embarrassed by having its reps unseated from ecumenical councils, and a certain famous hat incident.

July 2, 3:26 pm | [comment link]
22. cseitz wrote:

Correct, please, ACNA to ‘ACNS’—and also, please, my comment above is not a criticism of Gafcon. It is that the danger is real of breaking up a considerable anglican consensus by asking people to start something new. This also does not marry up well with the realities in many parts of the communion, and may suggest that what God has been doing in the history of anglican missionary growth is not His to grow and winnow, but belongs for us to sort out. I think the covenant is worth fighting for. If it collapses and all bets are off, that will be the time to decide what kind of anglicanism could emerge on the other side of things. My sense was that TEC was being given a yellow card, and that they saw it and reacted as if no foul should have been noted, and it was. If the SC is not held to a higher standard than at present, how can it function in respect of anything, much less a covenant?

July 2, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
23. cseitz wrote:

If you asked me to fix the SC, TJ, then, 1) Trask cannot be seated, as it breaks the bylaws; 2) Douglas and Schori must be demoted in some way if the moratoria are to make any sense; Douglas is also a musical chairs appointment anyway; 3) the Primates Meeting needs to deal with the disproportional problem of their reps (and how was the replacement for Mouneer chosen?); if I were a Primate I would also ask for a greater representation than 5 on the SC 4) how can the Primates Meeting allow the PB to serve as their rep when the moratoria have been broken by her? The Primates Meeting is not until January, and +RDW has said he is consulting with them about the Glasspool matter (his Pentecost Letter) and its ramifications. I think that needs addressing if the SC is going to work.

July 2, 3:34 pm | [comment link]
24. Neal in Dallas wrote:

I agree with Fr. Seitz, to the extent that I do not mischaracterize what he is saying.

First, I understand why +Rowan would use the Standing Committee of the ACC as the vehicle for the implementation of the Covenant; namely, he wants to avoid the charge of creating a new or deeper level of bureaucracy.

However, as Ephraim Radner has pointed out (also, if I understand his position correctly), the Standing Committee of the ACC is NOT “the Standing Committee” that was envisioned by the drafters of the Covenant—he should know as he is a member of said group. The intention was that a Standing Committee would emerge from among those provinces that had adopted the Covenant. I believe they envisioned that not everyone on the ACC would necessarily have adopted the Covenant; thus, it would be inappropriate for non-Covenantal members who are still a part of the ACC to deal with matters pertaining to the Covenanted Community.

Second, the ACC Standing Committee, regardless of who implements the Covenant, still has a moral obligation to deal clearly with the membership issues.  If it was necessary not to seat Phil Ashey as a representative from Uganda because he is a member of the Ugandan Church by virtue of border crossing, then it is also necessary for that same office to maintain the integrity of its membership according to Dr. Seitz’ post #23. There are both moratoria-violating issues involved as well as basic rules of membership issues.  Otherwise, rules (and canons) will show themselves to be meaningless.

Third, in response to Dr. Noll (post #15), I would say that it is nevertheless important to adopt the Covenant, even with the Standing Committee of the ACC initially serving as the implementer of the Covenant. Once you have the Covenanted Community in place, it will develop an internal life of its own. Although the Standing Committee of the ACC may start out as the implementer of the Covenant, it may not end up as the implementer once all the Covenanted Provinces are in place.

Finally, I do believe that we should be concerned about these membership issues and therefore pray daily that the ACC will implement the recommendations of Archbishop Williams.

July 2, 4:05 pm | [comment link]
25. cseitz wrote:

I concur, Neal in Dallas. On membership: +Tengatenga himself said that he thought the Primates should ask for greater representation, and more proportional representation, on the SC. I do not take the apparent seating of Schori and Douglas (as stated by ENS) as an indication the matter is settled. If membership issues are to be discussed, then top of the list is 1) the Trask seating as clergy rep instead of lay rep, 2) Douglas and Schori as moratoria breakers, 3) better representation on the present SC (making it also more like what covenant designers had in view to begin with).

July 2, 4:23 pm | [comment link]
26. tjmcmahon wrote:

Dr. Seitz,
(Please understand that I do not mean to be argumentative here, but want to make sure I am clear, and have spent some time in the recent weeks communicating on some of these issues).
On the issue of seating Trask, as to how she was chosen, I could not say, but I am not aware that there is any stipulation that standing committee membership is dependent upon which of the 3 orders of ministry one holds. I did ask the Communion Office about this, and they did not contradict my understanding, although I will concede that your knowledge in this area is superior to mine, a quick perusal of the ACC bylaws would seem to confirm this. The “orders of ministry” DO apply to ACC membership (one bishop, one presbyter and one lay for those provinces that get 3 reps, and one lay person and one clergy-presbyter or bishop, for those that get 2).  The Standing Committee is an open election within the ACC- so one does have to be a member of the ACC (which should disqualify Douglas, since he ceased to hold his clerical seat upon his consecration), but can be of any order.  Trask could not replace a lay member in her ACC seat, but as an ACC member, can replace another ACC member on the Standing Committee.

July 2, 4:48 pm | [comment link]
27. cseitz wrote:

Casual Vacancies on the Standing Committee

In the event of a casual vacancy occurring in the membership of the Standing Committee between Council meetings the Standing Committee itself shall have power to appoint a member of the Council of the same order as the representative who filled the vacant place and such member shall have full voting rights for the remainder of the term of service of the former member. Such member shall, subject to his or her eligibility for continuing membership of the Council, be eligible for re‑election to the Standing Committee at the next Council meeting.

July 2, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
28. wvparson wrote:

I think we are seeing the membership of the SC as it is now, before the results of +RW’s consultations have finished and the SC and the Primates have actually met. If its is decided to exclude the TEC members of both bodies then the problem of who serves on these agencies will be moot. Even with the present composition the SC has a majority of traditional or moderate members. It would seem that only the Primates may decide who may or may not be seated in the committee which is an aspect of their Instrumentality, and probably only the ACC may decide finally who represents whom on the SC.

At the moment the problem of the SC is deepened by the resignation of traditionalist members. It is hardly appropriate for traditionalists to grumble about the membership of the SC when they boycott its meetings or resign from it, on the dubious grounds that they cannot sit in the same room with the TEC PB. Now that the Archbishop has acted in those areas within his “gift” one would expect support from traditionalists rather than obstruction.

July 2, 5:19 pm | [comment link]
29. jamesw wrote:

I think we are seeing the membership of the SC as it is now, before the results of +RW’s consultations have finished and the SC and the Primates have actually met.

I don’t know that I would make such an assumption at all.  Rather, it seems to me that the sudden, multiple resignations from GS representatives coupled with no apparent sign at all that TEC’s representatives will not be there, suggest that the GS representatives smell a rat.

If the GS representatives were confident that RW would move to block Douglas and KJS (as he certainly could take the leadership on), and that such a move would be successful, then it would strike me as exceedingly odd that they resigned.  If, on the other hand, their intelligence reports indicate that Douglas and KJS will attend, then the resignations are completely in line with what was decided at Singapore earlier this year.

July 2, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
30. wvparson wrote:

Inevitably from me, a bit of history. After the Restoration in 1660 the CofE sought to restore its disciplinary authority. Gradually over about 50 years, two factors frustrated this process. The Later Stuarts, in seeking to protect Roman Catholics from eccledsiastical, statutory discipline issued a series of Indulgences. To demonstrate even handedness they covered Nonconformists by these Indulgences. (James II went too far and was forced to abdicate.)  These Indulgences were also in force in the colonies in which the CofE was Established.

With the accession of William and Mary the CofE leadership attempted to reconcile the mainstream Nonconformists by backing the repeal or non observance of the laws which restricted their freedom. A side effect of all this was a decline of general disciplinary standards. Athough this opened the door for movements such as the Evangelical and Tractarian revivals, which each in their own way defied liturgical conformity, the result was a “live and let live” policy. In the later 19th Century both the CofE and TEC attempted to reassert discipline with respect to Anglo Catholicism with lamentable results. What emerged was a sort of offical Nelsonian blind eye to experimentation, accompanied by a refusual to officially endorse controverisal experiments until they became generally tolerated or received. Indeed this form of liberality became an unofficial “mark” of Anglicanism, and asserted as one of its virtues.

It is from this “tradition” that the Communion now faces the challenge of what may be permitted and what not. Canterbury presides over a church in which this form of liberality is generally accepted. Ironically contemporary Anglo Catholicism has asserted this freedom in England by using rites and ceremonies not officially permitted by statute while opposing latitude shown to other “parties.”

Canada, for instance, may escape censure at present because it has not institutionalized its “experiments” while turning an official (and encouraging) blind eye to their use. TEC on the other hand has taken actions which formalize practices not generally received and so (with the Southern Cone and others) is disciplined.

The Covenant attempts to draw borders, breaches of which are defined as the official, legislative actions of participating provinces which breach these borders. One of the problems the Covenant process encounters is that while some provinces have created disciplinary structures tougher than those historically in use in other provinces whose composition is “comprehensive”.  They are heirs to missionaries who imposed upon their dioceses and later provinces a monochrome form of Churchmanship and thus discipline.

Thus we have here two forms of Anglican expression, one which is used to discipline and the other used to general freedom. Both may appeal to an Anglican tradition which seems to support their position.  What has changed is that many “comprehensive” provinces,  while appealing to comprehension, in fact have been narrowing that form of inclusion in favor of a governing “party”.  The Covenant seeks to straddle both traditions by identifying limits to diversity while affirming comprehension, no easy task, for in one way or another, both forms of Anglican tradition are challenged by a process which may seem either too disciplinary or too lax.

Tony

July 2, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
31. cseitz wrote:

#29—let’s not forget the timeline. 1. +Mouneer resigned BEFORE the letter to the PB, the Pentecost Letter and the PB’s Victim Junket. I also know that he felt a bit isolated, with +Uganda not there to help. That is not casting blame, just obvious for the dynamics of a meeting of a small number of people. 2. +Orombi has not been to any SC meeting, and it is not even clear if he resigned or was just replaced. (I would have thought that ‘alternate’ reps were not ‘back-up if the rep resigns’ reps, who could then resign themselves (Akrofi) but the usual meaning: attends meetings because the rep is sick, has conflict, etc; but saying that, the concept of ‘alternate’ was not predicated on a system where reps would feel the need to resign). 3. the only resignation that relates to this present season and whether there is trust or not is Bishop Azad. Indeed, one might conclude that the pressure RDW may have decided to apply (belatedly, if that’s your view) and which the PB and TECdom now resents; which includes the moratoria as pertinent to ‘faith and order’ internal to the Communion as well as external to ecumenical representation; fits together with the need to assure the trustworthiness of the SC, perhaps precisely in the light of +Mouneer’s resignation from a meeting even Kearon called the worst ever, in its last manifestation. The meeting is only 3 weeks or so away. I might have thought the removal of the PB would require the moratoria logic working in the Primates Meeting, who elected her and could vote her out in consequence. Douglas’s status: what do we really know about that, except for an ENS story? And is that the last word? Trisk seems to me a breach of the rules and ACO will have to respond to that as questions are now being put directing to it in the light of the bylaw cited above.

July 2, 6:22 pm | [comment link]
32. jamesw wrote:

Dr. Seitz - Yes, I was aware that Mouneer had resigned long before this.  I was thinking of Azad, Akofri and Orombi (who had long stated that he was not resigning, just not attending).

And it also seems to me that re: Douglas’ status - the ACNS announcement tells of personnel changes but doesn’t mention Douglas - thus implying that he remains an SC member.  It also announces Trask’s appointment, thus also implying that that is okay.

I don’t discount the possibility that this is just the opening gambit, and that at the end of the day, these issues will have properly worked themselves out.  It just strikes me that the evidence suggests that there is indeed the smell of rat emanating from this press release.

July 2, 6:40 pm | [comment link]
33. cseitz wrote:

I can’t speak to Orombi/Akrofi except to say, again, this almost sounds like housekeeping. Orombi never attended an SC meeting, Mouneer was on his own as a SC rep from the Primates from the Africa/Asia phalanx, and Justice was an alternate who attended the last meeting. That leaves, substantively, a resignation from Azad in our present season, as Orombi’s absence predates even Mouneer’s ‘long before’ resignation. Did Bp Azad ‘smell a rat’? Did the ‘rat’ mean, ‘Schori has clear blue water in front of her’? If so, it is hard to know why she is undertaking her present campaign; why the ABC asked her to consider recusing herself; why the moratoria were named as relevant to the Communion’s ordering; why the Pentecost letter (to which she responded so shirtily) mentioned consultation with Primates re: faith and order internal to the Communion’s life. The rat smell that seems to have been released latterly is TEC’s unilateralism and the naming of that.

July 2, 6:58 pm | [comment link]
34. jamesw wrote:

Dr. Seitz:  I assume then that there are legal grounds for removing Orombi from his position by virtue of his non-attendance.  It seems odd to me that suddenly now Orombi is gone - if he was removed, I trust that there are legal grounds for doing so (though why now?); if he resigned, then why now, when he had adamantly refused to resign earlier.  And why would Acofri resign - or are you suggesting that his departure wasn’t also a resignation?

I am not understanding this.  You are suggesting that only Azad resigned, yet it looks to me that over the course of this past week Orombi, Acofri and Azad resigned.  Could you shed some light?

July 2, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
35. cseitz wrote:

This is probably tedious. I apologise ahead of time. 1. Only Azad resigned publicly. 2. Orombi never attended a SC meeting. We learn by second-hand (ENS) that he resigned. Did he? I genuinely do not know. Does this mean that something happened recently that was not true before, as he never attended a previous meeting? What has happened that has provoked someone who never attended a meeting *before* to decide never to attend one *ever*? I really can’t say—the matter is too odd. Justice went to 1 meeting, probably because Mouneer felt so isolated. That meeting was a mess. Kearon said so, no fan of the conservative cause. Can I shed light? Only what I have said this far. Maybe we will learn from the principals.

July 2, 7:35 pm | [comment link]
36. jamesw wrote:

Thanks, Dr. Seitz - I appreciate your clarifying the issues as much as you can.  I suppose that this is an instance where we’ll just have to wait and see how things shake out.

July 2, 7:41 pm | [comment link]
37. cseitz wrote:

By the way, just to clarify. My plain sense reading of an ‘alternate’ (elected by Primates for Africa) is that this is a person who is elected as a backup, who attends due to sickness, conflict, etc. It is not really a person who ‘becomes’ the primary rep, either due to resignation or willful non-attendance. I am guessing, but I suspect the alternate idea has morphed into ‘rep who attends when primary rep doesn’t come.’ This is the only explanation for why +Mouneer’s ‘alternate’ is the main rep now—because obviously the Primates of Asia did not take a vote and put him on the SC; it just defaulted to him. Sounds like Akrofi was in this role, and so he ‘resigned’—however one determines that happened.  I personally don’t think that an ‘alternate’ ought to be a rep if the main rep resigns. Rather, the situation ought to be sized up, and the Primates decide what to make of it, and a re-vote taken after all of that is discussed. Lacking that, we have the oddity of an ‘alternate’ who attends one meeting on behalf of the rep, and himself ‘resigning.’ This strikes me as dysfunction and nothing anticipated by the bylaws governing these matters.

July 2, 7:47 pm | [comment link]
38. tjmcmahon wrote:

Dr. Seitz,

Thank you for the correction in 27.  I was in error (which was no doubt already apparent to you, but my head sometimes hardens rather badly in these high tension Anglican soap operas).  My apologies to anyone who gave too much heed to what I had to say.

July 2, 10:07 pm | [comment link]
39. cseitz wrote:

Kind regards, TJ. No worries.

July 2, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
40. tjmcmahon wrote:

“Even with the present composition the SC has a majority of traditional or moderate members.”
VW parson, with all due respect- of the remaining members-
The current members of the Standing Committee are:

  * Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (chair)
  * Archbishop Philip Aspinall of Australia
  * Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church
  * Archbishop Barry Morgan of Wales
  * Bishop Paul Sarker of Bangladesh
  * Bishop James Tengatenga of Central Africa (ACC chair)
  * Canon Elizabeth Paver of England (ACC vice chair)
  * Bishop Ian Douglas of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church
  * Anthony Fitchett of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
  * Dato Stanley Isaacs of the Province of South East Asia
  * Philippa Amable of West Africa
  * Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe of Ceylon
  * The Rev. Canon Janet Trisk of South Africa

That is 12 plus the ABC.  According to ENS, they confirmed this list with the ACO office, so legal or not, Douglas is in, as is Trask.  They have had MONTHS at this point to impose the obvious, plain wording of their own bylaws and have CHOSEN not to.  There were, of course, irregularities, but as of now, those are being overlooked by the people responsible for implementing the rules.
It is difficult to see KJS, Douglas, Aspinall, Morgan, Trisk or Fitchett (unless he is willing to contradict his own province’s synod) voting to remove TEC, so unless A) everyone else is really traditional AND B) The ABoC is willing to cast the determining vote to remove them AND C) the secret clause of the secret constitution allows a member to be removed by a simple majority, KJS remains in complete control of the Standing Committee.  And all 3 of those things happening strikes me as highly unlikely.

July 2, 10:31 pm | [comment link]
41. tjmcmahon wrote:

39-
Thanks Dr. Seitz.

July 2, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
42. cseitz wrote:

I suppose the other question mark over the ‘resignation’ of an ‘alternate’ (Akrofi) and of Orombi, is the presence of Philippa Amable, who remains as lay rep from W Africa.
Pagaentmaster has raised the question as to the credibility of the ENS report. ACNS printed nothing like a ‘here’s the SC’ roster. It spoke of the ‘news’—developments (even odd ones) having to do with various individual reps. This is a handy way to shore up the presence of Schori and Douglas and also to remind us of the new self-image (US-based TEC). But how durable is this, given the Pentecost Letter?
Also, ‘TEC’ is the shortened name for PECUSA. It emerged in the sixties and was accompanied by the statement that TEC is constituent member of the AC. The point: it is not a ‘protestant’ american denomination. The newly devised ‘US-based TEC’ idea is unrelated to the origins of TEC nomenclature, in addition to being a bit foolish on its face. Six of the ‘TEC’ nations are in Europe and consist of an ASA of around 1200—1/10th the size of the CofE parishes in the same region. No one in the CofE speaks of the ‘England based Church of England’. Other provinces in the AC could equally say they are international.

July 3, 9:52 am | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): Do-It-Yourself Downsize: How To Build A Tiny House

Previous entry (below): RNS: Caterpillar divestment doesn’t play well with Peoria Presbyterians

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)