Sweeping the Dust under the Rug: A.S. Haley on the Standing Committee’s Latest Activities

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is true that the confirmation of Canon Trisk increased the number of clergy currently on the Committee from one to two, which matched the number of clergy who had previously served. But the reason for the "shortfall" in that category was that one of those prior clergy members had in the meantime been elevated to the episcopate:

The Committee then heard that because Bp Catherine Roskam had ended her term as The Episcopal Church’s bishop representative at the last ACC meeting in Jamaica Bp Ian Douglas’s election by Executive Committee to that position following his consecration had been entirely within its constitutional powers. It did not constitute a fresh appointment and would not extend Bp Douglas’ period of service.

So Bishop Ian Douglas, a previously elected clergy member of the Committee, was replaced by Canon Trisk from South Africa, thereby keeping the clergy number at two. Isn't that convenient?

Not really: by accepting the charade expressed in the seven words "because Bishop Roskam had ended her term . . ." the Committee also managed to maintain its episcopal members (not counting the five bishops appointed by the Primates' Meeting) at three. But as explained in this earlier post, and this later one, there is no provision in either the old constitution and bylaws, nor in the new articles, for an elected member's term to end before the start of the next ACC meeting, which happens in the spring of 2012.

Who told the "Standing Committee" that Bishop Roskam had "ended her term"? No one -- because it is not up to Bishop Roskam to end her term, but to the body which appointed her: ECUSA itself (acting through its Executive Council).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Consultative CouncilEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

6 Comments
Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Stephen Noll wrote:

This is a recipe for schism and breakup. Those who cannot achieve fair representation on the “Standing Committee” (which decides all discretionary matters under the Covenant) will not sign on to the Covenant. And those who believe themselves so represented, but who object to the current provisions in the Covenant, will not sign either. The Covenant will as a result become an irrelevant joke. And the Anglican Communion as we know it will be no more.

I do agree that “the Anglican Communion as we know it” is breaking up. But that is the Anglican Communion constituted by the recognition of Canterbury – and of the Canterbury-promoted Covenant. It is not impossible – though it will take courage – for orthodox bishops and churches to adopt a common Covenant that replaces the Standing Committee with Primates who have committed themselves to the “inheritance of the faith.”

July 26, 11:11 am | [comment link]
2. AnglicanFirst wrote:

I have said over the years that the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee is the most manipulative and distrusted of the Communion’s four Instruments of Communion.

The comment in this article, “It follows that the current make-up of the Committee is designed to effectuate the will of a minority within the Communion.” is just another confirmation of a general distrust of the Standing Committee.

The charge has been made over the years that the Standing Committee is the creature of the province that has the most money available to finance the activities of the Instruments of Communion.  That is, it is the creature of ECUSA which now vaingloriously and in its own self-adulation calls itself The Episcopal Church, ‘sans’ national boundaries.

Is there a solution to this problem?  Several come to mind.

One solution is to dissolve the Standing Committee into non-existance and to replace it with a new body to be decided upon by the Primates who are the true mortal episcopal leaders of the Anglican Communion.

This new body could take a number of organizational forms.  It can be bicameral, unicameral, have a greater number of voting numbers,  bedemographically more representative, etc.

With regard to demographic representation, it seems that it would be most appropriate if the number of representatives that a national church sends to the Standing Committee be based upon the average Sunday attendance of that national church.

July 26, 11:25 am | [comment link]
3. pendennis88 wrote:

It strikes me that this meeting is more important than it seems on first blush.  At this point, the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to be repeating his error in Jamaica - openly tossing aside the global south in favor of what TEC wants, with only the most dubious of procedural justifications.  I suspect that the orthodox primates who are watching will be even further appalled.  It raises a question as to whether the next primates meeting will even come off, or if it does, whether it will be a fiasco.  Indeed, his actions suggest that he may already have discarded the global south as no longer worthy members of the communion.  As, at this point, the global south are permitted by the ABC to have no substantial role in the old communion, one also wonders how long it may take the orthodox parts of the communion that are actually in communion with each other to develop de facto parallel structures independent of the ABC, the ACC, standing committee et al, out of simple necessity.

July 26, 11:43 am | [comment link]
4. off2 wrote:

pendennis88, 3. “one also wonders how long it may take the orthodox parts of the communion that are actually in communion with each other to develop de facto parallel structures independent of the ABC, the ACC, standing committee et al, out of simple necessity.”

Gafcon is up and running. Seems fully functional.  Perhaps they have all the structures they need at this time. Their churches are growing and teaching and worshiping. They don’t have to react to the chaos of the AC. (Various of their bishops do offer letters or sermons that rebuke the western heresies.) All the players have each others emails. What more is needed?

July 26, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
5. Larry Morse wrote:

What is needed is a fundamental review of the church’s posture so that it can speak to people in ways that they are capable of hearing. The fact is that we are all losing membership[ because we have precious little to say to those who need to listen. Is Gafcon up and running? Who knows? It is never heard from any more, is it? But we hear from and about Schori and the Lutherans and their ilk till queasiness sets in. No, the churches are NOT growing - unless you are counting the happy-clappy churches. The issue isn’t “structures,” the issue is an attitude that will tell all and sundry that Christianity - and Anglicanism in particular, is not a soft, weak, fuzzy value set created for and admired by women, that love is something much tougher that what people feel for their puppies.  THIS isn’t happening. Larry

July 26, 1:53 pm | [comment link]
6. pendennis88 wrote:

By the way, did anyone see that on the second day of the meeting, the representative from South East Asia proposed that the Episcopal Church be separated from the Communion, but it was voted down?  I’m surprised that he was so bold as to do that, but I am more surprised he was not defenestrated.  And even more surprised that remainder of the committee did not immediately formally propose and approve the separation of the orthodox global south provinces from the communion.  But I suppose that would have been superfluous.

July 26, 4:22 pm | [comment link]
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