ACI—Contrasting Futures for the Anglican Communion: A Transformed ACC and the Anglican Covenant

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In light of these developments, we draw the following conclusions:

* It is not appropriate for one of the Communion’s four Instruments to be an English company regulated by UK and EU law like any other UK company. To repeat what we said above, we do not question the need for the proper and efficient management of the Communion’s charitable assets by fiduciaries complying with all relevant laws. We are not convinced, however, that this role should be confused with the historic role of the Instruments of Communion in “the discernment, articulation and exercise of our shared faith and common life and mission” and in particular with the role of the Communion’s Primatial leadership, which bears special responsibility for “doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have Communion-wide implications.” (Covenant 3.1.4.)
* We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates not to cede their independent authority to the corporate charter of the ACC, but to insist that their authority cannot be infringed by the ACC.
* It is now beyond doubt that the newly transformed and empowered ACC Standing Committee cannot function as the committee required by Section 4 of the Covenant.
* The Covenant remains the only hope for preserving the traditional faith and order of the Anglican Communion. We call upon member churches of the Anglican Communion to adopt the Covenant with all deliberate speed and, having done so, to make proper arrangements for the responsibilities assigned to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion in Section 4 to be undertaken by a body that has both the competence and ability to assess threats to the Communion and recommend appropriate action.


Read it carefully and read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican Consultative CouncilEpiscopal Church (TEC)Instruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessingsWindsor Report / Process* TheologyEcclesiology

77 Comments
Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. pendennis88 wrote:

This is important.  The standing committee and the ACC lack legitimacy, and it needs to be pointed out.

July 29, 9:03 am | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

The covenant is going nowhere.  There is no mechanism or will under heaven and earth for the AC to enforce it.

July 29, 9:13 am | [comment link]
3. Athanasius Returns wrote:

Br. Michael, not only is the covenant going nowhere, Western AC leadership is co-opting the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the revisionist counter-gospel. 

Fr. Tim Fountain writes: “The Anglican Communion is less likely to splinter than to ooze apart, as the people rich, theologically traditional and evangelistic Provinces of the “Global South” simply cease to recognize the authority of the moneyed but numerically and spiritually impoverished Church of England, Episcopal Church (USA), Canada, Australia (minus Sydney) and New Zealand. Meanwhile, there’s a sham “Instrument of Unity” claiming to speak for the Communion while actually carrying water for “networks” of LGBT activists. ”  Check out his site for more.

The AC is, de facto, split.  Revisionists are completely responsible and liable for causing this; remember and never forget who “tore the very fabric of our communion at its deepest level”.  Revisionist leadership has betrayed and is continuing to betray all believers in the AC.  These folks are still trying to scam everyone into infinite sessions of dialogue, listening, conversation, Indaba, yammer, yammer, yammer.

July 29, 11:06 am | [comment link]
4. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

the Anglican church has no authority. Why do people even engage with all this smoke, mirrors and delaying mechanisms which are designed to make the simple profoundly complex.
All the Archbishop needs to do is stand up and denounce all who ordain active homosexuals with a loud enough voice. That he does not do this is all you really need to know

July 29, 11:10 am | [comment link]
5. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

RPP (#4),

Yes, our lack of a sufficient authority to handle this deep crisis is all too apparent, brother.  But it’s not our only problem.  Personally, I’d say that the Achilles Heel of Anglicanism isn’t so much our international polity, i.e., our lack of a strong enough central authority (the Cyprianic or conciliar model of shared collegial authority among bishops, or the Eastern model of multiple patriarchs, etc. show that viable alternatives exist to the papal model).  As far as that authority problem goes, I think the real problem is that the bishops don’t have the guts or ability to enforce discipline among themselves, as is all too plain throughout the western provinces.  The American HoB showed that it was pathetically unable to exercise any discipline among its ranks when it failed to discipline James Pike back in the 1960s, and it’s only gotten worse since then.

But I think an even deeper problem than our lack of sufficient authority or discipline, is our general worldliness, our capitulation to the worldly powers that be.  And that’s been true since before the time of the English Reformation.

But I certainly understand if this latest scandal only makes the papal offer of the Ordinariate all the more appealing and irresistible.  I’m glad you have that option now.

David Handy+

July 29, 11:23 am | [comment link]
6. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

The ACI team is to be commended for issuing this clear, astute analysis of the new ACC Constitution.  Since the new basis for incorporating the ACC under UK law involves complex legal issues, I’m glad that not just one but TWO renowned lawyers (Mark McCall and Michael Watson in addition) joined with the usual theologians (Seitz, Turner, and Radner) in dissecting the problems with this new setup and clarifying that for the rest of us.  Well done, guys.

However, as usual, I regret to say that I find the practical conclusions from this astute analysis to be far less convincing.  They still seem unwilling to start thinking the unthinkable, i.e., that the current wineskins of the AC at the international level are hopelessly compromised and will have to be either replaced outright, or radically overhauled.  That is, gradual, incremental change simply won’t suffice.  Not evolutionary change, but revolutionary change is what’s called for.  As the Master warned us: when you try to put a patch on an old, rigid wineskin, the results are generally disastrous (Mark 2:22).

Personally, I think it’s way too optimistic to claim that real theological coherence is emerging in the AC.  Nonsense.  We clearly have a polarized situation where two competing and mutually exclusive gospels are in direct and irresolvable conflict, i.e., the biblilcal, historic gospel and the new relativist “gospel of inclusivity” that is blatantly heretical and can’t be tolerated, ala Gal. 1:6-9.

To cite, as the ACI team does early on here, the utterly worthless New Orleans report of the JSC group as evidence of an emerging consensus or sign of an evolving coherence is wishful thinking of the most obvious sort.  Indeed, I have to say, it seems patently ridiculous to me.  I hate to put it so bluntly, but it only goes to show that really smart guys can sometimes say really dumb things.

Of course, we can all agree that people suffering from homosexual attractions or even engaged in such immoral behavior need effective pastoral care, and that there is such a thing as rampant homophobia and that such prejudice is unChristian.  So what??  That’s meaningless. 

It’s completely and utterly meaningless.  It’s totally beside the point when the primary issue is whether or not to uphold the traditional and biblical condemnation of homosexual behavior.  And on that all-important point, the battle lines have hardened, not softened.  Opposition to Lambeth 1998’s res. 1.10 has increased and become far more aggressive since 1998, not lessened.  Rather, we see the western churches sadly and inexorably caught in the powerful antinomian currents that dominate the Global North have continued to drive the bulk of those provinces relentlessly farther and farther away from Christian norms.  And that fateful, disastrous trend can only be expected to continue, humanly speaking.

To be more specific.  The noble ACI team is naturally quite correct in their commendably frank assessment that:

It is now BEYOND DOUBT that the newly transformed and empowered ACC Standing Committee cannot function as the committee required by Section 4 of the Covenant.

Given the ACI’s massive investment in the Covenant, those are brave words and a very significant and honest acknowledgment of reality.

But I must regard their next conclusion as still hopelessly out of touch with reality when they go on to say the following:

The Covenant remains THE ONLY HOPE for preserving the traditional faith and order of the AC.

Nonsense.  The FCA coalition led by the major GS provinces is a much better hope for that.  The brilliant guys at ACI are still confusing “the traditional faith and order of the AC” with the current institutional winekins of the AC at the international level.  And they simply aren’t synonymous.  There is NOTHING sacrsanct about the present setup, with the four current Instruments of Communion or Unity.  Or perhaps I should see now the FIVE de facto Instruments, since the Standing Committee has clearly now become the equivalent of a fifth instrument.  And the ACI is absolutely right that this old group with a new name and new powers has now displaced the ACC itself and shunted it into a lesser and secondary status.  And it’s all happened in the dark, without the necessary discussion and participation of the whole AC.

But I repeat, the current international wineskins of the AC could be junked and replaced without in any way compromising the true “faith and order of the AC, ” which has everything to do with the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and NOTHING to do with the current 4 or 5 Instruments.  The Quadrilateral and the BCP tradition enshrines the true Anglican “Faith and Order.”  They are the precious kernel that must be kept at all costs.

But the international Instruments are merely the disposable husk.  And like chaff, they can and should be chucked as useless, obsolete baggage.

David Handy+

July 29, 12:17 pm | [comment link]
7. jingalls wrote:

Dear Fr. Handy,
Thanks for your sustained engagement with the ACI piece in #6.

I believe there are some major problems in your two major points against the piece.  First, you say,

To cite, as the ACI team does early on here, the utterly worthless New Orleans report of the JSC group as evidence of an emerging consensus or sign of an evolving coherence is wishful thinking of the most obvious sort.  Indeed, I have to say, it seems patently ridiculous to me.  I hate to put it so bluntly, but it only goes to show that really smart guys can sometimes say really dumb things.

I think you’ve misunderstood the way that the evidence is being cited in this early part of the piece.  Just because a meeting or its report might have been “utterly worthless” doesn’t mean that it cannot function as evidence to support the claim that there is a growing theological consensus.

How would we know that here was an emerging theological consensus?  We might know there were such a thing if a compromised body acknowledged an emerging consensus even if it was not in their best interest to do so.  We might question the sincerity of the admission, but it remains the fact that of all people to admit a consensus, the least likely people to do so would be the HoB of TEC.

And, to overturn the point made by ACI, to truly call it dumb, we also would have to address the two other pieces of parallel evidence used: the actions of two other seemingly “compromised” representatives of the old wineskins, the ABC and Canon Kearon.

Therefore, I think it was ill-advised to call this part of the argument “dumb” when your own argument fails to achieve prima facia.

Second, you say,

But I must regard their next conclusion as still hopelessly out of touch with reality when they go on to say the following:

“The Covenant remains THE ONLY HOPE for preserving the traditional faith and order of the AC.”

Nonsense.  The FCA coalition led by the major GS provinces is a much better hope for that.  The brilliant guys at ACI are still confusing “the traditional faith and order of the AC” with the current institutional winekins of the AC at the international level.  And they simply aren’t synonymous.

And a few sentences down:

But I repeat, the current international wineskins of the AC could be junked and replaced without in any way compromising the true “faith and order of the AC, ” which has everything to do with the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and NOTHING to do with the current 4 or 5 Instruments.  The Quadrilateral and the BCP tradition enshrines the true Anglican “Faith and Order.”  They are the precious kernel that must be kept at all costs.

Here, as you seem to acknowledge, there is a terminological difference between the “traditional faith and order of the AC” and the “true faith and order of the AC” (emphasis added).  You say that the Quadrilateral and the BCP tradition enshrine the true faith and order.  The ACI says that the Covenant is the only hope of preserving the “traditional faith and order of the AC,” which for them seems to include at the very least the Archbishop of Canterbury on top of the Quadrilateral and the BCP.  Given the terminological difference you seem to perceive between the true and the traditional, all you can deny (and all that you do end up denying) is that the Covenant is the only hope for preserving the true faith and order.  The ACI’s analysis that the Covenant is the only way to preserve the traditional faith and order is undeniably true.  Therefore, the declaration of “nonsense” over the ACI comment is itself “nonsense,” or, at the very least a non sequiter.

I believe it is in our best interest on the “conservative” side of the Communion to make sure we read one another carefully in order hear one another clearly.  Without the discipline of charity, we might never experience the fruits of joy, peace, patience, and kindness.  These are worth preserving, at the very least among those we might call allies and friends.  And, in order to fulfill the command of Christ, these are worth preserving amongst our enemies as well.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Jason

July 29, 2:03 pm | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

I seem to remember something about it, but can’t put my finger on it just at the moment.  Am I right in recollecting that the members of the Covenant Design Group were also kept in the dark about the constitutional changes [perhaps revolution might be a better term] in the Articles?    If he had known about them presumably he and the Covenant Design Team would have taken them into account in the decisions they made on the Covenant Draft?

I have to say, I think the idea of signing on to the Covenant without sorting out the body which is supposed to oversee and play such a central part in it seems wishful thinking to me.  A Covenant is a treaty, and in all treaties, you sign up to them and each and every provision they contain, not sign up, hoping against hope that you will be able, or allowed to perform remedial surgery on the Standing Committee afterwards.  Remember the Standing Committee is now under its articles in charge, not the other way around.

More seriously there has been slight of hand and deliberate concealment in regard to the Articles, and all those involved in Lambeth Palace and St Andrew’s House are tainted with this subterfuge.    This is no last minute incompetence, although there has no doubt been some of that, it is a carefully laid plan integrated with other policies, which were planned and quietly executed over several years, and only now coming to light.  Williams, Kearon and the ACO are right at the heart of it, and no one has been allowed to know what they have been up to, including the Covenant Design Group.

July 29, 3:42 pm | [comment link]
9. Ephraim Radner wrote:

I have no doubt that the FCA could, tomorrow, form its own “Anglican Communion” and on its own terms, and that it would, in the short run, have some viability.  In the longer run, however, I would have strong doubts about a stable future .  First, particularly in the modern era, maintaining evangelical and ecclesial integrity via subtraction is not a route that has a good track record (actually, it has a really bad one), and this for a host of reasons.  Second, while I have no interest in dwelling on the flaws of FCA churches, because at the moment that is the least of our probems (and should come as no surprise), should FCA become its own independent Communion, those flaws would take a much larger profile (and feed into my first point).  The Covenant has been put forward and put together in part out of a desire to find an alternative to the poor track record in maintaining evangelical and ecclesial integrity in the face of Christian sin.  It should also come as no surprise, however, that, because it is precisely in THIS face, there should be enormous challenges to be met and overcome in something like the Covenant’s successful implementation.  We are seeing some of these challenges close up.  We are seeking to overcome them. 

Regarding #8 above:  yes, I have said in the past, and say again, that the details and even larger shape of the new ACC Articles were NOT made clear to the members of the Covenant Design Group (of which I was a member);  nor were we provided information that would have helped us realize that such clarity was needed.  I will say no more about this matter for the moment.

July 29, 7:35 pm | [comment link]
10. Jill Woodliff wrote:

Unlike the Covenant, the constitutional reform of the Anglican Consultative Council has been kept secret for several years.
From ENS:

Douglas said the committee, through the support of the Anglican Communion Office, “has pursued a course of transparency and open communication, which I think is vitally important if trust and understanding across the communion is to be engendered. . . .”

Have they no fear of God?

July 29, 9:49 pm | [comment link]
11. optimus prime wrote:

Fr. Handy,
You seem to be of the opinion that what is required for the AC is a “revolution.” A stripping away of our current structures to be replaced with what you perceive as a sort of ‘true faith’ or ‘true church.’ How then do you propose that we face into our sins? Are we to start over every time our structures become ‘too sinful?’ As Dr. Radner has pointed out, such action does not lead to evangelical witness. Not only do we shirk our call to repentance, but we falsely imagine ourselves to stand outside of sin. But we of course do not stand outside of sin as articulated throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Divisive evangelicalism, that is, action that seeks to ‘start over’ from scratch as a sort of new entity, functions in the same way that divisive liberalism does: they are two sides of the same coin. The ever narrowing constriction of ecclesial division - what you propose - creates the situation in which you demand to live in a narrow constricted sphere unable to engage the other. In so doing, you remove the created distinctions between us, borne in love, that bring about new life. You eliminate the space for that distinction to take place and therefore move, along with liberals, into a place without the opportunity of repentance, reform and renewal brought about in Christ by the Holy Spirit. And this simply leads to death.

From a practical/political point of view, the Covenant offers the structural means by which - in the Anglican context - we have the possibility of creating the space for a penitent life that involves renewal and thus allows for new life to occur. True evangelicalism calls us to love for the sake of witness. Love, received and given, with patience, endurance, courage, and self-giving is the only witness that gives life. This is a life given a framework by the Covenant and it is thus our hope for witness to the wider world.

July 29, 10:30 pm | [comment link]
12. Cennydd wrote:

Athanasius Returns, I agree with you.  I believe that the primates should assert their control over the ACC when next they gather, and they should demand the immediate resignation of those in control.  Failing that, they should act to organize themselves, their clergy and laity in a manner designed to ensure fair and equal representation from every province in the Communion, with the rich provinces permitted no financial influence, indirect or otherwise,  over the rest.

July 29, 10:52 pm | [comment link]
13. Jill Woodliff wrote:

What is the connection between The Principles of Canon Law, released at Lambeth Conference, and the Articles?  Were members of the drafting committee, which includes David Booth Beers, aware of the Articles?

July 29, 10:54 pm | [comment link]
14. Stephen Noll wrote:

First of all, let me commend the ACI analysis, which has crystallized the machinations of the ACO and ACC Standing Committee over the past few years, which all of us have been trying to sort out from bits and pieces of information. I agree with their overall analysis.

I might add one tidbit. It seems to me that the SC can infringe on the Primates’ Meeting in one additional way: by appointing a replacement in the case of a “casual vacancy.” Sec. 8.8.1 states that in this case:

the remaining Trustee-Members shall have power to fill the vacancy by the appointment of suitably qualified Member (having in mind the Object of the Council and the importance of achieving appropriate regional diversity and the balance of representation between clergy and laity and between the genders.

I see no legal reason, therefore, why the recent Standing Committee could not have appointed two Primates to replace Bp. Mouneer and Abp. Orombi (sadly, no other diverse genders were available). That they did not probably reflects a political calculation on their part but not a legal requirement, and it leaves the Primates two members down on the SC

I have two larger comments, however, on the ACI article. To my mind, they focus all their attention on the cooption of the ACC without raising the question of the Canterbury’s role in this matter. Surely Rowan Williams was privy to all these developments. He is President of the Standing Committee and was present at all prior meetings, not to mention working with the legal advisors. Is there any evidence that he fought back against the infringements on his own and the Primates’ authority? Rather, it seems highly likely that as head of what I call the “Lambeth bureaucracy,” he was fully consenting and cooperative in the transformation of the ACC and Standing Committee. So I find it a bit naïve for the ACI to call for the ABC and the Primates to reject this encroachment on their authority. It may well be that the ABC is ceding some of his traditional prerogatives, but because he works hand in glove with the ACO and the SC, it is only the Primates whose role is truly being diminished.

My conclusion is that not only do the roles of the ACC and SC need to be reformed (or perhaps eliminiated altogether) but the “gathering” role of the ABC should be limited by the authority of the joint council of Primates.

My second comment is on the final step proposed by the ACI, if I understand it, which is that member churches should quickly adopt the Covenant and then amend it to replace the role of the Standing Committee in section 4. But here is the article on amending the Covenant:

(4.4.2) Any covenanting Church or Instrument of Communion may submit a proposal to amend the Covenant to the Instruments of Communion through the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee shall send the proposal to the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates’ Meeting, the covenanting Churches and any other body as it may consider appropriate for advice. The Standing Committee shall make a recommendation on the proposal in the light of advice offered, and submit the proposal with any revisions to the covenanting Churches. The amendment is operative when ratified by three quarters of such Churches. The Standing Committee shall adopt a procedure for promulgation of the amendment.

Now how likely is ACI’s proposal to succeed and how long would it take, even assuming the unlikely cooperation of Canterbury (see above)?

It strikes me that it would be much cleaner and quicker for the orthodox Primates and Provinces to adopt jointly a revised Covenant text which gets the nature and relationship of the Instruments right in the first place. Would Canterbury consent to a revision of the text which he himself orchestrated after ACC 14 in Jamaica? Probably not, but by the same logic it is unlikely he will support the ACI’s proposal.

July 29, 11:50 pm | [comment link]
15. art wrote:

Firstly, once again my thanks to the ACI team.

Two things stand out for me, the first and fourth concluding points.  Re the first - the ACC it seems to me evolved out of a culture of synodality: especially with regards to membership across orders and across all the Churches of the Communion, we were given a kind-of global upgrade of this Anglican of notions.  What we now have is a gross perversion via some legal/managerial diktat.

Every currently elected member of the (plenary) ACC should revolt against this decree by refusing to acknowledge these new Articles as binding upon them, and notably set about addressing the fourth point - that’s if they want any authentic Anglican Communion at all to come home to.

Re the fourth point - just because the language sounds the same (“the Standing Committee” of ACC and the Covenant Section 4) does not mean they are necessarily the same.  And I venture the CDG never in their wildest/darkest dreams thought they were proposing the current legal, managerial beast (yes; echoes of the Apocalypse) that has popped up out of the sea.  I.e. if those in GSA and other sectors want anything like a global communion of Anglican Churches for the 21st C, the initiative is in their hands to delegate to the Primates asap the constitution of such a “body” as envisaged under point four.  And they will only have one shot at it: when next year’s Meeting of Primates convenes.  Failing that, it really will be time for the Fat Lady to sing her dirge ...

July 30, 12:09 am | [comment link]
16. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#13 Jill Woodliff

Were members of the drafting committee, which includes David Booth Beers, aware of the Articles?

A good point I wondered myself.    Again it emerged that Beers had been added to this committee at a late stage, presumably by the ABC.    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of their members had not been involved - do Beers and Rees know each other?  Do they know each other well?  Are they indeed friendly?

Were they indeed part of the drafting of these Articles, going on while the CDG in blissful ignorance was being encouraged in its drafting work by Gregory Cameron?

Was all this part of the long-laid down plans?

I personally think that the orthodox parties and indeed provinces, so successfully kept apart by Canterbury’s machinations, often dividing because of the view they take of them, should be talking seriously to one another to find a way forward.

The only hope is if some democratic accountability to, and proper representation of, the provinces is restored.  The power grab by the ACC Standing Committee and Lambeth Palace/ACO bureaucracy in these outrageous Articles needs to be rowed back and the emasculation of the Primates Meeting stopped.

Who is in charge at the moment - Huey Long?

July 30, 4:24 am | [comment link]
17. Athanasius Returns wrote:

So…bottom-lining all this falderal…if the status quo of political machinations and ponderous statements continues..we’re all in for the West-dominated Anglican Communion version of Waiting for Godot.

What we’ve had for the last few years is theater of the absurd after all.

If a commercial corporate entity behaved with similar indecision and bizarre internecine actions, it would be laughed, scorned, derided, and drummed out of the marketplace.  Oh, I see…that IS what IS happening.  Heh.  Feh.

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Anglican Communion, upon a time, it was nice to know ye.

July 30, 4:57 am | [comment link]
18. Jill Woodliff wrote:

Matthew 24:10-13 (New International Version)
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I confess I do feel cold love.  Have mercy upon me.  In obedience to Your Son, I bless Archbishop Williams, Canon John Rees, Bp Gregory Cameron, David Booth Beers, and each member of the Standing Committee.  You know their needs far better than we.  Bless them at their point of need.  Amen.

July 30, 6:22 am | [comment link]
19. Jill Woodliff wrote:

#16 Pageantmaster said:

The only hope is if some democratic accountability to, and proper representation of, the provinces is restored.

I counted the number of persons from each province on the ACC-14 participant list, including the co-opted members. I was intentional to include the co-opted members since the chair could have used that group to help correct any proportional representative imbalance. I also included the empty Ugandan seat. I did not include the primates standing committee, as they are selected by the primates, rather than the ACC. I did include the Archbishop of Canterbury. Using province membership data from here, I calculated the number of communicants represented by each ACC participant. The participants from Scotland each represented 26,000 communicants; New Zealand 146,000. In contrast, Nigeria 6,666,000; Uganda 4,391,000, Kenya 2,500,000.
I agree that proper representation would help set the boat aright, but Archbishop Williams has proven time and again he will never allow the identity of the members in the Anglican Communion to change or establish Communion discipline.  If the primates gathered and enacted discipline (as they did at Dar es Salaam), he and the ACO will thwart it.

July 30, 6:48 am | [comment link]
20. Martin Reynolds wrote:

While there are some interesting points made about the legal entity that now is the ACC, the whole thing looses any value by being overblown and persnickety A common feature of much these gents write and particularly to be regretted as the few important matters will be swept away with the dross.

The intention of becoming a Company limited by guarantee has been on the cards since before Hong Kong and as far as I know the articles were circulated to every province some time ago.

All the main churches here operate a similar arrangement vis a vis the operation of such a company. The Roman Catholic Church has the Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CaTEW) - as its “main arm” for action and its interesting to note that the Board that governs this has only one bishop two priests and six lay members.

As always there are useful pieces in this - but the claims regarding the intentions of the Covenant authors are hard to accept, at least two people on the Covenant group were, I believe, fully aware of the new articles.

I understood that one of the outcomes of the last Lambeth conference was to move away from the enhanced responsibility once offered to the Primates, to a more integrated group with elements of all instruments operating as a “managing” agency ? Management by Primates had been seen as a failure. So isn’t the wish dear to your heart all too late Pageantmaster?

July 30, 7:05 am | [comment link]
21. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#20 Hello Rev Reynolds

While there are some interesting points made about the legal entity that now is the ACC, the whole thing looses any value by being overblown and persnickety A common feature of much these gents write and particularly to be regretted as the few important matters will be swept away with the dross.

Perhaps it is just me, but I thought that the article was a pretty thorough analysis of the Articles and relationship of the ‘new’ standing committee in relation to the other instruments.  Which parts of the article do you feel are “overblown and persnickety”?

The intention of becoming a Company limited by guarantee has been on the cards since before Hong Kong and as far as I know the articles were circulated to every province some time ago.

What the provinces were told was that this was a tidying up exercise for English law reasons relating to the Charity.  They were not told that it was a root and branch usurpation of power.  As for the content of the Articles as circulated and whether they accord with those registered, we know there are differences, but since they were kept secret until 12th July we do not know more.  We also do not know how many provinces have considered and approved them.

The Roman Catholic Church has the Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CaTEW) - as its “main arm” for action and its interesting to note that the Board that governs this has only one bishop two priests and six lay members.

The Catholic Trust for England and Wales [a registered charity] is also known as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.  Are you suggesting that the Catholic Bishops have handed over authority in decision making to the charity’s officers in the same way that the Articles have to the Standing Committee, not only for the ACC, but also for the other instruments?

As always there are useful pieces in this - but the claims regarding the intentions of the Covenant authors are hard to accept

I am happy to accept what Dr Radner tells us above about whether or not the Articles or any information about them were provided to the CDG, as he was on it.

at least two people on the Covenant group were, I believe, fully aware of the new articles.

Please tell us more.

I understood that one of the outcomes of the last Lambeth conference was to move away from the enhanced responsibility once offered to the Primates, to a more integrated group with elements of all instruments operating as a “managing” agency?

As far as I understand it the the last Lambeth Conference was not a decision-making meeting and I think you would be hard pushed to discern any such intention from the vapid reflection which the Archbishop engineered from his Delphi-Technique facilitators.  Not that many of the bishops were there.

to move away from the enhanced responsibility once offered to the Primates

The enhanced responsibility was mandated to the Primates under the meetings held under the Windsor Report.  This was never rescinded.

However, one of the decisions which the ‘Standing Committee’ took in December was to further marginalise the Primates by limiting their meetings to a bi-annual event.

Resolution 8: Frequency of the Primates’ Meetings

That the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion agrees with the recommendation from the Finance Committee that in light of the accumulated deficit from the holding of Primates’ Meetings, that there be a two-year gap between the Primates’ Meetings so as to discharge the debt and put aside a suitable amount of funds towards the budget to undertake these meetings. 
http://anglicancommunion.org/communion/acc/scac/resources/docs/standing_committee_minutes_december_2009.pdf

Res Ipsa Loquitur as they say.

Management by Primates had been seen as a failure.

Firstly, the decisions by the Primates were not seen as a failure.  The Primates are the lead bishops representing their provinces and synods mandated to deal with these issues.  What happened is that Rowan Williams and the Standing Committee ignored them and substituted themselves for the Dar resolutions of the Primates in attending New Orleans.  That was the start of things falling apart as far as governance goes.

So isn’t the wish dear to your heart all too late Pageantmaster?

I believe in democratic process, representative governance and the rule of law as a Christian imperative with every fiber of my being.

July 30, 8:11 am | [comment link]
22. wildfire wrote:

There is a difference between the Roman Catholic Church operating a trust in England, the Catholic Trust for England and Wales, and the entire Roman Catholic Church itself becoming an English company.  That is a distinction the ACC and its advisers, along with some of the comments above, fail to grasp.

July 30, 8:36 am | [comment link]
23. driver8 wrote:

What authority does the Standing Committee have to determine the authority or even frequency of meeting of the Primates?

Is it seen as a success of governance that almost the entire Global South constituency has stopped participating in Standing Committee meetings and that the last ACC meeting was chaotic to the point that led one to wonder about negligence and/or manipulation by officials.

July 30, 8:58 am | [comment link]
24. tjmcmahon wrote:

It strikes me that since not a single synod anywhere in the Communion has approved the new ACC arrangements, or their participation in the ACC under these new arrangements, that the ABoC and his allies in TEC and elsewhere have taken an extraordinarily provocative step. The GS Provinces (and not just Gafcon- note the Singapore statements) have made clear that meetings involving the PB of TEC have no authority to do anything, and do not represent the Communion.  Hence any statement or policy issued by the standing committee was void from the outset in provinces representing 75% of the Communion.  The standing committee is not in communion with those provinces.  It will not be a great surprise if 10-15 Primates do not attend the Primates meeting (10 of them being on record as refusing to participate in anything with the PB of TEC).  If they do attend, and KJS is not shown the door, they may remove themselves in the middle of the conference.
  Likewise, if reasonable steps are not taken to assure representation in the ACC, delegations to that body may be withdrawn.  What is the point of traveling half way round the world to represent 3/4 of the world’s Anglicans, when you are only 1/4of the meeting, as the ABoC appoints his cronies from Wales and NZ to assure that you can be outvoted at his whim?
  I do not find these outcomes desirable, but I find them perfectly reasonable.
  And with all due respect to the gentlemen at ACI, who I think have otherwise authored a fine paper, their final conclusion is completely unworkable:

The Covenant remains the only hope for preserving the traditional faith and order of the Anglican Communion. We call upon member churches of the Anglican Communion to adopt the Covenant with all deliberate speed and, having done so, to make proper arrangements for the responsibilities assigned to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion in Section 4 to be undertaken by a body that has both the competence and ability to assess threats to the Communion and recommend appropriate action.

As currently set up, any change to be made AFTER signing on to the Covenant requires the approval, or at least cooperation, or the Standing Committee. As was made evident even in the heavily edited, PR driven notes released by the SC, KJS sees the purpose of the SC and Covenant as the disciplining of the “boundary crossers.”  Hence, any changes allowed by the SC in the Covenant will be those proposed by TEC allies to increase sanctions on Nigeria, Uganda, etc.

July 30, 9:44 am | [comment link]
25. tjmcmahon wrote:

Under the current circumstances, it would make much more sense for GS and other mainline Anglican provinces to sign the Jerusalem declaration- which is much more a true Covenant than the Williams-Cameron draft currently being circulated. 
But in any case, under no circumstances should anyone sign the Covenant as it currently stands, as this requires submitting to the heretic majority of the standing committee.

July 30, 9:51 am | [comment link]
26. Athanasius Returns wrote:

#25, tjmcmahon,

Emphatically agree with you.

The so-called Anglican Covenant, Williams-Cameron, Ridley, non-Ridley, with paragraph 4, without paragraph 4, whatever folks want to call the thing, is DOA.  Anyone outside of the revisionist cabal who sees the “covenant” as a solution, a means to cohesion or repair, or anything even remotely resembling a structural support to keep the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the revisionist anti-gospel under the same roof is beating an already thoroughly beaten, sincerely dead horse.

The institution is dying. Long live the organism of the truly Gospel-centered, truly world-wide, Anglican expression of the body of Christ.

July 30, 10:08 am | [comment link]
27. cseitz wrote:

The takeover-character of the present SC is so bald-faced and the SC itself so unrepresentative of the actual Communion, it will be ignored by the Communion unless it becomes more credible. So one wonders what those who have sought this outcome think will be accomplished? A SC representing 15% of the Communion? With a vote in January by the Primates, including 3 new slots, the SC *could* become more representative, but unless it is, it is hard to know what the SC will do of any significant communion-wide nature. This is the problem with trying to turn the central authority—not of TEC or a single province, but of the Communion itself—into a kind of ‘General Convention’ committee: Provinces are independent, have Primates and Bishops, and they need not be gathered and forced to do this or that. The covenant is the means for gathering the Communion at its widest reach and allowing it to function as it was intended: conciliarly. A SC that does not support this will simply lack credibility and will end up in a legally approved UK status but tied to no real business. One wonders what the rank and file ACC members will also think of this elevated status for a few? This new SC appears to be hatched by a few legal experts to do a job it was not asked to do and which the bulk of the communion will ignore.

July 30, 10:12 am | [comment link]
28. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Sorry to be slow in responding to several commenters above, but let me do so now.

James Ingalls (#7),
I admit that #6 was a bit churlish and uncharitable.  I regret that peeivsh tone, but I stand by my fundamental points.  You’re right that all I in fact deny is the ACI’s typical claim that the Covenant is “the only hope” for saving the AC.  And you’re also right in noting my emphatic distinction between “the traditional faith and order of the AC” and its current institutional expressions at the international level.  And yes, I think you’re probably also right that for the noble ACI team, the position of the ABoC as somehow being at the hub of the AC is a non-negotiable essential feature of that “traditional” faith and order.

I respectfully disagree with them on all counts.  Personally, I’d see Cantaur as past of the “bene esse” of the AC’s traditional faith and order, but most definitely NOT of the “esse” of it.  The position of “first among equals” must be EARNED, not ascribed automatically, when the current incumbent has manifestly proved himself unworthy.  Where is it written in the Laws of the Medes and the Persians that the AC must be led by a Brit??  If the Pope can be a German or a Pole, why not let the top Anglican leader be an African??

Jill (especially #10),
As usual, you’re right on, sister.  No, I think +Ian Douglas’ infamous comment about the new level of “transparency” in the ACC is proof positive that the wolves in sheep’s clothing that now run the SC “have no fear of God” at all, as you put it.

I’m reminded of the chilling passage in Jeremiah 6, where the unpopular prophet castigates the religious leadership in Jerusalem as utterly corrupt and promising “peace, peace when there is no peace.”  And after he accusations the false prophets and corrupt priests of his day of all dealing falsely, he follows up his indictment of them with this haunting line:

Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?  No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.

Although I obviously wasn’t there, I’d be willing to bet my wardrobe that +Douglas didn’t even blush when he lied through his teeth about the new transparency of the Standing Committee.

David Handy+

July 30, 10:18 am | [comment link]
29. cseitz wrote:

I agree with Art that critical will be January Primates Meeting and especially seeing the newer GS leadership at work—+Chew in particular, but also +Mouneer, +Ernest, +Oh, +Ntahotouri, +Kenya, et al, against the backdrop of the SC agrandissement. Noll says:
“It strikes me that it would be much cleaner and quicker for the orthodox Primates and Provinces to adopt jointly a revised Covenant text which gets the nature and relationship of the Instruments right in the first place.” That’s all fine, but who are these ‘orthodox Primates and Provinces’ and by what modus vivendi do they meet formally for this work, how many will be there, and so forth? Of course if the January meeting a) finds no-shows in number, or b) does not recalibrate the Instruments away from the SC overreach, then we are at ground zero and I suppose David Handy can call a meeting and start up his new reformation. I don’t think, however, that the covenant is the problem. At issue is whether it can be the means for gathering the Communion as a Communion at its widest reach. Going to ground zero sounds exciting for a New Reformation, as does ‘orthodox primates and provinces getting it all right in the first place’—but I wonder seriously if God does His work in this way? Luther, if alive today, could not be counted on to say Yes to the first, seeing how it all turned out in his lifetime; and I wonder if the second option is an abstraction, better for rhetorical purpose than for actual prosecution.

July 30, 10:45 am | [comment link]
30. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

optimus prime (#11),

If I understand you correctly, you are rejecting out of hand the notion that revolutionary change is ever appropriate.  Is that right?  Would you say that the original 16th century Reformation was a mistake?  Or would you agree with the late, great Jaroslav Pelikan that it was “a tragic necessity?

Believe me, I don’t issue a call for a New Reformation lightly.  And no, I certainly don’t think radical, sweeping, revolutionary change is justified very often.  Maybe once every 500 years.  But I do think that at least SOMETIMES gradual, incremental, evolutionary change is simply impossible.  The old institutional wineskins have just become too rigid and obsolete, mostly because certain people in high places have so many vested interests in protecting the status quo as to thwart necessary changes (as happened repeatedly with the late medieval popes, who blocked reforming councils and all other attempts at working for sufficient reform from within).

Sadly, I believe that is exactly the situation we are in today.  But I’m actually a pretty conservative reformer at heart, like Martin Luther, rather than say an Ulrich Zwingli or a Menno Simons. 

It’s not that I can’t appreciate the force of Dr. Radner’s arguments (in say The Fate of Communion) against a radical break in the institutional structures of Anglicanism.  I’m enough of an avid reader of church history to know very well the risks that come attached with radical, sweeping, revolutionary change.  I’m not minimizing that for one moment.  I fully realize that this is very high stakes poker and that I’m betting the house on this one.

But once again, I want to press the distinction I made in my #6.  The current INTERNATIONAL polity of Anglicanism isn’t sacrosanct or irreformable.  Two (or three) of the vaunted Instruments of Communion/Unity are very recent creations and by no means to be taken as venerable parts of the “traditional faith and order of the AC”: i.e., at least the ACC (a creation of the 1960s), and the Primates Meeting (a product of the 70s).  Furthermore, once you acknowledge that for all practical purposes we now have a 5th Instrument, this infamous, newfangled “Standing Committee of the AC(C)” (which is even usurping the role of the ACC and maybe even the Primates in their grab for power), then it becomes the latest Instrument and the least traditional of all. 

Likewise, even if you were to grant the desirability of preserving the ACC and the Primates Meeting in some form, it by no means follows that those two groups must be structured and operated in the current, colonial, unrepresentative fashion.  After all, all the Instruments (apart from the ABoC himself, i.e., Lambeth Conference, ACC, and the Primates) were intentionally designed merely to foster consultation and cooperation, and to renew the famous “bonds of affection” between highly autonomous provinces. 

None of them were designed for governance.  Indeed, any governing role was explicitly ruled out.  And yet, godly GOVERNANCE is what the AC needs. 

And if the present wineskins can’t provide it, then it’s time to chuck them and start over.

I don’t idealize the Global South or the FCA leadership.  I’m not claiming that Abuja, Kampala, or Nairobi (or PIttsburgh) is infallible, anymore than Rome or Canterbury is infallible.  But the FCA leaders are truly trustworthy.  And the official leaders of the AC are NOT. 

++RW is untrustworthy.  Canon Kearon is untrustworthy.  The whole ACO is untrustworthy.

So throw the bums out!!

David Handy+

July 30, 10:52 am | [comment link]
31. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thanks to Dr. Radner (#9), for confirming, once again, that the CDG was kept totally out of the loop on this sly manuveer, secretly planned in London, to subvert the whole disciplinary process.

Thanks also to Dr. Seitz (#29),
Your cheeky reference to me calling a meeting to initiate the New Reformation was amusing.  I took no offense.  If I were actually to issue such a call, I suppose a phone booth might be large enough to suffice to hold any gathering where the invitation came from me.  But in this age of cell phones, who can find a phone booth anymore??  Poor old Superman.

The point, once again, is the old problem of wineskins.  The problem isn’t the wine itself.  Classical Anglicanism has lost none of its appeal and power.  However, as I insisted above in #6, I’m totally convinced that the TRUE “traditional faith and order” of Anglicanism has virtually NOTHING to do with maintaining those discredited, ineffective, indeed counterproductive Instruments that have actually become Instruments of Chaos and Disunity rather than Instruments of Communion and Unity.  The danger is NOT that Anglicanism will someday metamorphis into some lesser form of Roman tyranny, controlled by a central Curia.  That’s patently ridiculous.  (Unless, of course, the new Standing Committee pulls off its power grab successfully).

But there is in fact “a clear and present danger” that Anglicanism will degenerate into not only a mere federation, but into sheer anarchy.  The Fate of Communion actually understates the danger.  Any Anglican federation would be even looser than the LWF, since we lack the doctrinal coherence and constraints that the Lutheran confessions provide.

No, we’d have sheer chaos and anarchy.  As in the days of Judges, “when every man (or province, should we say) did what was right in his own eyes.

We simply MUST find a way to put the Doctrine and Discipline back in the traditional Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of Anglicanism.  And that won’t come by negotiation!  It won’t come by playing nice with the heretics and antinomians who are running the AC into the ground.

It will come by IMPOSING discipline.  And that means treating all the scumbags in high places in Anglican circles as the worthless traitors that they are.  By excommunicating them and having nothing at all to do with them.  By refusing to play their silly games and obeying the biblical to AVOID contact with false shepherds who only ravage the flock of Christ, ala Romans 16:17-18, a passage we recently read in the Daily Office.

Let me remind everyone of it.  It’s very timely.

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught.  AVOID THEM!  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the saints.

I have come to DESPISE the current leadership of the ACO.  I hold them in outright contempt.  I’m well aware that it’s dangerous to pass judgment (ala Matt. 7:1), but I do in fact pass judgment on them as FALSE shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing (ala Ezek. 34 or Matt. 7:16-20).

I have more tolerance for the cockroaches in my kitchen than I have for them!!

Whew!  I’ve got that vomit out of my system now.  I feel better.

David Handy+

July 30, 11:21 am | [comment link]
32. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Now that I’ve calmed down, let me simply say that I fully endorse Dr. Noll’s idea that, contrary to the noble ACI leaders, the wisest course of action for the orthodox portion of the AC is to REVISE the Covenant FIRST among themselves and present it as a fait accompli to the rest of the Communion.  And if no one else buys in?

Well, who cares?

David Handy+

July 30, 11:37 am | [comment link]
33. Larry Morse wrote:

David: Throw the bums out is exactly what must be done first, and this is not revolutionary in any sense of the word, unless actually getting an Anglican to act is revolutionary. The orthodox must stand up and denounce TEC and its coven, and they must do it clearly and publicly. They must assert and essential those standards without which one cannot be an Anglican and they must say, “If you do not accept these, we do not want you around.In short, it is time to condemn that inclusivity which lowers all standards as a prerequisite for inclusion. This is not inclusion; it is the inrush of all externals when a vacuum is breached. It is NOT a sign of God’s “unconditional love,” it is a sign that natures abhors a vacuum, a mere mechanism.
We do not need a revolution, we need a straightforward declaration of exclusion.  Larry

July 30, 11:53 am | [comment link]
34. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Of course if the January meeting a) finds no-shows in number . . . “

There’s a simple method to making sure that all the orthodox Primates show up at the Primates Meeting and that is for RW to not invite Schori.

If he desires all the orthodox Primates to show up than that is what he will do.

July 30, 1:33 pm | [comment link]
35. jamesw wrote:

This, and related discussion, is IMHO exceedingly important.  It is beyond time for the Anglican majority to develop some united strategy in dealing with things.  It seems to me that there needs to be strategies to deal with (1) the Covenant process and (2) Primates meeting.  Let me offer some thoughts first on the Covenant process.

The ACI recommends

* The Covenant remains the only hope for preserving the traditional faith and order of the Anglican Communion. We call upon member churches of the Anglican Communion to adopt the Covenant with all deliberate speed and, having done so, to make proper arrangements for the responsibilities assigned to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion in Section 4 to be undertaken by a body that has both the competence and ability to assess threats to the Communion and recommend appropriate action.

Some have suggested that the ACI here is suggesting a two step process of first adopting the existing Covenant and then amending it.  The ACI members can correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think they are suggesting this.  I think what the ACI is suggesting is that the current Covenant be adopted and then the adopting Provinces act as if the current SCAC is not the SC as defined in Section 4 of the Covenant.  I do agree, however, with those who suggest to do this (absent more) would be unwise.

Consider the following:
1) If we have learned nothing else about Rowan Williams, we do know that his favorite and repeated strategy is to hold out promise of some future possible discipline of TEC, only to then delay that process as much as possible, and when the time for action has come, to step in and ensure that no action is ever actually taken.  I would suggest that the Covenant process is simply following this course.  We have been told for some years now to await the Covenant, that the Covenant will deal with things, just to continue with the Covenantal process.  And now, we see some overt gerrymandering and backdoor manipulation on the part of RW and his allies to ensure that the adjudicating body of the Covenant is dominated by western liberals.
2) We see that there appears to be bad faith on the part of RW and the ACO in that the Covenant Drafting Group was not made aware of significant changes to the SC when the Covenant was being drafted.  This suggests to me that the changes made to the SCAC were done very deliberately by RW and his allies.  This further suggests that RW and his allies will strongly resist any move to replace the current SCAC with any other adjudicating body.

Thus, it seems to me that it would be a huge error to simply pass the Covenant as is and hope that somehow it won’t be a complete and utter waste of time.  That’s not to say that the idea of a Covenant is a bad one.  However, we need to start thinking ahead.  Thus, as I see it, there are two workable options for those who see passing the Covenant as important:

1) Follow Stephen Noll’s advice and make key subsitutions into the Covenant and then pass it.  The most obvious problem with this approach is that it requires coordinated action by a large number of primates.  Many folks have observed that there does not exist a majority of Primates to take drastic action, and I would agree with that.  All that would happen under this scenario would be 10-15 Provinces adopting a different Covenant then others and the process would fail.

2) Pass the existing Covenant as is, but with an attached reservation previously agreed upon by GS primates making clear that the SC in the Covenant is NOT the current SCAC.  If the ACI were to draft such a reservation and the wider GS Provinces were to adopt it as a recommendation for Provinces to include when accepting the Covenant, this might not be seen as such a “drastic” move so as to scare off the more timid Provinces.  They would simply be invited to clarify understandings, not undermine the Covenant.  Also, if (as I would expect) RW would seek to undermine such a plan, then the adopting Provinces would be protected as they could say that they did not agree to a Covenant in which RW’s white liberal SCAC was the adjudicating body.

July 30, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
36. Larry Morse wrote:

One can neither include nor exclude, #35, until standards are established. Let us assume your description of RW is entirely correct.
Then no standards will be established. If none are established, then the entire covenant “solution” is an empty set. As they say here in Maine, “YOU CAN’T GET THEYAH FROM HEAH.” Larry

July 30, 3:11 pm | [comment link]
37. francis wrote:

The Covenant as it stands empowers the JSC.  It cannot be ratified for the simple reason that the JSC as it stands is abominable.  How can you expect to approve a faulty document?  And then change it?  LOL.

July 30, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
38. jamesw wrote:

The Primates’ Meeting is the other issue at play.  Pageantmaster and Sarah had a great interchange on another thread about this issue.  It is clearly very delicate.  Two initial thoughts on this:  1) it would be foolish to simply attend the next Primates’ Meeting regardless of what nonsense RW decides to spin; 2) it could be very foolish NOT to attend the next Primates’ Meeting as there should be some attempt to wrest this Instrument from RW.

Again, the central issue here is that the Primates are not so overly and boldly orthodox as some seem to think.  The majority are orthodox and opposed to TEC, but the balance of power is held by timid moderates who are anxious to not rock any boats.  They won’t do anything “drastic” unless they absolutely have to.  Thus, if the decision is not to attend, what you would have is the group of 10-15 GAFCON primates not attending, and RW would simply say “so sad, too bad” and continue on his way.  On the other hand, if everyone attends without any pre-agreed strategy, RW can push through his agenda, and say “yes, yes, there is some disagreement, but we all met together and we value each others’ voices, blah, blah, blah.”

So my proposal is that we need to find a way that makes it most likely to spur the timid primates into action.  My recommendation is that everyone attend initially, but that the bold primates make it clear publicly and beforehand, that they will not attend any session where KJS and FH (Fred Hiltz from Canada)  are present EXCEPT for an initial session at which they will seek to have KJS and FH requested to remove themselves.  At this session the GS primates should make a coordinated, pointed and firm request that TEC and ACoC should be requested to absent themselves due to their continued breaching of the moratoria.  (At this point, it should also be agreed, if insisted, that any GS primate still officially overseeing North American parishes absent themselves - and this should only involve Rwanda).  If this request is rejected either via a vote or via procedureal chicanery, then the GS primates should announce that they will take no further part in the deliberations where TEC or the ACoC are present, and will instead hold their own meeting and request that RW attend both primatial meetings.  They should, at this point, invite the other primates to joing them, and then they should leave and hold their own meeting.  This leads RW with a clearly divided primates group, and if he refused to meet with the GS primates, he would imperil his credibility even more.

Think about the possible results.  Either
(1) the primates agree to request KJS and FH to absent themselves, thus establishing the initial precedent of actual discipline; or
(2) the primates make this request, RW guesses that it will be accepted by a majority of primates, so he attempts to use procedure to frustrate the legitimate request.  If the primates then challenge him on this, RW will be at his weakest as it will bring up all of RW’s past manipulations.  If the GS primates could then (a) cast their walk-out as not necessarily being an open attack on Rowan, but rather as being a mark of unhappiness with TEC, and (b) make the request that Rowan also take the time to meet with them; then maybe the timid primates just might join the walkout; 0r
(3) the primates make the request but the request is voted down.  At this point, there would be no further purpose in staying as the Instrument would have been lost.  Then it makes sense for the GS primates to stay in the Anglican Communion on paper, but completely ignore the Instruments until such time as the western liberals die out.

But I think the key strategy needs to be to find an area in which the timid primates will act on.

July 30, 3:47 pm | [comment link]
39. jamesw wrote:

Larry:  I’m not sure what you mean when you say

One can neither include nor exclude, #35, until standards are established. Let us assume your description of RW is entirely correct.  Then no standards will be established. If none are established, then the entire covenant “solution” is an empty set.

The standards would be in the Covenant.  They exist there, that isn’t the question.  The question is whether the adjudicating body tasked with implementing the Covenant will enforce the standards.

I am not sure what you mean by include or exclude.  The point is to invite Provinces to include themselves into a significant Covenant, with a meaningful adjudicatory body.  At the same time, the point is to prevent Provinces from signing on to a Covenant that feeds into RW’s political machinations.

July 30, 3:59 pm | [comment link]
40. pendennis88 wrote:

Have we reached a point where there are primates who silently have ceased to consider the incumbent in the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury to have sufficient legitimacy, calling into question whether his entreaties, to meet or otherwise, may go unheeded?  Despite the apparent belief of numerous TEC representatives to the contrary, these Christian men are not unintelligent; they have eyes and ears.  Re-read what such as Anis and Orombi have said.

July 30, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
41. Philip Turner wrote:

jamesw in #35 correctly understands the ACI position, which we first articulated in January of this year.  Indeed, what he characterizes as a second option is similar to one we have already developed and we have a draft proposal for consideration by the ember churches.  We will probably publish this proposal on the ACI website in the near future.

Philip Turner

July 30, 4:38 pm | [comment link]
42. Philip Turner wrote:

sorry for the typo in # 41.  It should read member churches
Philip Turner

July 30, 4:41 pm | [comment link]
43. Ephraim Radner wrote:

It is not right to compare the members of the ACO to “cockroaches”, David (#31).  Be angry according to your principles.  But they are fellow-Christians;  and one clear reason not to judge, in this case as in many, as that we do not know the whole story, whatever may be our suspicions.  Nor do we even know it about ourselves!  I am very clear about what happened, for instance, at Covenant Design meetings in this case (although I am not clear about everything at such meetings!), but I do not know why.

I am glad that Jamesw is bringing to bear some responsible and creative thinking.  Thank you.

July 30, 6:51 pm | [comment link]
44. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

I think I prefer ember churches - there’s something to think about.

This has been a very interesting thread, many thanks to ACI’s members for this tour de force and those who have given their thoughts.    Much to ponder - I hope ACI’s hard work pays off and helps bring some order out of this mess.  The Anglican Church has so much going for it, but is let down at its leadership level.

July 30, 7:35 pm | [comment link]
45. Larry Morse wrote:

Well done in #38.
  The very problem is that the standards in the covenant are mere words.Signing or not signing does not make the words real; action makes them real. It is actions that bring standards into existence.
Thinking them, saying them is the same as advocating lowering the net in tennis. Such words are of no significance until the net is actually lowered. This sets the standard. At last, we all live for the quality of our actions. What we think and what we say count for nothing unless they generate actions.
  Begging your pardon, Dr. Radner, but David’s words,though strong, speak a fundamental truth. Those he is referring to are NOT fellow Christians; this is precisely the problem, that they are not. And we DO judge them because we must. We render such judgments every day, and I know of no case where our knowledge is complete before we render judgment. We NEVER know the whole story. NEVER. If we waited for complete knowledge, we would be blind and helpless in this world. David’s anger is fully justified; we simply need people with real power to get equally angry.
  Jamesw has written well. But this is not an academic exercise.  All those who talk and talk, have to grasp this principle, that you don’t blow up the dam until the plastique goes off, and it won’t go off until someone acts. Nor wlll the dam disappear by conference or by being non-judgmental.
  Blowing up a dam? The primates need to stand and say clearly:
We will do nothing. go nowhere, sign nothing as long as TEC and affiliates are present. They are no longer Christian.  This is not open to debate or compromise.
    Then, and only then, will standards come into existence.   
    #38 has written cleverly and well. But look at his last sentence.
Everything he has said hangs on this. But what will make the timid bold? David has answered the question: Anger, anger at fundamental betrayals. No anger, no action. THIS is what emotion is for. 
    Anglicans have confused civility with mealy-mouthed impotence; they have suborned just emotion with an manufactured Christ whose distinguishing characteristic is a namby-pamby emotional sterilty. This isn’t the real man we meet in the gospels. He made judgments, and he did not hesitate to condemn.

July 30, 8:04 pm | [comment link]
46. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#38

So my proposal is that we need to find a way that makes it most likely to spur the timid primates into action.  My recommendation is that everyone attend initially, but that the bold primates make it clear publicly and beforehand, that they will not attend any session where KJS and FH (Fred Hiltz from Canada)  are present EXCEPT for an initial session at which they will seek to have KJS and FH requested to remove themselves.  At this session the GS primates should make a coordinated, pointed and firm request that TEC and ACoC should be requested to absent themselves due to their continued breaching of the moratoria.  (At this point, it should also be agreed, if insisted, that any GS primate still officially overseeing North American parishes absent themselves - and this should only involve Rwanda).  If this request is rejected either via a vote or via procedureal chicanery, then the GS primates should…...

While your proposal does answer the issue that the majority of the GS will not attend, I believe that asking the Global South primates such as Rwanda absent themselves plays the Lambeth Palace game.  If you remember in both Dar and Alexandria this was not an issue.  In fact the Dar Communique, although not approving cross-border interventions understood the necessity for them in the absense of any proper system of alternative oversight.  It was stated quite clearly at Dar that the American congregational oversight could not be expected to be relinquished until an agreed alternative provision had been put in place by the Communion.

You will also remember that at the time of Dar, the new Presiding Bishop was not eligible to be seated under the terms of the prior decisions taken under the Windsor Report.    Nevertheless, and in the face of opposition, Williams took it upon himself to seat her.    Of the moratoria mentioned at that time he subsequently chose to drop the fourth moratorium on litigation, and to promote the border crossing issue to one of primary rather than the secondary importance it had previously had.  Just three examples of his mercurial and lawless decision making subsequent to Dar.

There is no need to play this game, which results in dividing the Global South again [not that I believe any of them will be inclined to play it] - if there is any prospect of proper governance being restored it will mean the coming together in unity of both the moderate and Gafcon Global South Primates.  Allowing anyone to be ‘picked off’ such as Rwanda only plays into the RW and TEC camp [although they are not necessarily synonymous].

My hope is that the orthodox put aside their bickering and come together to restore proper governance to the Communion.    Williams, Kearon, Cameron and Rees have made a real pigs ear of it, the extent of which, because of the secrecy, is only now being revealed.

I agree that your suggestions are sensible, with the above proviso.

July 30, 8:05 pm | [comment link]
47. tjmcmahon wrote:

We call upon member churches of the Anglican Communion to adopt the Covenant with all deliberate speed and, having done so, to make proper arrangements for the responsibilities assigned to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion in Section 4 to be undertaken by a body that has both the competence and ability to assess threats to the Communion and recommend appropriate action.

It appears from Dr. Turner’s comments that ACI actually intended to say something that was much more direct than what they wrote, and if that is the case, I will admit my initial reaction may have been hasty. If you can convince me that James’ scheme in #35 is practical, I would support it. However, by what mechanics can “a body that has both the competence and ability to assess threats to the Communion and recommend appropriate action” be formed via the Covenant process when said body must be approved by the current standing committee according to the wording of the Covenant itself?  Not to mention that the process for changes of the Covenant or its governance are clearly designed to take a decade or more (as is the implementation of discipline). 
  The secondary problem is that there will then, in effect, be 2 Covenants (or 3 or 4)- the current draft, and the amended one (whether amended before or after signing).  Some provinces will sign one, some the other, some none at all.  Mexico has already signed the Williams-Cameron draft- which may be signed by CoE and a few others.  Assuming that there is a (please pardon me) Radner-Seitz-JamesW draft signed by most of the GS (or after they sign, they amend the current draft), there will then be the Hiltz-Trisk draft, that will be the current draft, with no section 4 whatsoever…. And, with 3 or 4 Covenants out there, TEC will get away with signing none, and selling off churches to pay for its indaba project and all the networks they will set up to infuse their theology and practice throughout the Communion.
And we will be right back to where we are now, with no discipline, ongoing lawsuits, by then, in 10 provinces, but +RW will have succeeded in kicking the can another 10 years to his own retirement. 

It seems to me that the only rational course is to find a Covenant that 20 churches are willing to sign, and sign that, with whatever necessary language on governance already written in. (At the very least, a firm definition of the powers and composition of the Standing Committee). The ABoC can sign on, and the Covenanted Churches become the Anglican Communion; or the ABoC can refuse to sign (or not sign by some deadline) and the Anglican Communion becomes some group of small western Churches, and the Worldwide Anglican Church, headquartered in Alexandria or Abuja or Singapore is freed of all the nonsense and intrigue of CoE and TEC.

And on a related subject….
  Until such time as the ABoC lives up to his obligations (going back to 2003) to provide oversight for Anglicans in the US and Canada, he should shut his mouth about border crossing.  With the exception of AMiA, which predates, I think, even Lambeth 1.10, and is in essence a Continuing Church resulting from TEC elevating a woman to the episcopate, Spong’s heresy and Righter’s abandonment of communion in the 1990s, the “border crossing” is just the Primates acting on the Dar Communique after Rowan reneged on his promises and obligations- the very ones he accepted voluntarily at Dar.  Dar offered the acceptable border crossing solution, all that needs happen is for Rowan to implement it- something the standing committee could have done, given its dictatorial authority, at any meeting since Dar.

July 30, 9:40 pm | [comment link]
48. Athanasius Returns wrote:

Nice words, pretty, pretty words, noble words. Words, words, words ad nauseam, ad infinitum.  All hat, no cattle.

In my former corporate life, I was a very well compensated analyst, but at the end of all the documented, graphically, anecdotally and statistically supported analysis was ALWAYS a proposal that was specific, measurable, achievable, reproducible, and time-based (SMART).  If I did not provide this, there was nothing to act upon, there was no project, there were no results, and the bottom line was never improved.  NEVER.  I’d have been fired without the results thingy.

Unless and until those with position and power and will to decide and act on, oh, let’s say, saving the Communion, AND actually decide AND decisively and finally ACT, this is becoming a whole, gigantic lot of whistling into the wind.  Those currently in power who have de facto changed all the rules demonstrably have zero desire to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.  As such and as leaders, they have willfully and in perhaps some cases maliciously assumed an attitude of apostasy.  The revisionist cabal is at the Rubicon (really already crossed over), and I and millions of others in the AC are NOT crossing with them. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

NEVER.

July 30, 9:44 pm | [comment link]
49. Athanasius Returns wrote:

BTW, #48’s first para does not refer to #47.  It’s in re: the whole mess in the AC, especially the nowhere-to-go covenant.

July 30, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
50. art wrote:

Good on you folks; many thanks!  As one who has had a VERY full week, I had to keep my comment to a brief one (# 15); but that does not mean I have no further thoughts and strategies in mind!  Some subsequent contributions raised good practical steps envisaging certain scenarios - great thinking out loud.  Thank you again!  Nor is it a coincidence most circled around the next Primates Meeting.  I am absolutely convinced that this is most probably our last chance to restore the AC as we know it for the 21st C. 

I have often said before that we should let history run its course(s) even as we naturally act and participate; and so far this opening decade has been just that - a meandering, muddy course (with the odd billabong thrown it ...)  But then as I also said more recently, small streams suddenly take on great significance - like the Rubicon.  Next January is surely the AC’s Rubicon ...

In which case all our “cold hearts” need to implore before the Throne of Grace and to the Lamb who sits there that His “seals” usher in mercy for us and not wrath - as we surely deserve the latter, given especially this last decade.  Actions aplenty Satan can put up with.  But solid prayer he truly flees before!  And once we’ve prayed, then ACT (to echo John R Mott of Edinburgh 1910 fame)!

Lastly, I suspect (having now encountered the PB directly) that if godly men [sic] stand up to her and her allies in the New Year -  they   too   will   flee   ...  And the Fat Lady will have to swallow her dirge; amen, may it be so ...  And if the ABC has to engage thereafter in shuttle diplomacy between two demarcated camps, so be it also!  For I know whose Covenant Community I wish to be a member of ...

July 30, 9:55 pm | [comment link]
51. tjmcmahon wrote:

#49,  I was pretty sure that you were not referring to my #47, especially given your kind reception of my #25. 
Personally, I’m starting to think we should all quit being nice guys, and go after the standing committee the way we went after Kevin Thew Forrester’s episcopacy.  After all, they seem to share a common theology.
I mean, why not, lets publish every sermon written by this lot of heretics, and lets make sure those posts reach their own synods and countries- let the electors know who and what they have sent to the ACC- or who their ACC reps have given ultimate power in the Communion.  Photos of them wining and dining, and the budget comparisons….lets see, $1.5 million for continuing indaba designed to bring gay marriage to Sudan and such places, and how much to dig wells? provide Bibles? train Sudanese clergy?

July 30, 9:59 pm | [comment link]
52. Stephen Noll wrote:

Chris Seitz (#29)

Noll says: “It strikes me that it would be much cleaner and quicker for the orthodox Primates and Provinces to adopt jointly a revised Covenant text which gets the nature and relationship of the Instruments right in the first place.” That’s all fine, but who are these ‘orthodox Primates and Provinces’ and by what modus vivendi do they meet formally for this work, how many will be there, and so forth?

“Who are these orthodox Primates?” They are the ones gathered at Singapore in April, who wrote:

21. Global South leaders have been in the forefront of the development of the “Anglican Covenant” that seeks to articulate the essential elements of our faith together with means by which we might exercise meaningful and loving discipline for those who depart from the “faith once delivered to the saints.” We are currently reviewing the proposed Covenant to find ways to strengthen it in order for it to fulfill its purpose. For example, we believe that those who adopt the Covenant must be in compliance with Lambeth 1.10. Meanwhile we recognize that the Primates Meeting, being responsible for Faith and Order, should be the body to oversee the Covenant in its implementation, not the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

This statement makes clear that 1) the proposed Covenant text is not “final” but must be reviewed further and strengthened; 2) that compliance with Lambeth Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality must be a prerequisite for those signing on to the Covenant; and 3) that the Primates must be given their place as overseers of the Covenant.

Now I suspect that this clause, like any such, is a compromise, but it includes both Nigeria and Uganda (whose support for ANY solution Chris seems to think unimportant) and other named Primates and Provinces.

Does ACI agree with clause 21? And if so, does it agree that there may be more than one way to reach the end described therein?

When you say “meet formally,” do you consider the Global South Encounters “informal”? By “formal,” are you saying “convened by Canterbury”? Let’s see: the recent SC meeting was convened by Canterbury, ACC 14 in Jamaica was convened by Canterbury, the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam was convened by Canterbury. If that is the prerequisite, then you have to show how the results of such a formal meeting will differ from the results of the above formal meetings.

My modus vivendi is for all those churches represented in Singapore to convene an extraordinary meeting, agree on a revised Covenant text and offer it to their and other Provinces of the Communion to adopt (or reject). I know – and desire – that TEC and a number of other hopelessly compromised Provinces will reject the Covenant and ultimately be replaced. I suspect a plurality or even majority of Provinces, representing a clear majority of the world’s Anglicans, would sign on to such a revised Covenant.

Would Canterbury personally? Possibly. The Church of England corporately? Not likely. They would have to decide whether they want to have a continuing role with the Communion they founded or become lap-dogs of TEC.

This, Chris, is my proposed modus vivendi.

July 30, 11:01 pm | [comment link]
53. cseitz wrote:

Steve—of course past meetings have taken place, formal ones, in many places. Is your suggestion then:
1)  Meet again
2)  Ignore Primates Meeting
3)  Draw up a ‘new covenant’/confessional statement
4)  Remove Canterbury
5)  Instruments also
If this is the plan, then:
a)  What percentage of primates will do this work?
b)  What percentage do you think will defer to them in all these five measures, now?
ACI is proposing having the covenant process move forward and letting those who covenant determine its life.  Our view is, if the SC is the problem, address it and challenge its remit and composition. Let the Primates strengthen their own SC and determine how it will relate to the SC now arrogating to itself powers of various sorts. 
Clearly the SC that has just met has declared a superiority over the other Instruments. This needs to be fought.
(I have irregular access to Internet and for short periods only).

July 31, 3:49 am | [comment link]
54. cseitz wrote:

“Now I suspect that this clause, like any such, is a compromise, but it includes both Nigeria and Uganda (whose support for ANY solution Chris seems to think unimportant) and other named Primates and Provinces.”—kindly do not attribute to me views I have not espoused. I specifically mentioned +Oh in my comment. I was referring to *new* leadership specifically.

July 31, 3:51 am | [comment link]
55. Larry Morse wrote:

#50: There is such a creature as just and necessary wrath, and that creature is now at our table. We have been and are being betrayed, sold down the river, mocked and parodied. Is it time for prayer? Sure, it is always time. But it is also time to get angry because emotion is the fuel that runs the truck. Alone, unchecked, it is dangerous because, according to Morse’s law, all emotion runs to extremes. But to be afraid of emotion - and this is what we see here and elsewhere - is to deny an important partner because he has scary eyes.
  Why do we talk and talk and babel? Because we are afraid to get angry; anger is badbadbad, sinful, evil, unChristian, even though a prophet you and I know and trust did not hesitate to get angry and condemn: tough on the fig tree and the wedding guest, yes? Anger is not incompatible with mercy ( we had better hope) but mercy is spineless and important - it becomes TECbrand tolerance - without the anger that drives and has always driven the demand and necessity for justice. The Anglicans we hear of and who appear again and again are only half men, because they have denied and subverted the source of power. To use our powerful emotions to create drive and motion is not, by definition, to join the Dionysian, although the namby-pambies who make up our patricians are obviously unable to grasp this. Surely you have seen this, the strange, eerie sterility that marks the dialogue from our side, a fearfulness, an inability to confront, that makes the Ordinariate the most viable alternative.  Larry

July 31, 8:42 am | [comment link]
56. Martin Reynolds wrote:

Sorry to return to you so lately, Pageantmaster but family responsibilities fill most of the day and then there was the sermon to write ...... I’m sue you will understand - but gosh, so much water seems to have passed under the bridge since!

Never mind.

You ask about the responsibilities of the limited companies that manage the business of our and say the RCC - and this we are discussing in the context of objections made by those ACI lads to our affairs being managed subject to the full rigor of English and European law - just one of the persnickety topics I think the fall down on.

If you look here: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CDAQFjAG&url=http://www.catholicchurch.org.uk/Catholic-Church/Recruitment&ei=5IlSTJ6TB4r00gTltuj9Ag&usg=AFQjCNEX2LZvYp6qigxi9MzQjbdauA-gIA
I think you will gather how proud the RCC is to be an “equal opportunities employer” and see that, yes, in fact the management of the organisation is in the hands of a committee I described.

The ACI lads seem to completely misunderstand the equality laws and how they impact on religious organisations.

As to the management of the Primates Group - surely this is only a matter of finance and follows a time when frequent unscheduled meetings of the Primates came close to causing severe financial problems at the ACO.
I understand that the finances simply don’t support more actual meetings - though the electronic age offers the opportunity for these bishops and moderators to conference whenever they wish and to reach whatever common mind they wish to express without traveling halfway around the world. But perhaps there isn’t the heart for it.

I wouldn’t be too dismissive of the outcomes from the last Lambeth Conference, the final document gives more than a flavour of the resolutions found there even if they were not spelled out as before.
Isn’t the present debate all about “We affirm that the Instruments of Communion need to provide the ecclesial authority that interprets what is Anglicanism” as the Lambeth fathers put it.

As to the Primates themselves the reflection says:
“There is much discomfort about the role that the Primates’ Meeting now finds itself exercising. Many fear that it is trying to exercise too much authority. Others believe that the Primates are the only ones who can bear the weight of our current challenges. Perhaps their key role is in supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The primates should not exercise collectively any more authority than they have in their Provinces”

Our bishops and Primate reflected back to the Province that the consensus was that Primates meetings had fallen prey to outside manipulation and had failed.

Not that the ACC comes out much better:
“There is a lack of knowledge in the Communion about the Council and its members and therefore an uncertainty about its role. Some believe it exercises too much authority; others would like to see it reconstituted and given more. One suggestion was of a two-tier Council with a tier of Primates and another of clergy and laity with the inclusion of younger representation. There was a desire to enhance the presence of clergy and laity in decision making at the Communion level.”
And it might be said that the new Standing Committee achieves some of this while there are reasons to think that the Standing Committee as constituted fails to be representative.

Anyway I think the process of establishing a leadership role for some group or another has to get over the hurdle of this divide between those who favour Primates and those who favour the ACC.  Protagonists such as the ACI have long passed being a help - their style undermines and gives ammunition to those who would destroy - as we can see above.


 

July 31, 9:11 am | [comment link]
57. tjmcmahon wrote:

Dr. Seitz, with all due respect, it would appear that Dr. Noll is suggesting your 1) - that the GS Primates/provincial reps should meet; and part of your 3)- that they should restore acceptable disciplinary procedures- which is to say, restore the Primates as the adjudicatory body under section 4 (I do not see him suggesting it should be entirely rewritten).
So, what he is suggesting is that this be done before the document is signed.  ACI is suggesting that this be done after the document is signed.  What ACI has yet to explain is HOW this can be done after the document is signed.
I do not see him suggesting that the Primates meeting be ignored, or that Canterbury or other instruments be removed.  However, currently, none of the Instruments has accepted or is committed to the current Covenant, and indeed the assumed Instrument of the Standing Committee (the only Instrument whose resolutions have been acted on by the ABoC in his tenure) is firmly opposed to any section 4 being included.
As for the ABoC, there is to date absolutely no evidence that he will sign the present Covenant, so there is no reason to think him more or less likely to sign a corrected Covenant.  The current one is his own work, and as ABoC he could adopt it on behalf of his Communion office, even if the CoE rejects it.  Until he does, the current draft is meaningless, since by signing, provinces distance themselves from Canterbury- in essence, until he signs it, it is the Covenant churches which are second tier, and those who do not sign who remain in full communion with Canterbury.
  It rather appears that the current plan in Lambeth/ACO/NYC is to form some sort of separate committee to oversee the Covenant, but reserve all actual power in the Standing Committee- which controls the money to the point that it is now “authorized” to determine how much of the budget will be devoted to Primates meetings, and who may or may not be seated as an ACC rep.  So those who want can have their little Covenant, but the money and decision making power will be in the hands of those who do not sign on.

July 31, 10:42 am | [comment link]
58. driver8 wrote:

#56 That really was the danger and perhaps even the intent of running Lambeth in such a way that resolutions were prohibited yet one could cherry-pick the bits of contradictory “reflections” with which one already agreed.

One could report the “consensus” was such and such - how weird, that it just happened to be what your Primate already thought - though, of course, it’s equally truthful to say “the Conference produced no consensus” or even “the consensus was that the Primates should take action”. It was apparently intended to be that way.

July 31, 10:59 am | [comment link]
59. tjmcmahon wrote:

I specifically mentioned +Oh in my comment.

This may be part of the confusion in recent comments, Dr. Seitz. Did you mean Abp. Okoh, the new Nigerian primate?

July 31, 11:38 am | [comment link]
60. Athanasius Returns wrote:

Personally, I’m starting to think we should all quit being nice guys

Thanks tjmcmahon (at #51).

I used to prattle on about a way forward.  I was a good prattler.

Jesus never stopped being a nice guy, but he did overturn the moneychangers tables and shoo them out the temple.  Had some STERN and DIRECT words for them as well.  Jesus had numerous other instances of STERN and DIRECT statements.  At judgment, I understand, there’s liable to be more STERN and DIRECT statements.

Who appointed ACI as spokespersons for the orthodox in the AC?  Hmmmm?  Who?  Who?

There are some either/or’s in this current unpleasantness!

Either we adhere to and contend for the faith ONCE DELIVERED to the saints or we do not.  There is NO wiggle room WHATSOEVER!

Either Jesus was and is Immanuel, walked the earth, was crucified, died, was buried, was physically resurrected and IS THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life, and is our LORD and Savior, or he is not.  There is only yes or no here!

Either the Holy Scriptures are the word of God which is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow (as Hebrew 4 affirms), or they are not.

Either the Church is the triumphant and militant body of Christ, or it is not.

To perform some sort of synthetic, syncretistic, pluralistic, relativistic sleight of hand mumbo jumbo and manufacture some sort of weird, mutant, ineffective, heretical, damnable hybrid is the pinnacle of folly.  It is also to leap into the abyss.

NO MORE HEMMING AND HAWING!  Who is on the LORD’s side? Am beginning to know that the Laodicean era is the one we are now experiencing.

Good LORD!  And I thought I was loquacious.  Given to verbal excess.  I need a nap now.  Shuffling off in disgust.

July 31, 12:28 pm | [comment link]
61. cseitz wrote:

#57 Sorry, the new primate of Nigeria, +Okoh. (I am typing on an iPhone in rural France.)  ACI is not suggesting the covenant be re-written. It is saying the present SC –a study in overreach and manipulation; why does the AC need governing by an agency registered in English law?—need not determine its efficacy. It also wants the Primates Meeting to strengthen its hand, to that end, vis-à-vis the SC and also the covenant. I sensed no disrespect, #57, thanks. BTW, who is Martin Reynolds?

July 31, 1:14 pm | [comment link]
62. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

I have an apology to make to every reader of this thread.  Dr. Radner was quite right to rebuke me in his #43 for my extreme and intemperate language, displayed all too clearly at several points here.  I regret that.  Even before seeing Ephraim’s post, the Holy Spirit convicted me last night about my vituperative rhetoric on this thread.

I acknowledge the important point that yes, the line between the “good guys” and the “bad guys, ” between the men in white hats and the ones in black hats, by no means correlates with the line between the administration of the ACNA in Pittsburgh and the administration of TEC in Manhattan, nor does it run cleanly between the FCA leaders and the ACO in London.  Rather, I freely admit that this line runs right down the middle through the heart of every human being and every Anglican, myself included.

It was indeed highly inappropriate for me to compare the ACO leadership to cockroaches.  Especially when the PB and her explicit allies in the HoB are far worse enemies of the gospel.  But more important, in my “righteous” or not so righteous indignation, I temporarily forgot that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” but against the evil principalities and powers in heavenly places.  Our revisionist foes aren’t the true enemy; they are merely deceived agents being unwittingly exploited by the real Enemy, our unseen and immortal Foe, the Father of Lies.  Alas, such is our vulnerability to his deceitful wiles, that none of us is immune to being corrupted or fooled by his evil schemes; and sadly that includes the best of us, including the ABoC.

In light of my egregious lapse in judgment above, I ask the forgiveness of all those offended by my outrageous and abusive comments.  And as a sign of repentance, I will take a break from blogging, and do some soul searching for a while.  In the meantime, let it be clear that I was speaking for no one but myself.  I certainly was not speaking for the ACNA.

Mea culpa.  Mea maxima culpa.

Remorsefully,
David Handy+

July 31, 1:56 pm | [comment link]
63. Martin Reynolds wrote:

Martin Reynolds is Martin Reynolds….. can there be any other answer?

July 31, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
64. art wrote:

Thanks Larry (#55) for your comments - helpful, as they make me clear up a few false impressions.

In the first place, I am not talking about any kind of “creature”.  I am however referring to the God of justice/righteousness (as you imply, probably) who, throughout OT and NT, expresses his own wrath - for a variety of reasons - but notably as the Covenant Partner who is often slighted by his own People (a recalcitrant lot are we ...).  That’s first in my comment (#50).

But then, as Hebrews and elsewhere makes plain, “it is [truly] a fearsome thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, who is a consuming fire”.  Which makes me, secondly, “boldly” plead for “mercy” at this time especially (based on the witness of many places: Ezek 22:30-end [a lovely figural reading of Christ]; Rom 11:28-32/3:21-26/12:1-2; 1 Jn 2:1-2, 4:7-12; Heb 7-12 writ large).

Thereafter, you are certainly correct to suggest that any such “love” is not mamby pamby candy-floss, either the divine love or human Christian love - and certainly is not the silly “tolerance” of our present western culture!  1 Jn 1:5 comes to mind!  Any authentic, discerning love will reflect the will of God already referred to (as per e.g. Rom 12:2), rather than, I suggest, any form of “emotion”, as such.

So finally, just to repeat: with these things in mind, may we implore God that our just and righteous leaders should “stand up to” all who denigrate the Gospel of the Lord Jesus at this time, and especially during the forthcoming Primates Meeting, planning and strategizing as best they may, having prayed as “solidly” as they may.  For David Handy is correct (#62), our “true enemies” are the likes of Old Wormwood (as I implied earlier myself).  And ACI’s post is surely an aspect of all this, as are the many comments it has prompted.

July 31, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
65. Larry Morse wrote:

David, your entry fills me with a despair that I have not felt otherwise. We all grant that the “cockroach” remark was over the top. but David, your anger was correct, necessary, just and rightly focused. What is it in Anglicans that makes them unable to handle hard emotions, that makes them collapse in guilt and remorse? This is dreadful. And to assign the blame to Satan, rather than to those in the ACI and TEC is to make His Troublesomeness a scapegoat for the price free will must pay when it makes bad judgments. This is not Satan’s work; the troubles that are piled on Anglicanism are put there by the Anglicans themselves who of their own free will have allowed weakness and impotency, on the one hand, and a culpable passion for fad and cant to rewrite scripture, on the other, to pollute waters that would otherwise run clean. 
  For Heaven’s sake, how can you all NOT be furious to be betrayed and toyed with by the Bandarlog? And now look, here’s RFA run to his sanctum to try to cleanse his conscience. I hope other people will tell him he has done no real wrong, that right anger is the precursor of justice. Look, people, Art above has written “emotion” off as if it is a form of spiritual recidivism, or perhaps a kind of appendix or baby toe, in stead of the fundamental force which fuels every human drive, both good and bad. Evolution, God’s organic language, has put anger and hate, as it has put love, at the core of our being because we cannot survive without them. And when anger is castrated and love becomes “unconditional love,” what have we lift to drive us to seek remedies for which two o’clock courage is the absolute predecessor?
This doesn’t come from dialogue, covenants, and the Endless Meeting. 
  I am, however, gratified to read that others here have had a bellyful, others who demand a clear direct declaration of principle, a real accounting, something that cannot be misunderstood or compromised into a pablum of ersatz civility. 
  Well, I hope the elves will let this go through, because David has done himself a real injustice, and by weakening himself, has deprived us of one of the better warriors.  Larry

August 1, 12:06 am | [comment link]
66. art wrote:

I shall try to keep this brief comment, Larry,  on track ...!  I have no idea of your musical tastes, but I have a fancy for Bruce Cockburn, Canadian Christian rock singer (as well as Monteverdi, JS Bach & Arvo Pärt and a host in between).  During the 1980s he paid a visit to Guatemala, while their wretched civil war was raging.  On his return he composed “If I had a rocket launcher”, as one of the tracks on Stealing Fire.  Apparently he lost a few fans due to it: I however totally get it!  When government helicopter gun-ships (supplied by USA) blast the hell out of villagers down below, how else does one respond?  The Psalmist seeks to “dash their kids against the stones”.

If I draw a distinction between “will” and “emotion”, it is because I too have been through a Civil War, with good friends on both/all sides.  And to be sure, the current plight of the AC is also demonstratively a Civil War ...

Now; if I simply have recourse to a contemporary psychology of ‘feelings’; and much as I thoroughly enjoy the glorious beauty of this earth (hence all the references to music above); and furthermore ‘suffer’ the Gift of Tears from time to time (ask Simeon the New Theologian about them) such is my rapture before the sublime - nonetheless, such has been my pilgrimage also before the God of Justice, that I have learned NOT to allow my “emotions” to determine my actions.  Rather, with a quite patience, may our wills become aligned with His Holy Will - “a feather on the breath of God” - to thereafter strongly, boldly, surely “stand” (Eph 6) in ways that (frankly - and you are right at this point) many western Christians scarcely imagine.  So, all in all, we may just be in “heated agreement” - but we may also be rather far apart.  It would take a good meal with a better Napa Valley Chardonnay and plenty of time to figure that one out ...  Yet at this point, I am cautious - while being totally sympathetic with your sense of outrage.  I trust however that my “sympathy” does not appear to “emasculate” your desire to see justice done - and done “right soon”! [Written while listening to Franz Schubert’s “Trout Quintet”, BTW!]

August 1, 1:31 am | [comment link]
67. The_Elves wrote:

[Please keep this thread strictly on topic please and no more personal abuse or use of terms like cockroaches, bums etc - thank you - Elf]

August 1, 5:55 am | [comment link]
68. Athanasius Returns wrote:

The orthodox strongly desire emancipation from the revisionist onslaught.

Will it come?

From what quarter?

August 1, 5:57 am | [comment link]
69. Athanasius Returns wrote:

And, Larry (#69), here the thread will sit, like so many ACI/covenant related threads.

Substance, yes.

Action?

August 1, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
70. tjmcmahon wrote:

And to assign the blame to Satan, rather than to those in the ACI and TEC is to make His Troublesomeness a scapegoat for the price free will must pay when it makes bad judgments. This is not Satan’s work; the troubles that are piled on Anglicanism are put there by the Anglicans themselves who of their own free will have allowed weakness and impotency, on the one hand, and a culpable passion for fad and cant to rewrite scripture, on the other, to pollute waters that would otherwise run clean. 

I think Larry, that while it is indeed our weakness that has led to us making wrong choices with our free will, to a great extent Satan is responsible for putting the false goals before us.  It is his will that we follow the spirit of the age.  It is God’s will that we follow the Holy Spirit, and that is the choice we have consistently failed to make.  We now see the consequence of running the church in the way the devil would have us do it, and not paying attention to God.
I also take some exception to associating ACI with TEC in the way you have done.  But before I go any further, did you mean to type “ACI” or did you intend “AC” or “ACO” or even “ABC”?
But so that I am not misunderstood in my comments above (57 and earlier), let me make clear that I am disagreeing with ACI about strategy, particularly as it is evidenced in their last conclusion.  I am not disagreeing about the desired outcome of the Covenant process, just about the most effective way to achieve it.

August 1, 8:14 pm | [comment link]
71. Sarah wrote:

RE: “the final document gives more than a flavour of the resolutions found there even if they were not spelled out as before. . . . “

Ah yes . . . that wonderful document expressing the brilliant plan of the ABC to provide unity and end all of the horrible divisions of the Anglican Communion—why the Lambeth Conference was a wonderful success!  And its quality and um . . . depth are well represented by the Lambeth Reflections document—the *product* of that meeting of all the great minds and hearts of Anglican Communion bishops. 

Mmmmm . . . http://www.lambethconference.org/reflections/document.cfm

In the pantheon of Anglican Communion documents I would put this one in the top five for shallow, turgid, vacuity beyond even my wildest imaginings. 

Not to worry, though.  The ABC at the close of HIS Lambeth Conference—the Lambeth Conference that occurred under his stellar leadership—announced in his address the “consensus” of . . . [drum roll] Himself, er no wait . . . the “consensus” of the bishops of the Anglican Communion.

August 1, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
72. Athanasius Returns wrote:

Here endeth the thread.

And still NO action!

Have seen more movement from a dead snail.

August 2, 8:08 am | [comment link]
73. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#72 Please tell me what exactly it is that YOU are doing about it, Athanasius Returns?

August 2, 8:19 am | [comment link]
74. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#56 Sorry not to get back to you the one and only Martin Reynolds.  I tend to be occupied on Sundays, as I expect you are, but will revert when I have a moment.

August 2, 8:22 am | [comment link]
75. Athanasius Returns wrote:

#72, Pageantmaster,

1 - Have written to (and received a courteous, terse reply from) the Anglican Communion Office, twice.
2 - Let my bishop know in no uncertain terms his leadership methodology needed strengthening.
3 - Let my rector know in no uncertain his leadership methodology needed strengthening.
4 - Told leading members of the parish’s vestry my reasons for leaving (after 1-3).
5 - Since the AC is at significant risk of leading the unwary astray, have been demanding accountability to the gospel of Christ Jesus to everyone in clergy and lay positions with whom I can get an audience.

In other words, as my friends say, “Sheesh, has he got a mouth on him?!”

Would that the ACI and orthodox leadership throughout the entire AC DO the same and with more energy than I possess!

The time for talk is L O N G over!!!  Nicene and Chalcedonian bishops realized this.  Augustine realized this, as did Aquinas and St. Francis and Teresa of Avila.  Reformation saints realized this.  John Wesley, William Wilberforce, +++Michael Ramsey, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Stott, J. I. Packer, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Billy Graham, and millions of others realized this!

August 2, 10:06 am | [comment link]
76. tjmcmahon wrote:

Athanasius Returns-
Every year, the GS churches between them baptize more people than attend Anglican churches in England, Scotland, Wales, US, Canada and NZ combined.  So I would say they are “doing something about it” in 2 ways.  #1- regardless of the fanatical adherence of the western Anglican churches to revisionism, the GS churches do not allow western heresy to distract them from the work of the Great Commission.  And #2, as those churches grow, they get more and more votes on the ACC, and in the long run, there will come a day, and soon, when no matter how many Welshmen and Anzacs ++Rowan appoints to the ACC, the GS will be able to outvote them and put forward their own agenda.
  Sooner or later, they will even be able to force corrections in the unethical distribution of voting rights, whereby western churches with 1/2 million ASA get 3 votes, while GS churches with 4 million may get 2.
  The question now is- can they get it done before the British Parliament can appoint a lesbian ABoC?
  And, something tells me the meeting of African Bishops later this month will have much more impact on the Anglican Communion than the recent meeting of the ersatz standing committee-
http://www.africanbishops.org/

August 2, 10:34 am | [comment link]
77. Athanasius Returns wrote:

Amen tjmcmahon, #76.

Would that the West could accomplish even a modest percentage of the GS’s forward movement!

Amen!

August 2, 10:58 am | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): Atheist state schools could be established under English Government’s education reforms

Previous entry (below): Living Church: Standing Committee Adjusts to Scrutiny

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)