[ACI] Same Sex Blessings: What Did General Convention Do?

Posted by The_Elves

***We conclude: taken as a whole, Resolution A049 is not just a legal nullity and theologically incoherent, although it is that. It is also profoundly unconstitutional in that it purports to do something General Convention is not authorized to do and encourages clergy to violate the canons, the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer and their vow to conform to the worship of the Church***
Some extracts From here:-

.......But there is a more ominous aspect to these resolves. They clearly purport to “authorize” something General Convention has no jurisdiction to authorize, thus usurping the authority of the very bishops they purport to authorize. And they invite (using the permissive “may”) bishops to use or adapt this rite in “civil jurisdictions where same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal.” This calls on bishops to ignore both the rubrics for marriage (including civil marriage) defining it as between a man and a woman and the marriage canon, which as the resolution itself acknowledges “applies by extension.” The House of Bishops was expressly advised that the intention of this resolution was to encourage clergy to perform same sex marriages.

One diocesan bishop has already reversed his position and will now allow clergy to perform same sex marriages, concluding “we are left with a situation in which the mind of this recent Convention appears to be to allow such services. However, The Constitution and The Book of Common Prayer still say something else.” For him “the mind of this General Convention” trumped both of these foundational instruments.

The incoherence of this position is demonstrated by the liturgical materials that were approved, which simultaneously opine that the rite can be used in connection with civil marriages and that “A bishop, priest, or deacon who violates the rubrics or the Canon risks disciplinary action under Title IV.”...

....................................
Every bishop, priest and deacon undertakes at ordination “to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church.” The recent action by General Convention purporting to authorize bishops to authorize a rite for blessing same sex couples raises in an acute way the question of what exactly is the worship of The Episcopal Church to which all clergy promise to conform. We look carefully at this question below. Our conclusions can be summarized as follows:

• The authority to define the worship of the Church is spelled out with precision in Article X of the Constitution.

• Subject to the exceptions in Article X, the worship of the Church is that found in the Book of Common Prayer, which is to be used “in all the Dioceses.”

• General Convention has authority only to amend the Book of Common Prayer or to propose revisions to the BCP and authorize them “for trial use throughout the Church” “at any time” “as an alternative” to the standard Book of Common Prayer.

• Diocesan bishops, not General Convention, have authority to permit supplemental forms of worship under defined conditions.

• The proposed rite was not conceived as a revision to the Book of Common Prayer and therefore General Convention had no authority to authorize its use by any majority or supermajority vote.

• The action of General Convention was theologically incoherent in that it assumed that God’s blessing can be invoked provisionally and in some dioceses but not others.

• The resolution passed is unconstitutional because it exceeds the authority of General Convention and invites clergy to violate BCP rubrics.

• Bishops cannot constitutionally permit use of this rite in connection with civil marriages.

We conclude: taken as a whole, Resolution A049 is not just a legal nullity and theologically incoherent, although it is that. It is also profoundly unconstitutional in that it purports to do something General Convention is not authorized to do and encourages clergy to violate the canons, the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer and their vow to conform to the worship of the Church.
But this is only one instance of the proliferation of unconstitutionally authorized liturgical materials for a church in liturgical, theological and canonical chaos. General Convention itself has called attention to this problem and concluded “it is time…to honor the spirit of the prayer book rubrics.” We agree.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC Polity & Canons* TheologyEcclesiology

20 Comments
Posted July 20, 2012 at 9:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. A Senior Priest wrote:

We live in the dregs of time.

July 20, 11:42 am | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

2, of course the ACI is correct.  However TEC doesn’t care.  They are going to do what they are going to do.

July 20, 12:10 pm | [comment link]
3. Cennydd13 wrote:

What did General Convention really do?  Well, how about destroying their relations with 99% of Christianity for starters?

July 20, 2:20 pm | [comment link]
4. Jim the Puritan wrote:

“XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.”

July 20, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
5. SC blu cat lady wrote:

This is what happens when people no long care to abide by any authority other than their own. Eventually they will destroy themselves by their own lawlessness. Have fun!

July 20, 6:19 pm | [comment link]
6. fvanzant wrote:

It is purely a case of the blind leading the blind.

July 20, 6:52 pm | [comment link]
7. tjmcmahon wrote:

The only impact is that TEC is now in a deeper state of excommunication from the real Church than it was before it passed this nonsense.  I am reminded of one of the early “Common Cause” press conferences when some reporter put a question to Bishop Ackerman (if my memory is correct) about why he was opposed to gay marriage.  As I recall, his response was to the effect that it did not matter one iota what his opinion was, marriage was a sacrament of the Church, ordained by God, and neither he nor TEC nor the whole Church had the power to change it.
The parallel is the movement to endorse Communion without Baptism.  If you go forward with it, you do not commune the unbaptized, you just take the Holy out of Holy Communion, and in reality, you just pass around stale bread and grape juice.

July 20, 8:09 pm | [comment link]
8. Br. Michael wrote:

7, Agreed. So when is the wider AC going to discipline TEC?  Ok, sorry. Silly question.

July 20, 8:12 pm | [comment link]
9. FatherS wrote:

I’m wondering how long it will be until the Constitution and Canons are officially interpreted in such a way as to make adhering to them a chargeable offense.

July 20, 9:57 pm | [comment link]
10. tjmcmahon wrote:

Father S- I believe that 9 bishops, and one of the ACI colleagues of the authors of this article, are indeed charged with exactly that.

July 20, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
11. Ralph wrote:

#8, the wider AC tried that at Dar-Es-Salaam, and failed. Many of the conservative primates shook the dust off their feet and moved on, knowing that the emasculated Druid of Canterbury would only indabaficate, doing nothing. At the same time they’ve maintained communion with the faithful TEC dioceses. (After all, TEC is not hierarchical at the national or General Convention level.)

The line has been drawn in the sand for some time. Bp. Sisk has chosen sides, and Bp. Lawrence has chosen sides. The rest of the TEC dioceses need to choose sides, and the AC provinces need to do likewise. There’s no middle ground. There’s no dialogue. There’s no “task force” (DioUSC), and there’s no “Frankly [my dear], I do not know” (DioGA).

The time-honored treatment of heretical teaching has been a call to repentance, and then excision from the body.

Because the liberal bishops are behaving as unrepentant sinners, blinded by sin and choosing to move deeper into sin, led by an evil shepherd, it’s unlikely that they will now listen to the voice of the conservative primates, see their error, and repent. It will take a stronger voice than that to call them to repentance. Sometimes, though, God lets things like this continue on. Remember the call of Isaiah, Is 6:1-13. Take another look at the woes: Is 5:18-24, along with Jeremiah 23.

Their bloodguilt is upon them, for they also have become evil shepherds. Let them be anathema.

But, leave the light on for them. There’s hope up to the very end.

July 20, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
12. MichaelA wrote:

“Many of the conservative primates shook the dust off their feet and moved on, knowing that the emasculated Druid of Canterbury would only indabaficate, doing nothing. At the same time they’ve maintained communion with the faithful TEC dioceses. (After all, TEC is not hierarchical at the national or General Convention level.)”

Quite right.  At least 20 provinces have already done so.

Most of TEC was already out of communion with much of the Anglican Communion before GC started.  So these latest antics won’t get TEC any more excommunicate than it was already.  As Ralph rightly points out, the light is left on for them if they want to come back.  But it has been made very clear to them what the cost of that coming back will be - FULL repentance.

The real issue for now is what positive steps are the orthodox taking to build up a true and holy Anglican movement in North America?  What steps are being taken to plant new faithful churches, and what steps are being taken to quarantine old faithful churches from liberal influence?

July 21, 12:31 am | [comment link]
13. Cennydd13 wrote:

Let me draw an analogy here.  Let’s suppose that General Convention is a submarine skipper who has just fired a torpedo at an enemy target, which in this case would be the majority of the Communion…..and indeed the rest of Christianity…..and let’s further suppose that the torpedo is defective, and it turns back and heads for the submarine which fired it…..and destroys that vessel.

That’s exactly what General Convention did last week.  They fired such a torpedo at the very organization to which they ostensibly belong, yet against which they are turning up their noses and giving the @#%* to, and they’ve ensured their own demise.

July 21, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
14. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“…..and let’s further suppose that the torpedo is defective, and it turns back and heads for the submarine which fired it…..and destroys that vessel.”

That’s called a “circular run” and is a hazard of an old-fashioned steam torpedo that is fired with with a jammed rudder.

This means that the “brains” of the torpedo, its gyroscope is no longer able to keep the torpedo on its intended course.  Instead, the torpedo completes a circle in its travels and can eventually arrive back at its point of origin, the submarine, if the submarine remains unaware of this hazard and/or doesn’t take evasive action. 

So, figuratively, GC 2012 has fired a torpedo with a ‘stuck’ rudder and that torpedo can/will complete a circle and come back and and strike the “secular-revisionist” leadership of ECUSA right in their posteriors.

July 22, 8:58 am | [comment link]
15. off2 wrote:

“... and they’ve ensured their own demise.”

With a degree of cynicism unbecoming to a Sunday morn, I don’t think they care. The alphabet minorities can believe that their perversions are now socially accepted. Perhaps they can delude themselves into believing that God does bless their sacrilegious marriages. A group of aging, self important, hierarchs can continue to feed off the endowments to maintain their lavish life styles. The Episcopalians, institutionally, are in their last days.

It seems that the evil one has won this battle. Sad.

I will not live long enough to see how history judges the Anglican part of the protestant reformation.

July 22, 11:39 am | [comment link]
16. Cennydd13 wrote:

I believe that we can safely assume that the TEC hierarchs care not one iota about what their actions have done to the Communion and ther rest of Christianity…...they are absolutely intent on doing their own thing regardless of what anyone else says or does.  They could be ostracised and tossed out of the Communion, and it wouldn’t faze them one bit.  The say that they want to remain in the Communion, but they are dancing to a different tune than we are, and the only thing that they have in common with the rest of the Communion besides miters and vestments is the description of “Anglican.”  They certainly don’t share the Faith with us…..although they claim to.  Their faith is superficial and hollow.

July 22, 7:55 pm | [comment link]
17. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“Their faith is superficial and hollow.”

If you talk about the “vanguard” that is carrying through heretical changes in ECUSA via the de facto authority of the presiding bishop and her cohorts and the General Convention, you are correct.

However, there are traditional and orthodox Anglicans remaining in ECUSA who ‘standing up’ against the temporal and heretical tide.  Please ‘cut them some slack’ and appreciate what they are trying to do and have Faith in the Lord.

Remember when God caused Gideon to whittle down his forces to 300 men before He would let them attack the Midianites?  It was God that brought victory to Gideon and his 300 men.

July 22, 9:45 pm | [comment link]
18. Cennydd13 wrote:

17.  That is exactly what I mean, and it’s the “vanguard” that I’m talking about here.

July 23, 1:48 am | [comment link]
19. MichaelA wrote:

“However, there are traditional and orthodox Anglicans remaining in ECUSA who ‘standing up’ against the temporal and heretical tide.  Please ‘cut them some slack’ and appreciate what they are trying to do and have Faith in the Lord.”

Yes, and their work is deeply appreciated and we support them in prayer.  I don’t know how this is all going to work out, but every point of witness in USA is important. 

That said, I am very thankful that new churches are being planted in USA, mainly it seems by ACNA, but I note Dio Dallas in TEC has also been doing good work in this area, and probably others as well.  The day will come when the liberals are viewed as a laughing-stock by all of America, but that will still leave large parts of North America lacking any Anglican presence.  The more work that can be done to start fixing this now, the better.

July 23, 9:24 pm | [comment link]
20. Cennydd13 wrote:

Well, for examples of church planting, look at what the ACNA has been doing…..and we’re not alone.  We have started several new missions here in our own diocese since Bishop Menees took office.

July 24, 1:21 am | [comment link]
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