Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offers an overview the next House of Bishops Meeting

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch and listen to it all.

Two comments from yours truly. First, there is an error. The Presiding Bishop says that the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury were invited but also invited (and omitted by her) is that the Primates Standing Committee was asked to come as well. Second, she really only mentions one instrument of Communion and noticeably not the other four (she mentions the Archbishop but not in that role). It is highly significant that the North American provinces keep exaggerating the importance of the Anglican Consultative Council, since they had and still have an undue influence in its functioning relative to other provinces in the Communion--KSH.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Episcopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Bishops

Posted September 14, 2007 at 7:07 pm

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1. Alice Linsley wrote:

Yet everyone knows that TEC essentially controls the ACC.  In a court of law this juror would be dismissed before the case even went to trial.

September 14, 8:11 pm | [comment link]
2. Helen wrote:

I notice that she does not mention the one critical thing we (should) have in common: faith in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

September 14, 8:43 pm | [comment link]
3. Alice Linsley wrote:

Jake thinks that the moderates can be swung to the Presiding Bishop’s plan and that will give Rowan Williams “something to chew on”, but whatever happens in New Orleans, TEC will not win back those who have departed.  More importantly, it will continue to proclaim a false gospel that tastes sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach.

September 14, 8:48 pm | [comment link]
4. Ross wrote:

Kendall says:

It is highly significant that the North American provinces keep exaggerating the importance of the Anglican Consultative Council, since they had and still have an undue influence in its functioning relative to other provinces in the Communion

Is that really much different than the reasserters’ preference for the Primates’ Meeting among the Instruments?  Everyone tends to prefer the authority that’s on their side, and right now the ACC is, mostly, on our side and the Primates are, mostly, on your side.

I think we would all do well to be cautious of enshrining one of the Instruments in an elevated position (say, in a hypothetical Covenant agreement) on the assumption that that instrument will always govern the way we would wish it to.  How would reasserters view the Draft Anglican Covenant from DES if you supposed that there were a reappraising majority among the Primates?

Who am I?  Visit my web page or my blog  to find out.

September 14, 9:10 pm | [comment link]
5. John A. wrote:

Ross, I agree.  The covenant is merely a stopgap measure.  Many aspects of the AC need to be reviewed and modified.  Williams as well as can be expected in the current crisis but does it really make sense for the AC to be an extension of the CoE?  Imagine if Roman Catholics had the Italian government select an Italian pope!  It would be a bit much to make this change at the moment and we all need to be patient about many things but I point this out as an example of many structural adjustments that need to be made.

September 14, 10:00 pm | [comment link]
6. Philip Snyder wrote:

I could go with giving the ACC a stronger role in the Communion with one change.  Let’s make it truly “democratic” and give each province one vote with the Primate and then one delegate for each 200,000 average Sunday attendence (rounding up).  So, TECUSA would get the Primate and 4 delegates.  Nigeria would get its primate and about 30 delegates (assuming 1/3 ASA on a membership of 18,000,000).  Uganda would get about 12 delegates.  The Provinces that grow will grow in delegates.

We could use the ACC as a kind of House of Representatives and either the Primates Meeting or Lambeth (meeting with the ACC) as a type of Senate.

What would you say to that, Ross?

Phil Snyder

“I do not believe because I understand.  I believe in order that I might understand” - Anselm
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

September 14, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
7. John A. wrote:

TPaine, so which aspects of the proposed Covenant do you disagree with?

September 14, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
8. Eclipse wrote:

TPaine :

Who would leave in the face of Believing the Tenants of Faith:

Great Question!  At our parish it was - those who believe in the Authority of Scripture 80 - 85 leaving to 40 staying! 

Survey says - TEC looses BIG TIME!

So, I think believing the basics of Christian Faith is probably the best way to keep Christian believers (the adjectives say it all).

September 14, 10:40 pm | [comment link]
9. Janis wrote:

#6 - Great idea! Has this ever been seriously suggested before?
But how could we make sure that churches wouldn’t fudge on their ASA’s?

September 14, 10:44 pm | [comment link]
10. Ross wrote:


That’s not a bad idea.  Membership numbers are notoriously fudged, even ASA, but there are probably ways that could be dealt with.

Actually, though, if there were some kind of Communion-wide guideline on number-of-bishops-per-ASA, then the Lambeth Conference could be your “House of Representatives.”  In theory, a larger province would have more bishops = more votes at Lambeth.  Of course, then you’d lose one of the features of the ACC, which is lay representation among the Instruments.

My main point, of course, was that this is the kind of thinking we should be doing, rather than “The Primates/the ACC agree with us right now, so let’s assert them as the higher authority.”

Who am I?  Visit my web page or my blog  to find out.

September 14, 10:57 pm | [comment link]
11. Rolling Eyes wrote:

TPaine #11, to equate “persecution” with moral values laid out plainly in Christian scripture is utter stupidity.  It’s called Church Teaching.  It’s called Catholic Christianity.  It’s not persecution. 

By your standards, one can simply do whatever one wishes. And to call one into account for it, is persecution.  That is absurd.

Just sayin’...

September 15, 1:32 am | [comment link]
12. Rolling Eyes wrote:

TPaine: “The part that tells me how I must interpret scripture?  “

In that case, join the Bible Church down the street and be happy with the rest of the congregationalists.  Leave this matter to us Anglicans.

“The part that interferes with the autonomy of my church?”

Your “church” is the universal Church of Christ.  The Episcopal Church is NOT a church unto itself.  To believe that is to believe a lie.  It is part of a worldwide communion where one part is accountable to the other parts.  Again, TPaine, you sound like a congregationalist.  Leave this matter to us Anglicans, or learn to submit to an authority other than yourself (impossible for a reappraiser, I know…)

Just sayin’...

September 15, 1:37 am | [comment link]
13. John B. Chilton wrote:

Membership on the Primates Standing Committee gives you membership on the ACC Standing Committee. Right?

I blog at: New Virginia Church Man, Emirates Economist

September 15, 7:39 am | [comment link]
14. steveatmi5 wrote:

No, #17, they are two separate committees.  They often meet jointly.

September 15, 9:28 am | [comment link]
15. cssadmirer wrote:

#4, I don’t think that is quite fair in most cases.  People like Dr. Harmon and Dr. Radner consistently refer to the four instruments.

September 15, 9:39 am | [comment link]
16. Lumen Christie wrote:

The Report to the HoB states quite forcefully several times that it is “inappropriate” to change the Anglican Communion from a Constitutional entity to a Covenanted one.  That is, this statement rejects an Anglican Covenant.

Now the main position of the HoB has continued to be that it cannot take any real action “without the Gen. Convention.”  Only the Gen Con can make decisions.

The 2006 Gen Con passed a resolution affirming our support for and participation in the process of forming a Covenant.

So, apparently, the HoB can act directly against General Convention when it suits its purposes.  If this is the position paper they are going to work with in meeting with the ABC, then we can just forget about the Gen Con resolution——if someone has the number of it handy, that would be helpful.

Let’s just keep things clear about the way this game is being played.

September 15, 9:51 am | [comment link]
17. freihofercook wrote:

Lumen Christie, here it is:

Resolution A166
Title:  Anglican Covenant Development Process
Topic:  Anglican Communion
Committee:  Special Legislative Committee
House of Initial Action:  Bishops
Proposer:  Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion


Resolved, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, as a demonstration of our commitment to mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Anglican Communion, support the process of the development of an Anglican Covenant that underscores our unity in faith, order, and common life in the service of God’s mission; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention direct the International Concerns Standing Committee of the Executive Council and The Episcopal Church’s members of the Anglican Consultative Council to follow the development processes of an Anglican Covenant in the Communion, and report regularly to the Executive Council as well as to the 76th General Convention; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention report these actions supporting the Anglican Covenant development process, noting such missiological and theological resources as the Standing Commission on World Mission and the House of Bishops’ Theology Committee to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates, and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; and that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church report the same to the Primates of the churches of the Anglican Communion.



This resolution supports the development of an Anglican Covenant as suggested by the Windsor Report, the Primates’ Meeting of February 2005, and the 13th Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. It directs appropriate bodies in the Episcopal Church to serve as resources for the development of an Anglican Covenant, and to report to the Episcopal Church regularly as to current covenant proposals.

September 15, 10:05 am | [comment link]
18. DonGander wrote:

An idea was brought to mind when Ms. Schori mentioned “ governance structure…”, or, “ legal contolling authority..”, or whatever, I began thinking that between me and my wife there is also “no governance structure”. But I tell you, if I became unfaithful to my wife, she would discover a “governance structure” or make one up!

But we don’t need a “governance structure” because our relationship is based upon mutual, and total, love and respect. I also believe that God is most ahppy with His Church when they follow a similar governance as my wife and I do. I am not in favor of a constitution. I am in favor of bishops and archbishops completely dedicated to serving God and if one goes astray then they will accomplish what is now being accomplished in North America (but perhaps beginning sooner).

The Church is more like a marriage than a corporation. We should govern accordingly.

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”


Please forgive my atrocious spelling.

September 15, 10:14 am | [comment link]
19. DonGander wrote:

I need to add a couple of points to my post #23.

First, laws are made for lawbreakers. The reason we are tempted to put polity into a constitution is because North America has sinned and rebelled.

The second, the Anglican Communion is in danger of forming dangerous reactionary governance for the same reason John Calvin formed dangerous reactionary theology. Please, we need to not do so!

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”


Please forgive my atrocious spelling.

September 15, 10:26 am | [comment link]
20. Eclipse wrote:

TPaine :

Thanks be to God I don’t define what makes a Christian - Scripture does :

“I am THE way, THE truth, and THE Life no one comes to the Father, except by ME”

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

So that’s pretty easily settled - except the PB of the Episcopal Church does NOT believe in Jesus as THE way and it’s becoming common TEC NOT to believe in the Resurrection - hence the comment.

Where you stand on all of that is yourself and Christ.

September 15, 11:53 am | [comment link]
21. Anselmic wrote:


Very assured, very confident, and very well… dismissive of the fact that the actions of TEC could soon lead to the dissoloution of the Anglican Communion.

Some quotes:

‘The Church of England was formed in a time of conflict, and the reality is the Church of England, the Anglican Communion, parts of the Anglican Communion have never been without conflict, its part of our DNA’

‘It’s (conflict) really neccesary to our growth’

‘Our relationship with the Anglican Communion, and indeed some parts of the Anglican Communion are in a time of flux and development’

‘I view this as a neccesary stage of growth’

‘We are 38 individual Provinces in the Anglican Communion, and we are radically different, we hold in common some forms of worship, we hold in common respect for the Archbishop of Canterbury as a spiritual leader, we do not hold in common really a governance structure’

Nor a common faith it would seem. I think Rowan is in for a tough couple of days.


September 15, 11:57 am | [comment link]
22. John A. wrote:

#11 TPaine,
I don’t understand your response.  Just in case I had missed something I reviewed the covenant document and a couple of documents in the foot notes.  This is the statement on the interpretation of scripture:

“ensure that biblical texts are handled faithfully, respectfully, comprehensively and coherently, primarily through the teaching and initiative of bishops and synods, and building on the best scholarship, believing that scriptural revelation must continue to illuminate, challenge and transform cultures, structures and ways of thinking;”

Regarding your comment in #22, how do you define persecution?  If I understand you, you are saying that marriage is a right.  Gay and heterosexual marriage are equivalent therefore gays should have the right to marry.  When we are talking about rights we are in the domain of secular law.  I would say that under secular law gays should have equal protection to that of heterosexuals but the state has no business defining marriage.  That is the job of the church.

With regard to non-Christian gays raising children we need to collect more data.  In other words the first priority should be the well being of the children not the rights of the parents.  This kind of thinking is necessary because we live in a secular culture but in a Christian context it is ‘inappropriate’.  In a Christian context, ie the church we need to elevate the status of celibacy of both heterosexuals and homosexuals and we to do a better job of really being the body of Christ to each other and loving each other.

I think I do understand your concern about autonomy.  Sections 5 and 6 of the proposed covenant are pretty forceful.  But then, what are the limits of autonomy within a communion?

September 15, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
23. DonGander wrote:

John A.:

You say, “When we are talking about rights we are in the domain of secular law.”

That is not what the founders of our country believed nor is it what the Church has believed since its inseption. What they believed is that rights are granted by God and we are obliged to be obedient to Him, rather than man (or state), in our use of those rights. And christians have died or suffered by the millions in the use of those God-given rights.

My comments are categorical and second all else that you say. In fact, this correction only enhances your good arguement.

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”


Please forgive my atrocious spelling.

September 15, 1:19 pm | [comment link]
24. Sherri wrote:

we hold in common some forms of worship,
More and more it seems that is all it is - an empty form into which anything one chooses can be poured. As if the form itself were the holy part.

September 15, 1:33 pm | [comment link]
25. West Coast Cleric wrote:

TPaine (#22)  wrote:

#16 Sorry, examine your church history.  Anglicanism has never, ever dictated as you are proposing.  Perhaps it is you would be happier elsewhere, in the Roman Catholic church.

[sigh.]  A couple of “church history” items for you, TPaine:

XIX. Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.

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.

These, in case you may not be familiar with them, are Articles XX and XXI of the Articles of Religion, held as doctrinal by Anglicans, at least until 1979, at which time they were relegated to the dustbin of the “Ancient Stuff We No Longer Need Pay Attention To Historical Documents” section of the BCP.  You can find them, and others, beginning on page 867 of your Book of Common Prayer.  You… do have a Book of Common Prayer, don’t you?

September 15, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
26. West Coast Cleric wrote:

...or maybe articles XIX and XX… I’m Roman Numeral Dyslexic…

September 15, 2:42 pm | [comment link]
27. John Wilkins wrote:

Kendall, I’m not sure how +KJS got the undue influence of the ACC “wrong.” First, what influence does it have?  As she expalined, the ACC is a body that shares concerns.  And they don’t always talk about sex.  Was she wrong that it is the one organization that has a constitution?  It seems that it might be the one body that is trying to hold things together and is less politicized than, say, the Primate’s standing committee which is more interested in discipline than in cooperation. 

There are other three “instruments of unity” but there are different ways of unifying. 

The archbishop has no real authority in this country, since the revolution.  He’s a nice guy, however and I like him.

September 15, 4:32 pm | [comment link]
28. Kendall Harmon wrote:

John, you misread what I wrote.  My first point was what she got wrong, it is the joint standing committee who as invited.  The second point has to do with her revealingly misleadingly emphasis.

September 15, 4:38 pm | [comment link]
29. John B. Chilton wrote:

#18, thanks for the correction.

Wasn’t it the HoB that invited ABC and the Primates Standing Committee, and the ABC who said yes and I’m bringing the ACC Standing Committee as well? It’s interesting given the criticism that the ACC receives in some quarters. Also, Orombi is not attending although he is on the PSC. Right?

I blog at: New Virginia Church Man, Emirates Economist

September 16, 8:17 am | [comment link]
30. libraryjim wrote:

dogma =  (noun) an inflexible principle or set of principles laid down by an authority.  — ORIGIN Greek, ‘opinion’, from dokein ‘seem good, think’.

doctine = (noun) a set of beliefs or principles held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.  — ORIGIN Latin doctrina ‘teaching, learning’.

(Both definitions from the Compact Oxford Dictionary, online edition)

(i.e., doctrine: teaching based on dogma, may contain dogmatic statements but are not of themselves dogma.)

So when the Oxford dictionary of Christianity says “They are, rather, short summaries of dogmatic tenets” what it is saying is that the articles have laid out what is necessary to believe in order to be considered Anglican.

“The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”—Albert Einstein

September 16, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
31. Irenaeus wrote:

T. Paine [#38]: Two questions:

—- Are baptized, confirmed Episcopalians expected to believe the Apostles’ Creed?

—- Should people take communion if they don’t believe Jesus was the Only-Begotten Son of God and bodily rose from the dead?

September 17, 12:36 am | [comment link]
32. Ed the Roman wrote:

I dunno, TPaine, there is that bit about eating and drinking condemnation.  Also, if you think that there aren’t people taking communion in just about every church who don’t believe that the Filii unigenite is really and truly surrexise a mortuis you are not paying attention.

For that matter, it wouldn’t have done God any harm had someone marched into the Holy of Holies and put out a cigar on the Ark.  Not doing harm to God is a very low standard.

September 17, 6:18 pm | [comment link]

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com

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