Updated Thursday twice
Two sources have published reports concerning a draft document which is titled: THE ORGANIZING CONSTITUTION OF THE ANGLICAN GLOBAL INITIATIVE.
Stephen Bates has this report in the Guardian Conservative Anglicans’ church plan revealed. It starts out:
Conservative Anglicans have drawn up detailed plans to set up their own church within a church, with their own constitution and decision-making synods, according to a document seen by the Guardian.
The move, days before representatives from the church’s 38 provinces meet in Nottingham to discuss the state of Anglicanism, appears to be the latest stage in the 77 million-strong communion’s widening split over homosexuality within the priesthood.
The draft organising constitution for a group to be called the Anglican Global Initiative envisages that it would operate within the Anglican communion. The document proposes that it should be headed by two conservative primate archbishops from the developing world “to affiliate and unite in love, holiness and true godly fellowship through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Anglicans in [the] global south with Anglicans in North America and the United Kingdom”…
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has issued a press release about the document, with the title Akinola and Gomez Prepared to Start Alternative Anglican Communion which can be read here and in part says:
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) has obtained a draft constitution for an organization called the “Anglican Global Initiative” (AGI), apparently intended to be a shadow, alternative, or parallel Anglican Communion for so-called orthodox Anglicans. The document, which has circulated among leaders of the Episcopal Church, USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada since the Primates Meeting of last February, was discussed at a January Nairobi meeting of “Global South” primates led by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola. The constitution, which seems not to have been formally agreed to by meeting participants, names Akinola and Archbishop Drexel Gomez, of the West Indies, as interim co-presidents. Akinola and Gomez have been two of the most vocal critics of the Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church of Canada for their treatment of homosexuality.
Despite provision in the draft document for appointment of a group of 12 laity and a synod of bishops, all power lies in the hands of an Executive Council of primates and one lay representative of their choice. Between meetings of this Council, power is exercised by the president(s). One provision would allow the Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (NACDAP) status as a primate. The top-down polity outlined by the constitution is also reflected in the document’s omission of the Anglican Consultative Council from a list of Anglican Communion entities owed respect for their “historical role and authority.” (The other three “Instruments of Unity” are named.)
An analysis of the text of the draft suggests that it was drawn up in close consultation with the NACDAP. It is prefaced by “If it becomes necessary, REALIGNMENT GUIDELINES.” “Realignment,” usually without any clear explanation, is a common theme of NACDAP spokespersons. The structural charter of the NACDAP and the AGI constitution each has an Article IX concerning property, with the AGI version closely following that of the NACDAP. The AGI constitution makes provision for a uniform canon law, recognizes the Anglican Relief and Development Fund by name, and commits to setting up missions in disregard of diocesan boundaries and directly serving dissident parishes, not only in North America, but in Britain as well. The AGI constitution was probably drawn up after the October 2004 meeting of CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa) for presentation in Nairobi. Attached to it is what appears to be a preliminary draft of the statement actually issued January 28, 2005, at the close of January Nairobi meeting…
Steve Levin in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has Plan realigns Anglican church. Comments in that article include:
The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan Jr., bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese and moderator of an organization of representatives from about 10 dioceses around the country — including Pittsburgh — who believe the Episcopal Church has overstepped its canonical boundaries, said he first learned of the draft yesterday.
He dismissed it as looking “like the work of some lawyers” but said a similar document could eventually emerge.
“It’s within the structures of the Anglican Communion,” he said. “There are numerous subgroups within the communion. This is a proposal for another subgroup.”
Those who want to see what the original document looks like should examine the 0.9 Mb PDF file available here.
The story is also reported in the Church of England Newspaper as Conservative Anglicans planning separate branch