Thinking Anglicans

a bishop resigns from a committee

Updated again Thursday morning

The Primate of The Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East , Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt has announced his resignation from what used to be called the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council, but which has now been restyled as the “Anglican Communion Standing Committee”.

His statement is available as a PDF from the website of the Diocese of Egypt which summarises it:

“I have come to realize that my presence in the current [Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion] has no value whatsoever and my voice is like a useless cry in the wilderness.” However, he assured the Anglican Communion that he would not stop his commitment “for the present and future of our beloved Anglican Communion and the greater Christian witness.”

This has prompted the Anglican Communion Institute to issue a paper titled The Anglican Communion Covenant: Where Do We Go From Here? which contains a summary of itself:

In summary, and on the basis of our continued conviction that the Covenant itself as currently formulated is a positive, faithful, and necessary basis for the renewal of the Anglican Communion and its member churches, we argue that:

1. The final Covenant text envisions a Communion of responsibly coordinated Instruments, ordered episcopally, that the current ACC-led standing committee is in fact undermining;

2. The current ACC standing committee is not necessarily the “Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion” indicated by the Covenant text, and cannot therefore automatically claim the authority it seems to be assuming;

3. The current ACC standing committee has little credibility in the eyes of a large part of the Communion and ought not to be claiming the authority it seems to be assuming;

4. Those Churches of the Communion who move fully and decisively to adopt the Covenant must work with a provisional and representative standing committee, continuous in membership with the other Instruments, that will direct the implementation of the Covenant in a way that can eventually permit a Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion to be formed as envisioned by the Covenant text.

There is a discussion of this at titusonenine where Stephen Noll has written this comment. (number 5 on the blog).

Other comments: Jim Naughton here, and Andrew Gerns over here.

Updates

The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a brief statement.

Doug LeBlanc reported in the Living Church on an interview with Bishop Mouneer, see Bp. Mouneer: Talks Prompted Resignation.

ENS has MIDDLE EAST: President Bishop Mouneer Anis resigns from Standing Committee.

Thursday morning update

There is a further comment by Ephraim Radner “The Anglican Covenant: Where Do We Go From Here?”: A further comment.

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Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Four guys with a computor doing it agan ;=)

Pluralist
Guest

Clearly the Anglican Communion Covenant is going down the toilet.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/02/latest-bog-roll-essay.html

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

I fear what I am going to say may not be popular. I feel very sorry indeed for Bishop Mouneer Anis and I think he has a point. I think that with the best of intentions, many in the west signed up to statements with which they radically disagreed in order to ‘keep the peace’ and now of course they cannot properly act in accordance with what they signed. We cannot put the past right. What we have to do is to look to the future. We have to start being radically honest about what we believe and what actions… Read more »

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

“episcopally ordered” – aye, there’s the rub. The laity, deacons and priests have nothing to say or to offer except their tithes and their abject obedience to the “episcopally ordered” covenant.

BillyD
Guest

I find the bishop’s negative use of “a voice crying in the wilderness” bemusing.

Marshall Scott
Guest

If I recall correctly, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion is the new name given to the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and the Primates’ Meeting at 2006 ACC meeting and confirmed at the 2009 meeting. So, whether critics like it or not, it is duly constituted. Now, that doesn’t mean one might agree with its works. Bishop Anis clearly doesn’t, and has the integrity to resign rather than participate. However, that only speaks to his integrity. It doesn’t really challenge the integrity of the Standing Committee. Interestingly enough, not long ago there were challenges that the Standing… Read more »

Jim Pratt
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Jim Pratt

In a way, I feel strangely relieved and encouraged by his remarks. I feared that this “Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion” was part of an incremental centralization of power. Since he criticizes the Standing Committee for failing to take that role (its communique concerning the Los Angeles election notwithstanding), there is some room for hope.

Lois, you are right on the mark with your comment. In Dr. Anis’ Communion, there is no place for the ministry of all the baptized.

Pluralist
Guest

Who has signed up to anything? But, yes, don’t sign what you don’t intend to follow – and that goes for more than The Episcopal Church. There is enough duplicity and dishonesty around to add to it by signing for something in order to subvert it.

The temptation is that now ‘the right’ doesn’t want it the left will be more likely to vote for: don’t, because if the ‘left’ does, those changes are likely to be made to the Standing Committee afterwards. That’s why you don’t sign for what you don’t want.

Scully
Guest
Scully

Hogwash, Anglican Communion Insitute. The Standing Committee IS that of the ACC.

peterpi
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peterpi

I don’t think much of the Covenant, and I hope, like Rosemary Hannah, that TEC has the integrity to say “no”. But Lois Keen, the text is “ordered episcopally”, not “episcopally ordered”. Think that “order”, in this case, means structure, not command.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Those Churches of the Communion who move fully and decisively to adopt the Covenant must work with a provisional and representative standing committee, continuous in membership with the other Instruments, that will direct the implementation of the Covenant in a way that can eventually permit a Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion to be formed as envisioned by the Covenant text.”

What is proposed here is nothing less than a COUP.

[“No more misleading others by signing up to documents with which we heartily disagree.” Who’s that addressed to, Rosemary? If you’re referring to TEC, “we” haven’t signed anything!]

penwatch
Guest
penwatch

This man is an Archbishop – he really should know how to behave better rather than going off in a huff. It’s not very Anglican.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Slight (friendly) emendation, JFC: “What is proposed here is nothing less than ANOTHER COUP.”

The ACI/Global South alliance has attempted at least two previous coups. Elevating the Primates’ Meeting to the supreme position in the Communion was one.

Now we have yet one more.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“1. The final Covenant text envisions a Communion of responsibly coordinated Instruments, ordered episcopally, that the current ACC-led standing committee is in fact undermining;” – A.C.I. – This statement by the so-called ‘Anglican Communion Institute’ (whoever authorised such a title for a small group of conservative American Anglicans, one wonders?) betrays its political agenda with consummate hubris. To suggest that the Anglican Consultative Council – appointed by the whole Communion – should occupy a lesser place than the ACI’s suggested alternative, is sheer impertinence. This conservative ‘think tank’ for disaffected Episcopalians must be a constant source of embarrassment to TEC… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Still waiting for ACI’s accounting of the years spent feeding at Don Armstrong’s Colorado Springs trough.

Tobias Haller
Guest

The ACI represent the “Red Queen” faction of Anglicanism — that reality will conform to their beliefs, and even the impossible will come to pass. Don’t believe them. The distorting effects of massive egos deform the ecclesiastical space-time continuum.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Referring to the self-proclaimed “Anglican Communion Institute,” Fr. Ron Smith observed: “This conservative ‘think tank’ for disaffected Episcopalians must be a constant source of embarrassment to TEC and its Presiding Bishop.”

Not really.

It’s rather like the uncle who is noted drunk and bully; you can’t pretend he isn’t your uncle, but you don’t have to have anything to do with him.

Pity, rather than embarrassment, is more the reaction for this parishioner of TEC, and I’d wager that the Presiding Bishop’s reaction is one of annoyance and astonishment that any intelligent person would pay attention to ACI.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Jerry Hannon would be right if it were not for the fact that the Anglican Communion Institute is doing great damage to the Anglican brand.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I find it sad that the resignation of this genuine and thoughtful man should have been hijacked by these guys who increasingly appear to be charlatans.

It isn’t JUST these various groups of American disappointed men who are recruiting this or that Primate to tear up what’s left of the Anglican Communion – there’s that silly Bishop Wright in Durham and a few others egging them on.

Pluralist
Guest

I wonder whether Mouneer Anis, sharing the strategy of the four with a website, is not himself using them in order to avoid getting into bed with a pro-Israeli GAFCON. Would that be right, or is GAFCON more mixed than that? The Tony Higton forerunner was clearly pro-Israeli if only by outcome, and so is much of this last days nonsense, but the theological and political hard right is all about the Jewish Convenant remains to set the scene for the return of Christ (etc.). The whole ACI thing is to undermine The Episcopal Church from within, from a pro-worldwide… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

I think Bishop As resignation is a telling detail: He’d rather resign than struggle across out hot button Anglican diversities while keeping on in common prayer. The working presumption is familiar, insofar as the switch from flat earthisms to modern cosmologies is supposed to make or break us as believers and bishops, bound for heaven if we stay flat earthers and bound for hell if we read modern cosmology. Of course, dire as this dilemma supposedly is, it isn’t actually truly true. One may read the modern cosmos, including the shifted and revised human sciences quite readily without having to… Read more »

EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

Does anybody remember who ACI’s chief fundraiser was? Don Armstrong, now under indictment in Colorado for 20 counts. Does anybody remember the discussion regarding Armstrong, when the ACI self-identified as “three guys with a website” (I believe that was Chris Seitz) Do they remember how fast they separated from Armstrong? Does anyone remember Seitz’s claim that they had no responsibility or knowledge of what was happening with the money? Given the track record of this “Think Tank”, its fiscal irresponsibility, and that of its board why would anyone give this “Think Tank” credence about anything.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Yes Martin R. Including the Bishop of Sherborne. They need their wings clipped – but it doesn’t look likely.

Pluralist
Guest

And the verbiage goes on and on. Now Ephraim Radner will fight them on the beaches, and in the air…

http://www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/2010/02/the-anglican-covenant-where-do-we-go-from-here-a-further-comment/

copyhold
Guest
copyhold

And why does Bishop Mouneer Anis repeat the error that dioceses are the entities which can make the decision about whether to sign on to the Covenant? This error is usually stated in the context of assuming that a diocese could sign on even if the national Church declined to do so–that the diocese would not be bound by the decision of the national church. But consider the reverse. Assume that the national Church decides to sign on—would one suggest that a diocese could decide to opt out? The key question in both cases is: in the particular constitutional structure… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Further to EmilyH’s post, I refer readers to an April 2008 thread on the ACI/Don Armstrong business at Mark Harris’s Preludium site, at the time of the “three guys and a website” period of self-effacement, in the course of which Christopher Seitz, posting anonymously but identifying himself, claimed an amazing, to me, ignorance of the history of organization which he heads. Some very interesting links here. http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2008/04/anglican-communion-institute-and.html