Thinking Anglicans

Primates gathering: Thursday news reports

Updated again 4.30 pm

Some news has finally emerged…

George Conger Partial sanctions for TEC [revision of earlier article]

Update from Kevin 1:30 Canterbury Time. Several sources have told me and/or confirmed the following. Please know this is the fog of war and that first reports are usually not precise and subject to change.

My Primate sources tell me their cell phones were confiscated before each session.
TEC will be sanctioned for three years. I don’t have any information about what those sanctions are.
Canada is not going to be sanctioned.
The sanctions expire after period of three years and TEC does not need to do anything to be unsanctioned.
The sanctions are not discipline. What?
Based on statements going into this meeting this would be a huge loss for GAFCON.
Based on reaction from TEC loyalist this is a huge loss for them.
In reality this is a huge loss for the un-repaired communion.

I will task George with another full report tonight.

Ruth Gledhill US Episcopal Church could face sanctions for appointing gay bishops

However the use of the word “sanctions” has been questioned by Arun Arora who tweeted:

“Acting within the love&grace of Jesus Not about sanctions but consequences in context of unanimous commitment to walk together”

and ” In context of Primates agreeing to walk together, it’s about consequences not discipline; all governed by love & grace of Jesus.”

The Church of Uganda has issued this: Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Update on the Primates Gathering in Canterbury

…On the second day of the gathering, I moved a resolution that asked the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from the meeting and other Anglican Communion activities until they repented of their decisions that have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level. They would not agree to this request nor did it appear that the Archbishop of Canterbury and his facilitators would ensure that this matter be substantively addressed in a timely manner.

Sadly, after two long days of discussions, I was concerned that the process set up for this meeting would not permit us to address the unfinished business from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

In accordance with the resolution of our Provincial Assembly, it was, therefore, necessary for me to withdraw from the meeting, which I did at the end of the second day. It seemed that I was being manipulated into participating in a long meeting with the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada without the necessary discipline being upheld. My conscience is at peace.

I have left the meeting in Canterbury, but I want to make it clear that we are not leaving the Anglican Communion. Together with our fellow GAFCON Provinces and others in the Global South, we are the Anglican Communion; the future is bright. The door is open for all those who seek communion on the basis of a common confession of our historic, Biblical faith for which the Ugandan Martyrs, Archbishop James Hannington, Archbishop Janani Luwum and many others around the world have died. We are part of a global movement of Anglicans who follow the God who “so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)…

George Conger again: Primates suspend Episcopal Church from full participation in the Anglican Communion

…The primates of the Anglican Communion have suspended the Episcopal Church from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Communion. On 14 January 2016 a motion was presented to the gathering of archbishops and moderators gathered in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral that called for the Episcopal Church to be suspended for a period of three years.

A copy of the resolution seen by Anglican Ink calls for the Episcopal Church to lose its “vote” in meetings of pan-Anglican institutions and assemblies, but preserves its “voice”, demoting the church to observer status..

The motion asks that representatives of the Episcopal Church not be permitted to represent the Communion in interfaith and ecumenical bodies or dialogue commissions, nor serve on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, nor vote at meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council — whose next meeting is this summer in Lusaka. Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the “voluntary withdrawal” of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church.

The Episcopal Church may not take part in the decision making process “on issues of doctrine or polity”, either, agreed the primates.

The motion further asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to “appoint a task group to maintain conversations among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of commonality, and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held in the love and grace of Christ.”

The archbishop’s task group will be tasked with implementing the dialogue and codifying what “this looks like” a source familiar with the deliberations told AI…

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fr rob hall
Guest
fr rob hall

This story may or may not be mere conjecture and rumour. Nonetheless:
‘consequences in context of unanimous commitment to walk together’ (Arun Arora)
What consequences will there be for those churches – Nigeria and Uganda – which gave their support to draconian anti-LGBT legislation, thus failing to walk together? Given that persuading our archbishops to comment on that legislation one year ago was like getting blood out of a stone, perhaps we can guess what the answer will be….

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Whatever the spindoctors call it, these “consequences” are clearly undesirable, and to placate the Global South and their Gafcon vanguard, must have teeth. Expect that moves to extend marriage equality in Canada and Scotland are now dead. I’m sure it’ll have been made clear to both provinces that they’re a hair’s breadth away from “consequences” of their own. (Consequences. Jeez, it’s like a gangsta movie.) May not be total victory for Gafcon, but certainly a defeat for LGBT people, affirming Anglicans, and progressive religion in general. When the traditionalists have the numbers, the cash, the organization and the will, guess… Read more »

Nicholas Henderson
Guest
Nicholas Henderson

So GAFCON and the Global South are the new Anglican Communion? Well, well, I wonder who is to be the new equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury? I wonder as well if the priests and people of the ‘new Anglican Communion’ have been consulted about their new status? It’s extraordinary what momentous decisions can be made simply by press release.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re rumored TEC sanctioning, sanctioned by whom one wonders? By the ABC? By A majority of Conservative primates? By All the Primates in a formal statement? It is difficult to imagine either the Canadian Primate or Scottish Primus signing on to that, isn’t it? In the case of Canada which has blessings of same sex unions, and whose Primate has already declared this meeting not to be a “decision making one”, signing onto any formal sanctions or even a politically couched statement of “concern” could be construed as hypocritical or worse. In fact, one would hope not just for a… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Rev. Arun Arora says that phones were not confiscated, while George Conger says that his “sources” (or their “sources”) say that phones were confiscated “before each session.” Who’s telling the truth?

On another point, Rev. Arora seems to be spinning this outcome so hard that he’s getting dizzy.

“Consequences not discipline.”

Really? And the distinction, from the TEC perspective, would be…what exactly?

Susannah Clark
Guest

Just to mention… I remain fully in communion with The Episcopal Church in the US, regardless of any ‘consequences’ aka quasi-sanctions are imposed on them. I assume all the signatories of the letter to the Archbishops will also remain in full communion. Basically, the issue for ABC is not to tell TEC what they ought to do, but to handle the situation in his own Province. Rather than trying to appease other provinces, he should be firmly focussed on his pastoral responsibility for the Church of England. And in that context, he faces a Church divided down the middle. He… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Will TEC be expected to continue paying the Communion’s bills while under “sanction”?

Susannah Clark
Guest

(continued…) If the bishops insist on imposing uniformity, they are driving difference and division… and it’s so unnecessary. What we all need is not a uniform moral rectitude, but grace to love one another, grace to serve our local communities, grace to be ourselves, and grace to respect others with different views to our own. Our union – and communion – is in Jesus Christ alone. I remain fully in communion with the Episcopal Church. I will not leave the Church of England. But I will not accept the authority of the bishops either, over conscience, and the conscience of… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

“However the use of the word “sanctions” has been questioned by Arun Arora who tweeted:

“Acting within the love&grace of Jesus Not about sanctions but consequences in context of unanimous commitment to walk together”

and ” In context of Primates agreeing to walk together, it’s about consequences not discipline; all governed by love & grace of Jesus.””

—————

I see – there will be ‘conseqences’ not ‘sanctions’. I wonder if these ‘consequences’ will bear any resemblance to the ‘relational consequences’ that were proposed by the Anglican Covenant?

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

JPM, of course, and the sad thing is, they probably will. That’s why they get sanc…consequenced, and Nigeria and Uganda get a total walk.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re, there will be consequences, but will they be “dire consequences” or perhaps merely like the old game show Truth or Consequences? Perhaps the last line of any forthcoming statement from the ABC may be “let’s hope all our consequences are happy ones”

Sue Whitlock
Guest
Sue Whitlock

I am bitterly disappointed and angry at the way this is turning out. I’m straight, so if I feel as I do it’s easy to imagine how my LGBTI brothers and sisters are feeling.

I sincerely hope that a network of opposition will indeed grow from the Letter. My patience is beginning to wear very thin.

Chris A
Guest
Chris A

Arun Arora only speaks in spin. It’s worrying that he is in charge of communications in Lambeth

Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer
Guest
Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer

The lack of leaks from the meeting is a pretty good indication that the phones were in fact taken, isn’t it?

Davis d'Ambly
Guest
Davis d'Ambly

“healing the legacy of hurt” – That’s rich.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

And it’s all over but the crying. It’s a rout. By over two-thirds majority, the Episcopal Church has been stripped of voting rights, banned from representing the Communion, and booted off its committees. “Consequences” last for three years: why three years? ‘Cause that’s when the next General Convention is. If GC doesn’t return TEC to “Godly order,” (i.e., repeal equal marriage, impose celibacy on its priests, etc) TEC likely to be expelled. Canada only escaped a similar fate thanks to some fast talk from Fred Hiltz. Same-sex marriage now dead as a doornail in Canada and all other provinces still… Read more »

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Just remember, the Anglican Church of Canada does not recognize this meeting, or any meeting of the primates, as being a decision-making body. No motion it may pass has any force or effect on us or on any other participant.

In any case, I have seen reports that a motion has been presented. I have seen no reports that it has been accepted.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

James, I strongly doubt whether liberal-leaning voices in Canada (and of course, on this issue I’m not one of them, although many of my friends are) will be in any mood to pay attention to the primates’ meeting. People’s patience is wearing thin. I think General Synod will do what it thinks it is being called to do – and not ‘called by the primates’ meeting’.

I think there will be a lively debate at GS, but I think that the strongest voices playing the Anglican Communion card have already left the Anglican Church of Canada.

Rod Gillis, what do you think?

Anne
Guest
Anne

Having spent much of today praying for the Communion and the Primates meeting, I have a very heavy heart. But I HAVE to believe that our God of grace and love is in control. Has the letter sent to ++Justin and ++Sentamu had no influence on them at all? We cannot allow bullyboy tactics to silence us, and what do I say to my LGBTI friends? I hope that when we hear further about the meeting and any ‘resolutions’ or ‘outcomes’ that all will not be as it seems at the moment. I wonder what difference there would have been… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

I believe the ACC has its own constitution — in fact, it is the only legally constituted “instrument” of the whole Communion. As far as I know, the Primates have no authority to remove the representatives of TEC who were elected to that body, short of an action by that body itself through amending the Schedule of Membership.

Kurt Hill
Guest
Kurt Hill

Fine, if they are going to “sanction” the Episcopal Church for three years, the I say that we Episcopalians decline to fund any Anglican Communion projects for that period of time. In fact, if the TEC leadership does not withhold such funds, I’m sure that many of us will review our contributions to the Episcopal Church. If the Presiding Bishop and the rest of our lame “leadership” continues to fund any AC projects, I will reduce my financial pledges by the same percentages. Human rights violators in Africa and elsewhere should not get off free while human rights supporters are… Read more »

Rev Dave
Guest
Rev Dave

The liberal provinces could always just decide to ‘do the right thing’ (as they it) and set up their own church? “The Episcopal Church” anyone?

Kate
Guest
Kate

If ABC doesn’t openly speak against sanctions then surely he has betrayed all those participating in the shared conversations. If the reports are true he should be expected to resign.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Is TEC still expected to pay for the “Communion”?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

‘[T]oday’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church’

…except the archbishop is explicitly prohibited from acting on this request as a result of the votes in the diocesan synods of the CofE three years ago which defeated the Anglican Covenant (including its disciplinary mandate). It would be unconstitutional to do otherwise.

Ken Hull
Guest
Ken Hull

JPM’s is a key question for me. TEC is being invited to embrace the Communion’s version of taxation without representation. If TEC does not suspend its financial support as a corollary of these ‘consequences’ it will be enabling the Primates’ behavior. Withdrawal of financial support would also not be sanctions but simply consequences. Having said that, TEC has taken a prophetic stance with regard to same-sex relationships. Unfortunately, prophets can expect to be treated badly–it’s part of the job description. But I hope the Primates’ actions will not deter other churches, including my own Anglican Church of Canada, from joining… Read more »

Cassandra
Guest
Cassandra

So somebody needs to ask at that press conference – whose ‘hurt’ do the primates have in mind here?

S Cooper
Guest
S Cooper

No surprise. Same message from 1998 onwards. Just ignoring it wasn’t going to work. Numbers matter. Respectability with Rome matters. Now, enough wasting time – who will set up tec(UK)….. & will Canada not stand and affiliate with TEC rather than accept moratoria ? Principles or position??

Susannah Clark
Guest

It’s not over, James. It’s just beginning. Now it’s time to exercise conscience, within the Church of England. It’s time to create a network of Affirming Christians – and to exercise conscience at parish and local community level. The Archbishop does not *own* our consciences. Each church, locally, now needs to decide for themselves if they are *still* in communion with TEC. Each church, locally, now needs to decide for themselves if they affirm the lives and relationships of gay and lesbian and bi and trans people. AND PUBLICLY SAY SO. Really. Those of us who are LGBTQI need that.… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

(continued…) Please bear in mind: each day, lesbian, trans, gay, bi and gender different people have to exercise courage. We get abused on the street. We sometimes get overlooked for jobs or turned down for housing. We are told – including by the Church – that our lives and relationships are not as good as other people’s. We face scorn or abuse for who we are, some more than others. Young people at school get bullied. It takes real courage to make a stand for who you are. Will Christians in the Church of England now (please) have the courage… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Will TEC be expected to continue paying the Communion’s bills while under “sanction”?”

I’ve generally believed in staying engaged, no matter what. But it might be time to consider putting that considerable sum (I forget how many million dollars) into real mission and make an impact on the suffering of the world.

I think most TEC members are checked out already. Rowan’s behaviour was egregious, Justin’s is more of the same. And we can look to the treatment of the three Jeremy’s any time we get sentimental about our historical connection to the ABC.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

This is disgusting. Those of you in the Church of England: How do you deal with the shame of being connected to that organization? By doing nothing, by putting up and accepting things you are responsible for this state of affairs. How do you even walk into the door of a Church of England parish and not feel dirty? Two decades of the Episcopal Church being treated like this by the English should have prepared us for this. But this is a line too far. We should “sanction” the Church of England for homophobia and hardness of heart and plant… Read more »

I_T
Guest
I_T

I think the real question is whether or not same sex marriages are headed off in Scotland and Canada. Otherwise, really, what effect does this have on the average Episcopalian, or Anglican? Do they even CARE there’s an Anglican Communion?

Richard
Guest
Richard

Depressed, depressed, depressed. A real pity that the ‘liberal’ provinces were browbeaten into agreeing to this.

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

From Morning Prayer for 1/15, very appropriate for TEC, and to remind us that there are godly in the land left to associate with, and spend our God-entrusted money with and on: Psalm 16 1 Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; * I have said to the LORD, “You are my Lord, my good above all other.” 2 All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, * upon those who are noble among the people. 3 But those who run after other gods * shall have their troubles multiplied. 4 Their libations… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

As a member of the C of E, Dennis, I don’t know how to deal with the shame that this statement brings upon us. I have said before in these pages that I feared that ++Welby was going to break the C of E on the wheel of trying to satisfy the GAFCON primates, and I think he may just have done exactly that, or at least gone a long way down the road towards it. It certainly puts paid to any small hopes of anything meaningful emerging from the ‘shared conversations’ in the C of E about its own… Read more »