Thursday, 28 January 2010
ACNA motion: amendment
The text of the House of Bishops amendment to the ACNA motion is now available:
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 6:59pm GMT
Item 14 Anglican Church in North America (GS 1764A and 1764B)
The Bishop of Bristol (the Rt Revd Mike Hill) to move as an amendment:
Leave out everything after “That this Synod” and insert:
“(a) recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family;
(b) acknowledge that this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the Church of England and membership of the Anglican Communion, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further; and
(c) invite the Archbishops to report further to the Synod in 2011”.
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| General Synod
Good old Anglican fudge! I love it.
Oh,yes. We must be nice to mean-spirited, narrow-minded schismatics.
This appears to be non-prejudicial, reflects reality, and puts the responsibility where it belongs.
Why? Bob Duncan is not an honest broker and he won't give up until he's succeeded in ACNA replacing TEC.
Well, I'm very satisfied with this, and am delighted to be able to withdraw around 85% of my panic over Mrs. Ashcroft's motion. It does come across as an intelligent and judicious response.
Will the ACNA representatives still be telling their stories to Synod members, though? That would indicate to me that I ought to hang on to the remaining 15% of my panic.
From the amendment, as posted:
"...which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further...."
Can anyone tell me, with certainty:
(1) which are the relevant authorities?
(2) which provinces, or organizations (something not a province) are considered involved?
[a] CofE and TEC?
[b] CofE and TEC and ACNA?
[c] CofE and ACNA?
If it is [c], then this would be a sham and a pure conspiracy.
If it is [a], which I would consider proper, it would not make the schismatics happy, would it?
If it is [b], well, how long can everyone dance?
I hope opportunity would be given to move an amendment saying that the Church of England desires to maintain relations with the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church in Canada. I hope members of General Synod would dare move it.
Unless I'm missing something, the amendment seems to me no more than a recognition that ACNA exists and that the group wants to be part of the Anglican Communion and in communion with the Church of England.
"94. There will undoubtedly be Primates and Provinces, such as those involved with Gafcon, which will wish to give recognition to the new body. Equally, there will be Primates and Provinces for whom even consideration of the request would be untoward, and involve the accommodation of schism"
- Windsor Continuation Group Report on ACNA -
This summation of ACNA's provenance, by the Windsor Continuation Group, clearly enunicates the problems associated with the C.of E.'s possible acceptance of ACNA - in the PMM proposal being brought to the General Synod of the C.of E.
For the Church of England to unequivocally accept ACNA as a prospective Province of the Anglican Communion would be to follow the lead of GAFCON, many of whose Primates refused to attend the last Lambeth Conference in favour of setting up their own parameters for membership of what it has been pleased to call *Orthodox Anglicanism*.
If the Church of England goes along that track, then the Communion will divide - along the lines of a schismatic so-called 'Orthodoxy', together with the GAFCON crowd; versus the traditional catholic and reformed Provinces of the Communion which affirm the membership of women and LGBT persons as candidates for the ministry of the Churches they represent within the present bounds of the Communion.
If the Church of England bends over backwards to accommodate intentional schismatics, then it may just be that other Provinces will have no choice other than to re-group with other inclusive Churches - whether Anglican or from other parts of the World Council of Churches - which foster the inclusive ethic of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Make no mistake, there cannot be two mainline Churches in the North American situation (either in the US or Canada) that can validly claim to be representative of the traditional Anglican Communion of Churches such as is now constituted.
If the schismatics are accepted as a substitute for TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada, there will surely be a break in continuity that could spell the end of Anglicanism as we now know it.
GAFCON has already played it's hand on this issue. It would be a sad moment for the Communion if the Church of England were to bow to GAFCON's (and ACNA's) demands.
Jerry -- Your questions are not well taken.
Under this amendment, the Synod would be involving only "relevant authorities" that it is capable of instructing -- authorities of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion (one of the "instruments of unity" of which is an archbishop that the Synod can "invite" to do things).
This amendment does not "invite" either ACNA or TEC to do anything. Neither of them is mentioned.
This amendment is a classic interesting-question-let's-study-it-for-a-while solution.
The word I have trouble with, however, is "affirm."
Why do the bishops think ACNA should be "affirmed" in its desire to be part of the Anglican Communion, when ACNA members have left the only province of that Communion with jurisdiction in the United States?
Bad idea.... This "affirmation" could be taken as legitimating schismatic departures and border crossings. Such an affirmation could come back to haunt the Church of England.
If I were a Synod member, I would move to strike "and affirm."
I am sure that no one in the House would have a problem problem affirming that James II believed himself King of England either.
I think it's very good.
They want to "explore" further the issues before doing anything to officially recognize ACNA? Great!
Look how long they've been "exploring" the GLBT issue without doing anything.
Jerry, I believe the correct answer is [d] CofE and AC (not ACNA).
In the wording "the relevant authorities of each," the "each" seems to me clearly to refer to the CofE and the Anglican Communion:
"...this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the Church of England and membership of the Anglican Communion, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further."
Have you noticed how Stand Firm are saying that Duncan is recognised by Canterbury because he addresses him as Archbishop!
The Pope addresses Rowan likewise, but certainly does not recognise his orders.
Abraham Lincoln, the state of the Union, and the Civil War come to mind once again, for if anyone who doesn't like their own Anglican church enough to remain in it and can off and form a new one any time they like, then there is no end of the splitting off that might take place. It has been happening in USA for a long time, but although they keep using the name 'Anglican', they haven't been part of the Anglican Communion. It is also curious to me that C-of-Es are suggesting this is OK - do they think that it couldn't happen to them? Or maybe not not, given the level of hypocrisy, but you never know ....
I had to read this twice; at first I thought the phrase 'those who have formed The Anglican Church in America' referred to TEC ...
Deary deary me ...
Charlotte asked whether ACNA members would be telling their stories to Synod members.
I expect that there will be some ACNA people around at fringe events in Church House (any Synod member can book a room and send out flyers). I'd be VERY surprised if Synod were to vote for Standing Orders to be suspended so that ACNA reps could formally address Synod. Obviously, anyone speaking in the debate will be free to quote the words of any other person, provided they keep to whatever motion or amendment is being debated at the time. The normal practice of the Business Committee is to take amendments in the order in which they affect the text of the motion for the time being. So it's hard to see how anyone could phrase an amendment that would go ahead of Mike Hill's, and Mike's may well be taken quite quickly as it changes the whole text from an early point.
On the assumption that this amendment is likely to be passed ACNA supporters may well table amendments to it in order to keep making speeches and to try to get some pro ACNA concessions (eg to include a request that ACNA itself be consulted).
This may then be countered by moves to close debate or to proceed straight to vote on any such amendment so as to limit speeches that are unlikely to affect the outcome and are largely grandstanding for an external audience.
I would very much agree with Ren Aquila that the general synod needs to affirm both the Provinces of the Anglican church in Canada and the USA. They are the bodies who have remained in Communion, the others have walked away. Being goody two shoes, holier than though; but quite happy to refute the all embracing love of God in Jesus Christ for ALL his children.
Let the synod for once have the guts of the Holy Spirit to affirm not only their affirmation of the provinces of the USA and Canada, but their believe in themselves stated in the creed of being ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
Or has the synod quietly dropped this from the creed, and only say it parrot fashion each time?????
It really seems strange to me that people are up in arms about the possible acceptance of two Anglican provinces in the same geographical area, because that's not traditional, but at the same time being up in arms with people who would like to hold on to the traditional Anglican teaching (not to mention the plain reading of scripture).
It's almost as though the lines you can draw on a map have taken on more importance than the Gospel of salvation.
What is there to study - they left and have made new lodgings for themselves elsewhere (well, some of them have refused to give up their earthly possessions to follow their conscience- but that is another side of the coin). Their belief system does not take precedence over TEC's and TEC remains in communion - why dispossess the faithful son to make way for the noisy one? Does the squeaky hinge always get the oil???
This is certainly better, but just a note of caution folks - there is no guarantee that this amendment will be passed...
"I am sure that no one in the House would have a problem problem affirming that James II believed himself King of England either."
Affirming that he believed it is one thing, affirming his desire to be king would be quite another and would land the bishops in deep trouble if they did it.
In affirming "the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family" this amendment would be saying, not only that that members of ACNA have a legitimate claim for membership of the Anglican family, but that they already are members. The word used is "remain", not "join". But those ACNA members who were in TEC are so no longer, and others came from various "continuing churches" and were never members of any recognised Anglican church to begin with.
So, to re-amend this: strike out "and affirm"; and substitute "join" for "remain within".
Interesting to hear that Synod will hear 'stories' from people in ACNA. I'm sure you'll hear them from people in TEC, too, and if so I hope you'll hear some from conservatives in TEC, people who share ACNA's view that all is not well but who don't think that breaking away is the way to improve things. There are plenty of us (check out http://barnabasproject.wordpress.com), and I'd be sorry if the conservatives in Synod didn't take that into account.
"It's almost as though the lines you can draw on a map have taken on more importance than the Gospel of salvation." - PeterB
No, Peter, you can't substitute your interpretation of complex issues (that require the context of the entire Gospel), for a much narrower and definitive point.
Geography is known.
Unless there is a jurisdictional dispute about geographical boundaries, which we would certainly note in international bodies of law or mutual cooperation, there is one Anglican Communion jurisdiction governing the geographical lines of the United States, and one governing the geographical lines of Canada.
In the same way there is one Anglican Communion jurisdiction governing the geographical lines of England, and one governing the geographical lines of Scotland, and one governing the geographical lines of Wales, etc.
"traditional Anglican teaching ... plain reading of scripture"
I don't know what part of the world you're in, but in much of it there's *usually* a Fundamentalist Baptist or Presbyterian---or, um, "Sydneyan"---congregation nearby, who'd be happy to supply you w/ your "plain reading of scripture" requirement.
*I* would prefer to stick w/ "traditional Anglican teaching", however---as would the overwhelming majority of TEC.
If, indeed, the Church of England General Synod 'affirms' the desire of ACNA to be recognised as part of the Anglican Communion, then it will have already signalled its default acceptance of GAFCON as a legitimate 'Council of The Church' in Anglican terms. Does one have to shun the courts of Lambeth in order to be given some sort of priority status in the Communion?
Will the schismatics of ACNA, who have already disaffiliated from the legitimate Provinces of the Communion in North America, be welcomed back into the fold unconditionally - considering their disinclination to remain with us in the first place? How far backwards does one have to bend in order to be accepting of terms dictated by the fundamentalism of intentional schismatics?
Unity is a wonderful thing - but does it have to be brought about as a result of dishonesty and a culture of injustice and hubris on the part of the dissenters?
No doubt David Virtue (Virtue-on-line) and his fellow agitators from the conservative 'Orthodox Anglicans' crowd will be on hand to add their acrimonious testimony to the supporters of ACNA at the meeting of General Synod.
Jerry - Geography is known... well the geography of the New world has been known for far less time than the Gospel, as the Anglican Communion for that matter.
I might want simplify things, but that's because I think there's enough to do in life without learning all the inns and outs of this organisation ripping itself apart.
That is really the point I'm trying to make... The whole thing seems to be a focus on Anglicanism rather than Jesus. Whose church is it anyway? Surely if we call ourselves Christians we should be focused on living out our faith through repentance, thanksgiving and hope. The whole Anglican Communion (of which I am a part) seems too much like a multinational corporation.
Re: plain reading of scripture, I'd say the 39 articles (which is pretty Anglican in anyone's book) are about as close to what the bible clearly says as one could expect to get.
The existence of overlapping jurisdictions (as in Europe: with ECUSA, the CoE, Old Catholic and Lutheran churches) for pastoral reasons where there is full interchangeability of orders and sacraments is undesirable, but tolerable. The recognition of two coextensive provinces defined by a point of moral doctrine is unacceptable.
We're *very* concerned about the Gospel of Salvation.
That is not what the spurious "traditional anglicans" (who are neither traditional nor particularly anglican) preach. You're welcome to set up your little tent revival and tell everyone about a bogey-man God all you like.
The tent will *not* be set up in our pasture, however.
Personally, I couldn't care less whether we're in the AC or not - just look at the Lords Spiritual and you see it has become both corrupt and inhuman. We would do just fine without them, if they choose to chuck us out. We'll do just fine without the pseudo-anglicans if they choose to bug out. However, there's no parallel jurisidictions because *we* proclaim a saving God and *they* proclaim a hateful little bureaucrat with neither compassion nor wisdom. *That* is where the line is drawn, in the essence of the God we know, so it is these "traditionalists" preaching a different religion. Sounds a bit like a sort of Islam, to me.
Re: plain reading of scripture, I'd say the 39 articles (which is pretty Anglican in anyone's book) are about as close to what the bible clearly says as one could expect to get. (PeterB)
And I'm sure John Henry Newman is in complete agreement with you on that one;-)
"We'll do just fine without the pseudo-anglicans if they choose to bug out. However, there's no parallel jurisidictions because *we* proclaim a saving God and *they* proclaim a hateful little bureaucrat with neither compassion nor wisdom. *That* is where the line is drawn, in the essence of the God we know, so it is these "traditionalists" preaching a different religion. Sounds a bit like a sort of Islam, to me." - MarkBrunson
Well, Mark, they are really more like a "Christian Taliban".
Even Islam has elements of honest disagreement, but when you consider the extremely narrow-minded, destroy-or-conquer orientation of the Taliban, you find the correct parallel to the GAFCON/ACNA crowd.
"Re: plain reading of scripture, I'd say the 39 articles (which is pretty Anglican in anyone's book) are about as close to what the bible clearly says as one could expect to get." - Posted by PeterB
This is going to be a first for me . . . but Robert Ian Williams, take it from here! ;-)
[Seriously, I suppose I should leave it to an actual *current* Anglican (unlike RIW) to explain to PeterB WHY the 39 Articles are an *interesting artifact* of the 17th/18th centuries---but have little to do w/ Anglicanism in the 21st century (outside of the "Anglicanists"---parallel of "Islamicists"---of Sydney or Abuja!)]
JCF, I agree with you entirely on the issue of the non/relevance of the 39 Articles of Religion. We have to admit that they were the product of the Church of England at the outset. They no longer can be regarded as seminal to the broader ethos of the Angliocan Communion. I still am able to preside at a Prayer Book Mass, amongst other Liturgies of the Eucharist, but I do not consider that to be exclusively constitutive of my - or any other N.Z. priest's - understanding of the Anglican Communion's eucharistic theology.
I am aware that some people's understanding of the polity of the Church of England might still be restricted to the 39 Articles, but many of us -especially in newer Provinces of the Communion - have moved on, and do not want to be shackled by an out-dated delineation of Faith and Order.
The Vatican II catch-cry was 'Semper Reformanda', and this has struck a cord, not only with Roman Catholics, but also for those of us who want to recognise the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Christian Church of our own day and age.
Just because the Roman Catholic Church is back-peddling on the initiatives of Vatican II's more inclusive theological stance (n.b. RIW), there is no need for every Province of the Anglican Church to shun the progressive movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church and world of today.
True enough, Jerry, that I don't want "Christian" to mean these right-wing power-mongers any more than Muslims want Taliban to mean "Islam."
However . . .
It isn't the Taliban executing gays in countries under Sharia law. I've yet to hear the "moderate" Islamic groups make a defense of the lives and dignity of gays and lesbians. I'm sorry, but I find Muslim individuals who are decent enough, yet find little to respect in the religion itself.
As to ACNA clergy being so prominent at the OCA event for Rowan Williams, I have to hope that he was blindsided by their being in attendance, and knew nothing about it.
Unfortunately, given his track record over the past few years, I somehow don't expect such integrity on his part.
What a disappointment he has become.