Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod 2010

The Scottish Episcopal Church will be holding its annual General Synod in Edinburgh at the end of next week (10 to 12 June). There are several items on the Church’s website about the meeting.

Agenda and Papers
General Information

One item on the agenda is this motion, to be debated on the afternoon of Thursday 10 June.

Motion 3: That this Synod, recognising the publication of the Anglican Covenant and the need to address the Covenant in a manner which is careful and prayerful, request the Faith and Order Board to advise General Synod 2011 on what process or processes might be appropriate to be followed by this Synod to enable due consideration of the final version of the Covenant by the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Synod members have been supplied with the text of the covenant, but no other papers for this debate.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 June 2010 at 9:10pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Scottish Episcopal Church

I took the time to listen in to an interview with Primus David Chillingworth, which took place around the last General Synod (2009) - just after his election to this important post in the Episcopal Church of Scotland. I was struck by his reference to the fact that each Province of the Anglican Communion - whatever the given title - has its own 'primus inter pares', affording an honorary title of notional leadership of the College of Bishops in the individual Province.

Such an understanding might afford a new insight into the actual leadership function of the ABC - primarily as 'Primus inter pares' of Canterbury's provincial College of Bishops. This takes the pressure off the ABC as solely responsible for the workings of the Communion - over and above the individual responsibility of other Presiding Bishops; Primuses, or Provincial Archbishops; who are Primus inter pares within their own Province.

This notion would make more obvious the fact that the Primacy of Canterbury - being collegial with the other Primates, Primuses, or Archbishops of the various Provincial Churches, ought never to be burdened with the assumption of a leadership role which over-rules the independence of any of the constituent Provinces of the Communion.

At present - pre-Covenant - there is no governing role for any particular 'Primus inter pares' that would bind other Provinces to Magisterial Rule (such as is exercised by the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church). A Covenant relationship could well seek to overturn this situation - the real possibility of which, other Provinces, such as the Scottish Episcopal Church and the American Episcopal Church, may be very well aware.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 2 June 2010 at 12:37am BST
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