Friday, 1 April 2016
ACC-16 in Lusaka gets closer...
continued from here.
Updated again Wednesday 6 April
Another major report has been issued: Major new report calls Anglicans to Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making
The full report is online here.
And the Introduction is available separately here.
There have also been several articles seeking to undermine the meeting from various conservative sources:
And the group of conservative American Episcopalians called Communion Partners has issued this: An Easter Report from the Communion Partners of the Episcopal Church.
Meanwhile, ENS reports: Anglicans, Episcopalians head to Zambia for consultative council.
Update 4 April
Mouneer Anis has announced that he is not attending ACC-16 in Lusaka, see the full text of his letter here: Breaking—Bishop Mouneer Anis decides not to attend the 2016 ACC Meeting in Lusaka (h/t Kendall Harmon) And there is a PDF of the original.
Update 6 April
The Primate of Kenya has published this letter: Statement on Anglican Consultative Council 16, Lusaka (h/t George Conger)
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Friday, 1 April 2016 at 6:20pm BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Archbishop Mouneer Anis writes, "It is important for both of these Instruments to deal with the divisive issues at hand and especially the unilateral actions of TEC in regard to their alterations to the Anglican Communion's doctrine of marriage."
He says nothing, however, about how the Communion could ever have any "doctrine of marriage" or how TEC could "alter" it.
TEC has its own Book of Common Prayer and approved liturgies. TEC might alter those for itself. But there is no Communion-wide BCP or list of approved liturgies.
Once again a conservative Primate is assuming what he wants to prove.
Sugden and Samuel assert, "While the ACC has synodical form with bishops, clergy and lay, it should not think of itself as the General Synod of the Communion. It does not make doctrinal decisions or define the mission of its member churches. Those decisions belong to the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meeting."
Actually no, they don't. There is no such thing as a General Synod of the Communion.
The Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting have no power to make any province do anything, or to block any province from doing anything.
Anglicanism began as a reaction against overweening central control from Rome. Nothing could be less Anglican than for some worldwide body (of either Primates or bishops) to try to arrogate and centralise power and jurisdiction.
“ Anglicanism began as a reaction against overweening central control from Rome. Nothing could be less Anglican than for some worldwide body (of either Primates or bishops) to try to arrogate and centralise power and jurisdiction.”
I wish the ACC will hold those conservative bishops accountable for their homophobia and persecution of LGBT people.
As anybody who knows anything about Anglican polity knows, Lambeth has absolutely no power beyond the ability to pass resolutions, which are markers of what the majority of the participants at Lambeth are willing to put their names to. Full Stop. Lambeth has no other authority, has no legislative or juridical power and can't tell anybody how to do anything. All this about doctrinal decisions is rubbish.
As to the Anglican doctrine of marriage, the only thing I can think of that this can possibly refer to is the place in the 39 Articles in which we're told that Matrimony is not to be accounted as one of the sacraments of the Gospel.
The guys in Africa have tried to sell the idea of a "biblical"idea of marriage and now an Anglican one. Do any of these guys have divinity degrees from an accredited institution?
Of course Jeremy is perfectly correct. There is no such creature as a Communion-wide 'General Synod'. Not is there such a thing as a Communion-wide 'Magisterium'. The 'Instruments of Unity' are not legal entities having jurisdiction over the Churches of the Anglican Communion. Each Provincial Church has its own Canons and Constitution, which govern the polity and praxis of the local Church.
What holds us together is the Holy Spirit - but only insomuch as each Province is willing to accede to that spiritual grace and power.
Neither Messrs Vinay nor Sugden seem to have any understanding of the reality of the glue that holds the Anglican Communion together - which is the goodwill of each of its component parts. Only as long as that goodwill holds will the Communion remain a reality.
+Prayers are offered for ACC16.
"1. The Communion has not given adequate consideration on what authority might be held by the Primates and the Primates cannot claim authority when there has not been the communion wide debate on the dispersed authority within Anglicanism. Lambeth Conferences saw this as an essential partnership and not an authority to be usurped or granted without such wide ranging discussion." - Martin Reynolds - (in response to the statement made by Archbishop Mouneer Anis, see comments below the original article).
Despite Archbishop Anis' assertion that the Primates' Meeting has some special over-riding authority with the Anglican Communion to dictate polity to individual Provinces, as Martin Reynolds here explains; no such authority has been ceded by, for instance, ACC, the Anglican Consultative Council which, by virtue of its more wide-spread constituency (including both Clerical and Lay membership from across the Communion) might be considered more capable of assuming constitutional authority in the Church than the Primates' Meeting
In any event, the GAFCON Primates already have their very own 'Primates' Council', which would appear to have been set up in opposition to the official Anglican Communion Primates. They also operate under their own 'Jerusalem Statement of Faith', which does not coincide with the Lambeth Quadrilateral, that was originally acceded to by all provinces of the Communion.
One might ask, in the present stand-off situation: "Which Primates' Council has actual authority over the affairs of the Anglican Communion - if any?"
Jeremy is right. There is NO body in the Anglican Communion, beyond the provincial synods, which has ANY doctrinal authority. The ACC has never claimed such authority, nor is it doing so now with Bishop Tengatenga's insistence on TEC's participation. Neither Lambeth nor the Primates' Meeting have ever explicitly claimed such authority for themselves, although certain of the primates aad people like Dr Sugden have tried to ascribe such powers to those bodies.
If you desire an ecclesiology where such central authority exists and is not questioned, I'm sure Rome would welcome you with open arms. But that vision of the church is not at all Anglican.
The piece by Archbishop Mouneer Anis does not mention the words "Jesus" or "Christ" once. It does, however, mention an awful lot of complex political issues within the church. If you want a concrete demonstration of why organised church-going is in almost complete collapse amongst younger people, this sort of pompous, self-interested nonsense is the precise reason. "Welcome to the Anglican Community: we don't do faith, or belief, but we're good at arguing the toss about things that don't matter".
The letter from the Communion Partners includes the names of only 7 sitting diocesan bishops from the 99 dioceses in the Episcopal Church in the US.
This excerpt, from the 'Major New Report on Anglican Mission (above), ought be taken in by us all:
"As a Communion we are profoundly in need of reconciliation and we find ourselves in a world equally riven by fear, division, and brokenness. It is for this reason that, as never before, we need to accept Jesus’ invitation to an apostleship, a discipleship, of the whole of our lives. A narrow, pietistic attachment to Jesus, whether individualistic or ecclesial, was never what God intended and will not serve us well today."
'Narrow pietism' can be a very selfish endeavour. To seek salvation for one's self only, by due adherence to 'The Law', is what Jesus decried in the narrowness of the Pharisees and Scribes.
If we Anglicans cannot agree amongst ourselves that we are, indeed 'ALL sinners in need of salvation', we might never achieve the unity that Jesus calls for in the Gospel.
"'Narrow pietism' can be a very selfish endeavour. To seek salvation for one's self only, by due adherence to 'The Law', is what Jesus decried in the narrowness of the Pharisees and Scribes."
Father Ron, so true.
"...these decisions are about God’s truth on the nature of men and women..."
Say WHAT?? WHO in the so-called "Anglican mainstream" uses such language?
Ron - which Primates' Council? What we need to understand is that the GS & gafcon don't care what small liberal provinces think - there is no point forever making concessions to be part of the club. Not being willing to start an independent liberal global communion means more people being thrown under the bus
Dear S. Cooper. I think you may be mistaking my drift. I am all for 'small liberal provinces' being a constant factor in traditional Anglican 'Unity in diversity' openness. This does not mean that to retain our authenticity, we need to emulate the (larger?) conservative rush towards separation. we should leave that to the schismatics.
Dear Ron - my point is that staying in the Canterbury club means accepting some people not being invited on 08....it means provinces under pressure not to join TEC on the naughty step. Maybe you're thinking in decades but why wait decades when in the internet age, a global liberal province is possible & could be inclusive without compromise?
The Primate of Kenya's most recent is fascinating. His own people are disregarding a call for a boycott and he is looking for someone to blame.
The "Canterbury club", i.e. the Anglican Communion, is an informal fellowship of Churches, with blurred boundaries, and with a diversity of legitimate views on various subjects. There is no "global...province" and there cannot be - "independent", "liberal" or otherwise. My Anglican Church of Australia is by its Constitution an autonomous Church, at present and likely to be always formally in Communion, only with the Church of England. Full stop. As usual, I wish our churchmen and women came down to earth and were more concerned with far,far more important issues - over-population, for example, with all its now very critical and dangerous effects, or the plight of the millions who live in extreme poverty or in places of war and conflict - even just the many people who are seriously ill in mind or body, or dying, such as the many I visit today in hospital (as a volunteer for the last 18 years). Put a sock in it !
Various primates were only willing to meet in Canterbury on the understanding that it was a gathering not a meeting IE had no authority, pastoral or otherwise. No wonder ACC is ignoring it.