Allegations of forgery and corruption? See how these Christians love one another.
So much for the pro-GAFCON and pro-ACNA wbe-sites that have published such scurrilous material. They must be really desperate to maintain their offensive against the Anglican understanding of 'Unity in Diversity'
Good to read Madeleine Davies' report on this odd situation. It should help to kill nasty rumours put out by 'Anglican Ink' and like pro-Gafcon websites.
Only one problem, Madeleine describes Archbishop Josiah as 'secretary general of the ACC', whereas, he is actually Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion.
African Archbishops /Bishops and their allies have been making unsubstantiated public allegations against LGBT Africans for a long time; sadly leaders of the Anglican Communion don’t want to notice that.
What has happened to the travel arrangements and flight tickets booked for the Nigeria delegates? Not the Archbishop, but the other delegates?
A Church that uses force and threats against their members is clearly promoting unbiblical principle.
"...a Trustee body under English law, they cannot be removed without legal cause."
As previously noted, the lawyers have been at work; the words "law" or "legal" appearing frequently in this terse release. Things sound brittle.
Agree with cseitz. I think the ACC leadership is happy though that they have legal independence.
What interest me about this statement is the indirect admission that Bishop Mouneer Anis, a member of the Standing Committee, is boycotting the meeting because the Communion did not take action that, as a member of the Standing Committee, he should have known was against English law. I don't know if that is cynicism or incompetence, but neither is a characteristic that one looks for on board of directors.
cseitz said, "the lawyers have been at work; the words 'law' or 'legal' appearing frequently in this terse release."
Such a pity that registered charities must abide by English law.
Brother Seitz, brittle perhaps; but certainly clear. We should all appreciate that there would be considerations rising from the decision to incorporate the Anglican Communion Office.
This, too, in relation to any allegations of fraud: perhaps those introducing the word weren't thinking in criminal terms, but the word does have those aspects. Archbishop Idowu-Fearon seems mostly to be "covering all the bases." Beyond that, I'm working to apply Occam's Razor.
M'thinks trouble in Denmark (aka Kenya). Seems to be a vote of no confidence in their Archbishop. Always dangerous to be engaged with foreign affairs (away from Nairobi in the bush) when pressing home affairs should be consuming your attention. He has been wrong-footed by his Bishop of Nairobi. The post ACC-16 showdown will be interesting, but by then it will be academic. Is there a glint of common sense prevailing in some of these GAFCON provinces?
I'm not excited by this pyrrhic legal 'victory' .... What has been won? Nothing much. Welby won't want to do without the support of a moderate like mouneer. It's just a matter of time before the Primates impose their will - based on numbers. This is all a waste of time for liberals
Is the appearance of each of two words twice in a statement of this length (three of the four in one sentence in which they are practically unavoidable) really unnaturally frequent? Surely a tiny exaggeration, or have I missed something?
" Is there a glint of common sense prevailing in some of these GAFCON provinces?" - Anthony Archer -
I think Anthony could be right - not amongst the Primates - who have their dignity to consider - but maybe among the Rank and File of the G. Provinces.
An international ecclesial gathering which needs to conform to the civil laws of one region.
Sounds like an eccentric 'international erastianism.'
As for Kenya, the story is slowly emerging and it does not sound salutary in any manner.
BTW, there is nothing to be put down to difficulty with English, as +Josiah lives in London and uses English as his daily language, and has done for years. But this letter does sound intent to satisfy legal demands.
Mr Archer - the Kenyan view will be that western cash bought off a few people... Think they won't be replaced quickly, think welby now doesn't mind losing the GS?
"An international ecclesial gathering which needs to conform to the civil laws of one region.
Sounds like an eccentric 'international erastianism.'"
Since there are assets involved the civil law of one country or other must apply to establish ownership. As it happens, English law of trusts seems like a very sensible choice.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is another instrument of communion and he is also quite obviously subject to English law.
@cseitz, "An international ecclesial gathering which needs to conform to the civil laws of one region.Sounds like an eccentric 'international erastianism.".
Yes, the world would be a much better place if the ACC followed the practices of international steamship and motor vessel companies by registering in a jurisdiction with weak or non existent provisions. If it were registered in the U.S.A. the whole meeting would likely have become a bonanza for lawyers.
Call me pollyanna, but I think Archbishop +Josiah is growing in wisdom and spirit. On the Episcopal News Services, there is an article about +Josiah lifting up TEC as an example of walking together. That certainly marks a better understanding of what TEC actually did (allows marriage to happen, doesn't force anyone to participate, except bishops who have to make provisions).
That's a pretty interesting evolution for TEC, from "problem province" to "model for walking together."
The Anglican Communion Women wrote a statement that they intended to continue walking together with all their sisters, whatever the primates may do. So there seems to be a movement amongst the broader membership, like these Kenyans at ACC-16, to stick together and completely ignore the noise from certain primates.
It sounds like the Holy Spirit is indeed on the move in the Anglican Communion, and She isn't working from the top down.
Pollyanna from Colorado
Or avoided these arrangements altogether. I thought the point obvious. The ACC wasn't previously so rostered. An international legal arrangement -- what on earth for?
As I have pointed out in the past, it is useful to remember that the Archbishop of Kenya's Officer for Anglican Communion Affairs is an English priest not (apparently) in good standing with the CofE, having been minister in charge of an AMiE church plant, after a split with the diocese of Worcester. Such a filter might well colour the view taken in Nairobi.
@ cseitz, Not so obvious I'm afraid. Registering an organization, incorporation, setting up an association within a civil law framework, these types of models or such like are often a very good idea. They can provide corporate security for members, their officers, and those who may on occasion need recourse if disputes arise.
In situations where an organization works across many jurisdictions, its often just a matter of choosing the optimum one in which to register. For example, here in Canada a nationally operative association will often register or incorporate in one particular province.
Let's face it, one of the engines driving the controversy in The Communion is the ongoing American culture war on issues of sexuality. One sees there regressive civil legislation at the State level with religion in the mix, chronic civil litigation, and highly polarized public debate escalated by up religious rhetoric. The formation of ACNA, for example, is a product of the American scene and the politics of sex, even as it pursues alliances with some of the African bishops. While certainly not the whole enchilada, The Anglican Communion is a major front for conservatives in the American culture war over sexuality.
I think that the very fact of putting out such a tetchy statement indicates that there are argumentative undercurrents at work. The ABC has done very well to keep the majority together so far, but I predict stormy seas (or sees) ahead.
The fact is that, by turning up, the US people have completely defied the meeting of primates, as they have done in the past and show every sign of doing in the future.
Being organised as a nonprofit may have economic advantages.
The fact that the ACC is a registered charity in one jurisdiction may lead to tax advantages in other jurisdictions.
Referenced in the actual (lawyer-ese) statement from +Josiah is the idea that ecclesial leaders cannot be removed because of civil statute considerations.
If people think that is a good principle, they are free to hold that view. The Tractarian movement--following ancient principle--weighed in against this kind of arrangement. Just within the CofE alone. Leaving aside how this might work within an international ecclesial polity.
Mr Gillis, I live in France and serve a parish in the Church of England. Your references to US politics seem gratuitous if directed to me. I am also directing dissertations in the University of Toronto TST. An institution in Canada.
@ cseitz, "Your references ...if directed to me..." It is a comment on the state of question regarding politcal dynamics in The communion, Mr. Seitz. The U.S. is front and center at the moment. If, as an American ex-pat, you have engaged Canadian culture, you can surely appreciate my perspective, agreeable or not.
"If people think that is a good principle, they are free to hold that view." Thank you so much. I do. Talk of Erastianism and Tractarians is hyperbolic misdirection. The separation of church and state motif implied in your posts on this confuses the matter.
The ACC is the only one of the so called "instruments of Communion" that has a constitution. It is a charitable company limited by guarantee, has trustees, and a charitable registration number. Finances and risk management are involved. The terms are readily available to the public. Its corporate location makes perfect sense. It seems to me a completely typical, practical, prudent, responsible arrangement. If that means it is less easily destabilized by ecclesiastical crisis politics, all the better.
And, I'm thinking the decision of Bishop Ian Douglas (TEC) not to allow his name to stand in election for chair of the ACC Standing Committee together with his stated reasons for doing so is a very generous act of diplomacy. ACNA could learn something from the good bishop about a regard for the common good. He seems to adhere to the prairie school of thought i.e. don't fight fire with fire, fight fire with water.
"If it means" that ecclesial decisions cannot happen without threat of civil action or constraint...even for those provinces that have no legal standing or status in the UK, then that is a "typical, practical, prudent, responsible arrangement" so far as you are concerned.
I disagree. I imagine other provinces feel the same.
@ cseitz, What it may mean, Mr. Seitz, is that a charitable company will have to follow its own stated rules, which is to the benefit of all.
" I imagine other provinces feel the same." Imagine there are no Primates, it's easy if you try. (My apologies to John Lennon) (:
Before we crack open the pink champagne, please note that what has happened is the ACC got in line & is not challenging the Primates .... Not even TEC has made the slightest challenge. So, let's rejoice - the Primates get their way with TEC restraint (again) in order to stay in a big club with the GS....who pays the price??
"The fact is that, by turning up, the US people have completely defied the meeting of primates, as they have done in the past and show every sign of doing in the future."
In fact, the ACC chair, Bishop Tengatenga told us in TEC that it was our "right and responsibility" to be there. He also went on to say that the primates had no authority to determine or enforce "consequences." Of course, he's right.
Each province is governed by it's own processes. There is absolutely no central body with any governing authority whatsoever over other provinces. And very recently, the provinces had a chance to vote on whether it wanted an authoritative central body and the answer is a resounding NO.
The Anglican Covenant failed, thanks be to God. Thanks to Tengatenga's integrity (and likely others), there will be no de facto Anglican Covenant.
Our Bishop, Ian Douglas, chose not to stand for election as chair of the Standing Committee of the ACC. That was good enough. I don't see it as a move that honors the primates. I see it as a move to let the work continue without distraction.
"a charitable company will have to follow its own stated rules"
But is the Communion a 'charitable company'? Well of course not.
Now stating the obvious.
"..which is to the benefit of all."
A preposterous statement. Even mores so, reflexively declared in this manner.
Are you now purporting to speak for 'the benefit of all' from the perspective of a tiny Canadian niche?
Mr. Seitz, The ACC is a charitable company. You appear to have gotten yourself all entangled in your own fixation with this. You may wish that the ACC corporate arrangement to be amorphic and politically malleable enough to further escalate a crisis where others appear to want to cool things down. How inconvenient for your point of view.
Small Canadian niches often make a nice little contribution to the world. Your employer Wycliffe College, Canada's long standing evangelical conservative college in T.O., is perhaps an example.
In any event, this tedious back and forth of ours is starting to look like a poor man's Monty Python sketch. You are one of the few guys I know who are even more determined than I am to have the last word. So, by all means, do feel free. ( :
Mr Gillis. I think you simply struggle to listen.
1. I do not think having ecclesial bodies beholden to civil constraint is a good idea.
2. I also do not think it is fair for those ecclesial bodies that used to think the ACC was chiefly an ecclesial body, and not one in which the laws of one region were appealed to in argument regarding appointments to this and that.
That isn't a last word. It is the first word and only word being stated here!
Enjoy your corner of Canada. I am here very infrequently. That is, assuming Toronto is typical Canada and not an unusually large, multi-cultural city close to the American NE, that many Canadians find an oddity...
"The Anglican Covenant failed, thanks be to God. Thanks to Tengatenga's integrity (and likely others), there will be no de facto Anglican Covenant." - Cynthia -
Sadly, Cynthia, if you look at the latest news, you will find that the secretary-General of the Anglican Communion - present at ACC16 - has actually raised the spectre of a possible new attempt at 'Covenant'.
"Sadly, Cynthia, if you look at the latest news, you will find that the secretary-General of the Anglican Communion - present at ACC16 - has actually raised the spectre of a possible new attempt at 'Covenant'."
Yes, I picked up on that reference in a later statement. Kind of crazy to try another one...
"1. I do not think having ecclesial bodies beholden to civil constraint is a good idea."
So, you are then opposed to the establishment of the Church of England?
Also, do you then think that churches should not be required to obey all the laws of civil society? Not deduct income taxes from their employees' pay? In the US, churches are required to file the paperwork to be charitable organizations (to be a 501(c)(3) organization under federal tax law) in order to get exemptions from state and federal taxes. Is that the kind of "civil constraint" you speak of? Would you prefer than anyone be able to declare him or herself a church and take that exemption?
This isn't a new attempt at a covenant. Or a new covenant document.
It is statement that 11 have signed a covenant and many have not taken the matter up. And an encouragement to do so. Not voting on the covenant is not a 'No.'
It is obvious that for some the fact that TEC said No is the end of the matter. But of course that says a lot in and of itself.
+Josiah seems simply to be encouraging the process to play itself out. That is unsurprising given his role in the covenant and his keen awareness that the AC is more than this or that single province, no matter how wealthy or influential.
Mr O'Neil, as should be clear.
1. I am opposed to the establishment of the CofE being an establishment for the AC. The ACC isn't some kind of civilly constrained arbiter of the AC otherwise outwith English law. 2. The CofE isn't without its own triple locks, as agreed by Parliament. So the precedent for ecclesial affairs being conducted ecclesially is hardly odd.
Civil magistrates are part and parcel of catholic life -- witness Constantine demanding a fair colloquy amongst Eusebians, Arians,and the 'Oerthodox; or the rulers who called for formal public disputations between Luther and Eck in order to keep the peace and true religion.
But we are not in that domain when it comes to International Anglicanism. We have no Christian civil magistrate seeking international peace.
What is here being defended--if one may assume coherence in argument--is an international ecclesial body (the Anglican Communion) in its gathered life, being properly told that a charity status within the life of the UK can be a constraint upon its decisions.
Your questions are interesting ones but really straightforward (paying taxes within an individual statutory entity which assures the peace, pays for road work, provides health care, etc); and irrelevant to the topic at hand.
I do not believe the ACC as a worldwide Anglican ecclesial gathering ought to be constrained by English law in how it appoints its leaders. And I robustly suspect the British government could care less as well.
This is simply a case where if all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
In the end, it could also threaten the integrity and logic of the ACC as a worldwide entity, leading to its irrelevance. That would be a very poor outcome.
+Josiah seems simply to be encouraging the process to play itself out. That is unsurprising given his role in the covenant and his keen awareness that the AC is more than this or that single province, no matter how wealthy or influential."
Posted by: cseitz on Sunday, 17 April
Christopher, you seem to forget that the Church of England - 'Mother Church' of the Anglican Communion, and quite separately from TEC - has already turned down the Covenant. This will undoubtedly cast a dampener on any future attempts to oprganise the A.C. into being the 'Confessional Church' defined by F.o.C.A. - the so-called (and struggling) Fellowship of 'Confessing Anglicans' - There is No Such Animal!
@ Pat O'Niell, thanks for your post. Note the following, in support of your questions from the official legal documents. Note especially the line, "...established by constitution subscribed to by the member churches of The Anglican Communion".
"The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) is a charity registered in England and Wales registration number 1137273 and a company limited by guarantee registration number 7311767. It was established by constitution subscribed to by the member churches of The Anglican Communion on 12 July 2010. The activities of the new charitable company did not start until 1 January 2011 upon transfer of the net assets and liabilities from the old unregistered charity, registration number 27659."
God save the Queen! God save us all.
Ron Smith. I haven't forgotten it. Neither has +JI-F. The AC is not the CofE or TEC.
Funny how the ACC functioned perfectly well up until 2010/11...
"Funny how the ACC functioned perfectly well up until 2010/11..."
That may well be due to luck, more than anything else. We live in litigious times, on both sides of the pond, and if the ACC had stayed as an unincorporated, unregistered charity, then all its officers would have been personally liable for any financial misdeeds. As it currently stands, anyone suing the ACC can only collect from the ACC itself, not from its officers.
So a (proper) concern for litigation in the financial sphere in 2011 has banked into a concern to monitor election of officers in accordance with English law (so +JI-F's statements)? Even if adventitious, this seems to be a trajectory that could have unintended consequences for the integrity of the ACC. Then again, it may also show that it is a body of limited reach or consequence, meeting infrequently and needing to be cautious before English law parameters.
Re ACC, below is Resolution 3: Constitutional Change (ACC to be a charitable company) passed by ACC-13. (2005).
Jibber Jabber about political intrigues, the question of tangible evidence notwithstanding, is normative for life in churchland.
Resolution 3: Constitutional Change (ACC to be a charitable company)
The Anglican Consultative Council:
a. notes and approves the draft memorandum and articles proposed by the
Standing Committee in order to reconstitute the work of the Council within the
framework of a limited liability company as requested by ACC 11 and ACC 12
b. authorises the Standing Committee to make such final amendments to the
documentation as may be needed in the light of this Council's discussions and
the views of the Primates Meeting, and in accordance with legal advice and any
further comments received from the Charity Commissioners
c. requests the Standing Committee to establish such a body with charitable
status in accordance with the such approved draft Memorandum and Articles as
amended as a result of any such views, advice or comments
d. resolves to transfer to the new charitable company all the Council's assets and
liabilities in due course and to wind up the affairs of the existing legal entity
once the new arrangements are in place.
"So a (proper) concern for litigation in the financial sphere in 2011 has banked into a concern to monitor election of officers in accordance with English law (so +JI-F's statements)?"
If you wish to take advantage of the laws regarding charitable corporations as they pertain to financial obligations, you must also abide by the laws regarding election of officers. You don't get to pick and choose which sections of the law you need to follow.
"If you wish to take advantage of the laws regarding charitable corporations as they pertain to financial obligations, you must also abide by the laws regarding election of officers."
The infrequently meeting ACC may end up more irrelevant if it is simply an international church body that worries itself over the laws of a single national entity.
But that seems like a desirable feature so far as you are concerned.
What seems like a desirable feature to me is that the officers of the ACC not be personally liable should fiscal malfeasance occur. What seems like a desirable feature to me is that those contributing money that is handled by the ACC have assurance that there is a legal basis for their tax exemption. What seems like a desirable feature to me is that the officers of the ACC have a civil authority to answer to should anything go awry.
That's a relief.
Glad you did not include how desirable it is to have international church appointments to committees needing clearance under English law.
"Glad you did not include how desirable it is to have international church appointments to committees needing clearance under English law. "
Why does this bother you so? Is there any indication that an English authority would actually interfere with an appointment? Or is it just that English law, having established an empathy for LGBT rights, bothers the heck out of you?
"The infrequently meeting ACC may end up more irrelevant if it is simply an international church body that worries itself over the laws of a single national entity. But that seems like a desirable feature so far as you are concerned. - cseitz -
But not, Christopher, as far as YOU are concnered!
I'm sorry you seem to find ACC 'irrelevant'. But then, that would agree with your own sodality - ACI (The 'Anglican Communion Institute' in North America) and its allies in ACNA, wouldn't it?
Contrarily, the rest of the Communion Provinces - apart from GAFCON - seem qwuite content that ACC16 appears to have resisted the Covenant, or any power-broking by the Primates' Conference to 'discipline' TEC and other forward-looking Provinces that want to welcome LGBTQI clergy and laity into the bosom of the Church.
Indeed, with its eirenic desire to 'dwell together in unity', in order to concentrate on the more pressing needs of the world, the ACC would appear to be a better form of cohesion that any other 'Instrument of Unity' at this present time.
When the dust settles, if the ACC is largely viewed as something like a UK charitable organisation; which meets very infrequently on top of that; and passes resolutions that have no effect, or are confusedly set forth so as to gain consent, it will have ceased to be anything of much consequence altogether.
One might even have the sense that +Welby and +JI-F already know this.
P O'Neil. You sound more worked up than I am!
I think the ACC will lose its character and significance if it is forced to think of itself as an English charitable entity. It ought to be free to make any appointments it wishes, and to decide to withdraw some.
But I am simply restating what I thought was obvious. And I am indeed glad your comment focused on money matters (who could be sued?) and not theologically substantive issues in respect of the ACC.
"... if the ACC is largely viewed as something like a UK charitable organisation; which meets very infrequently on top of that; and passes resolutions that have no effect, or are confusedly set forth so as to gain consent, it will have ceased to be anything of much consequence altogether."
Ahh, now we get to the heart of Dr. Seitz's problem. He very much would like the ACC to be the "legislative body" of a Communion that holds real power over its constituent churches, able to make them toe the line on the issues he cares about (like LGBT matters, presumably).
@ Father Ron, no worries about the ACC being 'irrelevant'. The fact that so many conservatives have been obsessing over it, and trying to message its outcomes, in one way or another, is evidence enough that it is relevant.
But ACNA is another story. The very name is pompous and pretentious i.e. Anglican Church of 'North America' indeed. It is about as relevant in Canada as the flat earth society. Other than a few true believers, no one here is going to leave behind grandma's memorial bishop's chair or grandpa's memorial processional cross in order to be in solidarity with a cultural issue that is marginal to mainstream Canadian society. ACNA is a product of American culture wars. It might better change its name to The Anglican Church of the Excited States of America. ( :
Nonsense. What a bizarre idea. The remit of the ACC is minimal. I simply don't want it to shrink further. Tom Ferguson has at least got this much right.
It is a consultative body. That's it. But let it make decisions within that remit without waving legalities in the air.
Why in the world anyone would think it important that an ecclesial consultative body need to worry about making appointments or withdrawing them because of a single church's national laws is beyond me.
"Why in the world anyone would think it important that an ecclesial consultative body need to worry about making appointments or withdrawing them because of a single church's national laws is beyond me. "
Do you want the protections of corporation law? Then you have to put up with the restrictions of corporation law. And since there is no "international corporation law"--that is, no international body that can grant corporation status--you are stuck with incorporating within one nation and abiding by its law.
"Then you have to put up with ...". What a counsel of curious despair.
No, you can decide this because it suits you.
Or you can do a legal walk-around just as is necessary for fiduciary responsibility and nothing else.
This isn't hard. Unless you like the idea of an international ecclesial gathering coming under a single nation's legal constraints (England). How odd. Especially for a US citizen.
"...you can do a legal walk-around just as is necessary for fiduciary responsibility and nothing else."
Please indicate what "legal walk-around" you think exists that would protect the officers of the ACC from individual financial responsibility in the case of a lawsuit. Under the laws of most of constituent countries of the Anglican Communion (where any such lawsuit would be filed), the only thing that would do so is incorporation. Since you cannot incorporate under anything except the laws of a particular jurisdiction, you have to abide by all parts of the corporation law of that jurisdiction.
cseitz - continuing your conversation; whose legal jurisdiction are you operating under at this time: the Church of England, TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada, ACI, ACNA, Gafcon or the Diocese of Europe? It makes me dizzy trying to track down to whom you are accountable for your theological convictions.
ACNA? where do you come up with these things, seriously? They must just be inventions of a mind with time to spare.
What is unclear about my stating that my professional academic vocation has required a license to officiate in the Scottish Episcopal Church, when I lived there; one in the Anglican Church of Canada, in order to officiate here?
How is Gafcon relevant in the least, or is this just intentional provocation?
It makes for 'dizzying' and annoying time consumption to try to respond to someone who just sounds intentionally ignorant. To a purpose.
So much for your pledge to cease withdrawing charity, or whatever your self-description was.
The Diocese in Europe IS the Church of England. These are not separate things.
ACI isn't an ecclesial jurisdiction. But of course you know that...
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