Thinking Anglicans

ACC votes to add Primates to membership

ENS reports:

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
ACC votes to add Primates to membership
By Neva Rae Fox
ENS 062205-3
[ENS, Nottingham] — After discussion in three business sessions, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) voted June 22 to change its constitution to include the 37 Primates as ex officio members, thereby increasing the membership from 78 to 115.

Originally introduced at Monday’s session, the action included a provision to attempt to ensure balance for clergy and lay members. Under the new configuration, laity representation would no longer be the majority of the ACC, one of the four “instruments of unity” within the Anglican Communion. (A detailed ENS report will follow.)

link to ENS report here (covers a number of other items as well)

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Jim PrattThe Rev'd Lois KeenIrenaeusW. MorrisonSean Recent comment authors
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Simon
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So the only one of the Instruments of Communion that includes lay people, already in danger of being sidelined within the Communion, has just voted to dilute its lay membership with the Primates.

This sounds like an episcopal take-over. Or will the Primates’ Meeting now be dissloved into the ACC?

R. Fletcher
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R. Fletcher

With the decision of the ACC to include the primates as ex officio members we seem to be now further down the slope to becoming a clerical church with laity in the minority. I wonder what “wisdom” has led the ACC to make this decision.

Sean
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“This sounds like an episcopal take-over” I am sorry to have to break it to you, but for better or worse the Anglican Communion IS an Episcopal church. That means that for better or worse, bishops are in charge. Personally I don’t like this move since the ACC is CONSULTATIVE (the clue is in the name guys) not executive – the primates already ARE in charge. There should be a clear division but I guess the problem is that the ACC is seen as an executive body. But let’s not have any talk of an episcopal take over – the… Read more »

W. Morrison
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W. Morrison

This means that those provinces which have only 1 member on ACC will now be represented by their primates, thus depriving clergy and lay people of a chance to participate in the life of the “wider” church. The primates now sit literally on 3 of the “Instruments of Unity” (and figuratively, I’m afraid, on the fourth).

Irenaeus
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Irenaeus

I would defend this change as a transitional measure to deal with Lambeth foot-dragging against the Anglican Communion’s Global South majority. Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council secretariat have used their organizational advantages (such as control of the agenda) to derail or undercut action by orthodox leaders of the Global South. Moreover, ECUSA adroitly used its funding of the council to exert a disproportionate (and in my view, baleful) influence. Although the council had a nominally representative structure, it was too often stage-managed to achieve unrepresentative results by a rich-country, reappraising minority — and by bureaucrats who were supposed to… Read more »

The Rev'd Lois Keen
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The Rev'd Lois Keen

Dear Friends, Doesn’t “ex officio” mean the newly-added primates to the ACC don’t have a vote? For instance, in a parish I served recently, the retiring Senior, or Rector’s, Warden can sit on the Vestry, or Parish Council, for one year ex officio, with voice but no vote. Can an “ex officio” representative take the place of a voting member on the ACC? Please help me out on this. With regard to the word “Episcopal” in the name of my church, ECUSA, being taken to mean a church run by bishops, the Episcopal Church was born after the American Revolution… Read more »

Jim Pratt
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Jim Pratt

The ACC is supposed to bring together representatives from all provinces to talk with each other, to offer different voices from around the Communion for the ABC to hear, and to build cooperation among provinces. It seems like by including the primates, the agenda is to turn it into a legislative body, with synodical powers (what’s the next step, enforcing its decisions by removing bishops or expelling provinces?)