Thinking Anglicans

ACC: Canadian statement

A statement on the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council from Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate

Two recent Globe and Mail reports relating to this:
Same-sex marriage creates rift for Anglicans
Gays seen as part of Anglican power struggle

Part of the text of the second article follows.



ECUSA and Canada thanked by ACC

In the final session of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting at Nottingham, the Resolutions Committee proposed a Supplementary Resolution of Thanks to the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada.

According to the American Anglican Council:

The resolution prompted an amendment followed by intense and heated debate with several delegates expressing concern that it undermined the Resolution Concerning the Primates’ Statement at Dromantine and indicated a subtle approval of the US and Canadian presentations. The Archbishop of Canterbury intervened offering language that was accepted by the body. This debate illustrated that the Council remains deeply divided on the presence and presentation of the North American delegations as well as demonstrated the delegates’ concern that any resolution of thanks be consonant with the mind of the Council, thereby maintaining the integrity of the decisions of the meeting.

The resolution is shown below with the original language and the amended text:

The Anglican Consultative Council:

  • Notes the helpful manner in which with appreciation the response of the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada responded to the request of the Primates’ Dromantine Statement;
  • Expresses its appreciation for the presentations made on Tuesday, 21st June; and requests the observers from those Provinces to convey that appreciation back to their Provinces;
  • Reminds all parties to have regard for the admonitions in paragraphs 156 and 157 of the Windsor Report

[NOTE: The Windsor Report, paragraphs 156 and 157 were included.]


ACC Nottingham: closing reports

TLC George Conger
ACC Briefed on Lambeth 2008
Ecumenical Visitors Bring Greetings, Suggestions
ACC Calls for End to Land Confiscation in Zimbabwe

ENS Bob Williams
Poverty relief, cross-cultural listening in focus as ACC-13 adjourns
Video Stream: Archbishop of Canterbury sees collaborative way forward
Video Stream: Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking central in Anglican network report

The Times Ruth Gledhill and Daniel McGrory Zimbabwe deportations halted until G8 summit

Full text of Tom Wright’s presentation


ABC and ACC on Zimbabwe

From this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

0733 Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams on world poverty, Aids and Zimbabwe

Listen with Real Audio (8 minutes)

ACNS Anglicans call on Zimbabwe Government to halt policies of destruction
Full text of resolution as passed is below the fold.

BBC Asylum returns immoral – Williams
The Times Ruth Gledhill Archbishop attacks ‘immoral’ deportations to Zimbabwe
Reuters Envoy wants ‘comprehensive’ picture of Zimbabwe
Press Association ‘Immoral’ to Send Asylum Seekers Back, Says Archbishop
ENS Zimbabwe crisis, Lambeth Conference planning raised by ACC
This includes a note on the presentation by Tom Wright.

Earlier reports on Zimbabwe
Press Association Bishop Backs Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers
Observer Church hits at Zimbabwe deportations



General Synod papers

As well as the remaining papers for debate at next month’s meeting of General Synod (already listed by me here) the following papers have now been sent to members.

None of the papers below appears to be online.

Getting the Message: A resource pack for communicating the General Synod

GS Misc 780 Bodies Answerable to Synod
GS Misc 781 Children in the Midst
GS Misc 783 Membership of the Archbishops’ Council, its Committees, Boards and Councils and details of their meetings in 2004
GS Misc 786 Clergy Discipline Commission: Annual Report for 2004
GS Misc 787 Review of Marriage Law update
GS Misc 790 Activities of the Archbishops’ Council
GS Misc 792 Implementation of the Church of England’s Strategy for Children
and a covering note from the Bishops of Liverpool and Portsmouth
GS Misc 793 Parish Mission Fund
GS Misc 794 Review of Senior Church Appointments [see below for the text of this paper]
HB(05)2 Summary of decisions of the most recent meeting of the House of Bishops (25-26 May 2005)

GS Misc 794


1. As members will recall, at the last Group of Sessions the Synod passed a resolution requesting the Archbishops’ Council:

‘to commission a working party (to be chaired by a person independent of the Council and the Synod) to review and make recommendations (without limitation) as to the law and practice regarding appointments to the offices of suffragan bishop, dean, archdeacon and residentiary canon’

2. A review group has now been appointed. It will be chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling, who is due to retire as Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office this autumn. The other members of the group are:

Canon Dr Christina Baxter (Southwell)
Canon Professor Michael Clarke (Worcester)
Mr Aiden Hargreaves-Smith (London)
The Rt Revd Jack Nicholls, Bishop of Sheffield
The Revd Rod Thomas (Exeter)
The Very Revd Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury
The Revd Canon Lucy Winkett

3. David Williams (Clerk to the Synod) will serve as an Assessor to the Group and Dr Colin Podmore will be its Secretary. The Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments, Caroline Boddington, will be available to support the Group throughout its work. The Group will also be able to call on legal and theological advice from relevant Church House staff, and others, as required.

4. The Group will be meeting immediately before the July Group of Sessions and it is expected that invitations to submit evidence will be issued later in July. A further notice about this will be circulated in due course.


ACC Nottingham: yet more material

The address of the Secretary General, Kenneth Kearon, was delivered on Friday. It is not yet on the ACO website, but it can be found on titusonenine, ACC Address of Canon Kenneth Kearon ACC Address of Canon Kenneth Kearon.

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Sermon at the Diocesan Celebration for the 13th Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council

Video of the sermon here

TLC Size and Composition of ACC Committees Will Change

TLC Communion is Found Among Those Who Doubt and Hunger

ENS G8 Summit, Korean unification addressed by ACC

Anglican Journal Council urges pressure on firms supporting Israeli occupation

I will add other items here as they come to hand.


ACC: a review of actions taken

I have written this article for Anglicans Online, reviewing the main resolutions passed so far by the Anglican Consultative Council.

The full detail (3 appendices to the resolution) concerning the proposed constitutional change is not yet available to me, but I will add that information to the AO article, and also here, as soon as it is received.


weekend reading

The Guardian has a godslot column today by Richard Harries Jaw jaw on just war. It also has a column by Mark Lawson titled One miracle too many and subtitled The US is a theocracy suffering from galloping spiritual inflation.

The New York Times recently carried a major article What’s Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage?

Margaret Atkins writes the Credo column in The Times under the heading Beware the sword of rash judgment cuts both ways

In the Telegraph Christopher Howse’s column is Pegging out love’s laundry

The CEN has an interview of John Sentamu by Jonathan Wynne-Jones in two parts, here and here


ACC Nottingham: further reports

Resolutions of ACC-13 from June 22 and 23

ENS Neva Rae Fox and Matthew Davies

Women’s voices affirmed in international reports to ACC
ACC considers listening on sexuality issues, Christian-Muslim ties, environment
ACC continues dialogue on Israel-Palestine, ecumenism, sexuality issues
Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking central in Anglican network report
Also, the page containing audio and video links has been updated to include the addresses of the Chairman of the ACC, the Secretary General of the ACC, and the presentation of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

TLC George Conger
Primates Included as Ex Officio ACC Members
ACC Opts for Compromise on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
ACC Lauds Church’s Ethical Investment Program


ACC and Israeli Palestine conflict – News Roundup

Before the vote (on which we reported yesterday) the Telegraph had this report by Jonathan Petre on Thursday:
Church may black firms over Israeli ‘occupation’
and this leader:
Anglicans target Israel
which starts “The Christian West has a marked, and growing, prejudice against the state of Israel that the government of that country ignores at its peril.”

Not surprisingly the passage of the resolution yesterday has resulted in a lot of press coverage around the world including:
Anglican council hardens its stance on investment in Israel in The Times
Anglican share vote angers Israelis in The Guardian
Church urges action over Israel on the BBC
Anglicans Consider Divesting in Solidarity With Palestinians in The New York Times
Anglicans urge action against Israel in The Jerusalem Post
Jewish Anger as Church Votes on Israel in The Scotsman
Church rules out share sale ‘gesture’ in the Financial Times

The BBC Sunday radio programme had this:
Anglican Divestment

The Anglicans found themselves involved in another controversy this week. “Anglican Divestment Decision Damages Interfaith Relations.” That is the headline of the press release from the Jewish Board of Deputies issued in response to a resolution of the Anglican Consultative Council, the executive body of the Anglican Communion. The Council backed a resolution calling for the Anglican provinces to reconsider their investments with Israel. It stopped short, just, of a direct call for disinvestment, apparently after the intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Even so The Board of Deputies said it was “bitterly disappointed” by the decision.

Listen (6m 5s) Real Audio required.

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ACC and Israeli Palestine conflict

The ACC passed this resolution today. Official press statement here

Wording changes from the initial draft are also shown. Italics added strikethrough deleted

ACC Draft Resolution on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

The Anglican Consultative Council:

(a) receives and adopts as its own welcomes the September 22nd 2004 statement by the Anglican Peace and Justice network on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (pages 12 & 13 -14 of the Report)

(b) commends the resolve of the Episcopal Church (USA) to take appropriate action where it finds that its corporate investments support the occupation of Palestinian lands or violence against innocent Israelis, and

(i) commends such a process to other provinces having such investments to be considered in line with their adopted ethical investment strategies

(ii) encourages investment strategies that support the infrastructure of a future Palestinian state

(c) requests the office of the Anglican Observer to the United Nations, through association with the UN Working Committee on peace in the Middle East, as well as through this Council, and as a priority of that Office, to support and advocate the implementation of UN resolutions 242 and 338 directed towards peace, justice and co-existence in the Holy Land.

(data taken from titusonenine)


Scapegoating the gay community

The Co-op Bank does not want to hold an account for Christian Voice. The Bank is taking this stance because of the organisation’s attitude to homosexuals. It says ‘99% of Christians would not support the level of discrimination against homosexuals urged by Christian Voice

In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme Simon Williams for the Bank said ‘They are extreme views. They are not mild views… They simply do not fit with our ethical policies… such as… “Homosexual policemen are corrupted by what they do. How can they investigate cases of corruption?”’

Having seen the Christian Voice web site, which has a large section devoted to the participation of police in gay pride marches, it does appear that Christian Voice has an obsession with homosexuality which seems unusual. They do not, for example, suggest that divorced police officers should not investigate matrimonial disputes, or that police officers who commit adultery should not investigate cases of corruption. And whereas they may consider that homosexual activity is a crime against God, it is not, like adultery, also a crime against the spouses of those who engage in adulterous relationships.

It looks as though homosexuals are being singled out for hatred as the Co-op Bank say.

The Archbishop of Canterbury referred to this kind of behaviour in his presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council on 20 June 2005. He said:

We are always in danger of the easiest religious technique of all, the search for the scapegoat; Paul insists without any shadow of compromise upon our solidarity in rebellion against God, and so tells us that we shall not achieve peace and virtue by creating a community we believe to be pure. And these words are spoken both to the Jew and the Gentile, both to the prophetic radical and the loyal traditionalist. The prophet, says Barth, ‘knows the catastrophe of the Church to be inevitable’ and he knows also that there is no friendly lifeboat into which he can clamber and row clear of the imminent disaster.’

‘We are all butchers pretending to be sacrificers. When we understand this, the skandalon that we had always managed to discharge upon some scapegoat becomes our own responsibility, a stone as unbearably heavy upon our hearts as Jesus himself upon the saint’s shoulders in the Christopher legend’. Not Barth this time, but René Girard, the French philosopher (A Theatre of Envy: William Shakespeare, p.341), once again paraphrasing Paul’s central theme.

I’d like to ask why Christian Voice should particularly choose to scapegoat the gay community. In one sense, the question has no rational answer. It is as incomprehensible as the idea which erupted in many parts of Europe in the middle ages that Jews took Christian boys to sacrifice at Passover. Both are just examples of a group finding solidarity in turning their corporate wrath on to a scapegoat. We can possibly appreciate how people in the middle ages might have perceived those of different faith or customs to be a threat. But what threat could a homosexual person possibly pose to heterosexual people? The gay man is not going to steal my wife, and I know that sex with any other person, male or female, breaks the marriage vows which I took before God and in the eyes of the state.

So is the problem for Christian Voice precisely that the gay man does not want my wife? He doesn’t envy me for having an attractive wife, or see me as a rival for someone he desires? Reading the Archbishop’s references to Girard, is the perceived problem about gay people the fact that they seem often so envy free in comparison with those whose role model is the dominant male? Is that why they are victimised?

Or is it particularly for men who see themselves as dominant, a fear of being raped? Often they are the people who maintain that the Church must be led by men, and that women should “submit” to their husbands. Such men enjoy dominance, and see that view supported by scripture. For such a person, homosexual rape is the ultimate humiliation. This is the story of the men of Sodom in Genesis 19 and one can see how repugnant it is. But Lot’s solution ‘Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please.’ is even more horrific: he appears to treat his daughters as property which he can give for anyone to abuse.

Within a Christian context the situation in Uganda where in 1885 King Mwanga had three pages dismembered and burned for rejecting his homosexual advances is almost equally well known. The young men are rightly regarded as martyrs.

Homosexual rape is an extreme example of male domination, with a specific intention of humiliating the victim. Of course, fear of this kind of activity should give men an insight in to the horror which any woman has of being raped, and this danger is much greater than the danger to men. It is at least arguable that throughout the Bible what is condemned about homosexual activity is that it is not seen as an act of love but of repugnant male violence by a dominant person against an unwilling, weaker sexual partner.

But a loving partnership of two people of the same sex is completely different from that. For, just as one would hope that in a marriage the partners should seek each other’s greatest good and happiness in their sexual activity, one would suppose that the same intentions would be present in a homosexual couple. The law provides protection against rape both for homosexual and heterosexual couples, even where the latter are married. It is for the individual to judge whether sexual activity is consensual or abusive.

To my mind that should be the limit of the church’s concern about homosexual couples. After all, in Britain today, we have far more unmarried heterosexual couples, and they aren’t the recipients of abuse and hatred all the time from ‘Christian Voice’.

In my view the Co-op Bank was right to draw attention to the bigoted homophobic victimization of the gay community by ‘Christian Voice’. Would that others might adopt a similarly ethical stance.


church press on the ACC

The Church Times has a report on the Wednesday vote:
ACC resorts to secret poll to modify ejection plan

And Power is the issue, as well as sex and scripture, Dr Williams tells ACC by Pat Ashworth
Other extensive reports on the ACC, in the paper, are subscription-only until next week. They will be linked when they are available.

The Church of England Newspaper has these reports:
Archbishop’s plea for unity over gay row
Americans and Canadians find few converts to their theology
and Andrew Carey comments on the Presidential Address here


BBC reports on ACC

The Radio 4 breakfast programme Today had these segments:

0609 Is the Anglican Church moving closer to a split over the issue of gay priests? Robert Pigott reports.
Listen with Real Audio here

0750 Rev Susan Russell, president of America’s gay Christian movement, Integrity, and Canon David Anderson, discuss the divisive issue of gay priests.
Listen with Real Audio here

The news story US Church excluded for gay stance has been updated to include quotes from these interviews.


Inclusive Church and LGCM press releases

Inclusive Church Press Release
Wednesday 22nd June 2005

Inclusive Church welcomes the reinstatement of the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada within the bodies of the Anglican Communion.

The grassroots network of Anglican Christians and various church interest groups and bodies regrets that the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Nottingham today was not able to include the North American churches unconditionally. However, that the vote taken failed to achieve a clear majority is an affirmation of the diversity of the communion and a powerful reminder of our identity as Anglicans. Now, we can move forward to the listening process called for by the 1998 Lambeth Conference and begun at the Anglican Consultative Council.

The Revd Giles Goddard, Executive Secretary of Inclusive Church said: “The landscape has changed. The Church is not polarised in the way people have assumed. The simplistic characterisation of the Global South and the West has been shown to be false. Inclusive Church looks forward to building on these creative dialogues formally and informally to combat the many forms of exclusion within and beyond our Church.”

LGCM – see below the fold.



ACC Nottingham: Wednesday

Reports of today’s events will be added here as they are found.

ENS Member of Parliament affirms role of faith in society, ACC changes constitution, receives network reports

Canadian Press Canadian Anglican church plays down exclusion from two communion panels

National Post Anglicans ‘expel’ Canada

Anglican Church of Canada press release ACC decision regrettable, but of little practical consequence, Canadian Primate says

TLC George Conger Council Somber After Vote to Exclude North Americans

Official text of Resolutions Passed Today At ACC-13

The Times Ruth Gledhill American churches shown door as gay row deepens

Telegraph Jonathan Petre has a one sentence summary at the foot of a preview of Friday’s session:

The Anglican Consultative Council yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to traditional Church teaching on homosexuality following efforts by liberal Americans and Canadians to justify their consecration of a gay bishop and sanctioning of gay “blessings”. The council also narrowly voted to exclude Americans and Canadians from key committees of the Council, at least until the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Anglican Journal Solange De Santis
Council votes to include primates
Council narrowly supports censure of Canada, U.S.

Matthew Davies and Bob Williams ACC affirms Communion-wide listening process, members’ voluntary withdrawal
(this includes comments from the Presiding Bishop)
Neva Rae Fox ACC votes to add Primates to membership

TLC George Conger ACC Suspends North American Churches

BBC US Church excluded for gay stance

Associated Press Jill Lawless Canadian, U.S. Anglicans avoid censure
This report also appears in many US papers under other headlines such as Conservative Anglicans fail in bid to censure North American churches over gay issue or Anglicans won’t censure wings of church

Bishop Duncan’s Blog Entry (item dated 22 June)

TLC George Conger Vote on Resolution to Expel North Americans Scheduled


Resolution on the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada

Passed by 30 votes to 28, with 4 abstentions. A secret paper ballot was used.

The Anglican Consultative Council

(1) takes note of the decisions taken by the Primates at their recent meeting in Dromantine, Northern Ireland, in connection with the recommendations of the Windsor Report 2004;

(2) notes further that the Primates there reaffirmed “the standard of Christian teaching on matters of human sexuality expressed in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which should command respect as the position overwhelmingly adopted by the bishops of the Anglican Communion”;

(3) endorses and affirms those decisions;

(4) consequently endorses the Primates’ request that “in order to recognise the integrity of all parties, the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference”;

(5) further requests that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada withdraw their members from all other official entities of the Communion for the same period.
interprets the reference to Anglican Consultative Council to include its Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Finance and Administration Committee.

Stanley Isaacs (South East Asia)

supported by
Peter Akinola (Nigeria)
Henri Isingoma (Congo)
Amos Kiriro (Kenya)
Andres Lenton(Southern Cone)
Gerard Mpango (Tanzania)
Samson Mwaluda (Kenya)
Bariira Mbukure (Uganda)
Damien Nteziryayo (Rwanda)
D Okeke (Nigeria)
Elizabeth Paver (England)
Humphrey Peters (Pakistan)
Enock Tombe (Sudan)


Listening Process resolution as passed

In response to the request of the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference in 1998 in Resolution 1.10 to establish “a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion” and to honour the process of “mutual” listening including “listening to the experience of homosexual persons” and the experience of local churches around the world in reflecting on these matters, in the light of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, the Anglican Consultative Council requests the Secretary General:

1. To collate relevant research studies, statements, resolutions and other material on these matters from the various provinces and other interested bodies

2. To make such material available for study, discussion and reflection within each member Church of the Communion; and

3. To identify and allocate adequate resources for this work, and to report progress on it to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the next Lambeth Conference and to the next meeting of this Council, and to copy such reports to the provinces.

Passed unanimously.


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)


ACC latest news…

Well, not actually. But this is funny

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