Updated Friday morning
Episcopal News Service reports that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, USA (a body similar in some ways to the Archbishops’ Council in the Church of England) has declined to participate in the plan put forward by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in February for dealing with some disaffected Episcopal Church dioceses. This follows earlier action by the ECUSA House of Bishops.
Read the whole of the official press release: Executive Council declines to participate in Primates’ ‘pastoral scheme,’ says only Convention makes policy which begins:
The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council told the Anglican Communion June 14 that no governing body other than General Convention can interpret Convention resolutions or agree to deny “future decisions by dioceses or General Convention.”
The Council declined to participate in a plan put forward by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in February for dealing with some disaffected Episcopal Church dioceses.
The statement, titled “The Episcopal Church’s Commitment to Common Life in Anglican Communion,” “strongly affirm[ed] this Church’s desire to be in the fullest possible relationship with our Anglican sisters and brothers.”
The text of the statement and its accompanying resolutions passed with limited debate.
The statement agreed with the House of Bishops, which said in March that the so-called Pastoral Scheme “would be injurious to The Episcopal Church.” An accompanying resolution (EC012) also “respectfully requests the Presiding Bishop to decline as well.” The statement itself “respectfully ask[s] our Presiding Bishop not to take any of the actions asked of her by this scheme.”
Read the full statement text: The Episcopal Church’s Commitment to Common Life in the Anglican Communion.
The Living Church issued this report: Council Rejects Primates’ Pastoral Plan; Insists on Diocesan Accession Clause.
A further ENS report is titled Executive Council puts disaffected dioceses on notice about constitutional changes:
Episcopal Church dioceses that change their constitutions in an attempt to bypass the Church’s Constitution and Canons were warned by the Executive Council June 14 that their actions are “null and void.”
The Council passed Resolution NAC023, reminding dioceses that they are required to “accede” to the Constitution and Canons, and declaring that any diocesan action that removes that accession from its constitution is “null and void.” That declaration, the resolution said, means that their constitutions “shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed…”
Rachel Zoll of Associated Press reports this development in Episcopal Panel Rejects Anglican Demand
Michael Conlon of Reuters has U.S. move on gay bishops may widen Anglican split
New York Times Laurie Goodstein Anglican Demand for Change Is Rebuffed by Episcopalians
Los Angeles Times K Connie Kang Anglicans’ demand on gays is rebuffed