Thinking Anglicans

ECUSA Exec Council declines primates' proposal

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.

Update
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

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Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

An appropriate response to the bully-boys. General Synod (C of E) should take a leaf out of their book next month.

John Henry
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John Henry

In other news, council approved a resolution declaring “null and void” attempts by a number of dioceses to revise their constitution to qualify their accession to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention. “Any amendment to a diocesan constitution that purports in any way to limit or lessen an unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church is null and void, and be it further resolved that the amendments passed to the constitutions of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin, which purport to limit or lessen the unqualified accession to the constitution of The… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

This “Primates Proposal DECLINE” is so 4th of July (that’s what we call people/places/things in Latin America when they are extra splendid, wonderful and beyond descriptive words for beautiful, good, FREE,LIBERATING and FANTASTICO)!

God likes brave! God likes it when we say NO to descrimination, persecution and *difference* and the preaching of fear and hate!

Thanks be to God (see EVERYONE at the Communion Rail I hope)

Susan in Georgia
Guest
Susan in Georgia

Today the Massachusetts legislature defeated the attempt to amend the Mass. constitution to ban gay marriage. The vote was 151-45. Fifty votes were needed to send the amendment to the voters. Pennsylvania has introduced a bill to ban discrimination against LGBT people. California is also considering a bill to legalize gay marriage. Whatever the ultimate outcome of the divisions in the Anglican Communion, American society is gradually embracing the rights of LGBT people. This will continue to pose challenges to all Christian groups that wish to deny full participation of LGBTs. However, the widening acceptance of LGBTs throughout the “West”… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Very good.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

And don’t forget that much of Europe has introduced gay rights policies, including the UK, which is why all this is so very awkward for the CofE

I’m glad to see the US church not wavering.

Tim
Guest

Never let it be said I don’t respond to good news when I see it, either! Glad to see them showing some spine 🙂

JCF
Guest
JCF

To all the stories on this thread:

[Cue the Handel]

Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
Halle-e-lu-jah!

😀

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Bravo!

And perhaps now — in the wake of TEC’s HoB speaking, and its EC ruling, and in advance of +++Rowan’s “sabbatical” in the USA and his meeting with the TEC HoB — would be a good time for +++Rowan to pour himself a nice cuppa and sit down to read the following, which he himself once wrote:

http://copies.anglicansonline.org/tablet/tablet000408a.html

*Remember*, dear +++Rowan?

ettu
Guest
ettu

About time to meet bullying and attention seeking behavior with firmness – modern thought, research and opinion are strongly in TEC’s corner – but TEC has made itself a target by being ahead of conservative religionistas and desperately needs and appreciates the good thoughts and support of like minded individuals and organizations. Perhaps all this seems obvious or pompous but hanging together now is infinitely better than being persecuted one at a time later. Fair warning – this is not a game and the TEC “problem” will no doubt be replayed elsewhere soon including in the UK.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

A prog-lib person might get passing whiplash from either the Primates Meeting ultimatums, the Con-Con vote in Massachusetts, or both. Tired of conservative realignment cliff hangers as the essential nexus of the gospel? Well, yes, but following Jesus has for me meant that I had to become completely willing for TEC – and other provinces for that matter – to declare themselves in blind conformity with our legacy negatives, so that I could not presume to stay where it might become clear I was not honestly or openly wanted. Whew. I guess a pause for deep breathing is in order.… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

The bully boys are not just bishops obsessing about church purity. They are in direct connection with the playground bully boys who drive children to suicide or with the bully boys who made a public spectacle of themselves in Moscow lately. Christians cannot play the bullies’ game, even for the best of reasons. But we have all played it, whenever we have practiced or countenanced or silently colluded in convenient discrimination.

Lisa Fox
Guest

“There they go again.” I am disappointed in both AP reporter Rachel Zoll and Michael Conlon of Reuters. Both seem to be going for cheap headlines instead of covering the nuanced substance of the Executive Council statement. The AP titles Zoll’s story “Episcopal Panel Rejects Anglican Demand.” Reuters runs with “U.S. move on gay bishops may widen Anglican split.” Did either of them bother to read the Executive Council statement? The Executive Council did not “defy” anyone. In fact, their statement was humble and pastoral. If you want defiance, look to the statements of the dissidents within and outside the… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

TEC will not tolerate “rebel” dioceses or parishes……so they should not object to the AC not tolerating rebel provinces.

acb
Guest

Lisa Fox: you’re being unfair to journalists. The statement may have been nuanced and polite. It may well have been the right thing to say. But of course the news value is that it makes the schism clearer. The whole point is that TEC was told to do something — at risk of unspecified consequences — and has now point blank refused. Good on them, I say. But this is a statement with a clear power-political meaning, and that is what ought to be in the headline. NP — one obvious difference is that TEC is a legally constituted entity… Read more »

Colin Coward
Guest

NP, TEC isn’t being intolerant of “rebel” dioceses, is it? It is reminding/telling dioceses that there is no legal way in which they can not accede to the Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church and that any diocesan action that removes that accession from its constitution is “null and void.” I am disappointed in you, NP. Yet again you are deliberately distorting truth and reality, to accord with a version of reality that you wish to believe in yourself. But it isn’t true. The Anglican Communion isn’t tolerating rebel Provinces. That is why the Archbishop of Canterbury has not… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

So, Colin, if TEC is not a rebel Province, what was the Tanzania Communique all about and why are we waiting for clear statements from TEC at the end of September?

Clearly, TEC is out of step with the AC or we would not have had Dromantine, TWR and the Tanzania Communique – would we?

Cheryl Clough
Guest

It’s wonderful to see the US bishops being clear that they have evolved to this position with my prayer, consideration and discussion. It is wonderful to see societies seeing a need to offer dignity to all its citizens. There is now an onus on us to say that as souls are given legal entitlements, that brings obligations to behave in a civilized manner. God knows, the world could do with the Anglican Communion leaders demonstrating the ability to engage in dialogue, behave in a moderate manner (even with people we personally might detest) and to be prepared to ensure that… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Quick comment about news coverage – reporters don’t write the headlines for their stories – and yes, conflict sells more papers than nuance – if it bleeds, it leads. That said, I do wish the word ‘split’ could be excised from both text and headlines. That word implies something like a 50/50 division, when in fact those who refuse to accept decisions of the overwhelming majority of TEC comprise far less than 50%. Even when it seems that a large number are leaving TEC – as in Colorado – the actual numbers of those who vote to leave are far… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

As the back-and-forth between NP and Colin makes clear, the old adage still obtains: “One person’s rebel is another person’s freedom fighter.” (Of course, for some of us that brings up the question George Carlin asked: “If fire fighters fight fires, and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?”) At the same time, NP, the term “rebel” implies an institutional structure, and not simply a body of opinion. The Executive Council responded within the context of an institutional structure to actions of institutions in the same institutional structure – dioceses within the Episcopal Church. To violate the constitutional… Read more »

EPfizH
Guest
EPfizH

For me there is a major problem with Reuters and even the NYT reporting of all this. The document produced by tne Ex. Com. addresses the primatial scheme as proposed by Tanzania (vs. that proposed by +Jefferts Schori the American primate) It does not address the content of either of the “requests/ultimatums” in the Tanzanian communique i.e a moratrium on same sex blessings and an agreement not to consecrate a bishop in a same sex relationship. It questions the authority of the primates to make such demands and it states that, given TEC polity, the Executive Council could not make… Read more »

Ormonde Plater
Guest
Ormonde Plater

The statement and the press release give a conflicting message. Does GC interpret its own resolutions? Or does nobody interpret them?

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

NP loves to make broad-brush statements, trying to make everyone believe that TEC is being rejected by the many provinces which constitute the Anglican Communion. Then, every time he/she is called to account for the lack of truth to such statements, based upon the increasing number of Anglican provinces now rejecting the attempted fundamentalist putsch, NP simply repeats the statements, or rephrases them, so that his/her theme is endlessly repeated. That tactic reminds me of tactical quotes attributed to two masters of the perpetual ever-repeating falsehood: “A lie told often enough becomes truth.” – Vladimir Lenin “If you tell a… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

To Lisa: It is worth noting that reporters (apart from some columnists) don’t write the headlines for their own stories.

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

Further to the WWII references, I offer the following quotation: “Liberals are seeking to destroy our Communion and the Episcopal Church is threatening us ith its money. The Communion is in danger, yes, danger, from within and without. We need new laws and covenants. Without new laws and covenants, our Communion cannot survive.” Does this seem an accurate portrayal of the “conservative” position? Consider – change the word “Liberals” to Communists;” change “Communion” for successively “country,” “republic” and “nation;” change “new laws and covenants” for “law and order.” You now have a quotation from Adolph Hitler when he was still… Read more »

Oriscus
Guest
Oriscus

Godwin’s Law violations help nobody.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

A reader wants to appreciate NP for sticking to his/her guns, but then the awareness of the persistent brinkmanship that tilts consistently near to bearing false witness against all sorts of different neighbors. And one hesitates, maybe. Is TEC a province in foppish or adolescent rebellion against the wisdom of the ages and the unchanged truths of revelation about queer folks being dirty, danger, and repugnant to both believers and God? Or is TEC – and here the sound bites must expand to mention others at all levels of worldwide Anglican Communion life – a statistical minority believer voice, fully… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

No-one has violated Goodwin’s Law, Oriscus – on the contrary, it seems to be alive and well in these parts. Be thankful that the rather descriptive American term “ChristiaNazi” has not raised its head.

Susan in Georgia
Guest
Susan in Georgia

In re: World War II, the church and gays in the US military. Pres. Truman’s integration of the U.S. armed forces following World War II had a large effect on the participation of African-Americans in US public life. Bob Barr, a prominent American conservative, has demanded that gays be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. armned forces. There is rising pressure from the courts and from other groups for the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And the military’s expulsion of dozens gay Arabic linguists is regarded as having seriously damaged “national security.” If gays are allowed to serve… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Jerry You might like this rabbinic interpretation of the “Boy who Cried Wolf” parable http://www.torah.org/learning/integrity/wolf1.html There’s also nothing wrong with tolerating a bit of mudslinging. Sure, the mud sticks for a while (in Eve’s case a few thousand centuries), but eventually God cleanses even the most vilified. I love Isaiah 52:2 “Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck,O captive Daughter of Zion.” It also reminds me of that scene from Predator where Arnie comes up out of the mud to save himself and humanity. I don’t mind getting dirty… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Susan in Georgia said,
“If gays are allowed to serve openly in the US forces, then conservative evangelical attempts to deny full participation in the church to LGBT persons will suffer an irrecoverable blow.”

I’m not sure I follow the logic. The US military has atomic bombs, but the Anglican Communion takes a dim view on WMD – are we in error there? Are we adding the Uniform Code of Military Justice to Scripture, tradition, reason and ?

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Chris posted the following: Susan in Georgia said, “If gays are allowed to serve openly in the US forces, then conservative evangelical attempts to deny full participation in the church to LGBT persons will suffer an irrecoverable blow.” I’m not sure I follow the logic. The US military has atomic bombs, but the Anglican Communion takes a dim view on WMD – are we in error there? Are we adding the Uniform Code of Military Justice to Scripture, tradition, reason and ?” As a retired officer of the US Armed Forces, let me help Chris to understand the significance of… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I recognise with Jerry and Susan’s insight that honestly acknowledging GLBTs in the US military would culturally knock a bit hole in the US’s religious bigotry. There is also an illusion that if they don’t acknowledge them, that somehow the US armed forces are more “holy” than their opponents. There’s a few problems with that paradigm. The first and most obvious is that the world knows there are GLBTs in the US military as the vectors for AIDS pandemics were made manifest it became clear there were many male to male interactions have happened in the communities in which the… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Jerry – That doesn’t help at all since labeling anyone who disagrees with you a “fundamentalist” is unhelpful and childish. This type of attack distracts from your argument.

One can humbly, prayerfully and reasonably look at what we know of God, believe homosexuality is a sin and not be a fundamentalist. Names such as John Stott, NT Wright and Billy Graham are fundamentalists under your definition. A fundamentalist will deny or minimize God’s grace to homosexuals while I affirm God’s grace is offered to all and “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

RA
Guest
RA

TEC reminds of the image of a man who climbs a tree, petches on a branch and then decides to saw off the branch on which he is petching on. How unwise.

NP
Guest
NP

Jerry – you don’t even seem to have heard of Dromantine, TWR, the Tanzania Communique…..keep up the wishful thinking if you like but I suggest you read the ABC’s time interview and see his record – but then you like revisionist arguments so you can make these FACTS mean whatever you like…..this will not be so easy post Sept 30th

Chris
Guest
Chris

Re: Fundamentalism Two ideas that may be useful here: 1) +NT Wright speaks of a dynamic form of Scriptural authority. The Bible is not a rule book or source book for morality. Rather, the authority of Scripture comes from God (it has no authority of its own) and that God-given authority is exercised in the way reading Scripture changes our hearts and minds to be more Christ-like. 2) I’ve heard this idea from a Lutheran theologian, but it might be found other places as well: A fundamentalist will begin with the Bible in an attempt to move to Christ –… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Oh my. Getting double-teamed by the unrevealed NP, and the half-revealed Chris. Let’s deal with NP first, who repeats his/her customary mantra “…you don’t even seem to have heard of Dromantine, TWR, the Tanzania Communique…” Well, of course I’ve heard of them NP; you keep repeating, ad nauseam, that relatively unimportant triad as if each was the equivalent of the Council of Nicaea. They’re not. And you can keep referring to posters to this site as representing “wishful thinking,” and I will keep referring to your views, and that of your allies, as “delusional thinking.” And what does that prove?… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Jerry, do you agree then that liberals can be fundamentalists as well? Turning to the analysis prospered by Susan and you: I think its weak on two levels. 1) Many, many conservative Christians in the US already see homosexuals as God’s children and have witnessed positive contributions to society. Yes, some still hold to less gracious views. There is no great sea change to follow a few war heroes. 2) Most Christians do not look to the military to inform their faith. Military metaphors are used at times, but those metaphors illustrate an idea – they don’t create the inspiration… Read more »

Susan in Georgia
Guest
Susan in Georgia

Re: gays in US military. I did not say that homophobia would end, only that its continued support on the basis of religion would be weakened by Americans’ admittedly less than thoughtful patriotism. My comments were meant as an example of how social change occurs and how change in one area will affect thinking in another. As a white Southerner born in the 1950s, I am vividly conscious of how slavery and segregation were strongly defended using Scripture. The criticisms leveled at my comments here will not occur to most Americans, who lack their keen rhetorical skills and their investment… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

After being criticized for applying the term fundamentalist, I posted to Chris my own definition: “…in my view Christian fundamentalists believe that they alone are guardians of the truth, and generally will not admit that other Christians may validly interpret the Bible differently than themselves.” Chris then responded: “Jerry, do you agree then that liberals can be fundamentalists as well?” My answer, Chris, is that I certainly hope not. I do not believe that I am the sole possessor of absolute truth, and I don’t believe that any mortal — in any part of the spectrum of Anglican theological beliefs… Read more »