Thinking Anglicans

Who can expel?

The Episcopal Majority has published a paper by the Revd Canon Robert J Brooks which is titled Who Can Expel the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion?

Lisa Fox writes in the Preamble there:

Much virtual and real ink has been spilled about what the Episcopal Church’s constitution does or does not allow. Canon Brooks shifts the focus to the Anglican Consultative Council [ACC], which has a written constitution, unanimously adopted by the provinces of the Anglican Communion. Given that the proposed new structures have Communion-wide ramifications, it makes sense to consider what the constitution of the ACC does and does not allow.

Canon Brooks concludes that only the ACC can expel the Episcopal Church, and it would require a constitutional amendment ratified by the General Synods of two-thirds of the provinces. In other words, 26 of the synods in Anglican Communion provinces would have to vote to expel the Episcopal Church.

This article has been linked to elsewhere and comments about it from a conservative perspective can be read here and from a liberal perspective here.

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NP
NP
13 years ago

The time for “legalese” and fudge is over ……technicalities ain’t going to save the day for those with the bizarre desire to stay in the AC while feeling completely free to “tear the fabric of the communion” at will when it does not suit their agenda.

The Primates will respond to whatever TEC says at the end of September and we will see real actions and a covenant for the AC – it is interesting that some hope for organisational paralysis!!

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

As this booted, I was thinking how telling people they don’t actually have the power to do what they seem to THINK they have the power to do would be rather like a red flag to a bull. “You’re not the boss of me!” “Oh yes we can!” Then I read the above! Good on ya, NP, at least you are true to form. You remind me so much of myself at, say, 20. Same arguments, same tone, same basic position, but the issue was different. Sorry to be “benevolent elder” here, but you really need to cultivate a more… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
13 years ago

Sorry, NP, but the Abuja putsch (whether or not backed, or guided, by the US radical right) was not going to succeed anyway, as increasing numbers of Primates were making clear. You can quote your holy troika of past communiques and resolutions all you like, but I prefer today’s reality, and most Primates outside the Global South will have none of this exclusionary nonsense. This additional bit of legalism, if you prefer, simply adds a structural barrier to those hoping to manipulate the process for their objective of “punishing” the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, as well… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

I thought you were taking a break, NP. Short one then.

It would be a huge effort to have such a vote never mind get 26 provinces to vote in that manner. Anyway, the issue starts with the Archbishop at TEC House of Bishops, and then moves to an entirely separate meeting amongst the plotters. And what matters is what the latter do, because their agenda now moves far wider than simply the demands made of Tanzania – according to their own words.

Some real news happening then, NP – right?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

“The time for “legalese” and fudge is over…”
Isn’t it interesting how the rules and regulations of an organization suddenly become ‘legalese’ when it looks like the projected outcome may not be the desired one?

Reminds me of how my own state shamefully responded to Brown v. Board – if the Supreme Court declares ‘separate but equal’ unconstitutional, then let’s have Massive Resistance and close ALL the public schools.

If the law doesn’t suit us, we’ll just ignore it.

Margaret
Margaret
13 years ago

The fact that the Episcopal Majority is even thinking of this issue speaks volumes.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Those who wish to seize power always find a “higher authority” than that which is set forth in “legalese” or “technicalities”. For the AC conservatives, it is “Scripture”–absent reason, absent the Holy Spirit, Scripture alone. If the church is not to be governed by the documents and practices established for that governance, by what is it to be governed, NP? By the word of the Primates? Are the Primates infallible? Didn’t we settle that question, at least in Anglican tradition, over 500 years ago? This is truly what rankles the forces behind the US conservatives–that they are subject to a… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Maybe NP meant November 2006? :o) Can’t seem to keep his nose out. I loved Brooks first paragraph. It explains the fudges distinctly, and why the fudges are so bad, and reminds us why the Magna Carta was written in the first place. We stand at a crossroads, where humanity either moves forward to a time when history and law revert to becoming subject to the whims of the powers that be and their sycophantic advising priests; or we restore honoring the intentions and principles of the rule of law. The former reminds me of the witchery of the Pharoah’s… Read more »

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

Off-topic, I know, but this has to be highlighted:

From Rt Rev Isaac Orama, Bishop of Uyo, Nigeria – http://www.upi.com/AfricaMonitoring/view.php?StoryID=20070902-831713-6007-r :
“Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man” and “It is scaring that any one should be involved in a thing like that and I want to say that they will not escape the wrath of God.”

I’m sure we’ll hear Bps Minns, Atwood, Guernsey and co. roundly condemning this? Won’t we?

Lisa Fox
13 years ago

I was very happy to read Canon Brooks’ analysis. It seems like such a sane and reasonable reminder, despite those [such as those MJ cited at 11:11pm BST] who seem to rant in ever more hateful language. But here’s the best thing Canon Brooks’ essay did for me: It made me step back and ask, “Of the 38 provinces, do we really believe that even a simple majority of 20 primates would vote to expel the Episcopal Church (U.S.) from the Communion?” Y’know what? I really don’t think so. There are roughly 13 who have been consistently and more-and-more loudly… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Bravo to Bishop Orama for giving us all such a fine example of con-evo realignment trash talk – aimed at guess who? Guest sermons next Sunday then, as the bishop’s remarks are read solemnly from every Anglican pulpit? The main purpose Brooks’ essay on the ACC might serve is to remind the TEC bishops and Canterbury that few or none of the Primatial demands and analyses of what TEC is doing, and why TEC has been doing it, have the covenantal force of sheer communion-wide purchase so loudly claimed. I really love the StandFirm blog comments: Democracy has failed. Utterly.… Read more »

John Henry
John Henry
13 years ago

“I’m sure we’ll hear Bps Minns, Atwood, Guernsey and co. roundly condemning this? Won’t we?” asks MJ.

A valid question indeed. Shall we also hear from the would-be Presiding Bishop of the new Anglican province in North America, Robert Duncan? Will he and +Jack Leo dissociate themselves from the homophobia and hate-mongering against gays by Big Pete’s suffragan of Uyo, Nigeria?

If not, when will presentments be filed against +Jack Leo Iker and +Robert Duncan and their Sees of Fort Worth and Pittsburgh declared vancant?

NP
NP
13 years ago

Ford – it was the ABC who got Jeffrey John to step down……he is older than you, right? And for the rest – note that on technicalities, Jeffrey John did fit the rules but the objections to him were on his teachings contrary to Lambeth 1.10 ……technicalities did not save him when the ABC had to choose between unity in the CofE and the sort of arguments put forward by Brooks….. Don’t put your faith in technicalities…..the ABC seems to understand that we need genuine unity and a communion in which people are not merely committed to the rules but… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Rowan Williams gave us something of a snapshot last February when he told the English General Synod: “After the debates at the American General Convention last summer, I wrote directly to all the primates of the Communion to ask about their reaction and the likely reaction of their provinces as to whether the resolutions of Convention had met the proposals of the Windsor Report for restoring something like normal relations between the Episcopal Church and others in the Communion. The answers were instructive. About eleven provinces were fairly satisfied; about eleven were totally dissatisfied. The rest displayed varying levels of… Read more »

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

The Rivers State University of Science and Technology Alumni Association felt moved only two weeks ago to honour Bp Orama as a ‘great man’ who had ‘distinguished’ himself in a field of ‘human endeavour’ – http://www.thetidenews.com/article.aspx?qrDate=08/28/2007&qrTitle=Ekpotu%20tasks%20RSUST%20Alumni%20on%20membership%20drive&qrColumn=NIGER%20DELTA “The deputy governor who threw the challenge in Uyo when him and other alumni who have DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES in different fields of human endeavour were HONOURED by the association.” “The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Kingsley Akpabio observed that RSUST has produced GREAT MEN AND WOMEN and thanked the association for HONOURING some of them.” “Those HONORED alongside the state deputy governor were…BISHOP ISAAC… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Wilberforce wasn’t a primate nor the Archbishop of Canterbury.

JBE
JBE
13 years ago

NP, if you think that, you really have swallowed the Kool-Aid.

But for the record, Stephen Cottrell, the (highly capable) current Bishop of Reading, to whom absolutely NO-ONE objected, preaches and teaches EXACTLY what Jeffrey John does on this issue. I know this having heard both preach and teach on several occasions, in person. Have you?

Cynthia
Cynthia
13 years ago

“Don’t put your faith in technicalities….”

Like ‘legalese,’ ‘technicalities’ are inconvenient rules the writer would rather ignore.

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
13 years ago

“Jeffrey John did fit the rules but the objections to him were on his teachings contrary to Lambeth 1.10”. Evo-porky time again, NP. The witch-hunt against Jeffrey John was, as we BOTH damned well know, simply because he is gay. All else was window dressing – a pretense, and a pathetically slight one at that, to flimsily drape the real reason that the radical evangelical right were out in force for his blood. As to this “Lambeth 1,10” “incessabili voce proclamat” garbage – once again, NP – LAMBETH V.13. Remember Lambeth V.13? Doesn’t count because it “doesn’t suit our ends”,… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“he is older than you, right” The AbofC not by much, and I think +John is younger. Interesting that you see the Jeffrey John business as the ABofC forcing his will on Jeffrey John, while I see someone, like St. Chad, “relinquishing the honours that had been thrust upon him for the good of the Church.” I don’t expect you to know the story, and, since it’s about St. Chad, I suspect you consider such humility to be nothing more than the “traditions of men”. I’m sure you can find some place in Scripture where you think Christians are being… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Viriato da Silva
13 years ago

“Don’t put your faith in technicalities…..the ABC seems to understand that we need genuine unity and a communion in which people are not merely committed to the rules but to keeping the spirit of agreed positions too (i.e. NOT like TEC in 2003 and since and NOT like those in the CofE who take advantage of “don’t ask, don’t tell” weak bishops)” The ABC, I am cautiously optimistic, learned from the John episode (and subsequent history) that if you give an inch (or your friend’s head, on a platter) in compromise to the Realigners, they’ll still insist on taking 1,000… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Viriato da Silva
13 years ago

PS to NP: “Never, ever has he [the Archbishop of Canterbury] spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States…” — +Bob “I see an extra prenominal cross in my future” Pittsburgh, quoted recently in The Living Church

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Sorry NP and others hoping for institutional salvation through their special sort of worldwide Anglican realignment. I would say instead: Don’t put your faith in Lambeth 1.10 as the final word of eternal believer discernment. For one thing, empirical research is ongoing and if you aren’t expecting further surprises in sexuality, including the investigations into what makes people straight or bi or gay – well it’s a good bet you haven’t been following the research news much. For a second thing, as most of us know by now, the passing of Lambeth 1.10 was a hasty con-evo attempt to derail… Read more »

liddon
liddon
13 years ago

Rowan Williams was a busted flush before he was even enthroned. On hearing of his appointment, he issued a statement that although he had previously, knowingly ordained a practising homosexual he would not do it again. He also said that he would would support a Third Province for misogynists and homophobes. So, he sold the farm before he even took the keys.

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

It should be noted, NP, that even Chamberlain eventually realized that appeasement had failed.

Curtis
Curtis
13 years ago

So, who can resign from the communion? Can big Pete speak for all of the Nigerians and claim they’re out of the communion? Just because some of the bishops don’t go to Lambeth 08 does that mean the country has split from the communion?

Furthermore, the violation of boundaries committed by African bishop installations is rather serious violation of something. That debate needs to be brought to a head, because, frankly, that’s some communion busting, in my opinin.

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

WARNING: THREAD DRIFT TO FOLLOW

Ford, I’ve never heard of any Anglo-Catholic praying for “N. our Pope.”

I have heard of (and have myself) included intercessions for “N. the Patriarch of the East, N. the Patriarch of the West, N. the Archbishop of Canterbury, N. our Primate, N. our Metropolitan and N. our Bishop.”

And this in turn reminds me of the tale of a priest in the Diocese of Rupertsland who, during the time of the late Howard Clarke, included intercessions for “Howard our Primate, Howard our Metropolitan ad Howard our Bishop,” the three being one and the same.

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Curtis I agree there is an attempt to communion bust and it will succeed. There will be a communion of those who endorse and educate appalling comments such as MJ referred us to earlier in this thread. There needs to be at least one communion that holds up a mirror that embraces the principles of true justice of mercy and compassion, free or repression or accusations (e.g. Zechariah 7:9-10); recognizing that all of Creation contains a holy spark and is entitled to basic respect (e.g. Zechariah 3) and that all of Creation (including beasts and aliens) are entitled to the… Read more »

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

‘Ford, I’ve never heard of any Anglo-Catholic praying for “N. our Pope.”‘

I have heard it myself.

‘Our Pope’ or ‘the Pope’ in various dioceses in England.

NP
NP
13 years ago

Ford – no, the issue was what JJ teaches and not what he does not teach…..but JBE is right, I am surprised to hear what he says about Cottrell (maybe he is another one who says different things to different groups?) Viriato…yes, the ABC learned from the John affair (when he certainly did put pressure on his old friend to prevent a split in the AC)…..the ABC went on – what followed, in the 4 years we have already lost since TEC’s 2003 actions, was TWR and the Tanzania Communique. Martin Reynolds….you take comfort from that….but want to ignnore that… Read more »

JBE
JBE
13 years ago

NP, if this were true then Anglican Mainstream would have been up and running a good deal earlier. I can namecheck bishops as well as you can, who have publicly preached, and taught, that Lambeth 1.10 reflects neither a real-world reality nor a Scriptural truth. In fact, of course, AM don’t even pretend this themselves. Their argument at the time was that they acknowledged Jeffrey’s personal abstinence, but that it was his refusal to repent of past sexual activity outwith 1.10 that made him unacceptable. Lambeth 1.10 does not (yet) appear on any list of historic Anglican formularies. No-one has… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

JBE – it is not based on nothing, as you know……that is why it is more important than you want to make it (because rejecting it is rejecting its basis)

NP
NP
13 years ago

JBE – just got a reply from someone very involved with the JJohn situation and the diocese.

I am told that Stephen Cottrell is on public record as standing by Issues in Human Sexuality which is why there was no objecton to him.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“you really are kidding yourself if you think there is a majority of Primates or bishops or laity in the AC who are for and not willing to oppose the ordination of adulterers or drunks or thieves or anyone else explicitly disqualified b scripture from leadership in the church.” NP, in this statement, you reveal the huge differences between you and me in terms of assumptions about life, our relationship with God, and the current political situation in the Church. We not only practice very different religions, we don’t even come at these issues from the same vantage point. I’d… Read more »

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

‘I am told that Stephen Cottrell is on public record as standing by Issues in Human Sexuality which is why there was no objecton to him.’

It is good to know that he supports same gender relationships of the laity, as supported and indeed encouraged by ‘Issues’.

I am glad there is so much support for this at HTB too.

JBE
JBE
13 years ago

NP – it’s based on one interpretation of Scripture. That is all.

NP – So is Jeffrey John. He stands by IHS and conforms his pattern of life to it. See previous comment about what AM said *at the time. He was viciously campaigned against because he was gay and refused to apologise for it.

It’s been 1984 for a while for AM/Reform/fellow-travellers, I realise that, though…

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

In fairness to NP, Ford, he was carrying forward from my Chamberlain analogy which, while not itself equating the “conservatives” to Nazis, did set the analogy in train. That said, I am interested in NP’s repeated assertions about American aggression. At what point, NP, has the American Church done anything compelling another province to do anything? Of course, if you were to reply honestly, you’d have to admit that the American Church has done no such thing. Right or wrong on the “presenting issue,” it is a gross distortion of the facts to call the American actions “aggressive.” (“Gross distortion.”… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“In fairness to NP, Ford, he was carrying forward from my Chamberlain analogy which, while not itself equating the “conservatives” to Nazis, did set the analogy in train.”

True. Sorry, NP, I jumped the gun.

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Hi Malcolm and Ford I think that the problem is not American aggression, but rather American inspiration. A bit like Wilberforce bringing down the slave trade. There is something wonderful about imagining a world that the meek have inherited. Where children can play on the street unmolested, where it is normal to reach a ripe old age, where neighbors meet and banter and share their theology and different life experiences and lessons about God, where there is enough food for everyone, surrounding by beauty and sustainable ecosystems and economies. Where we all contribute in a meaningful way, are wanted and… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Malcolm – it is quite clear that in 2003, one province wanted to do something to which most of the AC and ALL the Primates objected….the point is not forcing anyone else to do the same but an attempt to force people to accept what the said province was doing within the AC. There would be no problem if TEC said, “We see Dromantine, TWR and Tanzania and see that we are really out of step with most of the AC so we will set up on our own.” Rather we are told: “We will do what we like, even… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Gee I wish we’d had four years of vigorous campaigning for the Millenium Development Goals. But then some only took them up after the TEC did, and Rowan did say that some leaders had only done it to buy votes. Hmm, I wish we’d had four years of vigorously fighting domestic abuse. Would that they had fought so hard to prevent wars based on greed and deceipt. Yes, they have fought hard on this agenda item. What is really telling is what they haven’t fought for, and the discussions we’ve had about why not. For example 21 December 2006 on… Read more »

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

What a beautiful vision of hope :– ‘There is something wonderful about imagining a world that the meek have inherited. Where children can play on the street unmolested, where it is normal to reach a ripe old age, where neighbors meet and banter and share their theology and different life experiences and lessons about God, where there is enough food for everyone, surrounding by beauty and sustainable ecosystems and economies. Where we all contribute in a meaningful way, are wanted and respected. Where we are all nurtured and healed and no one is a slave or victim to another. e.g.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“…the point is not forcing anyone else to do the same but an attempt to force people to accept what the said province was doing within the AC.”

You mean the way the African provinces permitted non-monogamous converts to retain their multiple wives? Because it was fitting within the cultural context of those provinces?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

PAt,
That’s not a good analogy. Africans do not marry someone if that person is already married. I have to hold with them on this one, they tolerate monogamy as part of the Divine Economy, which they should, but they, rightfully, do not bless it.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

Which should have read “polygamy”. Blush.

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

So, saying that “we are doing this” is “aggressive.

Yet an active campaign of slander, theft and ecclesiastical invasion is not “aggressive.”

Positively Orwellian, NP. Have we always been at war with Eurasia?

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