Thinking Anglicans

AAC view of Anglican Communion governance

The American Anglican Council (a body which is closely associated with ACNA) has published a document entitled COMMUNION GOVERNANCE The Role and Future of the Historic Episcopate and the Anglican Communion Covenant by Stephen Noll.

The document itself is a PDF file available here or as web pages here.

There is an introduction and explanation of it by Phil Ashey which can be found at Introduction to “Communion Governance”. The key summary is:

1. The conclusion of this essay is that the one matter of principle that cannot be abandoned without abandoning our particular catholic and Anglican heritage is the responsibility of the ordained and bishops in council in particular, to rule and adjudicate matters of Communion doctrine and discipline.

2. If this is true, then the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meeting (with the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding as primus inter pares) must be seen as the primary organs to deal with articulation of the faith, as happened at Lambeth 1998, and with breaches of the faith, as has not happened since then.

3. There must be only one track: those who adopt the Covenant are members of the Communion; those who do not adopt it are not. Bp. Mouneer Anis is right: when a sufficient number of Provinces have adopted the Covenant, the ACC and its Standing Committee should stand down and be constituted solely from Covenant-keeping Provinces. (pp. 48-49)

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Leonardo Ricardo
10 years ago

It matters little what these self-appointed exclusionist pontificators have to write about, release as holy “fact” and preach as if they were honorable men…the basics of adhering to Gods Ten Commandments have slipped through their non-loving, thieving, coveting, manipulative clutches and are currently beyond their reach…these men, mostly men, loaded with false notions of right and wrong have no humility and have demonstrated no love for humanity and ALL of Gods children…their demands/threats made upon others have long since faded into death rattles that have nothing to do with the body of Christ…so be it and thanks be to God… Read more »

ettu
ettu
10 years ago

Is it too far-fetched to see velvet gloves coming off revealing the brass knuckles beneath? Or were there ever velvet gloves? Oh well, better to have clarity in such a situation.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 years ago

So what they want, if they could only admit to themselves, is an Anglican “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”…or, as it was called before political correctness, the Inquisition.

Tobias Haller
10 years ago

Of course, this is all quite contrary to what the Covenant itself actually says. (See especially section 3.1 and even more starkly 4.1.4-5). But then, Noll and Ashey are past masters of ignoring text in search of a subtext… or a pretext.

Lois Keen
Lois Keen
10 years ago

Holy expletive deleted!

JCF
JCF
10 years ago

{Yawn}

King Canut-like, the AAC tries to command the ocean tide…

BillyD/Bill Dilworth
10 years ago

OK – so this is a principle that it’s absolutely necessary that the Anglican Communion adhere to, but which has never, ever been put into practice? Why start now?

EmilyH
EmilyH
10 years ago

The AAC is more than a “body closely associated” with ACNA, it is one of its founding organizations with voice and vote in its governing body. http://acnaassembly.org/media/ACNA_-_Dioceses_and_delegates_-_June_2009_-_fact_sheet.pdf It is, in fact, a lobby, with as much voice and vote as an ACNA diocese.

Marshall Scott
10 years ago

So, from a quick skim, as near as I can tell, based on his dissatisfaction over the past decade plus, Noll wants to reinterpret past resolutions of Lambeth, and especially of Lambeth 1930, to argue that power in the Communion should be in the hands of the Primates, confirmed (and perhaps occasionally advised) by the bishops. I think it somehow ironic that he also wants a central document to unite the Communion. It’s just that he doesn’t want this Covenant, or, really, any covenant. He wants a confession, comparable to Augsburg or Westminster. Moreover, the one person he no longer… Read more »

MarkBrunson
10 years ago

Well, at least they’ve stopped pretending it’s about anything other than power.

People like Ashey – absolutely mediocre, totally incompetent to perform in any other field in which results would be rewarded – feels that he must create his own rewards in the only profession that, because of its compassion, would exalt him to such a position.

There are great men and women in the ordained clergy; the mediocrities go off to form churches in which only they “articulate the faith.”

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Now, now, JCF – that’s MOST unfair to Cnut!!

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

“The Global South bishops asserted their will successfully for the first time in Lambeth history in 1998. In 2008, many Global South bishops were absent and the influence of those who were present did not make a mark.” – Professor Noll, University of Uganda – The learned professor here speaks in terms of a power struggle – that of the ‘Global South’ bishops with the rest of the Lambeth Conference. Their subsequent absence from the 1998 Lambeth Conference signified their total disdain for established Anglican protocol and procedures, and the pivotal role of Canterbury as host. This power grab continued… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
10 years ago

Mark Brunson

I think your ad hominem remarks should have been aimed at Stephen Noll, who is the author of the document, not at Phil Ashey.

But, I would ask you to avoid ad hominem remarks entirely on this blog.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
10 years ago

Not much sense of the provisionality of the Anglican Communion as articulated at Lambeth 1948 here…Cant really see the Church of England dancing to this tune.A loose federation of self governing Provinces here we come..

Columba Gilliss
Columba Gilliss
10 years ago

So, God never speaks through members who have not been ordained?
Do they really expect gatherings that include lay delegates/deputies to vote to be represented only by bishops?
And, not to notice that bishops are overwhelmingly male? Not that I’d agree even if the bishops were more representative of the total Body.
Columba Gilliss

Simon Sarmiento
10 years ago

Pluralist has made some perceptive comments at
http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/03/verbose-governance.html

evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)
evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)
10 years ago

If we ignore it, will it go away????????

EmilyH
EmilyH
10 years ago

When considering this work, it is important to remember who Stephen Noll is, his beliefs and contacts. It is important to remember that it was he who co-authored the draft of the CAPA Road to Lambeth document. This document approved by the Uganda House of Bishops, two years after Noll’s arrival, was clear that the Road did not need to run through Canterbury. It is also important to remember that Noll served as associate pastor of the charismatic Truro Episcopal Church, (a now CANA congregation and principle in the Virginia cases litigation). It is also important to remember that, prior… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Thank you, Emily, for this – not-too-surprising revelation of the provenance of Dr. Stephen Noll now Professor at the University of uganda. One can have little doubt that his background provides him with the perfect skills to influence the Anglican Church of Uganda’s current attitude toward the LGBT community – not only in Uganda, but throughout the whole Communion. It is time Canterbury, and the Lambeth Fathers, took note of this cleric/academic’s poisonous rhetoric against LGBTs; and of his charismatic reliance upon what he would call his discernment of the ‘evil’ within the sexual lives of those who are intrinsically… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
10 years ago

oh dear. Perhaps he needs to lay off Revelation and read the Sermon on the Mount / Plain each day in Lent ? ‘In his recent book, Angels of Light, Powers of Darkness, Noll declares that “hedging out the demons is a particular responsibility of the church in its mission strategy and its inner discipline.”16 He agrees with Peter Wagner’s belief in the necessity of spiritual warfare to eliminate ‘territorial spirits’ in the mission field as well.17 Noll is especially interested in apocalyptic scenarios in which the ‘active role in holy war’ is transferred from ‘the angels to the Christian… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

“What Dr. Noll is suggesting is another attempt at a coup, this time not concerning the replacement of The Episcopal Church with the Anglican Church in North America, but about the replacement of The Anglican Communion as a communion of churches with a new improved Worldwide Anglican Church, righteously led by the pure.” – Mark Harris – I think Mark has put his finger on the essence of what Prof. Noll is proposing in his essay on what he is disposed to call ‘Anglican Governance’. it would appear to be nothing more nor less than the arrogant highjacking of power… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 years ago

So what they want, if they could only admit to themselves, is an Anglican “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”…or, as it was called before political correctness, the Inquisition.

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