Thinking Anglicans

Further Standing Committee reports

Updated again Wednesday evening

See earlier ACO reports here.

The Standing Committee Daily Bulletin – Day 2

Update 1

ENS has two reports, Standing Committee decides Episcopal Church’s ‘separation would inhibit dialogue’ and Standing Committee members celebrate commitment to transparency.

Update 2

The Standing Committee Daily Bulletin – Day 3

The Standing Committee Daily Bulletin – Day 4

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Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

The letter that was drafted by Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves is the kind of letter that I wish Roman Catholic bishops would write. I hope the Archbishop of Canterbury has his own epiphany if and when he reads this letter. This speaks very well for the health of the Anglican Communion because, these are the kind of women bishops being consecrated. Truly wonderful and most insightful. An inspiration for those of us who are Roman Catholics and long for women in the priesthood and episcopate. We know it will happen eventually but this type of bishop sets a healthy tone for… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Fascinating! It seems to have been an interesting meeting!! First of all there is a formal move to throw TEC out of the Communion. Now we are not surprised at the result, but we have to wonder what the outcome might have been if Orombi, Anis and co had not resigned. It seems rather odd to complain about the powerlessness of the Communion Instruments and then to deliberately absent yourself from the only one of these instruments with the power to exclude TEC just before the meeting which debates it. It seems that these absent Primates have been very badly… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“A proposal from Dato’ Stanley Isaacs that The Episcopal Church be separated from the Communion” Who? “led to a discussion in which Committee members acknowledged the anxieties felt in parts of the Communion about sexuality issues.” Oh boy, euphemisms much? To be a fly on that conference room wall! “Nevertheless, the overwhelming opinion was that separation would inhibit dialogue on this and other issues among Communion Provinces, dioceses and individuals and would therefore be unhelpful. The proposal was not passed, and the group agreed to defer further discussion until progress on Continuing Indaba project had been considered.” Oh, swell: the… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

The update states: “Canon Kearon also commented on his time at the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod and noted the way six sessions had been given over to Indaba-style conversations to consider responses to same-sex issues. The resulting document was, he said, well received and welcomed by all perspectives as representing accurately the mind of the Church at this time.” Kearan’s observation as a generalization is largely accurate, with regard to Canada’s General Synod. The outcome is hardly surprising since it is the result of a process that was designed to minimize controversy,and prevent a repeat of General Synod… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

I commend Mark Harris’s take on this: http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2010/07/five-no-lets-make-it-eight-primates-on.html

I think Canterbury’s going to rue the day that “a proposal from Dato’ Stanley Isaacs that The Episcopal Church be separated from the Communion” was not ruled *immediately* OUT OF ORDER.

Malcolm+
Guest

Rod, I can’t entirely agree. The fact of the matter is that General Synod de facto endorsed the “local option” – at least to the level of dioceses, if not, arguably, to the level of parishes. In other words, “our side” has effectively won the skirmish in the Anglican Church of Canada. However, we did so magnanimously (ie, without rubbing the “other sides” noses in it) and without giving the Communion Thought Police the grounds to take action against us. Effectively, we’ve given the go-ahead to the blessing of same-sex unions (and de facto equal marriage) while throwing a sop… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Mark Harris is right to fulminate over at Preludium, though I find parts of his argument somewhat naive. Of course the Standing Committee can discus this motion from one of its members. Had it passed it would have had quite seismic significance. It might have taken a vote by the next ACC to ratify the decision, but there is no question in my mind that this Committee has been created for the this type of decision.What is more the power of this group (then as the Joint SC) was ratified by TEC’s own house of bishops when it agreed (or… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

The most significant feature of this report must surely have been Rowan’s ruminations on the future governance of the Anglican Communion, expressed like this: “Archbishop Rowan Williams questioned whether the ACC’s committee structure was appropriate for this new century. He said questions needed asking about whether revised Instrument structures were required to better foster the relationship-building parts of the Communion’s life, “so when it comes to looking at the complex questions of the Communion we have a better foundation upon which to build.”.” We have all watched the agonies of Rowan Williams and the many involved with the Anglican Church… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Malcolm, Kearon’s report about Canada to the Standing Committee, a report that echoes what National leadership here in Canada is saying,just does not support your claim that Canada has “de facto” endorsed a local diocesan option for same sex blessings. The Anglican church of Canada cannot be allowed to ride on the coat tails of the several prophetic dicoeses that have left the dead to bury the dead. You suggest we have been very foxy in dealing with the Anglican “thought police”. I think you are correct in describing motivation i.e., we have chosen the path of least resistance. What… Read more »

Ann Marie Nicklin
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Rod, I was a member of GS in Halifax so I went through those discussion groups. We actually only had two sessions that dealt with sexuality issues. The statement that came out was an accurate reflection of where the Canadian church is at this time. When I first heard the statement – read last thing on the Wednesday night – I was furious. I felt that it had missed what I heard in my group entirely. But on further reflection over the night I realized that it hadn’t. What we had discussed was that going the route of legislating in… Read more »

Malcolm+
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I see a sort of parallel between, on the one hand, the American and Canadian experience on these issues and on the other, the experience of American and Canadian independence from Britain. The Americans have metaphorically fired a shot at Lexington and acted boldly in the defence of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Canadians have moved incrementally at Charlottetown / Halifax and placed our faith in peace, order and good government. Even the thoughtful conservatives admit that the statement is de facto permission for the local option, and there is little doubt that, over time, there will be… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Anne Marie thanks for your prayers, but your argument does not hold water. You write “To want full inclusion legislated goes back to an authoritative, hierarchical, patriarchal model that often the current understanding of justice does not support.” This is an attempt to characterize as legalistic the full inclusion of homosexual persons on the same basis heterosexual persons while at the same time characterizing as generous a status quo which denies gay and lesbian people the same pastoral opportunities available to others. It follows a rhetorical pattern deployed by apologists of the most recent General Synod process and resulting statement.… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Anne Marie, I think you are correct about at least one thing. I suspect if GS 2010 had been asked to support a local option it may have failed. If it had failed it would have most likely failed in the House of Bishops–a repeat of 2007. But at least such a failure would have been honest and a more accurate reflection of where some constituencies are within the Canadian Church. Instead we have a statement that is largely a form of subterfuge. But maybe less transparency is what is required to keep the Primates and the Standing Committee at… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Nice Malcolm, so tough on Communion level authority figures, so genteel an exegesis of quintessential Canadian bureaucracy. We have become so accustomed here to expecting Royal Commissions to define our issues, and for government to fix them, that we have as a result,(outside of Quebec) a very limited populist human and civil rights tradition. However, coming as I do from an area of the country with a long standing and highly purposeful labor tradition, one that was usually in conflict with the family compact values you outline here, I see Canada and the Canadian Church somewhat differently.

Ann Marie Nicklin
Guest

Rod, I think you misunderstood me a little. I didn’t mean that wanting full inclusion was patriarchal etc. In that case, I would be considered all those things. What I was trying to explain, and obviously failing miserably, was that often we complain about legalism of others and yet we aren’t adverse to using the very thing ourselves. I was trying to suggest that there may be other better ways of going about this. At our last diocesan synod (2 1/2 years ago) I noticed that the discussion against the passing of a motion supporting the blessing of same-sex marriages… Read more »

Ann Marie Nicklin
Guest

My above thoughts on legislation come not from GS but from a book I read recently – Signs of Emergence by Kester Brewin. In it he speaks of revolution and evolution. He suggests that revolution does not bring deep and lasting change in a healthy manner. Evolution does. What we did at GS opens the door to evolution – to the change becoming more broad and accepted. It is not just about insuring full inclusion in our canons – it is also about a wider acceptance of full inclusion being very much a part of our identity – not just… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Anne Marie thank you for your thoughtful posts. It opens up the conversation. I’m with you in general on several of your points. One can indeed fall victim to adopting the same posture as one’s opponents. Putting something on paper, laying down policy is often just the beginning and not the final resolution of an issue. There does indeed remain a glass ceiling for female clergy in the (Canadian) church. Thanks for the Book title, I have made a note to look for a copy. I’m interested in your perspective that the GS statement creates more breathing room for change.… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

The Anglican Church of Canada commemorates William Wilberfocre, social reformer, on July 29th. The same commemoration falls on the calendar of TEC and the CofE on July 30th I believe. Wilberforce fought against the slave trade for decades, with abolition in the British “empire” taking place in the dying days of his life. He had to contend with deeply entrenched attitudes supported by good Christians. Abolition prevailed, and only recently the church apologized for its role in maintaining the slave trade. Wilberforce is perhaps a good example, of both the sometimes long evolutionary nature of change and the need for… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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The Anglican Communion Institute has published a lengthy critique of the new ACC Constitutional arrangements, see
http://www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/2010/07/contrasting-futures-for-the-anglican-communion-a-transformed-acc-and-the-anglican-covenant/

Malcolm+
Guest

Well, Rod, I come from a part of the country where we managed to elect the first socialist government in North America, so I really think my approach is less “family compact” than “pragmatic prairie socialist.” (Off topic, but have you ever read John Ralston Saul’s idiotic essay where he talks about the origins of Canadian medicare in terms of Baldwin and Lafontaine and never mentions Saskatchewan or Douglas?) In any event, I agree it would be more satisfying and doubtless more honest for us to thumb our nose at the Anglican Curia Office and the Archbishop of Centralization. I’m… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Malcolm, I get the sense from your posts you are “not amused” with the Communion level leadership. But this is not about “thumbing one’s nose” at anybody. I think it is my first responsibility to speak to our own Canadian structures, the decisions of our General Synod, the way in which we may be letting politics qualify our commitment to justice in house. You seem to be very “careful” in that regard. Being overly preoccupied with Communion level structures either as the bad guys, or as the “instruments of Communion” who must be appeased, neither of these approaches ought to… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Some considerations are tactical, Rod. Having General Synod take an up and down vote on equal marriage / same sex blessings would, if passed, be a profound witness. But if the result were greater internal strife, the profundity of our witness would be compromised and if the result were sonctions from the Communion thought police, our witness might well be effectively silenced. By proceeding as we have proceeded, we have ensured relatively little strife at home to distract us, and we have ensured that the Communion has a more difficult time writing us off abroad. All that said, I’d have… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Malcolm, you have bought into the line that debate and vote on same sex blessings would have resulted in more internal strife in Canada.That is a bureaucratic phobia. There likely would have been more conflict, but I think our integrity would have been better served, justice better served, had we been willing to face that. You may be comfortable with a strategy of avoidance, but I think it is counter productive. You write about driving a steak through the heart of the Covenant.Tough Talk. I think you better prepare yourself for disappointment. The same social engineering that was deployed by… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Any given tactic will not be right for every occasion. Sometimes avoidance is the right strategy. Charles Edward insisted on marching into England before consolidating Scotland, and he lost. Parizeau, Bouchard et al are smart enough to see that another referendum without the winning conditions would significantly damage the souvreigniste movement. Of course, sometimes avoidance is completely the wrong strategy. But it isn’t always the wrong stategy. As to “tackling” the national church re: the Covenant – there is little or no capacity for anyone to tackle them unless we organize. The pro-Covenant forces are already organized. The appeasement party… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Malcolm, I should perhaps clarify that I have not been using the term “avoidance” in the strategic sense of, for example, General MacArthur’s island hoping strategy. I have been using it in the psychological sense i.e., avoiding conflict by not appropriately confronting or being assertive. National seems to be very much in avoidance mode and structural co-dependence these days. We need more open critical conversation in the Canadian Church. Bureaucracies use a lot of argot and buzz words to blunt criticism and stifle public debate i.e. debate is somehow “passionate, heated divisive” while well controlled discussion groups with “norms” and… Read more »