Thinking Anglicans

Primates gathering – Tuesday roundup

Madeleine Davies writes for Church Times that Primates’ ruling is not binding, says canon lawyer.

THE communiqué issued by the Primates in Canterbury last week does not bind anyone, because the Primates’ meeting has no jurisdiction, a canon lawyer said this week. It represented “completely unacceptable interference” with the autonomy of the bodies to whom it had issued requirements.

“I find it utterly extraordinary,” the director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, Professor Norman Doe, said on Tuesday. “No instrument exists conferring upon the Primates’ meeting the jurisdiction to ‘require’ these things… Whatever they require is unenforceable.”…

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has written A Reflection on the Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury, England, January 11-15, 2016
The Anglican Journal [of Canada] reports on this reflection: Hiltz addresses ‘sharp criticism’ over stance on TEC .

Archbishop Philip Freier, the Primate of Australia, has reported that he was elected to the Primates’ Standing Committee at last week’s meeting: Dr Freier in key role. He gives the full list of the five primates elected to the standing committee as:
Archbishop Philip Freier from Australia for the Asia Pacific
Archbishop John Holder from the Caribbean for the Americas
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba from South Africa for Africa
Archbishop Richard Clarke from Ireland for Europe
Archbishop Mouneer Anis from Egypt and the Middle East for Asia.

Andrew Goddard of Fulcrum has drawn up this list of Responses to Primates 2016 from The Episcopal Church (USA).

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition has issued this statement by its Moderator, the Ven Malcolm French, “regarding the primates meeting 2016 and the purported sanctions against The Episcopal Church”.

Marie Alford-Harkey Huffington Post The Real Consequences of the Anglican Primates’ Censure of the Episcopal Church

Jonathan Merritt The Atlantic The Selective Outrage of the Anglican Church

Mark Strange, the Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness, writes that All are one in Christ.

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Stephen Morgan
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Stephen Morgan

Good to see the statement from Malcolm French! When the Anglican Covenant proposals were doing the rounds of English dioceses a few years back; one of the chief sticking points for reasonable Christians was the threat of ‘relational consequences’ if a province was considered to have stepped out of line. It was the unease over this ‘threat’ that helped to defeat the Covenant proposals in the CofE, TEC, and many other provinces. The Anglican Covenant has not – to my knowledge, been adopted. Yet the meeting/gathering of Primates seem to think they have the authority to impose ‘relational consequences’ on… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

So… from what committees other than the ACC has TEC been excluded? Are there any the Primates can legitimately not invite TEC too, simply because any informal group can meet in any constellation it likes to?
Do the Primates ever make any policy etc. decisions that later don’t have to be implemented formally by the individual churches through their decision making bodies before becoming binding for everyone?

Paul Richardson
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Paul Richardson

Professor Norman Doe is quoted in the Church Times article “He predicted that there would be “other cases like this: stimulating litigation, jeopardising ecumenical relations, making people ill, wasting money. . . It is high time that Anglicans got a formal agreement together on how they process this.” It is high time that Anglicans got a formal agreement together on how they process this. OR NOT! (really sorry to disagree with you Norman!) To agree to reject the proposed Covenant was to agree that we wish to continue as an informal association of independent national churches within the Anglican family.… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Archbishop Fred’s statement needs to be read carefully in its entirely. He is correct when he acknowledges that some people are angry and disillusioned with their church in the wake of the Primates’ decision. I count myself in that category. Such feelings tend to be cumulative with regard to this issue. He is correct that staying will require courage and resolve. The section dealing with our forthcoming Canadian General Synod is encouraging. There appears to be an unequivocal commitment to the synodical process which has called for a proposed amendment to our Marriage Canon with first reading at GS 2016.… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

As I understand it, TEC isn’t frightened to litigate to defend its rights. Professor Doe raises the prospect of litigation if the Primates overstep. Might we see the matter litigated?

I hope not. TEC’s strongest card at present is the graciousness it has shown. It should not rush to give that up.

James Byron
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James Byron

I’ve no liking for the Covenant, Paul, but law has to be realistic. The primates, hard men of power and prestige, are clearly unwilling to accept being a mere discussion group: it’s anathema to swaggering bossmen who spend their days taking obedience and fear as givens. You bend the knee to such men, or by God, they’ll do it for you. So far, their provinces are clearly unwilling to rein them in. That being so, I’d rather have a formal structure, with due process, safeguards, and open votes, than this grubby closed-door realpolitik. If synodical approval were built in, it’d… Read more »

James
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James

TEC’s strongest card is the graciousness it has shown?

I assume that is satire, given it spent $50 million suing departing parishes for buildings those parishes built and maintained?

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

A commentator over at Episcopal Café recommended the article available via the link below. It’s written by Episcopal Priest The Rev. Mike Angell at Church of the Holy communion,St.Louis,Missouri. It is a very interesting take on things.

http://angellmike.com/2016/01/14/what-happened-at-the-primates-meeting/

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

For James, the various Primates of other Churches within the Anglican Communion were not, and are not, subject to the Canons of The Episcopal Church. However, the various parishes of The Episcopal Church were, and are, subject to those Canons. That is the big difference. Taking that which, by our historical Canons, is the property of the entire Episcopal Church, no matter who built or maintained whatever parts of a parish to which you refer, is the point which differentiates these actions, or, in the case of the other Primates, the acknowledgement that there is no legal action for TEC… Read more »

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

I’m with Jerry on this one;if you want to leave,fine, but don’t try to take the family silver with you. A long-since dead relative of mine gave the organ in one of the churches which left the TEC (read also AC) and she would have been horrified if the decision hadn’t gone in favor of TEC. Also it would be interetsing to know in the different cases if TEC started the law suites to get the squatters out or the local group started the law suites to take possession.

MarkBrunson
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MarkBrunson

Jerry,

It’s the continuing self-generated martyrdom of the right-wing; “We stand firm while you sacrifice.” Nice church, if you can get it.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Agree deeply with this comment by Mark Strange: “In the drive for unity in the Anglican Communion we risk removing our diversity and our ability to respond to the particular needs of mission in our own communities, the ability to hear the voice of God in our own situations.” If a local church and the community it seeks to serve chooses to welcome and affirm and celebrate gay and lesbian and bi and trans people and their lives, and their deepest devoted relationships… and to include them like anyone else, without discrimination… who is a Primate to tell them they… Read more »

cseitz
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cseitz

Doe sat on the covenant design group and was in favor of it and of something like international canon law.

He is no ally of unilateral action by a province.

But the plain fact of the matter is that we do not have either.

I doubt that the Primates would be convinced they need international canon law to take up the role given to them re: enhanced responsibility.

Ann
Guest

Episcopal Café has a more complete list linking directly to the bishops’ statements http://www.episcopalcafe.com/episcopal-church-bishops-respond-to-primates/