As reported on a number of blogs there is a draft resolution being proposed related to the report of the Windsor Continuation Group. I have gone to the trouble of highlighting in RED the elements of this that are most bothersome to me, and I am sure to others:
The draft resolution is as follows:
a) thanks the Archbishop of Canterbury for his report on the work and recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group.
b) affirms the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group.
c) encourages the Archbishop of Canterbury to work with the Joint Standing Committee and Secretary General to carry forward the implementation of these recommendations as appropriate.
d) affirms the request of the Windsor Report (2004), adopted at the Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007 and 2009) and supported at the Lambeth Conference (2008) for the implementation of the agreed moratoria on the Consecration of Bishops living in a same gender union, authorisation of public Rites of blessing for Same Sex unions and continued interventions in other Provinces, and urges gracious restraint in all these areas.
e) requests IASCUFO to undertake a study of the role and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting in the Communion, their ecclesiological rationale and the relationships between them in line with the recommendation of paragraph 76 of the WCG Report, and to report back to ACC-15Now to the objections:
"affirms the recommendations" is of course unnecessary. The Windsor Continuation Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Archbishop of Canterbury who named its members and gave it a task. It's report was to the ABC. The ABC in turn reported to the ACC what he received and reflected upon it. The resolution already thanks the ABC for doing so. The ACC has no business affirming the recommendations of the report, not that is, unless it wishes to do so as an added matter of its own business.
Who wrote this thing?
"affirms the request of the Windsor Report (2004), adopted at the Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007 and 2009) and supported at the Lambeth Conference (2008) for the implementation of the agreed moratoria." "Implementation of the agreed moratoria" assumes that (i) the Windsor Report constituted the basis for "agreed moratoria," and (ii) that there is some scheme for implementation. The only scheme for implementation is the exercise of "gracious restraint." About gracious restraint, we have noted on other occasions that there is nothing gracious about a request for restraint accompanied by threatened (and sometimes required) exclusion from the activities of the Communion.
Members of the French government encouraged slaves in Haiti to exercise gracious restraint in not asking for to much freedom too quickly, or for the complete end of the institution of slavery. It didn't work.
This section of the resolution is the point of the whole thing: it affirms that there are "agreed moratoria."
"the recommendation of paragraph 76" of the Windsor Continuation Group report. Ruth Gledhill and others have pointed out that paragraph 76 is basically "Anglican-speak for empowering the 'instruments' - the Primates, Lambeth and the ACC - to enforce discipline. So that paragraph, for all its acronyms and jargon, is the teeth of the thing. The question remains, will the provinces bite?"
Here is the paragraph: 76.
"IASCUFO (The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity, Faith and Order - for which, see below), as a priority, should be invited to produce a concise statement on the Instruments of Communion, their several roles and the authority inherent in them and to offer recommendations for developing the effectiveness of the instruments. This statement should be discussed by the Primates' Meeting and the ACC and sent jointly by them to the provinces for study and response. Although provincial responses could be collated by IASCUFO and brought to the next Lambeth Conference for expressing the mind of the Communion, it will be important to move to a common articulation of the role of the Instruments as swiftly as possible, and consideration should be given to whether these reflections could be incorporated into an ongoing development or revision of the text of the Covenant."
In fact the WCG Report was considered in putting together the Ridly Cambridge Draft Covenant and quicker than you can blink an eye the recommendation of paragraphy 76 has become the Instruments of Communion combined into a new mixture of roles for the Joint Standing Committee of Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, all spelled out in 3.2 and 4 of the Draft Covenant.
Asking for a report back to the next ACC meeting is really amazingly crass. By then, if the steamroller effort succeeds to get the Anglican Covenant in place quickly before the Anglican Communion fizzles, the report will only serve to confirm what is already in place.
This part of the resolution is a "cover-your-ass" item.
This resolution deserves a massive rewrite or a quick flush. As it stands it is an invitation to an early buy in to restraint from action for blessing and vocation and is of little interest to those who are involved in incursions.
It is a mess.