5/06/2009

The Draft Resolution on the Windsor Continuation Group: A Mess in the making.

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:

The ACC

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-15

Now 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.








15 comments:

  1. "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. "

    And here you name what this is all about: to steamroll this mess of a covenant, WCG and all the rest through.

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  2. James Mackay evensong2@gmail.com6/5/09 6:41 PM

    IASCUFO: Seems to me there is a FIASCO in this.

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  3. Posting at T19 [#21] this afternoon, on a thread relating to Sugden & Ashley's unenthusiastic report on day 4 of ACC (WCG's "belief that .... Communion Partners Fellowship and the Episcopal Visitors scheme instituted by the Presiding Bishop in the United States should be sufficient to provide for the care of those alienated within the Episcopal Church" apparently strikes them as inadequate) Christopher Seitz writes "Greater clarity is probably needed on whether ACNA is going to affirm and sign the covenant."

    ?

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  4. I often wonder if the Archbishop of Canterbury is intentionally trying to destroy the Anglican Communion to win some kind of senseless argument (he imagines he has with TEC HOB´s)...his well documented/advertised great wisdom goes far, far, beyond a basic common sense approach to UNITY at The Body of Christ...what in the World does this man BELIEVE IN? I think we need to know! Just answering short/direct and sometimes confrontational questions ought straighten things out...hopefully, he knows how to use ONLY the words YES and NO.

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  5. The scary thing is they will probably pass something almost this stupid.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  6. The real pity is that I believe the incompetence (or duplicity or both) has reached this level because they believe they have the votes on the ACC to approve the Ridley Document. They well may have enough votes to pass this half-baked mess.

    When this chapter of our history is written, it will be entitled, "A Failure of Leadership."

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  7. Elizabeth Kaeton said "They well may have enough votes to pass this half-baked mess."

    To paraphrase the script in The Graduate: Oh no, this is a fully baked mess."

    My magic word is hargerp as in who hargerped this mess?

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  8. Sorry, one last thing -- it is past time for an Episcopalian Bill of Rights!

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  9. Elizabeth - I agree - the mess the communion is in is due to a total failure of leadership - beginning back in the early 20C with the leadership's failure to see what was happening in the seminaries, and then the failure to ensure ordinands were biblically and theologically literate with sound exegetical skills. We are now reaping the fruit of their failure.

    And Leonardo - I don't think ++Cantuar's argument is with ECUSA's HoB who are really his fellow travellors, apart from a radical few, and that is the problem.

    The Episcopal Visitors scheme is just as dead as the Panel of Reference - the only solution is to let the conservatives go with grace, and allow them to form a new province in North America, be generous towards them in terms of removing any objections to them having full recognition from ++Cantuar, and allow them to keep the property they alone have built up. I really don't understand why ECUSA is so insistent in standing in the way of this when it is ECUSA which has caused so much of the problem in the first place.

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  10. Brian F, I'm not sure what you're alluding to about seminaries in the "early 20th C." It seems to me that biblical and theological literacy or exegesis haven't been the issue. Lightening rod Spong is biblically and theologically literate, and can provide good, academic exegesis; but many disagree with his hermeneutic (both conservatives and progressives).

    I would agree that the Provincial Visitors scheme is dead. That's because the internal opportunities offered by the Episcopal Church, which have been found reasonable by the Windsor Report and the Joint Standing Committee, and now at ACC (and which differ from the Tanzania dictat very little except in lacking the imprimatur of certain conservative primates), have been rejected by those the procedures were proposed to serve - largely without even trying.

    You know, in the American environment there's really nothing we can do to prevent ACNA from forming. They have formed, and they will carry out their mission as best they can - except that one part of their mission is to do their best to disrupt the relations of the Episcopal Church both with parishioners at home and with other Anglicans abroad, so as to displace the Episcopal Church in the lives and affections of both. That part of their mission is all we resist; but in that we feel little choice.

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  11. ...a total failure of leadership - beginning back in the early 20C with the leadership's failure to see what was happening in the seminaries, and then the failure to ensure ordinands were biblically and theologically literate with sound exegetical skills.Brian F., so this all comes down to higher versus lower criticism? Is that why you studied at non-denominational, evangelical Trinity-Perth rather than an Anglican seminary? I don't think Anglicans need to be saved by neo-Lollards.

    I respect that your views are different from mine - it's part of being an Anglican. You don't give the impression of returning that courtesy, even though you are here with a liberal (and often Anglo-Catholic) crowd. Mark welcomes your comments here, so I won't say any more. Except, perhaps, do you have any new ones? I'm hearing a broken record and I don't even own a turntable these days.

    (Sorry, Mark - that was so rude and un-Anglican. I shall return to Frozen Chosen mode momentarily.)

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  12. There's plenty of us "neo Lollards" in the Anglican Church of Australia. Thanks for the compliment
    Obadiah Slope - now thats a Lollardish name!

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  13. Half-baked, bumbling, blah blah blah.
    We don't need this! (and that is a multi-level statement).

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  14. Obadiah, I'm glad I amused at least one person with my reference to the Lollards. It's not a problem to be one, unless you try to make me one. I'm sure you have given up on that by now.

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.