On whose authority can members of committees in the Anglican Communion be told to stand down -- in particular, members of committees in the area of ecumenical affairs? The constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council says that ecumenical affairs are within the ACC's realm of powers. What is murky is the basis for the authority to appoint persons to ecumenical commissions and the like. Is there a written procedure and how was it adopted; if so, what does it say about telling persons to stand down? Is there precedent for disinvitation?
Concerning the ministries of the communion, The Anglican Communion Official Website homepage states
MinistriesThe ecumenical affairs of the communion have taken on heightened attention of late. The Archbishop of Canterbury has proposed that Anglican committee members in ecumenical dialogues and inter-Anglican commissions stand down if they are members of provinces who have violated any of the three moratoria.
The ministries of the Anglican Communion Office currently include:
Anglican Observer at the UN
Ecumenical Affairs [link]
Continuing Indaba Project
The ACO Secretary General made news yesterday when he announced the current status of the disposition of the ABC's proposal. With immediate effect, American members are asked to stand down. Further, inquiries have gone to the Canadian church to determine its stance on same sex blessings, and to the Southern Cone to determine if it is engaged in boundary crossing (concerning the later the GS pointed to the Windsor Continuation Group report's specific reference to the Southern Cone). Just why other provinces have not been subject to the ABC's proposals is unclear; Paragraph 33 of the WCG report states:
there has apparently been an increase in interventions since the adoption of the Windsor/Dromantine recommendations by the unanimous voice of the primates. The adoption of dioceses into the Province of the Southern Cone, inconsistent with the Constitutions both of TEC and the Southern Cone; the consecration of bishops for ministry in various forms by different Provinces and the vocal support of such initiatives by the Primates associated with the Gafcon have all taken place, apparently in contradiction of the 2005 Dromantine Statement....Did the ACO Secretary General have the authority to dispose of the ABC's proposals? Consider the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council section 2, enumerated power f.:
2. Object. The object of the Council shall be to advance the Christian religion and in furtherance of that object, but not further or otherwise, the Council shall have the following powers:The Ecumenical Affairs page quotes f. (but not opening 2.) and describes f. as an "aim" rather than as a "power." The staff for the Ecumenical Affairs ministry is supplied by the ACO.
f. To encourage and guide Anglican participation in the ecumenical movement and the ecumenical organisations, to co-operate with the World Council of Churches and the world confessional bodies on behalf of the Anglican Communion; and to make arrangements for the conduct of pan-Anglican conversations with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches and other Churches.
The ACC "delegates to its Standing Committee the appointment of a Secretary for a specified term who shall be known as the Secretary General of the Council [emphasis added] and whose duties it shall determine" (Constitution, 6.b.) The ACO is a creature of the ACC, is it not?
The ABC is President of the ACC (Constitution, 6.a). Nevertheless, how does the ABC get from 2.f. to throwing people off committees? The communication director for the ACO told ENS that the Secretary General, in consultation with the ABC, appoints members to the ecumenical commissions and to IASCUFO and can ask people to stand down. Translation: Because we say so.