Not so fast, episcopal bandits

Updated with Episcopal News Service story.

Do you think that Lambeth Palace has a policy under which it withholds information that would be beneficial to the Episcopal Church until the press is no longer paying attention? The palace was missing in action yesterday when reporters were writing their stories about the gathering of conservative Anglicans in Wheaton yesterday, so papers are full of speculation about whether and when the conservatives' proposed province will be ratified.

Now, one day late, the palace dumps this pail of cold water on the conservatives' plans for Communion-wide recognition:

"There are clear guidelines set out in the Anglican Consultative Council Reports, notably ACC 10 in 1996 (resolution 12), detailing the steps necessary for the amendments of existing provincial constitutions and the creation of new provinces. Once begun, any of these processes will take years to complete. In relation to the recent announcement from the meeting of the Common Cause Partnership in Chicago, the process has not yet begun."

The ACC10 resolution is available here. Read it and recognize how little regard the conservatives have for the rules that the Communion has established to govern itself.

The likelihood of this proposed province will receive any official recognition from the Communion suddenly seems rather dim, primarily because it seems unlikely the conservatives will submit to this process.

Comments (2)

Well, we never really thought, did we, that the folks wanting this new entity, this "new province," were committed to ACC procedures? After all, they seem so little committed to anyone else's, unless it's an opportunity to challenge. That said, we have more than enough history of folks who want to respect the rules not knowing the rules for lack of research and/or guidance. That's why we end up, all too often, reinventing the wheel.

That said, the import of timing on this announcement is to confront the GAFCON/FOCA primates before the meeting they've scheduled tomorrow with Canterbury. With less than 15 months to the next ACC meeting, regardless of anything else, there's no pushing for a decision at that meeting. We know these folks don't respect (or, in many cases, even recognize) the existing "metropolitical authorities" in the provinces affected. They might argue that the General Secretary has known about this for some time, and has only missed involvement through not "taking them seriously." However, they won't, I think, be able to push the 15 month time frame, or the application process that has to precede polling the primates.

Of course, for them this may simply be another opportunity to say, "Canterbury is no longer relevant." That position won't help with recognition from anyone not already committed.

Marshall Scott

ACC 10 Resolution 12 says "affirms the guidelines set out in previous Council resolutions."

So let's back up to ACC 1 and work forward. (Oh my, I suppose one should work backwards, but anyway....)

Resolution 21: Creating and Dividing Provinces says "There must be the good will of the existing province in order not to create difficulties of disunity after division."

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