Update - The standing committee revisited the question of moratoria and, the separation proposal in particular, today [Wednesday]. See the next post above. [3:30PM 7/28/2010]
News that the Anglican Consultative Council Standing Committee voted on whether to separate The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion created a stir in the comments here at The Lead, and elsewhere in the Anglican blogosphere.
The proposal was rejected, but there are concerns about why the proposal was not ruled out of order, and since it was not whether this indicates the Standing Committee is taking on powers it does not have. Others say the proposal was made by a lone outgoing member of the SC and it was soundly defeated -- these folks are encouraged by the vote.
One reaction that has come up rather quickly is a call to cut off funding of the Standing Committee. The Rev. Tom Sramek, Jr. argues The Episcopal Church should continue its financial support of the Anglican Communion. The Rev. Mark Harris, a member of Executive Council, argues for turning off the flow of funds.
I know that this comment won't be popular, but I'm going to make it anyway: Why exactly do we so quickly advocate cutting off funds to the Anglican Communion offices when we wouldn't tolerate dioceses withholding funds from TEC, parishes withholding funds from dioceses, and people withholding funds from parishes as an expression of protest? Do we really want to set an example that if you are upset with what your parish/diocese/TEC is doing you can simply withhold funds? Isn't that what the now-ACNA parishes were doing? I'm just thinking that we need to think this through before we establish the precedent that we vote with our wallets in the church.
If we do end up somehow separated from the Anglican Communion, then it makes sense that we don't financially support an organization of which we are no longer a part, but as long as we are still in the Communion, we need to do our part, IMHO.
So a closed meeting of the Standing Committee can consider a proposal to separate The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion, supposedly with the understanding that such a proposal was in order. It failed not because the power of the Standing Committee was challenged, but because it was felt to be premature and the Standing Committee awaited further input.Your comments are invited. Also, consider participating in our unscientific poll below. Results will be added as an update to this post.
Given this, why in the world would TEC, or any other church in the Anglican Communion, believe the Standing Committee to be a servant of unity in the Anglican Communion. It has only met under the new Constitution of the ACC once and already it has usurped powers supposedly those of the ACC itself. The proposed change in the number of primates on the Standing Committee will bring further imbalance away from the ACC and towards the Primates, from any sort of representative governance to princely governance.
Before we know it the damn thing will be a college of Cardinals with a minority of minions in tow.
Financial implications? You bet. Not one thin dime in support.
The poll remains open (below). Results as of Saturday midday are here. Summary of these results below:
Mark Harris linked to this post yesterday at 5:00 PM, in a further-thoughts post based on the ACNS Day 4 report. For comparison here is the summary pie chart up to the time he posted: