Anglican panel praises Episcopalians

Anglican panel praises Episcopalians according to the headline of the article by AP's religion writer Rachel Zoll, on the report of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council. She writes:

A world Anglican panel acknowledged Wednesday that Episcopal bishops are making some concessions to ease the turmoil they created in 2003 by consecrating their church's first openly gay bishop.

But the committee said that all sides in the long-running conflict over the Bible and homosexuality need to do much more to keep the beleaguered worldwide Anglican fellowship from splitting.

and adds,
But the committee had equally frank criticism of overseas Anglican conservatives who have been consecrating bishops to lead networks of breakaway parishes in the United States that rival the Episcopal Church. "We believe that the time is right for a determined effort to bring interventions to an end," the panel wrote.

Read it all here.

The New York Times is reporting Panel Says Episcopalians Have Met Anglican Directive. Neela Banerjee writes:

In a victory for the Episcopal Church in its effort to remain in the Anglican Communion, a high-ranking Anglican advisory committee said Wednesday that Episcopal bishops had complied with a directive by Anglican leaders on same-sex unions and gay bishops.

And there's this from Rebecca Trounson of the Los Angeles Times:
the panel also appeared to rebuke several Anglican primates who had established networks of breakaway Episcopal parishes in the United States, calling for an end to such practices.

Comments (3)

The NYT article contained this odd statement:

“This is one voice, and other voices need to come in and say whether the Episcopal Church has indeed satisfied” the primates’ demands,” said Canon James M. Rosenthal, spokesman for the Anglican Communion Office.

Surely the Anglican Communion Office's spokesman knows that the primates are not authorized or empowered to make "demands" of any province, as they are collectively but one Instrument of Unity which gathers for "leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation," as the Communion's website explains.

In light of this fact, Canon Rosenthal does not help clarify matters for the public by suggesting - perhaps unintentionally - that the primates may make "demands" and that the provinces must satisfy such demands.

Of course, it is always possible that he was inaccurately quoted...


about 2 minutes 30 seconds in Lord Eames, chair of the Windsor Report, says something like this (paraphrasing)

I am encouraged that the American bishops took what we said in the WR very very seriously. As in all things in the Anglican Communion the reaction to the report across the communion will determine its validity.

At the same time we have the statement in the JSC report that the Primates are not a "magisterial" body.

In their communique the primates made recommendations - a diplomatic word for demands. The JSC report is not the final word. The ABC has given the primates and others until the end of October to solicit local opinion and send their reactions to him - so in this respect Rosenthal is describing the process set up by the ABC.

Next step after that? Uncharted territory.

Many thanks, John. My main point - and concern here - is that the Primates' Meeting (and thus the Primates themselves) have no canonical standing to make demands, as a curia might do, yet Canon Rosenthal's NYT quote suggested that the Primates might indeed have such standing. He - and the ABC, of course, as well - certainly know better than that.

At the same time, it remains odd to speak of "demands" made in the Primates' Communique at all when even the Presiding Bishop of TEC signed the document. Surely, Bishop Jefferts Schori had no intention of making "demands" of TEC. No doubt a number of other primates also did not intend to make "demands," but compromised to make possible any joint communique at all.

The points you raise above certainly contribute to a better understanding of what is happening. Thanks again.

--Christopher Worthley

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