ACC-17, meeting this week in Hong Kong, has decided to change the process of receiving documents from ecumenical dialogues. Instead of the Lambeth Conference being the primary body responsible for doing so, that task will shift to the ACC itself:
The new system was recommended by the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on UInity, Faith, and Order (IASCUFO). Dr [John] Gibaut [the Anglican Communion’s Director of Unity] explained that previously, texts would first go out to the provinces of the Anglican Communion who were responsible for making a judgement on the text before feeding back to the staff at the Anglican Communion Office. The Lambeth Conference would study those responses and the texts themselves, and then would discern whether each text was “consonant with the faith of the Church as Anglicans have received it”. The texts would then be recommended to member churches of the Anglican Communion.
Dr Gibaut explained that since 1998, the Lambeth Conference had evolved into a different kind of Instrument of Communion, requiring a new mechanism for receiving ecumenical texts.
… An ACC reference group will meet with IASCUFO immediately prior to each meeting of their Consultative Council. This will provide an opportunity “for further reflection on the ecumenical statements in the light of the provincial responses and any other considerations,” Dr Gibaut said.
It will be interesting to gauge the reaction from the other Instruments of Communion, especially given the desires expressed in the last decade to shift greater authority to the Primates and the Lambeth Conference.