Anglican Covenant Design Group lawyer: Primates can’t require

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Church Times reports:

THE communiqué issued by the Primates in Canterbury last week does not bind anyone, because the Primates’ meeting has no jurisdiction, a canon lawyer said this week. It represented “completely unacceptable interference” with the autonomy of the bodies to whom it had issued requirements.

“I find it utterly extraordinary,” the director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, Professor Norman Doe, said on Tuesday. “No instrument exists conferring upon the Primates’ meeting the jurisdiction to ‘require’ these things. . . Whatever they require is unenforceable.”

…. “The decision will not bind anyone — not the Episcopal Church. There is no question of that.” It was for the bodies referred to in the communiqué to determine what, if any, consequences the Episcopal Church should face, he said.

The communiqué constituted “completely unacceptable interference with the autonomy of each of these bodies as they transact their own business”. It was “absolute nonsense” to suggest that an ecumenical body such as the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), or an Anglican body such as the Anglican Consultative Council, be bound by a decision made by the Primates’ meeting.

About Norman Doe:

He was a member of the Legal Advisory Commission of the Church of England, and deputy chancellor, Diocese of Manchester.  A member of the European Consortium for Church and State Research (President in 2010), and the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers, he was a consultant on canon law to the Primates of the Anglican Communion and member of the Lambeth Commission (2003-2004,Windsor Report  (2004).  He also served on the Anglican Communion Covenant Design Group and was consultant to the Anglican Communion Network of Legal Advisers.  Since 1999 he has been an associate professor at the University of Paris, and was docente invitato Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum), Rome, in 2009.  With Centre colleagues, he established the Interfaith Legal Advisers Network (2007) and the Law and Religion Scholars Network (2008).

He made five presentations on canon law and covenant at the Lambeth Conference 2008.

Emphasis added.

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Susan Forsburg
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Susan Forsburg

It is of interest that around the same time as the Primates' meeting story broke, the British press picked up and discussed a survey showing a record decline in people in the UK who identify with the C of E (corresponding with a drastic decline in ASA). Andrew Brown, writing in the Guardian, points out that this corresponds with an entrenched purist view in the institutional C of E that counters the acceptance in the broader British culture.

He concludes,
"at the same time as people have been growing less religious, the Church of England has been growing more religious: more exclusive, more of a club for self-conscious believers, prouder of being out of step with the people it once served.

Only last week, Justin Welby was boasting to the other leaders of Anglican churches that the Church of England had secured exemptions from equalities legislation – and then complaining that he operated in an “anti-Christian culture”. What does he expect, when the church he leads systematically violates the moral intuitions of most of its own natural constituency?"

Link:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/20/no-religion-britons-atheism-christianity

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Jerald Liko
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Jerald Liko

I dunno, maybe we could put away the daggers and the lawyers with daggers and find in this situation an opportunity for humbleness in pursuit of a greater cause?

Given the various info that has leaked since the conference, it seems likely that these sanctions represent the conservative primates' last gasp at maintaining their take on the Gospel - i.e., all the votes they could get for the harshest measure the Communion's most conservative body would consider.

If that's the case, we're getting LGBT equality on marriage and ministry in exchange for what amounts to a few turn in the Time-Out Corner.

If a little loss of pride and a (legally) voluntary break in representation is all it takes to secure a best-case outcome (gay marriage plus the continued existence of the communion), I say we take our meager "punishment" with joy in our hearts. It's a gamble, but the payoff is significant for everyone except ideological purists.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Jerald, you may be right. But it really remains to be seen -- it depends on what steps toward marriage equality other provinces take over the next three years, and whether they show a willingness to end up in the time-out corner with TEC.

So the struggle within the Communion continues.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Uganda walked out when his effort to exclude Bishop Curry failed. We'll see what the arch-conservative wing may do, outside the Communion.

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David Allen
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David Allen

You're right, I have no patience for folks who object to my life in the church. I moved on from their archaic beliefs and opinions long ago.

BTW, Tracy that was your fourth comment for today in this story.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

Amen, David. Good Lord. People who don't "toe the LGBTQ line." It hardly gets more nasty that that. Why these people feel empowered to judge...

Yep. Time to move on from the hate.

I have to say that reading all this hateful stuff on EpiscopalCafe has given me much more gratitude to the church for it's prophetic stand. I didn't fully appreciate that the work happened in the face of this sort of hate and that the hate was still around. I am humbled by the discernment and saintly perseverance of those who've come before. TEC has decided it is worth the cost to bear Witness to the Incarnation who came to bring Good News to All God's Children, everywhere.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
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Yes, it is, Tracy. And I'm a lucky person to have a personal relationship with Jesus. As do plenty of my LGBTQ sisters and brothers. This is the befuddling part of this onslaught of self-righteous exclusionary positions. We are "there," and Jesus is "there" with us. It's silly of you or anyone to say otherwise. NEWSFLASH: Jesus really did come for everybody. EVERYBODY.

The "born again" part is telling me that you are not Anglican. We believe in the sacrament of Baptism where we are marked as Christ's own forever. Without "getting" the sacrament of Baptism, it would be hard for you follow what flows from that.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

Good night Cynthia and David. Maybe tomorrow we can talk about what it means to be 'saved' and to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We call that 'born again' and it is a beautiful thing 🙂

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

David: Because I have a "journalistic" background does not mean I don't have my own opinions. I am posting here as a TEC member. My points of view are not extremely conservative or extremely liberal. I think they are more middle of the road. Your comments are usually snarky and you don't have much patience for those who don't toe the LGBT line. I don't agree with you on everything, but I respect that you have your own point of view.

Kurt: I didn't say the law suits were directly related to deposition, but in may cases the property suits were. You might want to skip over to the thread on Foley Beach and pensions and read that. There is a lot of discussion about how people were deposed and some there definitely feel they were "kicked out" and treated very badly. As I said, not everyone sees it like you do. Yours is just one of the versions I have seen online. I guess yours is the 'New York' perspective and that's fine.

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Member

"My points of view are not extremely conservative or extremely liberal. I think they are more middle of the road."

https://twitter.com/TracyLawrenceMA

Middle of the road? What road would that be?

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JC Fisher
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JC Fisher

Zing!

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Ah, a Trump supporter. Well, Trump certainly tries to project authority and certainty. Like calls to like, I guess.

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Jean Lall
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Jean Lall

Interesting 'dog-whistle' language here, Tracy -- "I guess yours is the 'New York' perspective and that's fine" -- picking up on Ted Cruz's attempt to slam Donald Trump? -- But this is not so much a New York perspective as a reality-based one. Kurt knows that clergy who left the Episcopal Church (sometimes trying to take parish or diocesan buildings and other assets with them) were indeed deposed (the formal mechanism for recognizing the fact that someone has resigned or otherwise departed). Some of those who left felt ill-treated as a result of this inevitable outcome. This does not change the fact that their actions initiated the process.

Journalistic training should equip a person to investigate the range of opinions on an issue and then assess the relative merits of the evidence and the arguments supporting them. It is a dodge to tell someone "Yours is just one of the versions I have seen online" as though all viewpoints ought to be taken as equally valid.

Perhaps the ultimate avoidance tactic is to change the subject by way of coded theological language: ". . .what it means to be 'saved' and to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We call that 'born again' and it is a beautiful thing." Who is "we"? And how does this comment relate to the topic of this thread?

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

I think the definition of "abandon communion" can be used very broadly and in many cases this was applied to clergy who did not agree with what was happening politically in TEC. I would say the $60 million dollars spent on lawsuits is a pretty good indicator of how contentious this Chapter of TEC's history has been. None of these folks, BTW, would agree with your characterization of what happened to them or with the numbers you are citing. I have a journalistic background. I try to look at all sides and discern the facts. You have your version and those who are now ACNA have theirs. I guess you can say people who don't see it all your way are "misinformed", but not everyone is going to fully embrace your perspective. And some who are very informed are going to completely disagree with it.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

And with major losses in Texas, Springfield, and SC.

I believe we have good reason to pray that +Curry will be a new PB and will bring this to a halt.

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Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

Perhaps the abandon communion aspect can be used very broadly. But one has to leave to have it applied, i.e., "resign" from TEC, either formally, or by attempting to take their parish "out of The Episcopal Church" and affiliate with another denomination (e.g, ACNA). Even here in liberal New York City, I know a number of people--including clergy--who have disagreements with what is happening in TEC. They remain loyal Episcopalians, and no one has attempted to depose them because of their beliefs. It's when clergy engage in *actions* (such as attempting to steal properties for another denomination, etc.) that they can be deposed for abandonment. I don't know who you have been talking to, but the lawsuits have to do with property issues, not deposition. Much of the money for the litigation comes from insurance policies (including the insurance policy taken out years ago in South Carolina) by the Church. ACNA probably has larger "out-of-pocket" legal expenses than TEC.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

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David Allen
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David Allen

I have a journalistic background. I try to look at all sides and discern the facts.

I would never have suspected that claim as so much of what you post here over and over these last few days is strictly from the Kool Aide of the conservative talking points.

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Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

Tracy, you are misinformed. Since you are new (yes?) to The Episcopal Church, perhaps you don't know that Canon Law provides for the deposition of clergy who have abandoned the communion of the TEC. By joining ACNA, or other denominations, clergy have clearly abandoned communion. All clergy, including deposed bishops, were offered an opportunity to contest the claim of abandonment. I believe a few did, unsuccessfully.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

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Nelson Howell
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Nelson Howell

Well we don't have enough gay people to go out on some limb and get thrown out of the Anglican Communion. Whole thing is crazy.

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Paul Powers
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Paul Powers

I can understand the frustration and disappointment of many people in TEC over the Primates' attempt to make TEC (to use a British expression) sit on the naughty step for 3 years. However, it may be worth noting that while a majority of the Primates took TEC to task for changes in its marriage canons, there was no condemnation of Provinces that permit the ordination of non-celibate LGBT individuals or the blessing of same-sex couples. Would that have been the case at a Primates' meeting five (or even ten) years ago?

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

It seems that the Primates have been very tolerant of TEC; up until this point. However, they were also clear about there being a limit to their tolerance. Predictably, the LGBT activists in TEC kept pushing for more. Changing the marriage canon at the Salt Lake General Convention was like sticking a thumb in the eye of the Anglican Communion. It was a clear provocation and now there are consequences. If you look at the history of TEC since 2003; there is tremendous upheaval and conflict. There was a wholesale purging of those who did not agree with the LGBT agenda. A major player in all of this is IntegrityUSA, which is an outside advocacy group that works to bring Episcopal doctrine in line with the LGBT secular agenda. See: www.integrityusa.org Speaking as a TEC member; I have to say the politics has been handled very badly. I like the fact that the Church is inclusive. What I don't like is the recent and current leadership's elevation of one group's agenda/interests above all others. Presiding Bishop Curry's responsibility is to do what is in the best interest of TEC and to represent ALL of its members; not to push forward the LGBT agenda at any cost. There has to be some compromise and right now there is none.

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JC Fisher
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JC Fisher

"There are more than 700 documented cases of Episcopal clergy..."

Citation please, Tracy.

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Bill Ghrist
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Bill Ghrist

I can't imagine where you are getting this documentation. Those who were inhibited, deposed, etc., chose to walk away first. Yes they may have walked away because "they did not agree with the ordination of women [well at least some--Bob Duncan is a major example of one who did support women's ordination], the ordination of an openly gay Bishop, etc." but the grounds for their inhibition, etc., was their leaving, not their beliefs. It is conceivable that there may have been an exception or two, but 700?--no way. And BTW, they did not lose their pensions.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

There are more than 700 documented cases of Episcopal clergy - mostly priests, a few deacons and at least a dozen bishops - who have been uncanonically inhibited, deposed, and or released from their ordained ministries because they did not agree with the ordination of women, the ordination of an openly gay Bishop, etc. Whatever your stand is on these issue, this is fact. All of these people did not willingly walk away. They lost their churches, their positions and their pensions. I don't know where you are getting your info, but you need to check it.

Integrity USA is an "outside organization" though, as you point out many of its staff and members belong to TEC. It is not officially part of the Episcopal Church. It is allied with other LGBT organizations (such as GLAAD) and works on other issues (non-religious) besides the Episcopal Church.

The rest of what you have written is your opinion, some of it I find accurate and some I find just your opinion. Issues of gender, sexual preference and race all have their own unique histories, and dimensions. Lumping them all together to strengthen the push for the LGBT agenda is commonly done; but they are not all one in the same.

I too have gay members in my Church. We value them as we value all of our members and they are not separated out in any way. No one is asking people to leave TEC because of their sexual preference; so you are being a bit melodramatic. I am not sure why you are raising that as a potential problem.

As for the Anglican Communion, you would absolutely have to have blinders on to think that unilaterally rewriting the marriage canon would not cause a problem. My guess is that LGBT activists in TEC have seen so many victories in secular society; that they don't see why it should be any different in a Christian community; but it is. If TEC wants to change canons/doctrine in complete isolation, they are free to do so; but the consequence will be separating from the Anglican Communion.

Finally, your interpretation of the Gospels all agree. Well, that's fine; but the larger problem is that many Christians don't agree with all of your interpretations. Many of the traditional interpretations have been changed or 'stretched' to fit progressive political views into mainline protestant denominations; which are all declining, sadly.

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Br. Gregory Shy, CoS
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Br. Gregory Shy, CoS

@ Tracy Lawrence,

Really, you cannot expect to get a "pass" on this "synopsis" of "history."

"the Primates have been very tolerant..." uhm, no, not seeing that.

"changing the marriage canon...was like sticking a thumb in the eye of the Anglican communion..." no again. I don't think anyone said "Let's get that Anglican communion and tell them where to get off. This gay thing is the perfect opportunity to throw off their evil yoke." That some conservatives in very high ACNA positions tried and failed on women priests but "succeeded" on "the gay thing," now that I'll buy.

"since 2003, there is tremendous upheaval and conflict." true in a limited sense, but why stop there, how about since 1776 (American Revolution), 1543 (Royal Supremacy), 325 (Nicea), ca 50 (Jerusalem), ca 30/33 (you know that one).

"There was a wholesale purging of those who did not agree with the LGBT agenda." uhm, no. No one said anyone had to leave. Those who left _chose_ to leave, as they could not bear to be in the minority and unable to control the whole thing.

"A major player in all of this is IntegrityUSA, which is an outside advocacy group that works to bring Episcopal doctrine in line with the LGBT secular agenda." yes, integrity was involved, no not an "outside advocacy group" but faithful Episcopalians, gay and straight, who felt that equality and humanity and love are for all. Nothing about the "secular agenda." The secular agenda does not give a damn for the church, for the most part. Not the Integrity I know.

" the recent and current leadership’s elevation of one group’s agenda/interests above all others. Presiding Bishop Curry’s responsibility is to do what is in the best interest of TEC and to represent ALL of its members" - No again. The LGBT issues are not "above all others" but the conservatives are using a vulnerable minority to achieve their power goals and they are making it "the" issue. Bishop Curry says no such thing.

and

@ Nelson Howell

"Well we don’t have enough gay people to go out on some limb and get thrown out of the Anglican Communion. Whole thing is crazy." Uh, no...

Please feel free to substitute any minority of your choice and repeat that and see how it sounds. Substitute "Black" or "Latino" or "Asian" or "Women who want to be priests" or "Poor people" or whatever. I don't think Jesus said anything like "even as you did it unto those in the majority...you did it to me (and get a past on the "least" people).

Also, my Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Parish has a sizable number of gay members. We would be in dire straits without most of them who do a great deal of the work of the church.

Sorry, I don't mean to be rude or unnecessarily confrontational, but "stories" matter in the church (and elsewhere). It is largely the "story" we tell ourselves about the mythical Anglican Communion that are getting us in such difficulties. We have several competing versions around, and that makes it harder. Fortunately, we have only one version of the Gospels in the bible and it agrees with itself at all points. Thank heavens for that... uhm, no again?

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

I doubt that distinction is functional for the Primates of the GS and those who voted for consequences for TEC.

'Same-sex marriage' is likely for them the entire LGBTQ New Vision.

Don't shoot the messenger.

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Paul Powers
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Paul Powers

Oh, I'm sure the GAFCON--and perhaps the GS--primates would have voted to sanction the Anglican Church of Canada for its dioceses that bless same-sex unions, and it's possible that such a resolution would have passed. But it wouldn't have been such a large margin (27-3-6), which is what +Welby needed to declare the meeting a success.

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Paul Woodrum
Guest

If the primates didn't obey the rules, or lack thereof, how can TEC be accused of disobeying rules that don't exist? Only if TEC does as the primates request, is it out of order for giving precedence and power to something that isn't even real..

It sounds like we're entering the ecclesiastical power box of virtual reality.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

Seems like the LGBT activists in TEC are fine with throwing out doctrine/scripture when those things become obstacles to what is primarily a political agenda. Furthermore, the same folks don't care who leaves the Church as long as their agenda is front and center. That is not inclusive. It's exclusive. No wonder things are such a mess.

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David Allen
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David Allen

1. There aren't enough GLBT folks in TEC to do that, so we must have a lot of allies.

2. We're done with those old scripture arguments, those have been laid to rest, please don't start posting them again.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

Glad Doe still stands by the logic of the covenant, but he also wants a Communion with canon law across its length and breadth.

1. I doubt that will happen, even in a 'gray letter' version;
2. I doubt the ABC is worried about alleged primatial lack of authority for x or y.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

That's four comments. - ed

Well most of the people in leadership who disagreed with you either quit or were deposed. I believe 700 clergy were deposed; sum total. So, most of the leadership that remains agrees with you. Funny how that works. But not funny, really.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

Thanks you for weighing in Rev. Martin. I was struggling for a way to explain what you just have.

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Faye carroll
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Faye carroll

What? If there are no rules and we don't have to answer to anybody why were we told we can't participate for three years? Outsiders? they don't seem like outsiders to me, last time I checked there were 83 million of us in this together. I know it is a loose federation but you still have the entire Anglican Communion watching over us. If we don't do as they say we get expelled, people will walk and churches will close. That simple.

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Jean Lall
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Jean Lall

When confronted with a statement of facts and reasoned arguments which one prefers not to accept, there is always the option of just making stuff up and then repeating it ad nauseam.

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David Allen
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David Allen

Sounds like Chicken Little syndrome.

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Faye Carroll
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Faye Carroll

Cynthia, I am ECUSA and if we don't abide by the rules we are toast. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the ECUSA is acting like a spoiled brat that can't have its way. They told us a long time ago not to go down this road and we did. It is stupid and selfish to ignore the majority of the Anglican Communion. We are the bad kid at every family reunion. It gets old.

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Bill Ghrist
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Bill Ghrist

As I commented on another post, rules are important, but Jesus taught that love is more important than rules.

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Bill Ghrist
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Bill Ghrist

I was thinking of such things as Mark 2:23-28 where Jesus was criticized for breaking the sabbath laws "...The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath." Similarly in Matthew 12: 1-14

And his willingness to make himself ritually unclean, such as by touching lepers and dead bodies.

And his willingness to engage with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4: 7-30) "Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans." "[The disciples] were astonished that he was speaking with a woman."

And also in Matthew 22:34-40 where he states that all the law is based on love.

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William (Bill) Paul
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William (Bill) Paul

Jesus doesn't seem to have separated sharply obedience to commands (see John's gospel, of course) and love. There's a whole lot of Joseph Fletcher's "sloppy agape" still sloshing around from the 60's.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

That's four. - ed

"The rules?????" You are espousing a total fiction. Total.

Marriage has never been part of the creed or doctrines of the church. These "rules" are being driven by human rights abusers. No one has ever had the authority to tell us "not to go down this road."

Each church has the authority to make it's own rules and to exercise conscience.

Do you even know what it means to be Protestant? It means we don't answer to a central authority. We work together to discern the mind of our church. No outsiders have any authority to tell us otherwise, and there are canon lawyers saying so.

You don't sound very Anglican. We use Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. We don't check our brains, our hearts, and our conscience at the door and let others dictate matters of conscience to us. We don't follow the arbitrary "rules" of would be popes.

Praise God that TEC did not and will not throw me, my spouse, and our LGBTQ sisters and brothers under a bus this time. This is the Good News.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Please show us where this "principle of subsidiarity" is enshrined in the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

Otherwise I will conclude that you are just making this up? Assuming what you are trying to prove, just like the primates.

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Rev. Julio C. Martin (North Sydney, NS)
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Rev. Julio C. Martin (North Sydney, NS)

Dear Cynthia,

You know that we Anglicans are not a confessing church but a liturgical one. That our doctrine and believes are expressed in liturgy. Marriage has been for a long time now part of that liturgical-doctrinal statement contained in the various BCPs. In the liturgy of marriage you can find doctrine on creation, the nature of human beings, human love, sex, parenthood, etc. Unfortunately the principle of subsidiarity (each church does its own regarding discipline, polity, etc., does NOT include doctrinal changes. Since the change in the marriage canon is percieved as a change to doctrine.. then the primates saw the need for sanctions. Of course you may argue that general Convention did not change anything.. that it only extended the language to include other kind of relationships in the sacrament. This last argument is more useful and sound (and truthful) that just merely dismissing marriage as "never been" part of our liturgical-doctrinal statements in worship. You know that it has and still is. Otherwise we would not be writing al these lines and comments. Blessings.

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Rev. Julio C. Martin
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Rev. Julio C. Martin

We all knew that since even before the meeting; that based on the polity of the Anglican Communion the primates have no authority to sanction a church. But neither an Anglican church has the authority to change doctrine (subsidiarity does not and has NEVER applied to doctrine (credal or not). Yet something else is clear: Bishops.. archbishops in particular , have the apostolic authority to excommunicate. (For the record: I am not against same-gender blessings or same gender marriage).

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

Marriage has never been part of the creeds or doctrines of the church. Never. People are making that up to support whatever they want to support.

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Faye Carroll
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Faye Carroll

Lawyers will take all the money like they always do. If I was ECUSA i would do as I am told.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

I don't think that is going to happen, which means the TEC will split from the Anglican Communion after the next General Convention. I am just wondering what this means for my local church. I guess some in TEC will stay and others will join an ACNA church. I think they will end up being full members in the Anglican Communion.

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JC Fisher
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JC Fisher

"I guess some in TEC will stay and others will join an ACNA church."

Yep, the same as before the Primates Gathering {slash} Meeting.

Those of us who are committed to TEC in no way fear "turning into pumpkins" IF the AC tries another (non-canonical) action against us.

Following Jesus is good enough for me!

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

If you aren't ECUSA, then why are you expressing opinions on a blog for and about TEC.

Do you always do as you're told? If someone commands you to do something hurtful to others and against your conscience would you do it?

Do you really accept all matters of conscience from other people, without thought, study, or prayer.

[edited]

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Thom Forde
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Thom Forde

Not surprised...ignore the gist of the message and resort to lawyers!

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David Allen
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David Allen

Actually, like you, the good professor was just offering his opinion.

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Tracy Lawrence
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Tracy Lawrence

This is a lot of grasping at straws. If you truly don't care what the Anglican Communion thinks about TEC, it seems the best approach is to accept the schism which is coming in 3-4 years. That is unless, TEC leadership is thinking of a lawsuit; but you've already spent sixty million suing members who have left because they didn't agree with the LGBT agenda. People seem rather shocked by these new developments with the Primates; but I can't imagine why you thought this wouldn't happen. It is the logical other shoe dropping after the votes at the last General Convention. This was entirely predictable; if not inevitable.

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Jay Dee
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Jay Dee

They've spent "60 million", if that figure is correct, holding onto property that was rightfully theirs that those people leaving wanted to take. In most cases, the leavers lost, but it still cost money for the Church to keep what was rightfully its own. Lawyers aren't free or even cheap.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

True, but in some cases insurance paid the legal fees.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

That's four comments. - ed

Ah, but however predictable it may have been, now that is has actually happened, it is causing many scales to fall from many eyes.

People are now wondering--and they should be wondering--whether the Anglican Communion is now an Instrument of Oppression.

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Faye Carroll
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Faye Carroll

They call the shots not the US. There is 80 million of them and about 1.8 million of us. Without the Anglican Communion we are just some independent church on the side of the road.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Faye Carroll, where do you get your notions of how The Episcopal Church is governed?

The Episcopal Church won independence from the Church of England as a consequence of the American Revolution. We have been an independent church ever since. For more than 200 years.

"They call the shots." Absolutely false. The primates have no power to tell The Episcopal Church what to do. They cannot "require" anything of The Episcopal Church.

Don't be taken in by either (i) the primates' wrongful attempt to exercise a power that they do not have, and never did have or (ii) your own apparent need for authority that shares your views.

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Gregory Orloff
Guest
Gregory Orloff

I'm still trying to figure out this thing turned into a "Primates Meeting." Leading up to it, it was carefully billed, all along, as a "Primates Gathering," per Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's invitation his fellow Anglican primates around the world. While the Primates Meeting is an "Instrument of Communion" according to the official Anglican Communion website — though it is quick to point out that "the primates have no authority as a 'body' and their own national churches determine how their ministry is carried out in their own context" — there is no mention of a Primates Gathering being a like instrument of the same (never mind any claims to it being able to enforce some sort of synodical supraecclesial authority across provinces on a global level.)

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Very true. It wasn't a "Primates' Meeting" because Uganda was forbidden, by provincial resolution, from attending any such thing. To enable Uganda to attend, it was billed as a "primates' gathering."

Still wondering whether the "Primates' Meeting" has any notice requirements, and whether they were followed in this case, or whether the Archbishop of Canterbury has been trying to have it both ways, in this as in so many other matters.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

I was wondering that too, Gregory. How an "informal gathering" billed to be about finding "reconciliation" and "learning how to live with our differences" became a MEETING with an act.

It's called bait and switch. The ABC seems skilled at it.

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Paul Woodrum
Guest

Instead of so many apologies to gay people for hurting their feelings, how about a few primates apologizing for their own arrogant usurpation of unwarranted authority. Lent is coming. Repent. Repent.

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efren supanga
Guest

Why do we have or need a church, a communion or even a God at all? Do whatever you want!

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Jeremy Bates
Guest
Jeremy Bates

I am quite sure that The Episcopal Church will continue to serve Christ by extending the love of God to all people.

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JC Fisher
Guest
JC Fisher

Amen, Jeremy!

While I suspect efren is being facetious, he (ironically) sounds a lot like the commenters one reads in secular sources ala "The Guardian".

TEC is the Via Media. We will veer towards neither our Fundamentalist *or* secular critics. We will "keep on, keepin' on" w/ Jesus, and his eternal (though never entirely popular) Good News.

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William G.
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William G.

Please follow the comment policy and post comments using your firast & last names. -ed

The Anglican churches may exist autonomously to each other, but none can exist theologically without the See of Canterbury and Her Majesty the Queen, by whose Divine Right the Anglican churches exist. If the Archbishop of Canterbury enforces the ruling, it is binding. However, the other Primates have no power to force him to do so; however, it would be very unwise and unprecedented to not follow the wishes of the Primates. Similarly, in the Roman Catholic Magisterium, a Pope could hypothetically overturn an ecumenical council; however, none has done so and most likely none ever will because of the potential consequences.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Sorry, William G., but I read your comment and burst out laughing.

You may not have noticed, but the divine right of kings (or queens) has very little sway in The Episcopal Church.

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Tobias Haller
Guest

The Archbishop may or may not act, but his actions are irrelevant to the existence of Anglican churches, which are a historic reality. At the foundation of the Episcopal Church, and the provision of its first bishops, there was no "intercommunion" between TEC and the C of E -- American bishops and clergy were forbidden to function in English lands, by the Act of Parliament that permitted Canterbury to ordain White and Provoost.
On the present subject of being in communion with the Church of England, that decision is made from the English side by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York together, so even in this Canterbury cannot act alone. But, as I say, this only has to do with England, not with the rest of the Communion. It has always been in some form of "relationship" with the See of Canterbury, but that is a historic, not a legal, connection. I don't actually see it changing.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased that Norman Doe and I are on the same page.

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David Allen
Guest
David Allen

Wow, there is so much that is wrong here.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

This just appeared on the Anglican Journal (Canada) news service.

http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/-hiltz-addresses-sharp-criticism-over-stance-on-tec

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Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

All well and good, but read the fine the full article, "What we have with the Primates’ meeting is an assumption of authority which has no basis in law. It is merely the result of assertion and assumption, and the Covenant project would have filled that vacuum and provided a set of house rules for the Anglican Communion to address these issues. It never happened.”

Perhaps we don't want to fill the so called "vacuum", perhaps we want neither a primates' curia nor a "covenant".

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

Of course.

More to the point, the Church of England rejected the Covenant.

If I were the Archbishop of Canterbury, I would be worrying about exactly what I should do at the next ACC meeting.

"Require?" Forsooth!

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roselyn
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roselyn

Please follow the comment policy and comment using your first & last names. - ed

Thank goodness somebody noticed. Can we take up a collection to hire someone to explain to this mob of primates what the nature of their organisation is please? If they don't get it could HMQEII explain by analogy with the Commonwealth?

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John Sandeman
Guest
John Sandeman

roselyn,
Four nations have been suspended from the commonwealth for various periods: Fiji, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. For example, Fiji was suspended following a military coup. the Commonwealth may not quite be the analogy you are looking for.

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