Bishop Douglas will not run for chair of the Anglican Consultative Council.

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The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut,  announced that he will not stand for election as chair of the Anglican Consultative Council.

ENS:

Douglas, who had been widely expected to seek the office, sent a letter about his decision to the members of the ACC Standing Committee who were at that group’s April 6-7 meeting.

“While I pray that I can continue to be of service to the Anglican Communion in some new way in the future, I believe that my not pursuing election as chair of the ACC at this time will best facilitate our walking together in unity as the Anglican Communion, and that is my highest priority and my greatest hope and prayer,” Douglas said in his letter.

Douglas is ending his term on both the ACC and Standing Committee at the close of the ACC-16 meeting. The ACC elected Douglas in 2009 to be one of its representatives on the Standing Committee.

In his letter, Douglas, noting the end of his term, said he pledged his “ongoing support and prayers” for the Standing Committee members new and old, and for the secretary general of the Anglican Communion. “God bless the Anglican Communion in our diversity and common service to God’s mission in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit,” he wrote.

Last January, a majority of the Anglican Communion’s primates called for three years of “consequences”  for the Episcopal Church in response to the 78th General Convention’s Resolution A036 and Resolution A054 that change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and authorized  marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

The primates said that they were “requiring” that for those three years the Episcopal Church not serve on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee, and “that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision-making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

Douglas said in an interview April 12 that his decision not to run was “not in response to the primates’ communique per se.” Rather, my discernment has been directly informed by the relationships I enjoy here in the ACC and my commitment to fostering the unity of the Anglican Communion.”

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Jerald Liko
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Jerald Liko

I think the uncharitable interpretations of Bp Douglas's decision are unnecessary. In his letter, he describes his decision as the end of a process of discernment. Most of us here, whether priests or laity, have gone through such processes, and I believe that God is sometimes calling us to say "no" to an apparent opportunity. We have not walked with Bp. Douglas through what I trust was a long and prayerful discernment process, and we do not know the details of what he discerned. To accuse him of cowardice without walking in his shoes is unfair and uncharitable. He is a person who (IMO) has earned our trust as a church, and his decision should be respected.

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Lionel Deimel
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The more our church demonstrates that, without pushing back, it can be penalized in order to placate other churches, the more The Episcopal Church will be abused by reactionary elements within the Anglican Communion. Although I don’t know what Bishop Douglas was thinking when he announced that he would not run, from the perspective outside the ACC meeting, his action suggests co-dependence with the bad actors of the Communion.

Unless we resist actively the current trends in the Communion, the Communion will only become more “traditionalist” and hostile to our own understanding of what the Jesus Movement is all about.

The Anglican Covenant seems to be something of a dead letter at this time, but the forces of reaction have discovered ways, with the assistance of a sympathetic Archbishop of Canterbury, to accomplish what the Covenant project could not.

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Michael Russell
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Michael Russell

Not sure where my brain was he is Bishop Douglas, of course. Mea culpa and my apologies for this error.

On the matter of what might be being said behind doors. Fine and dandy, but what is being reported is dispiriting and disappointing for me. The over all error is still being compounded by the Sec. General... that the Primates letter was somehow authoritative and that ++Welby was right to act on it.

Not a word in his communique about actions against the provinces and primates who continue their abusive attitudes, word and behaviors.

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Jim Naughton
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Jim Naughton

Michael, deciding not to seek election is not the same thing as shrinking from participation. He's participating fully. And you have no idea what our other two representatives over there are doing, so why not hold off on judging them until you have some facts? Also, honor the man by getting his name right, at least.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

I agree that Bishop Douglas should not have withdrawn simply because the Primates said TEC is in the doghouse.
Why accede to the Primates' meddling with the ACC?
If the ACC members want to elect Bishop Douglas, who are the Primates to instruct otherwise?

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Michael Russell
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Michael Russell

Prior to the Primates meeting a number of British churchfolk raised the issue of "penalties" being enacted against those Provinces that continue to seek the imprisonment or death of the LGBT community as well as "penalties" against those Primates who through silence or inaction exacerbate the harassment and murder of the LGBT communities in their provinces.
Apparently these provinces and primates continue to be given a pass on these intolerances, whose consequences are imprisonment and possibly death.

That TEC quietly accepts its members removal from some boards and committees is shameful. That we do not stay and press back against ++Welby's unconscionable inaction with respect to the egregious hateful actions of some Primates and Provinces is simple proof that of unequal protection with the Anglican Communion and a bias towards those provinces who declare religious purity while harassing, demeaning and demonizing their LGBT communities.

It is a shame that Bishop Duncan and apparently our other representatives are not standing up, as our British counterparts have done, and demand consequences for these provinces and primates. It is more shameful that ++Welby has not the slightest awareness that we can hardly walk together when some who walk harbor an extreme ill intent towards members of our and their communities. Bishop Duncan is believing a delusion if he thinks he is actually "walking together" with these folk.

When will enough be enough.

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

....and their appearance and their work [was] as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. -Ezekiel 1:16 (KJV)

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Michael Russell
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Michael Russell

I am sorry, Bishop Douglas, but acquiescence to an illegitimate seizure of power, even in the name of unity, emboldens the tendency. For TEC to shrink back from participation as a result of their posture is to condone the damage they do to the lives of their own flock.
Rather TEC's presence should serve as a constant challenge to intolerance and the consequent violence against the LGBT community in those provinces.
This is no sign of unity, it is a sign of surrender to such intolerance.

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