“Breaking”: TEC still in the AC



This just in, the minutes from the December 2009 meeting of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion were posted today, and, though these are minutes from a meeting seven months ago, it is indeed new information about the vote to keep the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion. So what seemed like such a shock to many of us last week was actually a conversation begun long before.

Anglican Consultative Council – Standing Committee – Resources

Standing Committee Minutes

From the Anglican Communion’s website

Discussion began with a review of developments in the Communion over the past few months, in particular, the election of a person in a same gender relationship as suffragan bishop of Los Angeles in The Episcopal Church (the election has not yet been confirmed), and the authorisation by the Bishops of Massachusetts and Ohio of rites of same sex blessings, contrary to both the Windsor Report and the more recent Windsor Continuation Group Report. Honest opinions were expressed on all sides, and eventually it was decided to adjourn the discussion until later in the Agenda.

The second session, this time with the Archbishop of Canterbury present, resumed the earlier conversation. At the end of that session three resolutions were presented.

These were voted on the following morning:

a) First resolution:

That in view of the recent actions of the 76th General Convention, particularly Resolutions DO25 and CO56, representatives of TEC should be invited to withdraw from all Anglican Councils until ACC-15. This [time] would give both TEC and the AC a temporary safe distance for discernment in regard to the issues that currently threaten the unity of the Anglican Communion.

2 votes for, and 8 votes against, no abstention recorded

b) Second resolution:

The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion meeting in London from 15th-18th December 2009, noting that the Episcopal Church had at its 76th General Convention in July 2009 resolved to reopen a process for the blessing of same gender relationships and to recognise the right of gay and lesbian persons to any ordained ministry in the


i) Expresses its deep disappointment and regret over such decisions, having regard to the declared position of the Anglican Communion over those matters through various Lambeth Resolutions; the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Report and the resolutions of the Primates’ Meeting held in Dromantine in February 2005 and at

Dar-es-salaam in February 2007;

ii) Disassociates the Anglican Communion from those decisions of The Episcopal Church as well as with any actions that may be taken by churches in The Episcopal Church in North America pursuant to those decisions.

2 votes for, 7 votes against and 2 abstentions

c) Third resolution:

The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion resolved that, in the light of:

i) The recent Episcopal nomination in the Diocese of Los Angeles of a partnered lesbian candidate

ii) The decisions in a number of US and Canadian dioceses to proceed with formal ceremonies of same-sex blessings

iii) Continuing cross-jurisdictional activity within the Communion

The Standing Committee strongly reaffirm Resolution 14.09 of ACC-14 supporting the three moratoria proposed by the Windsor Report and the associated request for ‘Gracious Restraint’ in respect of actions that endanger the unity of the Anglican Communion by going against the declared view of the Instruments of Communion.

8 votes for, 1 vote against, 1 abstention recorded.

The Secretary General was asked to place the resolution in the Anglican Communion website.

Later in the minutes,

17. Any Other Business

The Archbishop of Canterbury mentioned two things:

a) The Church of England had issued guidelines on clergy in civil partnership. He

wondered if the moratoria included those clergy involved in civil partnership. Some

were in celibate same sex partnerships.

Like Jeffrey John. Hmmm.

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10 Responses to "“Breaking”: TEC still in the AC"
  1. The recent Episcopal nomination in the Diocese of Los Angeles of a partnered lesbian candidate

    "Election" rather than "nomination"? A small matter, perhaps, but there is a difference.

    June Butler

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  2. But is it their place to do this? Do they have the authority to decide this matter? My understanding is that only the ACC could decide such matters.

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  3. Christopher, I don't think reaffirming an ACC resolution is an expression of the Standing Committee's authority, but of their acknowledgment of the authority of the ACC. Remember, too, that although most of us have just learned about the ACC's new Constitution, I think the Standing Committee would have already known about the passages that colleagues here have referred to in previous posts. But, no, I don't think they've asserted anything of their own.

    Marshall Scott

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  4. Probably helps explain recent resignations from the Standing Committee.

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  5. I feel historically ignorant right now: for how long has there been an 1.Anglican Standing Committee 2. with the authority to make these sorts of determinations...who is in and who is out?

    thanks Grant but next time sign your last name. ed.

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  6. My day tomorrow will not change if I'm cast out by the Anglican Communion except perhaps my Church can get on with proclaiming the Good News and embrace others at the margin!

    [Welcome to the Cafe, Jw1941. It's in fine print above the comment box, but do note that as a general rule we require your full name.]

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  7. Marhsall,

    That is not quite how I read these Committee resolutions. They do not simply reaffirm the ACC decisions previous. They seem to reopen the question and put it up for vote among the Committee. Do they have such authority? My understanding is that these should never have gone to a vote on the Committee because they do not, and instead, should have referred the matter to the next ACC. Or what am I missing?

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  8. Christopher, the part we are all missing is that +Rowan & Company seem to make things up from whole cloth as they go along. Without a scorecard we need to be ready for the unexpected, it is surely going to come.

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