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.