The Archbishop of Canterbury has declared that the Anglican Consultative Council cannot debate his decision to exclude from Lambeth Conference the spouses of bishops in non-heterosexual marriages.
His assertion is that the ACC is (1) the only instrument of communion governed by British law and (2) its constitution specifies what it can do and “Doctrine is not one of the issues that it does.”
Our friends at Episcopal News Service report from ACC#17 in Hong Kong:
Welby told a news conference on April 27, in response to a question from Episcopal News Service, that the ACC is the only one of the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Communion that is governed by British law. It is incorporated as “an English company with a charitable aim.” Via the ACC constitution, the trustees “very clearly specify what it can and cannot do,” he said.
“Doctrine is not one of the issues that it does,” Welby said of the council.
The ACC’s “object,” according to its constitution, is to “advance the Christian religion and in particular to promote the unity and purposes of the Churches of the Anglican Communion, in mission, evangelism, ecumenical relations, communication, administration and finance.” The constitution lists 30 specific powers of the ACC after making the general statement that “the council has the power to do anything which is calculated to further its Object(s) or is conducive or incidental to doing so.”
Video of the news conference starts where Welby answers the question on spouses:
Former editor of the Episcopal Café, Jim Naughton, had this to say about Welby’s doctrine claim:
Can we please remember that @JustinWelby claimed (falsely) after the last ACC meeting that the #Episcopal Church had been punished by exclusion from voting on matters of doctrine, which, he is now claiming is a subject the ACC can't vote on under any circumstances. 3/4
— Do us a favor, though (@JimNaught) April 28, 2019
Earlier today ENS posted What is the ACC?