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British law prevents Anglican Consultative Council from debating exclusion of spouses

British law prevents Anglican Consultative Council from debating exclusion of spouses

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:

Earlier today ENS posted What is the ACC?

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

In the times of Merry Ole England of rampant poverty, Dickens had a name for persons who practiced this slight of hand; in "Oliver Twist" he was called Artful Dodger. Except in the case of our ABC, with this feckless alibi for his "painful choice", he is shown to be neither artful, (how many palace attorneys were employed to uncover this artifact of law?), nor successful in pulling the wool over our eyes. We see very well when the truth has been fleeced.

The only ones satisfied with this statutory explanation, don't need a reason to shelve debate. There was never any intent to explore their bigotry. But now "the law" says they don't have to.

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James Holland
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James Holland

I am Episcopalian, but we see here the results of collusion with government.....and maybe "organized" religion as well.

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Rev. Marjorie oughton
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Rev. Marjorie oughton

It doesn’t do doctrine. It does do unity? Hmmm. Sounds like they are doing the opposite.

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Michael H C McDowell
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Michael H C McDowell

Doctrine? Nonsense and diplospeak on stilts. Welby comes out of this looking like a none too clever fudger. Unimpressive and tawdry mess.

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