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Egypt drops out of ACC16

Egypt drops out of ACC16

A letter released by the Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa adds his name to the list of Anglican primates boycotting the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka later this month, writing

I thought that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting in January would be followed through and TEC would not be represented in the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion but sadly this is not the case. I don’t mind the participation of TEC in the General Meeting of the ACC, but the decision of the Primates was very clear that they should not be nominated or elected in internal standing committees. …

I see that there is a lot of confusion about the role of the Primates’ Meeting and the ACC. Neither have jurisdiction within provinces, but both have roles in regulating the relationship between provinces. The Primates’ Meeting has “enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal,moral and pastoral matters” (Lambeth 1988) and to make “intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity” (Lambeth 1998). Some think that because the ACC is the most representative of the instruments (including bishops, clergy, and laity), it is more authoritative. This is not true. It’s very name, “consultative”, reminds us that it is not an “Anglican Synod” but merely an advisory group. …
I will be praying for the members of the ACC-16 so that they may affirm and respect the decisions of the Primates’ Meeting. If this happens, it will bring hope back and we will be able to think of the future together.
Kendall Harmon posts the full text of the letter here.

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Tobias Haller

The full wording of the Lambeth resolutions indicates them to be less forceful than Anis presents. (Of course, all Lambeth resolutions are merely advisory). The one from 1988: “Urges that encouragement be given to a developing collegial role for the Primates Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters.”

The one from 1998: ” asks that the Primates’ Meeting, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, include among its responsibilities positive encouragement to mission, intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies…”

Crucial are “incapable of internal resolution” and “guidelines” — clearly the marriage issue is capable of internal resolution, and guidelines are just that — not legal restrictions on the actions of provinces.

Much as some would like the Primates Meeting to function as a legal body laying out restrictions, they have never been granted that power by the only bodies capable of doing so — the Provinces themselves. And to do so would be directly contrary to “Anglican tradition and formularies” going all the way back to the Articles of Religion, which reject the imposition of external judgment on a church from any “foreign bishop”! Even a group of foreign bishops.

Sean Storm

“I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
1 Corinthians 1, verse 10 – Revised Standard Version (RSV)

OK that’s far enough. If the people in Africa want to quote the Bible so much about Homosexual relations, read the Bible again. There are many more important parts we all need to remember, like “love each other as I have loved you”.

edited – lets not call people silly names! – ed

Jim Naughton

This can be confusing, and I don’t have complete information, but it is important to remember that most Primates are not members of the ACC. I think Anis was elected as a member by his fellow primates, so his absence matters in that regard. He is not, however, the representative of his province (Jerusalem and the Middle East). And from what I understand, that representative is attending.

I can’t recall, and couldn’t quickly track down, whether the other three primates (Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda) are themselves members of the ACC. They, unlike Anis, seem to be saying that their representatives will not be attending.

All of this is a long way to saying that Anis’ is a personal boycott and not a boycott by his province.

David Allen

I am also confused about his statement about the Standing Committee. Yes, TEC is currently represented on the Standing Committee by the Rt Revd Ian Douglas, but he was elected to the Committee some time ago by the ACC and is stepping down because his term ends in Lusaka.

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