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Secretary General of ACC issues statement; sets several things straight

Secretary General of ACC issues statement; sets several things straight

The Anglican Communion Office has released this statement from Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion in response to recent comments on events leading up to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting, ACC-16.

  1. Statements circulating about a failure to follow up on the decisions of the January 2016 Primates meeting at best give a false impression. The terms of the Primates decision about The Episcopal Church (TEC) have been followed through as far as is possible and legal. To say otherwise is misleading and wrong.
  2. The Archbishop of Canterbury has fulfilled his responsibilities and asked those members of interfaith or ecumenical bodies who are from TEC and whose appointment he controls, to stand down, and they have done so. In addition, as required, he has appointed a Task Group with representatives from across the communion.
  3. Archbishop Justin has refused to engage in any public response to statements and speculation by any party in advance of the ACC, having maintained personal and private contact with the Primates since their meeting. It has always been his intention to speak directly and in person to the ACC members, respecting their role and responsibilities.
  4. A TEC representative whose attendance at the ACC Standing Committee has been commented on as breaching the decision of the Primates, was elected to the Standing Committee several years before the Primates’ meeting. As the Standing Committee is a Trustee body under English law, they cannot be removed without legal cause, and neither the Primates nor the ABC, nor indeed the ACC, can override the law.
  5. Under the Constitution of the ACC, no-one who is a recognised delegate from a member Province can be prevented from being nominated to the Standing Committee. However during their first day in session, Archbishop Justin presented a report to the ACC of the Primates meeting. As promised he requested the ACC to work with the Primates for the welfare of the whole Communion.
  6. He said “As Archbishop of Canterbury (a separate Instrument) I have acted on the Primates’ decision in those areas for which I have responsibility. It is both my and the Primates’ desire, hope and prayer that the Anglican Consultative Council should also share in working through the consequences of our impaired relationships.”
  7. There have also been suggestions of criminal action including forgery and corruption in which the Archbishop of Canterbury and Anglican Communion Office staff have been mentioned.
  8. It is the practice of the ACO to book the flights and cover the costs for all delegates attending ACC meetings, though some choose to cover their own costs. To imply that on this occasion this established practice is corrupt is disingenuous. Tickets were arranged well before any indications of non attendance by a small number of Provinces.
  9. The unsubstantiated public allegations of forgery against the members of the Kenyan delegation are scurrilous and untrue and are made in a manner against all biblical principles of appropriate behaviour.



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Joseph Pagano

The statement reported in #2 is not correct. I know because I am married to Amy Richter who serves on the Reformed and Anglican Dialogue. She has not yet received anything official from the Archbishop of Canterbury asking her to stand down. I expect he will do so, but it has not yet happened. Just to set the record straight.

Paul Woodrum

What I expect is that the ABC live up to his own description of the meeting as an informal gathering of the Primates, and not a formal meeting. What I expect is that the ABC recognize provincial independence. What I expect is that TEC not be complicit in establishing traditions that are little more than bullying. What I expect is that TEC stand up for LGBT equality and against LGBT persecution in the Anglican Communion.

David Allen

Then you misunderstand the meeting. The gathering was the first few days. The latter part of the week was a formal Primates’ Meeting.

Jim Naughton

Bishop Ian Douglas, a member of the Standing Committee did not stand down. He attended the meeting of the SC that preceded this gathering. Now he and our other two representatives are participating fully in the gathering itself. He did decide not to run for chair of the ACC, and I know that decision cost him something. But he did not stand down. His term, however, ends at this meeting, so he will not be continuing as a member of the Standing Committee.

It’s worth remembering that there are something like 38 provinces in the communion and, I think, seven slots for people who are not primates on the Standing Committee. Many provinces do not have a representative on this body. There is nothing inherently unfair in our not having one for the next fews years.

Paul Woodrum

Why, after all the clamor about the Primates’ gathering lack of authority, are we just finding out that TEC’s one representative on an AC ecumenical commission has stood down? When did we cave to this unwarrented assertion of authority and give it credence as tradition? Or, did I miss something in all the ecclesiastical babble?

David Allen

I don’t recall if we actually published a story, but it has been common knowledge in the Anglican press that the ABC had asked the two TEC folks working on doctrinal or ecumenical bodies, for which he appoints the members, to stand down. Do you expect that they defy the man and show up at the meetings anyway? I can’t imagine a genuine scholar acting in that manner.

Jim Watkins

I think this is the most unreadable article I have ever tried to endure on this site. It’s written in such legalistic impersonal tones as do seem totally irrelevant to anything in real life

Rod Gillis

The bishop seems to have a perfect command of the Queen’s English. Otherwise, statements like this issued by any leader are always careful.

David Allen

This isn’t anything that any of us wrote. As the introductory paragraph states, these 9 points of clarification were released directly from the Anglican Communion Office by Josiah Idowu-Fearon, a bishop from the Church of Nigeria. US English is not the Archbishop’s mother tongue.

Jay Croft

Then the archbishop should have had someone re-write this before issuing it.

John Chilton

Jay, I’m not disputing with your preferences, but I personally find it helpful that this is written in the Secretary General’s own voice. To me it’s more authentic and stays closer to what he really means — whether we like it or not, or find it fully accurate or not. It might even be more revealing of his thinking than he intends. Besides, do we really want westerners to be rewriting his statements because those don’t meet western standards?

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