The disinvitations arrive

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From the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion:

Most of you will have read the recent letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Anglican Communion on the subject of Pentecost. Part of that letter addresses the current and ongoing tensions in the Anglican Communion – these tensions cluster around the three moratoria referred to in the Windsor Report.

It was hoped to have held the gracious restraint requested on many occasions by the Instruments of Communion until the Covenant had been considered in-depth by all of the provinces. The Covenant outlines a process whereby major issues before the Communion which affect its common life can be considered properly and appropriately within the community of faith. However, the recent Episcopal election in Los Angeles has created a situation where the Archbishop has been forced to act before the Covenant has been considered by most provinces.

So the Archbishop of Canterbury has made the following proposals in his Pentecost Letter which spell out the consequences of this action:

“I am therefore proposing that, while these tensions remain unresolved, members of such provinces – provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion and recently reaffirmed by the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) – should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged. I am further proposing that members of such provinces serving on IASCUFO should for the time being have the status only of consultants rather than full members”.

Last Thursday I sent letters to members of the Inter Anglican ecumenical dialogues who are from the Episcopal Church informing them that their membership of these dialogues has been discontinued. In doing so I want to emphasise again as I did in those letters the exceptional service of each and every person to that important work and to acknowledge without exception the enormous contribution each person has made.

I have also written to the person from the Episcopal Church who is a member of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO), withdrawing that person’s membership and inviting her to serve as a Consultant to that body.

I have written to the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to ask whether its General Synod or House of Bishops has formally adopted policies that breach the second moratorium in the Windsor Report, authorising public rites of same-sex blessing.

At the same time I have written to the Primate of the Southern Cone, whose interventions in other provinces are referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces.

These are the actions which flow immediately from the Archbishop’s Pentecost Letter.

Looking forward, there are two questions in this area which I would like to see addressed: One is the relationship between the actions of a bishop or of a diocese and the responsibilities of a province for those actions – this issue is referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report para 48.

Secondly, to ask the question of whether maintaining within the fellowship of one’s Provincial House of Bishops, a bishop who is exercising episcopal ministry in another province without the expressed permission of that province or the local bishop, constitutes an intervention and is therefore a breach of the third moratorium.

The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon.

I imagine that there will be an outcry about this because the archbishop is exercising authority not universally agreed to be his, and because he seems to be excusing the many African provinces who meddled in the United States and Canada. But, you know, while I don’t like this, I can’t get too excited about it. It isn’t as though there are a lot of 5-4 Supreme Court-type votes on critical issues being conducted on these panels. The point of the work these groups do is to work toward consensus. It is hard for me to imagine that the outcome of the work of these groups is going to suddenly lurch rightward without our presence., So this is nothing more than a snub, or an attempted snub, and we can choose to shrug it off.

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The Rev. Richard E. Helmer
Guest

Jim,

I agree. This pseudo-power move really only affects two things I can see:

1) Dancing for the AC ecumenical relationships (particularly with the RCC.) It's sad if they take it at all seriously.

2) Snubbing us in TEC by offending our good-old fashioned American sense of fairness.

I think the greatest offense is given to our individual representatives on these Anglican Communion bodies, the patronizing language about their excellent service notwithstanding.

But for TEC, this is more of a cricket chirp than a thunder clap, a wet noodle than a whip!

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Shelley Huston
Guest

Aren't consultants paid? We should attend the meetings then bill the CoE/AC for our time. We can use the funds for the missions we have been supporting for years.

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John B. Chilton
Guest
John B. Chilton

Kearon says "I have written to the Primate of the Southern Cone, whose interventions in other provinces are referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report...."

The Southern Cone is referred to in paragraphs 33 and 38.

http://www.aco.org/commission/windsor_continuation/WCG_Report.cfm

"33. It is in respect to the third moratorium (on interventions) that there has been the least discernable response. As noted in the JSC Report of October 2007, there has apparently been an increase in interventions since the adoption of the Windsor/Dromantine recommendations by the unanimous voice of the primates. The adoption of dioceses into the Province of the Southern Cone, inconsistent with the Constitutions both of TEC and the Southern Cone; the consecration of bishops for ministry in various forms by different Provinces and the vocal support of such initiatives by the Primates associated with the Gafcon have all taken place, apparently in contradiction of the 2005 Dromantine Statement, although in each case, the primates involved would cite a conviction that their actions were provisional, born of necessity, and reactive rather than taking the initiative. From their perspective, some of the intervening primates have indicated that they will hand back those within their care as soon as the underlying causes have been resolved."

"38. Twenty-three parishes under the episcopal leadership of two formerly retired Canadian Anglican bishops have sought and received membership in the Province of the Southern Cone and are now claiming membership in the newly proposed, but not recognized North American Anglican Province."

Look, in particular, at #33 where it states "As noted in the JSC Report of October 2007, there has apparently [favorite weasel word of mine] been an increase in interventions since the adoption of the Windsor/Dromantine recommendations by the unanimous voice of the primates."

and the reason for the use of "apparently" is, uh, apparently that,

" the consecration of bishops for ministry in various forms by different Provinces and the vocal support of such initiatives by the Primates associated with the Gafcon have all taken place, apparently in contradiction of the 2005 Dromantine Statement, although in each case, the primates involved would cite a conviction that their actions were provisional, born of necessity, and reactive rather than taking the initiative."

Good grief. That was apparent when the 3 moratoria were agreed. The WCG is saying that nevertheless that might be a legitimate excuse.

Let's just put it this way: either (1) take your medicine or (2) accept that The Episcopal Church is consecrating gay and lesbian bishops. It is doing so provisionally so as to give the rest of Anglican Communion time to catch up, but out of necessity in order to be true to our baptismal covenant. Just understand that there's nothing about treating each person as a child of God with dignity.

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GrandmèreMimi
Guest

It may seem petty to focus on the funding, but I agree with Dirk. TEC is operating on a greatly reduced budget, and our funds could be better spent in ways other than the support of gatherings of which the ABC has preemptively taken control, gatherings which he has organized in a divisive and punitive manner.

June Butler

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Dirk C. Reinken
Guest
Dirk C. Reinken

Perhaps a non-trivial consequence to the ABC 's and ACO's actions would be to reduce our contribution to the AC budget to 1/44th of the total since the AC has "44 regional and national member churches around the globe" according to their website.

It seems that we might be funding organs that are specifically excluding us.

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