In a formal resolution the Anglican Consultative Council “notes with concern the pattern of invitations to the Lambeth Conference 2020 and requests that the Archbishop of Canterbury as a focus of unity ensures that a listening process is put in place with supportive and independent facilitation in order to hear the concerns and voices of people especially those who have felt themselves marginalized with regard to sexuality.”
Ironically, the ACC asks the very person who did not invite same-sex spouses to Lambeth Conference 2020 to look into marginalization. And they expressed concern on the invitations although the Archbishop said at the start of the conference that the ACC could not formally debate the invitations.
Church Times and Episcopal News Service each have reports on the dramatic final day Saturday of Anglican Consultative Council #17 in Hong Kong.
In a strategic move to garner support, and to justify his assuming control of the ACC’s business, Archbishop Welby apologised for mistakes he had made over invitations to the Lambeth Conference.
And he committed himself, in his formal role as a focus of unity in the Communion, to ensuring that a new listening process was put in place, and, furthermore, that all discrimination across the Communion would be looked into.
The April 28-May 5 meeting came close to breaking down during the afternoon of its last business day, not over the Lambeth Conference, but over the larger issue of how much the council ought to say about the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church.
The conflict arose via Oklahoma Bishop Ed Konieczny’s resolution calling on the communion’s Standing Committee to gather information about the provinces’ efforts to listen to people “who have been marginalized due to their human sexuality within the church, society and their respective cultures.”
The members did not object to that work. However, a number of them refused to accept the resolution’s preamble, which would have reaffirmed “the respect and dignity of persons as Children of God who have been marginalized due to their human sexuality” and state that “they should be fully included in the life of the Anglican Communion.”
Diocese of Nairobi Bishop Joel Waweru opposed the resolution because it “sets doctrine,” something the ACC does not do.
In a news conference at the start of the weeklong meeting, Welby said that the ACC would not be addressing his decision to the same-sex spouses of bishops invited to Lambeth Conference. His explanation was that it was a matter of doctrine, and ACC doesn’t do doctrine.
An amended version of Konieczny’s resolution passed 83-0 with 3 abstentions.
The full resolution via Church Times:
The dignity of human beings
“The Anglican Consultative Council
1. notes with concern the pattern of invitations to the Lambeth Conference 2020 and requests that the Archbishop of Canterbury as a focus of unity ensures that a listening process is put in place with supportive and independent facilitation in order to hear the concerns and voices of people especially those who have felt themselves marginalized with regard to sexuality. The Archbishop of Canterbury will also be responsible for compiling all the work done in this area across the Anglican Communion since Lambeth 1998 and reporting to the Standing Committee [of the ACC] and ACC18.
2. requests the Archbishop of Canterbury to look at all issues of discrimination across the Anglican Communion and make recommendations to the Standing Committee and to report back to ACC18.”
Photo credit: Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS