Anglican Samizdat

May 3, 2009

The Anglican Consultative Council is doing the Discernment Group Jig in Jamaica

Three years ago the Anglican Church was invited to observe the ponderings of the ACC, but was not allowed to participate because of its wayward determination to bless same-sex couples. The ACC chairman, John Paterson, who obviously sympathises with the ACoC and TEC, indulged in some hand-wringing:

I was saddened personally by what took place at ACC13 in Nottingham. I chaired the session at which a vote was taken to “endorse the Primates’ request that ‘in order to recognise the integrity of all parties, the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the ACC, for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference'”. Your representatives were not permitted to speak or to vote on that resolution. It was carried by two votes. The effect of it was to ostracise the American and Canadian representatives, who were forced to live apart and walk apart.

Now, however, all is forgiven and the ACoC and TEC have been welcomed back into the ACC’s bosom as a reward for behaving themselves and observing the moratorium on same-sex blessings. Apart, in the ACoC’s case, from the dioceses of New Westminster, Montreal, Niagara, Rupert’s Land, Ottawa and Toronto who are observing the moratorium through experientially discerning whether they should observe it by doing what they are not supposed to do. Or something. But the rotters in the Southern Cone are still intervening.

The conference will also consider the report of the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG). While organizers did not say what the delegates would be considering, Canon Kearon said that the report’s view of the three moratoria was that the moratorium on the consent to the consecration of a bishop in a same sex relationship had held, that the moratorium on the public rites of same-sex blessings had held by and large, but that cross-border interventions had not ceased but had gotten worse.

Canada’s lay delegate is delighted to be no longer anathema:

Canadian Anglicans are being greeted with warmth and stated relief that we are here to participate fully, and not suspicion or disgust as we experienced in Nottingham three years ago when we sat as observers)

And is in denial over the ACoC being a ‘problem’ – in a genteel Canadian way, eh:

Personally, said Ms. Lawson, “I have some concerns that I’m going to talk to people about and that is that the bulk of the responsibility for dealing with ‘problems,’ and I think the Canadian church is considered ‘a problem’ – although we don’t think so – [is] in the hands of the majority of primates, bishops and clergy of the Joint Standing Committee, which is being given increasing power….”

The hot topic at ACC14 is the Anglican Covenant which provinces will have to sign if they wish to be in with the Anglican in-crowd. Of course, by the time the Anglican Covenant sees the light of day and the ACoC has dithered over whether to sign it, the only people left in the church will be Marvin the Robot, otherwise unemployable assorted bishops and clergy, and three same-sex couples:

It would be up to two meetings of General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body, to decide whether or not the church should sign on to the covenant, a process that could take at least six years.

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