Skip to comments.Strategic Withdrawal [ECUSA]
Posted on 04/13/2005 5:05:36 PM PDT by sionnsar
ECUSA's Executive Council appears to have agreed to the Anglican primates' request that it withdraw its members from the Anglican Consultative Council:
We are unanimous in our desire to do all that we can to preserve and further the bonds of affection in the "new humanity" created by Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:15). This in our view constitutes the very essence of our life together as Anglican Christians. We firmly believe that the only way to address the things that divide us is for "Christians of good will ... to engage honestly and frankly with each other" (Windsor Report, paragraph 146). We are therefore heartened by the decision of the Chair of the ACC, responding to the Primates communiqué to include in the program for the upcoming meeting in Nottingham an opportunity for a consultation at which major contributions will come from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.
We are mindful that Christ has made us members of one body, and that no part can say to any other "I have no need of you." At the same time we wish to express our openness to the concerns and beliefs of others. In the spirit of the Covenant Statement recently adopted by our House of Bishops, we voluntarily withdraw our members from official participation in the ACC as it meets in Nottingham. As an expression of our desire "to bear one anothers burdens" (Galatians 6:2), we are asking our members to be present at the meeting to listen to reports on the life and ministry we share across the Communion and to be available for conversation and consultation.
ECUSA's ACC members won't be official participants in the Nottingham meeting but will attend the meeting anyway "to listen to reports on the life and ministry we share across the Communion and to be available for conversation and consultation." While this formula seems, at first glance, to be yet more ECUSA arrogance, I think it is actually a defeat for the Episcopal Church. That last sentence, a desperate attempt to save Episcopalian face, gives the game away.
Liberal bluster aside, ECUSA knows that defiance is not an option. Were ECUSA members to attempt to take their official seats at the next ACC meeting, ECUSA's Anglican standing would instantly be over and the Episcopal Church would have to make whatever deals it could with the UCC and the Unitarians. So this buys ECUSA some time. Besides, the left can easily afford to lose this round; if the ACC fudges, the status quo ante remains and the Anglican world must wait until the next General Convention and General Synod.
But if the ACC comes down too hard on ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, particularly if the Americans and Canadians are not allowed in ACC deliberations, the Anglican left in Europe, Canada and the United States may finally decide to rid itself once and for all of the reactionaries and savages with which it is forced to share a tradition while demanding that Rowan Williams choose sides. If Dr. Williams throws in with the liberals, as he probably will, the Anglican left keeps its beloved historicity and rids itself of its conservatives. The revolution will be complete.
If I remember right, they were instructed by the Primates to "voluntarily" withdraw.
You do recall correctly.
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