Skip to comments.International body will respect Canadian decision
Posted on 05/05/2005 6:35:53 PM PDT by sionnsar
Windsor, Ont., May 5, 2005 - The Anglican Consultative Council will respect any decision reached by the Council of General Synod (CoGS) at its meeting later this week (May 6 to 8), said a senior Anglican Communion official on a recent visit to Canada. CoGS will vote on a request made by primates of the Anglican Communion for the Canadian church to temporarily withdraw its representatives to a Council meeting scheduled in Nottingham next month.
"It's not my place to indicate how it (CoGS) should make its decision," said Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, when asked by the Anglican Journal whether it would complicate an already fractious situation among Anglican churches worldwide if CoGS were to decline the primates' request. "We will respect any decision. Each church has its appropriate method and the ACC always tries to respect various rules and processes of each province."
Mr. Kearon attended part of a joint meeting of Canadian and American bishops here last week, following an invitation extended by Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Two church committees (eco-justice and faith, worship and ministry) have submitted motions urging CoGS not to abide by the primates' request, which was made after a meeting in Northern Ireland last February. Additionally, the dioceses of Quebec and Montreal, at their recent diocesan council meetings, also passed motions encouraging CoGS to decline the primates' request and to send the usual Canadian delegation as full participants. The diocese of Athabasca, meanwhile, passed a motion in April urging CoGS to abide by the primates' request.
However, the Canadian house of bishops, during its meeting here, supported the commitment made by Archbishop Hutchison to his fellow primates to try to convince CoGS to accede to their request. "We support our primate's statement that he will do all in his power to persuade the Council to honour (the request)," the bishops said in a statement.
The Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA), which was also asked not to attend the upcoming Council meeting, last month agreed to withdraw temporarily its members from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), but said it would attend the meeting in June as observers.
"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," ECUSA's Executive Council, which met in a special session, said in a statement.
Mr. Kearon noted that ACC has already set aside an hour and a half each for the Canadian and American churches "to explain the thinking behind the position they've taken on sexuality." The hearing - called a "consultation" by the ACC - was recommended by the primates. Other provinces will also be given the opportunity to "briefly state their own approach to the issue of sexuality," during the process, added Mr. Kearon.
There is no limit to how many representatives both Canadian and American churches may send to the "consultation," said Mr. Kearon.
He said input during such a process could become part of the listening and study process that the Lambeth Conference of 1998 had recommended to deal with the issue of sexuality, which has torn the Anglican Communion apart. "I can't prejudge what will happen. (But) it's likely that most of the issues taken forward will be in the context of a listening process," said Mr. Kearon.
The ACC was established in 1969 after the 1968 Lambeth Conference acknowledged that the church needed a more representative body that could meet more frequently. (The Lambeth Conference brings together all the bishops of the Anglican Communion every 10 years). The council is one of the four "instruments of unity" that binds the Anglican Communion. Those instruments also include the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates' meeting and the Lambeth Conference.
Each of the 38 Anglican provinces (self-governing churches that may include one or more countries) sends up to three members representing lay, clergy and bishops.
The Anglican Church of Canada's representatives are Bishop Sue Moxley of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canon Allen Box and Stephen Toope. Mr. Toope, the lay delegate, was not scheduled to attend the Nottingham meeting but Suzanne Lawson was named as his alternate.
It would appear that what has occurred is a nearly complete schism of the Americans and Canadians from the rest of the Anglican Communion.
It hasn't occurred (on paper) yet, but it is coming and seems increasingly inevitable.
The Vatican acted as if the Protestant Reformation was nothing more than a handful of heretical clerics for more than a century after Luther first broke with Rome. This seems very similar, pretending that a serious problem doesn't exist won't make it disappear.
" The Anglican Church of Canada's representatives are Bishop Sue Moxley of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island...."
You've got to love this..."Bishop Sue"; do you suppose they call the bishopess "Suzy Q"?
Wow, I sure hope not!
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