Skip to comments.New 'Panel of Reference' role to be limited, says Carnley
Posted on 06/02/2005 5:00:07 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Anglican Communion's new "Panel of Reference" will referee doctrinal disputes, Panel chairman Archbishop Peter Carnley of Perth said, but will not be the Communion's policeman.
The Panel has been created following disputes about episcopal oversight around the Communion.
"It is a body to give their opinion about a particular situation or to mediate, not to make judgments or to otherwise interfere-it is not adversarial, it is a mediating body," he said on May 15 in Seattle.
Under its terms of reference, the Panel would "enquire into, consider and report" on the adequacy of "schemes of delegated or extended episcopal oversight" for parishes. This would cater for those who "find it impossible in all conscience to accept the direct ministry of their own diocesan bishop or for dioceses in dispute with their provincial authorities".
And "at the request of any Primate to provide a facility for mediation and to assist in the implementation of any such scheme in his own province", the May 6 announcement from Lambeth Palace stated.
"Its not just a namby-pamby, feel-good sort of committee," Dr Carnley stated. "It is a technically orientated body [designed] to provide pastoral and legal opinions".
The 12-member panel will be "representative of the Anglican Communion by geography, gender and order" Dr. Carnley noted, with the laity "very likely to be canon lawyers".
As of May 31, nine of its twelve members had been chosen, The Church of England Newspaper has learned. Several Primates, bishops and church leaders approached by Lambeth Palace had declined to join, citing the pressure of other work.
While the working arrangements will not be codified until after its first meeting in July, Dr Carnley stated staff from the Anglican Consultative Council would be seconded to the Panel to provide administrative support. He envisioned dividing the Panel into sub-groups to deal with specific cases with much of the work conducted by electronic communication.
"The complaint might come from a parish, it would go to the Archbishop of Canterbury who would refer it to the panel," he stated, as an example of how the process might work.
The Panel has no canonical authority to compel and would rely upon the voluntary cooperation of the Provinces.
Dr Carnley said he hoped the Panel "doesn't become to juridical" but would serve to enhance dialogue between estranged factions of the Church as Anglicans "have been communicating by talking about one another through the media rather than talking with one another".
Do I read this right? Did ++Peter just say that only Primates could initiate action by the PoR. That certainly would make it not 'namby-pamby', but would also rather put the foxes in charge.
Or is that just the same difference all over again?
You read it right. A number of bloggers have pointed out that the PoR is worthless.
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