""We felt as a group that we were less whole, less representative of the church catholic in all of its many perspectives by the loss of those who have chosen to resign," Douglas said. "While it wasn't always easy for me as a person from the Episcopal Church to hear our brothers' concerns and observations about our life, the fact that they weren't at the meeting diminished us."
The committee agreed that its response to those who'd resigned "would express regret that their voices would be missed and that the committee's work was diminished when it lacked a range of opinion as well as full representation.""
From ENS' report on the winding up of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. Read the whole report here.
Let us get this straight: the Anglican Communion is 'less whole, less representative of the church catholic' because it has failed to get on top of the difficulty created by one of its significant (in money, power, loquaciousness) member churches undertaking a strategic course of action which is not representative of the 'church catholic'. It has so failed to get on top of the difficulty that one of its leading committees - the Standing Committee, no less - has lost members from it through resignation. One of them, in the same ENS article is reported thus:
"East President Bishop Mouneer Anis, who resigned his membership in February saying that his presence has "no value whatsoever" and that his voice is "like a useless cry in the wilderness.""
Unfortunate though those resignations are, they are not the primary reason why the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion is 'less whole, less representative of the church catholic.' The primary reasons lie further back: in the Communion's inadequate and tardy response to the strategic direction TEC has pursued in respect of its gay and lesbian members, to say nothing of the strategic direction itself. (Remember: if that strategic direction had not stretched to include ordaining partnered same sex persons to the episcopacy, we would not be in the situation we are in today!)
The spin here, by +Ian Douglas, is that all would be well if only the resignations had not occurred. But on the reason for the resignations he says nothing.
But there is another spin here. The impression is conveyed that the Communion is in a state of 'diminishment' rather than 'division.' If the SC really thinks we are just a bit diminished at the moment; that the effective loss of Nigeria, Uganda, and the like (including the many parishes in North America they have offered support to), amounts to 'diminishment' and not 'division', then we are not being well served by this committee. At least not as the true global Anglican Communion we could be.
It sounds like we are shrinking downwards to a moderate, middling, mediocre Communion which cannot stomach its more conservative member churches, which prefers to march to the beat of one social democratic cultural drum rather than a multi-cultural one, and which occasionally gets a razz from the Archbishop of Canterbury, but otherwise is really led by the spinmeisters. Is the "official Anglican Communion" really in American hands? Reading elsewhere in the ENS report one could be excused, I think, for concluding that the Millenium Development Goals are now the gospel of the "official Anglican Communion."
Except I do not think that is the whole story. Douglas and co can spin these things like a top, but a whole lot of Anglicans are not for turning. Keep spinning this way, Standing Committee & co, and the "official Anglican Communion" will spiral off into irrelevance to the majority of Anglicans.
Neither truth nor reality can be suppressed ... or spun to be what they are not.
Incidentally, can anyone find in reports of the meeting anything remotely forwarding the adoption of the Covenant?
It should not be surprising if the answer is negative. Some of the leading opponents of the Covenant are on this committee!
Then a final question to end with: if the continuing, active, voting presence of members of TEC is suspended from certain important Communion bodies at this time, why not from all the important bodies?
I know the answer is that the ABC had power to do so for those bodies but not for this one. But the point is that our Communion's rules (such as they are) are stupendously inadequate: suspension should be from all bodies of important, not some.
The Communion has no single set of rules governing all aspects of its governance and management.