Friday, March 11, 2016

Just in case you had anguished amnesia about the Anglican Communion Institute

The ACI is still in existence!

Its latest published article concerns responses to the Primates' Meeting within TEC and TECian understanding of what is and is not proper to the life of the Anglican Communion.

A useful bit of homework in the run up to ACC in Lusaka.

Read it at the link below:

Anguish and Amnesia: The Episcopal Church and the Communion.


Anonymous said...

"The decision by the Primates, for TEC in this case (it could be for other Provinces on other matters in the future) would be that since they were in disagreement with the Communion on a significant issue, they should not represent the Communion ecumenically, or in its principle elected standing committees. Nor should they vote on matters of doctrine or polity. This decision binds the Primates as a group, but not any Province or other Instrument of Communion. It is a powerful and morally forceful guideline, to use language from the Windsor Continuation Group in 2008. The Presiding Bishop [of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry] described the Primates’ decision as a fair outcome.

"The underlying issue is about reception. Both before, but especially since, Lambeth 1920, reception has meant the informal process by which, over time, developments are accepted or rejected in a way that leads to consensus. Thus, issues in 1920 around contraception, in Lambeth 1930 and 1948 around divorce, were at the time seen as threatening the unity of the Communion as seriously as issues of human sexuality now. Reception goes both ways. There has been a consensus against lay presidency, despite significant pressure in the past, but the reception process rejected it. It is not a legal process, but a discernment of the Spirit based in relationship.

"The importance of this is very great indeed. The Anglican Communion finds its decisions through spiritual discernment in relationship, not through canons and procedures. Those operate at Provincial level. All developments must show signs of the presence of the Spirit, not only locally but across the Communion. Primates’ Meetings, Lambeth Conferences and ACCs are not a question of winning and losing, but of discerning."

-- Juatin Welby

If a church does not want other churches making discernments about its decisions, then why oh why does it belong to a discernment club in the first place? That is the question Ephraim Radner is asking.

Bowman Walton

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, 'Anglican Communion Institute' is a U.S.-based Anglican think-tank; nothing more nor less. It has absiolutely no authority in the Anglican Communion and is not one of the so-called 'Instruments of Unity. Therefore, it has no sway, politically, in the A.C.

However, having said that, I see the author of this report, The Revd. Dr. Ephraim Radner, as one of the more moderate members of the ACI, and one whose view is perhaps more credible than that of the other three theologians on its organisational staff-mkembership. His statement her noted, is probably the most pertinent in the current situation:

"There has never been a stable or ideal “Anglican Communion”. It has always been “on the move”. Describing the Communion in such a dynamic way, of course, also includes contestation and debate: that too has always been a part of the flow of life that has moved evangelically around the globe since its first springs in early modernity. (The Anglican Communion is a quintessentially modern phenomenon, in the sense of it being a vessel of the one Gospel’s adaptation to this epoch of human history.)

This would seem to be all Dr. Radner needs to say on the issue but, of course, he does wax more lyrical, even though what he has said in this quotation is sometimes in jeopardy because of other assertions.