Monday, June 28, 2010

More resignations from the newly-formed Anglican Communion Standing Committee as ACI charges TEC with doing a runaround

From the Church of England Newspaper:

The Bishop in Iran has quit the Anglican Communion’s ‘Standing Committee’.

Bishop Azad Marshall’s decision to stand down will come as a blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury who has sought to vest an unprecedented degree of authority in the new entity—formed by the merger of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting.

The vote of ‘no confidence’ by yet another leader of the Global South group of Anglican churches serves to isolate Dr. Williams from the conservative and liberal wings of the Communion—diminishing his authority as the political centre collapses from under him.

Bishop Marshall’s withdrawal also comes the same week as the Episcopal Church presents Dr. Williams with a new crisis over the legitimacy of the standing committee, with a fight over the seating of Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut on the committee likely to loom large at its next meeting.

The Church of England Newspaper was unable to contact Bishop Marshall, who is traveling in Iran, to confirm his reasons for withdrawing from the standing committee, but those familiar with his decision say it follows in line with the Jan 30 announcement of his primate, Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Dr. Anis said that after having served for three years on the standing committee he had come to the belief that his continued presence had “no value whatsoever and my voice is like a useless cry in the wilderness.”

The Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi has also absented himself from the meetings of the ACSC for the past year.  The African’ primates representative has not resigned his seat, but has stated he has no confidence in the integrity of the organization and will not attend meetings if representatives from the Episcopal Church are seated.

However, on June 21 the director of communications of the Anglican Consultative Council confirmed to CEN that Bishop Marshall had tendered his resignation from the standing committee.

On June 18 the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church elected Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut to succeed Bishop Catherine Roskam as its episcopal representative to the ACC.  Bishop Douglas had been a clergy representative from the Episcopal Church to the ACC and at last year’s ACC meeting in Kingston Jamaica was elected to the Standing Committee.

Asked by CEN in March whether he would continue as a member of the ACSC following his April 17 consecration to the episcopate, Bishop Douglas said “election to the Standing Committee by the ACC is irrespective of orders.  Therefore, if I am elected the episcopal ACC member from TEC by the Executive Council in June, then I remain on the Standing Committee.”

However, the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) has objected to Bishop Douglas’ continuing membership on the ACSC, noting it violates the language of the ACC constitution and bylaws.

Read it all here. I supposed I question Ian's wisdom in taking on such a huge responsibility when he's now become a diocesan bishop of the oldest diocese in The Episcopal Church, never mind the fact that he's been a clergy rep, not a bishop rep.  The ACI brings up some important points - was the Executive Council not aware of these regulations?


RMBruton said...

The "Communion" is now imploding and the end is near.

Steven in Falls Church said...

Do we now have a "division" in the AC such that we can re-file the 57-9 petitions?

Anonymous said...

Steven: No. There isn't an issue about "division" anymore. (Frankly, there never has been. The only issue was whether "division" in the meaning of the statute had to be a division within the polity according to the rules and definitions of the polity, as opposed to some kind of generic, self-declared division claimed by one or more of the factions).The issue is about whether CANA is a "branch" of The Episcopal Church within the meaning of the Virginia statute. You can relax about this now. We're just talking deed language now.


Anonymous said...

Well... don't relax completely on 57-9 just yet. The CANA churches have petitioned the VA Supremes for a rehearing. Chances are quite slim, but 57-9 still has a faint pulse.