Comments: ACC-16 - ACNS reports

The ACNS article describes the 'decision making process' at ACC-16 with respect to resolutions. But the Primates demanded "[TEC] will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity."

The next shoe to drop will perhaps be an article from this voice of The communion offering an opinion on whether or not any of the resolutions from ACC -16 are considered "doctrine or polity". Seems like the GAFCON guys are trying to nail jello to the wall.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 2:54pm BST

Here is a joyful postmortem from the Canadian delegation to ACC 16.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 3:59pm BST

"There are several people who would ordain women to the priesthood tomorrow if they were together as one mind of the Province. That is part of the sacrificial waiting, sacrificial giving"

Argh, this CANARD again. Christianity talks about Christ and Christ-like OFFERING of "sacrifice". Not IMPOSING it, which is what is going on here (women having their divine calls sacrificed by a male hierarchy exerting Power-Over).

Posted by JCF at Friday, 29 April 2016 at 5:19am BST

'ACC adopts 45 resolutions by assent'. Well, this really brightened up my morning. just like the Primates' resolutions. Does anyone in any of your parishes even know who they are? Can we stop paying for this nonsense now?

Posted by Lorenzo at Friday, 29 April 2016 at 6:25am BST

How encouraging to have such an upbeat and positive response to the Lusaka gathering from the Canadian delegate. How unusual to have a glass half full report concerning the Anglican Communion when more often than not we usually have negative glass half empty or even glass totally drained responses. I look forward,one day, in eager anticipation to a "cup runneth over" report about the world wide Anglican Communion

Posted by Father David at Friday, 29 April 2016 at 7:53am BST

Rod, you have read the ACNS story on the resolutions pretty much as I have, as an effort to say that nobody actually voted on anything except the ACC's carbon footprint. This report has ACC members I have spoken to wondering why they were repeatedly asked to raise their hands if they were in favor or opposed to something. At some point an argument can become too silly to be worth winning, and I think the argument about the "consequences" has passed that point.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Friday, 29 April 2016 at 4:43pm BST

@ JCF, Perhaps 'kyriarchy', rather than 'hierarchy' (Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza is credited with coining the term), is the more accurate term. Instance for example female bishops who toe the establishment line with regard to same sex marriage, or North American and English conservatives who support GAFCON on 'moral' issues but who would not be prepared to live with other features of the societies where GAFCON is based.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 29 April 2016 at 7:12pm BST

"... female bishops who toe the establishment line with regard to same sex marriage ..."

Ah yes, the leaders of the campaign for equal ordination, women who boldly took on the establishment, women who marched and lobbied and protested; but women who, the moment they got what they wanted, dropped their radicalism and parroted the exact same rhetoric that'd been used against them.

I support equal ordination, of course I do, and many campaigners support equality across the board: but given the wholesale abandonment of LGBT people by its leading lights the moment they donned the purple, let's not pretend that the organized campaign was principally motivated by anything but self-interest. All that furious rhetoric about justice was a power-play.

Lesson for the future: never, ever allow one group to be parked at the expense of another. The campaign for equal ordination should've been inseparable from the wider campaign for equality. If that meant delaying it, so be it.

Posted by James Byron at Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 12:45am BST

@ Jim Naughton, Jim what is your take on the ACNS? For example, The Anglican Journal has an independent editorial policy. In the case of ACNS, I'm unclear here, is it journalism or the PR arm of the The Communion office, I wonder?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 12:51am BST

How great Canada filed a happy report! Is that the same Anglican Church in Canada which is not going forward with gay marriage? How happy in the acc...

Posted by S Cooper at Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 2:57pm BST

@ S cooper, "Is that the same Anglican Church in Canada which is not going forward with gay marriage?"

Probably. The General Synod is to vote on first reading in July. Canonical amendments require a 2/3 majority in each order of bishops, clergy, laity. The order of bishops which meets as a House of Bishops between the GS, has informed the church that it believes the required 2/3 majority is not present in their order.

The House of Bishops has about 40 members. So the number of bishops who can act as spoiler here is about a dozen.

About 1/3 of the bishops are opposed, 1/3 are in the " not at this time " camp, and 1/3 are in favour. Most urban dioceses have some form of blessing of same sex civil marriages. We have some clergy in same sex marriages done civilly working in parishes which says something about the state of the question.

The issue is compounded by First Nations governance issues, the legacy of colonialism and racism which the Church is trying to address. There are only 4 First Nations bishops; but some dioceses have large First Nations membership, and many of those have non-aboriginal conservative bishops. As I understand it, the prior concern for First Nations is the ability to make their own decision on this, rather than have it foisted upon them by what they regard as a synodical system that does not reflect how decisions are made in their culture.

My guess is, given the escalation in the controversy by the Canadian House of bishops, that the bishops, or someone on their behalf, may use procedure to get the amendment "referred".

The end game appears to be shielding the Bishops as a group from perhaps voting down something the clergy and laity may vote for. Something that has happened before. In any event it has become a dog's breakfast.

Those interested can review any number of articles on The Anglican Journal website, going back over past months

See this editorial on the fiasco.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 5:12pm BST

@ James Byron, James might not a little care be taken with regard to the generic term "women"? Are there some women who favored equality for GLBTQ folks but who changed views after being made bishops? Or, is it that only women who were known to be more conservative on the issue of same sex marriage were considered for appointment?

This is why the term 'kyriarchy' and the analysis which it grounds, and advanced by a feminist thinker, may be of some use, in understanding how a person may be both oppressed and privileged at the same time.

The attached article by Anne Tuohy is one of the few insightful ones not behind a paywall. The footnotes contain the references to the prerequisite reading from Schussler-Fiorenza.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 11:32pm BST

James Byron raises a valuable point: how many of the women consecrated as bishops are willing to cross the line on the collective position that gay and lesbian couples cannot share the joys, blessings and affirmations afforded to heterosexual couples?

Human rights intersect, and are indivisible... because their suppression nearly always comes from the same problem with power and an embedded system of power.

You can't really champion women's rights but not the rights of gay and lesbian people, (not to forget other minorities).

If women simply gain consecration to become part of an establishment that repudiates gay and lesbian sex and marriage... then it could be argued that power has been re-enforced but prejudice and discrimination go on the same.

I'm shocked that the bishops (male or female, I couldn't care what genitals they have) haven't broken ranks and collective position on things like the Episcopal Letter, or the Primates' Meeting.

Are people silenced and gagged, or in fear of career disadvantage, or is the house of bishops really clone-like in theology and social views?

And then again, the same might be said of priests as well. Why don't they break ranks, and simply go ahead (as local churches, PCCs, priest and people) and bless or marry couples, *regardless* of their gender?

Too much infantilism, too much submission, too much fear...

The church desperately needs brave and principled bishops to break ranks and make excoriating critique of the marginalisation and diminution of gay and lesbian lives in their organisation. Were the women who argued for ordination and consecration simply pursuing a one-off vested interest? And are there no men with the boldness and decency to step across the line?

TEC is a beacon of justice and decency. In England, our bishops (including women) have been craven on what is essentially another gender issue. The bottom line: we are human beings, we are people, we all have the same capacity to love, regardless of skin-colour, gender, whatever.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 10:34am BST

Rod, I used the gendered term 'cause you referred specifically to female bishops: if you'd referred to the entire bench, I'd have used a gender-neutral term.

As it happens, one of the worst offenders is George Carey, who called opposition to equal ordination heresy, while overseeing Lambeth '98.

Susannah has it dead on: equality's indivisible. Selective equality is nonsensical, and regardless of gender, many bishops have been craven, in England certainly, but also in Canada, in Australia, in every province that ran from equality so they could run with the crowd.

Posted by James Byron at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 1:57pm BST

@ James Byron. OK James I got it. And, I agree that equality/justice is indivisible. What about the TEC bishops who will opt out? Where do they fit in the picture?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 12:32am BST

@ Susannah Clark, "And then again, the same might be said of priests as well. Why don't they break ranks, and simply go ahead ...and bless or marry couples, 'regardless' of their gender?"

Good question. Apparently Canadian bishops are now living in fear this may happen. (see link). The reality is, of course, it already has.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 1:30am BST
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