don’t blink, you might miss it.

So, ECUSA are going to withdraw their delegates from the next Anglican Consultative Council.

Here’s what they say:

 We are mindful that Christ has made us members of one body, and that no part can say to any other “I have no need of you.” At the same time we wish to express our openness to the concerns and beliefs of others. In the spirit of the Covenant Statement recently adopted by our House of Bishops, we voluntarily withdraw our members from official participation in the ACC as it meets in Nottingham. As an expression of our desire “to bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), we are asking our members to be present at the meeting to listen to reports on the life and ministry we share across the Communion and to be available for conversation and consultation.

It looks good, doesn’t it? But read that last sentence again.

As an expression of our desire “to bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), we are asking our members to be present at the meeting to listen to reports on the life and ministry we share across the Communion and to be available for conversation and consultation.

So, although they will withdraw members from “official participation” they’re still sending the delegates to be present at the meeting.
Does that mean that they’ll be taking their seats? Not officially, of course…

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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. sophiaserpentia

    If the dialogue stops entirely, the Anglican Communion will be on a race to schism. Unless that’s what Anglicans want, before any understanding can be reached, there must first be listening, which in turn depends on a sense of confraternity. If confraternity is lost, I can’t see any course other than schism.

    1. David Ould

      I think the problem is that the dialogue has stopped. It was stopped unilaterally by ECUSA when they consecrated Gene Robinson against the express wishes of the rest of the Primates.


      Much in the same way that I would unilaterally destroy dialogue if I were to insist on calling you Tony.
      I would, however, not dream of doing such a thing. I disagree with the choice that you have made but to insist on an action that you have declared yourself so opposed to would be a real breach of any relationship that we have.

      But ECUSA, in consecrating Robinson, took that step. They fully aligned themselves with an action that the Primates said would “tear the fabric of the Communion at it’s deepest level”. They have broken fraternity and demonstrated their unwillingness to listen.

      It’s not what Anglicans want but it’s where we’re at. ECUSA can’t claim any right to full fraternity any more than I could insist on addressing you as Tony and also insist that you have stopped listening to me.

      1. yechezkiel

        This is not the first time ECUSA has done such a thing… or was it okay before because it wasn’t quite too much ahead of the Communion?

        1. David Ould

          no, I think it was tolerated before because the issue was not seen as so divisive nor dismissive of the mind of the rest of the Communion.

          1. yechezkiel

            Not divisive? It caused a complicated schism that still divides Anglicans.

            1. David Ould

              I’m sorry, I think we’re misunderstanding one another
              what were you originally referring to and in contrast to what other action?

              1. yechezkiel

                I was referring to ECUSA going against the rest of the communion in ordaining women.

                1. David Ould

                  ok, I understand.

                  Theologically, I don’t think there’s that much difference. What has changed, however, is the ability with which we can now share information – that makes the actions of one party far more directly relevant to another.

  2. jonny_darko

    It seems like my ECUSA is damned if we do and damned if we don’t. The Episcopal Church of the US, one body among a communion of supposed equals, took a stand on principle. First our church was criticized for trying to remain in the Communion, now it’s criticized for withdrawing (per the suggestion of other primates!).
    Since you seem to take a different view, let me ask you directly, what is it you want here? Because it’s a confusing array of mixed signals I see from my end.

    1. David Ould

      I think what I would like is for ECUSA to return to the gospel of Jesus or have the integrity remove itself from the Anglican Communion and no longer claim the name “Christian”.

      1. jonny_darko

        Well, for a church that continues to consider itself Christian and Anglican, integrity would in fact require it to stay right where it is. If the Communion wants us out, they’re perfectly free to take action to make it so. Schism, however, is not our church’s desire; ECUSA is not going to just leave, and I would be disappointed if it did.

        1. David Ould

          they don’t want Schism; except of course they do want the right to carry out actions that tear the fabric of the community to the deepest level.

          It’s like the man who has an affair and then blames the marriage breakdown on his wife because she had the audacity to suggest his actions were wrong.

          1. jonny_darko

            Even if it were just like that, we ought not expect the man to file for divorce. If the wife wants a divorce, then it’s her responsibility to seek one.

            1. David Ould

              So, if the woman had been treated as contemptuously as ECUSA have treated the Communion then she would be justified in pointing out to him that he had abandoned the marriage and showed no sign of repentance. Furthermore, any protest by him that he had done no such thing would be seen for what it was; hypocrisy.

              Even if it were just like that,
              It is just like that.

  3. jonny_darko

    I might add that the States are far from alone here. Just about every Anglican Church in a wealthy country seems to have a majority sympathetic to actions such as Gene Robinson’s ordination as Bishop of New Hampshire. The suggestion that ECUSA withdraw is likely now to lead to a much greater schism, where Canada follows, and Scotland and New Zealand, and likely your own country as well, and last of all the English Church itself. It would become the rich versus the poor; that would get quite ugly.

    1. pould

      That’s nonsense. The CofE doesn’t have a majority for it (in fact it’s Synod voted overwhelmingly in favour for the Windsor Report), Scotland has never voted on the issue (and that’s why there’s so much fuss over what the Bishops have said), Wales doesn’t have a positive statement on it, neither does Australia or New Zealand.

      YOu would like for their to be a majority for it, but it doesn’t exist.

      1. jonny_darko

        I would presume a majority, based on the cultural and political differences between the USA and these more progressive countries. But maybe there’s some weird feature of the Anglican Communion that nullifies these differences? Enlighten me.

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