ECUSA AND CANADIANS TO WITHDRAW FROM TWO ACC COMMITTEES
"Listening" Process Must Affirm Lambeth 1.10 and Primates Communique
By David W. Virtue
NOTTINGHAM (6/22/2005)--In a further attempt to isolate the American Episcopal Church and the Canadian Anglican Church over homosexuality issues, two resolutions passed today at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting that said the Communion will continue to "listen to the experience of homosexual persons" but must withdraw their members from two significant ACC committees.
The "listening" resolution made it clear that further discussion must be preceded by an affirmation of both Lambeth 1.10 and the Primates Communique at Dromantine.
A second resolution proposed by a group of Global South orthodox delegates to the ACC said that the American Episcopal Church and the Canadian Anglican Church cannot be part of two committees - the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Finance and Administration Committee leading up to the next Lambeth Conference.
In a two-hour closed door meeting that was described as both "serious" and "contentious" the ACC members voted by a narrow margin of 30 to 28 with four abstentions, to keep the pressure on the North Americans who have endorsed homosexual practices that are contrary to God's Word and the will of the vast majority of 78 million Anglicans.
It was a secret ballot, but that was not unusual, said James Rosenthal, ACNS press officer, at a hastily called press conference following the closed-door meeting.
The main pusher behind the resolutions was Global South Anglican Communion leader, Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola who is extremely unhappy with what is taking place here at this ACC gathering and wrote a letter to the chairman of the ACC, New Zealand Primate John Paterson expressing concern that the meeting might get bogged down on secondary issues when the primary issue is homosexuality.
"I know that you have a 'settled agenda. I know we have procedures and I am not unaware of the rule of meetings, but with due respect I wish to remind you rthat that we are not here as independent individuals," wrote Akinola.
"We are all here as representatives of our various provinces and a primary concern for the people who we serve is the outcome of this current controversy that has divided our communion at its deepest level. We dare not go forward from here without at least some indication of what comes next after listening to yesterday's presentations from ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada."
Rosenthal said the very extended session had its "difficult moments" especially with regard to the listening process, which has been used by the American Episcopal Church to put off final judgment on its actions regarding the consecration of an avowed homosexual to the episcopacy.
The Bishop of Kingston, the Rt. Rev. Robert Thompson a strong voice for orthodoxy on the ACC Standing committee argued that the presentations given by the ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada did not explain their thinking with reference to the teaching of the Anglican Communion as expressed in Lambeth 1.10 and statements from Primates Meetings in Brazil, Lambeth and Newry.
"They also failed to explain why they have chosen to depart from the received and agreed teaching of this Communion; ignore all four instruments of unity; disregard the processes by which we come to a common mind, and overlooked the specific request described in the Windsor Report," he said.
In another vote the ACC voted to include the 37 Primates as ex officio members thereby increasing the membership from 78 to 115.
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