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NOTTINGHAM: Americans and Canadians Mingle Openly at ACC Meeting


News Analysis

By David Virtue

NOTTINGHAM (6/21/2005)--When the secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, Canon Kenneth Kearon attended the Council of General Synod (CoGS) of the Canadian Anglican Church recently, he said it wasn't his place to indicate how the ACC should make its decision on whether or not the Canadians should attend the meeting in Nottingham.

Kearon told the Anglican Journal that even though such an act complicates an already fractious situation among Anglican Communion, "we will respect any decision," he said. Kearon, who is hosting the meeting, says that's fine by him.

And that's apparently what happened in the opening sessions of the ACC here in Nottingham. The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada were not barred from the opening sessions, and while there was an attempt to play musical chairs by not seating them directly with the other delegates, the two outlawed groups schmoozed publicly, met in private sessions and did their best to manipulate the outcome of the meetings.

They came not as delegates but observers, but they carried on like they were delegates with the result that a closed-door meeting was held briefly with the Archbishop of Canterbury to resolve the tensions.

It was agreed that the Americans and Canadians would not participate from the floor and only make their presentations, which they did. They were to be observers not delegates.

But an American Anglican Council leader to this conference, Ms. Cynthia Brust, wrote a scathing story saying that the Episcopal Church's "unofficial" delegation defied the Primates' instructions who were asked to withdraw their delegates and sent them anyway. They were not simply there as observers to the Nottingham meeting.

"Subsequently, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church announced that the delegation - the Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, the Rev. Robert Sessum and Ms. Josephine Hicks - would not attend in an "official" capacity but would be present as "observers." It is important to note that this is contrary to the Primates' expressed expectation and was not sanctioned by the Council as a whole," wrote Brust.

"A number of ACC members expressed discomfort at the presence of ECUSA "observers" who have been present for all sessions, meals, social gatherings and even rode on the van transporting the ACC to Sunday's worship service.

Despite his so-called withdrawal, ECUSA's ACC delegate Robert Sessum has participated in Finance Committee meetings and has been observed engaging in several private conversations with ACC staff and leadership. Both Ms. Hicks and Bishop Roskam are obviously "working the room" during breaks and social gatherings," blasted Brust.

One ACC member expressed strong frustration saying that the Americans "have displayed arrogance in assuming that their status within the Council is undiminished."

"They were included in the welcome and the official roll call. It was as if Dromantine simply hadn't happened, and I find it very difficult to imagine frank discussions about their presence or even the actions of their provinces while they are in the room."

Another ACC member was outraged by the unlimited access enjoyed by the US and said the delegation had been "party to the entire program in contradiction to the Dromantine Communique."

"The Primates requested that US representatives withdraw and attend only when they make their case at the appropriate time. Their presence in the sessions is totally confusing to other ACC delegates from around the world. Can no one stop the ECUSA juggernaut?"

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the ACC, and ACC Chairman Bishop John Paterson appear unwilling to enforce the Primates' expectations, and John Rees, legal adviser to the ACC pointedly emphasized the "broad powers of the chair".

A member displeased with the situation pointed to Kearon's apparent support of ECUSA's position. "He made this happen - allowing them to be present is his decision."

Lobbying efforts by the US and Canada were obvious when this reporter arrived. A book, "To Set Our Hope on Christ" was being given to every person - a justification for ECUSA's actions.

It should be noted that The Anglican Church of Canada's 2005 budget provides for a $105,000 contribution to the Anglican Consultative Council, plus $7,000 to support travel for Canadian members. And the American Episcopal Church coughs up a cool $600,000 to keep the Anglican Communion office going, so do you think that Kearon is going to bite the hand that feeds him? Of course not. And the Canadians and Americans are both in the same sexually polluted bed together; so what the Episcopal Church does the Anglican Church of Canada will copy. No surprise there.

Listening is the order of the day, and this was mentioned several times in the course of the multiple presentations. Now listening is the much favored technique of ECUSA's revisionists. It has a two fold purpose - the first is to buy time, the second is to obfuscate the issue by giving it a faulty weight which the issue doesn't deserve. In short thou shalt not condemn any sort of sexual behavior that some aggrieved group feels must be brokered in, because God may have changed his or her mind to accommodate 21st Century pansexualists.


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