CEN–Questions over ACC letter on the Southern Cone raised

In his Oct 14 press release, Canon Kearon said “I have not received a response” to this request for “clarification” from the Southern Cone.

Canon Kearon’s claim, however, is at odds with Bishop Venables’ memory, as he reports having had two telephone conversations with Canon Kearon and one with Dr. Williams about this issue.

Bishop Venables further stated that he told Dr. Williams and Canon Kearon in the three conversations that he could not give a definitive answer to Canon Kearon’s letter until after the meeting of the Southern Cone standing committee.

A spokesman for the ACC confirmed that Canon Kearon had indeed “followed up with two phone calls” his June letter to Bishop Venables. However, the secretary general had “received no clarification as to the current state of his interventions by mid July as requested,” ACC spokesman Jan Butter said.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Ecclesiology, Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

18 comments on “CEN–Questions over ACC letter on the Southern Cone raised

  1. Intercessor says:

    Canon Kearon does not require any memory when he has just an agenda punch list to fulfill. Please do not confuse his actions with religious connotations.

  2. AnglicanFirst says:

    There is a dichotomy here.

    Who should I believe, Bishop Venables or Canon Kearon?

  3. Frank Fuller says:

    In fairness to Kearon, do phone calls count? I shouldn’t think so.

  4. robroy says:

    ++Venables is Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone not archbishop. I am pretty sure that Canon Kearon is aware of that. Now, unlike another presiding bishop who presume to have carte blanche, PB Venables stated that since the matter of providing oversight was a decision of their House of Bishops, the response would need to come from the standing committee who was to be meeting. ++Venables phone call was simply to say that a formal response would be readily forthcoming. Most people would find that pretty reasonable. Now, they receive Canon Kearon’s letter the week the standing committee was to meet.

  5. Sarah says:

    RE: “In fairness to Kearon, do phone calls count? I shouldn’t think so.”

    I’m with you, Frank — they had months to respond in writing to a rather simple request for clarification as to current status.

    The response to the inevitable and clearly forecasted, rather obvious consequences that we all knew were coming back in June seems rather disengenuous.

    This was all hashed through ad infinitum on this very blog back in June/July.

    There are no surprises here.

  6. David Keller says:

    Sarah and Frank–If we were a church instead of a corporate monolith, a phone call would be sufficient. Relying on legalities to stick it to your fellow Christians is decidedly un-Christian.

  7. j.m.c. says:

    [blockquote]do phone calls count?[/blockquote]
    I’d say this depends on the nature of the call / what was said. I’m likely to think that there’s a genuine misunderstanding here: that ++Venables thought the matter was settled amongst the parties; and the others thought that more official correspondence was necessary. Politeness probably prevented ++Venables from pushing the issue: “so we’re good until our synod has met?” and he made the wrong assumption about that question. Formal correspondence after what seems to be a voiced agreement can also come over as snooty and distrusting. I’d say this is likely a symptom of the darkness of these Anglican wars and the dissolution of mutual understanding and trust.

    Americans sometimes don’t understand how people in other cultures – e.g. Belgium – frequently conduct business without written contract, with the understanding being conducted by verbal agreement. Of course, this exposes both parties to risk, but it’s a risk frequently taken. Americans like lots of papers and legal certainty with all i’s and t’s dotted which are the legal equivalent of: “I get to smack you if you don’t come through on this.” It’s understandable, I find in many situations it’s preferable – but it’s far from universal behavior.

  8. Sarah says:

    RE: “Politeness probably prevented ++Venables from pushing the issue: “so we’re good until our synod has met?”

    But Kearon asked to know the relationship. That relationship had been settled by act. All that was needed was an articulation of that *already existing* relationship.

    That articulation wasn’t given. It’s no good saying “wait until our Synod meets so we can discuss just what our relationship might someday be.”

    They know what the relationship *is* and they chose not to articulate that relationship but instead to try to put off the day of consequence.

    Kearon’s a manipulative bad guy — no doubt about it.

    But again — there are no surprises here. This is *completely* predictable, and in fact I thought it was a great idea for the Southern Cone not to respond in writing at all.

    But to act all surprised that more than four months later a “bad thing” has now happened . . . just too disengenuous by far.

  9. Paul PA says:

    Wow – can anyone imagine if TRC said that they needed the general convention to meet before they can give a response. That would certainly be totally unacceptable.

  10. robroy says:

    Paul, they asked for an extension till the standing committee met, not the next synod (their “general convention”).

    If you look at Kevin Kalsen’s video interview of Presiding Bishop Venables, you will see that he is not the type to lose a lot of sleep that one of his province’s bishops isn’t participating in some bureaucratic committee.

    David Virtue asked ABp Orombi about the Kearon move (interview found at [url=http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2010/10/18/cape-town-ugandan-archbishop-says-congress-recognizes-anglican-contribution-to-global-evangelization-anglican-communion-is-irretrievably-divided-says-evangelical-archbishop/ ]Anglican Mainstream[/url]):
    [blockquote] VOL: Recently The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, wrote to Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile informing him that his membership on the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) has been withdrawn because the primate of the Argentina-based Province of the Southern Cone, under whose jurisdiction Zavala’s diocese falls, failed to respond to Kearon’s request for clarification about his involvement in cross-border interventions. Would you comment on that?

    OROMBI: The Anglican Consultative Council is irrelevant to us. We have no passion for those things. We are not even interested in meetings that produce nothing and with nothing being implemented. So what is the point in spending time and money going to these meetings which could be spent elsewhere? We are not interested in tourism and holidays, we want to do business.[/blockquote]
    (It is so nice when Anglican leaders actually say something rather than string a series of obfuscations together?)

    Rowan has wasted so much time, effort and money by throwing wrenches in negotiations so that nothing ever gets decided. Enough already. Get on with proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to a sinful and desperate world! Amen!

    There were two important meetings (rather than bureaucratic time wasters) recently – a meeting in South Africa which ABp Duncan and Bp Bill Murdoch with Global South leaders was present and the Lausanne Conference in England. The issue for ACNA is re-evangelization. We need to bring the Gospel to the areas of darkness – the northeast and secular Canada.

  11. Gregory says:

    Sarah. The reality is we do need a provincial meeting to prepare an answer. We are a collegial church made up of bishops, clergy and laity and cannot give a response without meeting together which is what we did when our synod resolved to receive the various dioceses we gave cover to. To be clear where things stand now requires a full meeting which will DV happen next week.

  12. Gregory says:

    We are seven dioceses in six countries all living at great distances within a diversity of race, culture, language etc. Even to meet twice a year costs an enormous amount.

  13. Carolina Anglican says:

    God bless you Gregory!

  14. Sarah says:

    RE: “The reality is we do need a provincial meeting to prepare an answer.”

    I sincerely do not understand this. The relationship was as the synod decided back when the Synod “resolved to receive the various dioceses.”

    Are you saying that you do not know what the relationship is, enough to respond to Kearon? I don’t understand how that can possibly be, since the Synod itself made the decision as to what the relationship was.

    Or are you saying that the Synod is expected to *change* what the Synod decided and thus *change* the relationship between the Southern Cone and the ACNA Primates/dioceses?

  15. Gregory says:

    The Synod has to consider the request made by Kenneth Kearon.

  16. Sarah says:

    The request from Kenneth Kearon was “for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces.”

    I guess that’s all clear then. Kearon thus had to make the decision based on what Synod actually did earlier.

    Although I certainly don’t agree with the original notion of punishing provinces for aiding the departers from TEC, I do understand Kearon’s current decision. He can only base the decision on what information he has — which was the Synod’s actual decision.

    Again — I’m thoroughly unsurprised that he did what he did. He was strikingly clear in his intentions back in June.

    Here’s his letter from early June:

  17. Intercessor says:

    Kearon thus had to make the decision based
    on what Synod actually did earlier.

    Canon Kearon is just a tool for the liberal agenda . He made his decision(read took his orders) before he even wrote his letter in early June. Having followed this decades long legacy of duplicity,lies and subversion I cannot imagine any kind response at any time that would have derailed this agenda. I am glad that AB +Greg stayed the course. HIS integrity is not for sale…it is for God.

  18. MichaelA says:


    I followed your link and it doesn’t lead to any letter from Canon Kearon. It rather leads to a press release. Its only reference to the province of the Southern Cone is this:
    [blockquote] At the same time I have written to the Primate of the Southern Cone, whose interventions in other provinces are referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces. [/blockquote]
    The press release did not make Canon Kearon’s intentions “strikingly clear”. It in fact bears little relationship to what has happened. The closest seems to be this, when Canon Kearon writes:
    [blockquote] Looking forward, there are two questions in this area which I would like to see addressed: One is the relationship between the actions of a bishop or of a diocese and the responsibilities of a province for those actions – this issue is referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report para 48.

    Secondly, to ask the question of whether maintaining within the fellowship of one’s Provincial House of Bishops, a bishop who is exercising episcopal ministry in another province without the expressed permission of that province or the local bishop, constitutes an intervention and is therefore a breach of the third moratorium. [/blockquote]

    The questions on their face are very reasonable, but there is no indication that Kearon has followed them. It is not clear that Kearon’s letter to PB southern cone even canvassed them.

    Further, it is not at all clear why such queries should be addressed to the PB Southern Cone at all – surely such questions can only be answered by the HOB or the Standing Committee? This is the more so, when the letter from ABC which started all of this refers explicitly to “provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria”.

    It thus appears that Kearon addressed his particular enquiry to the wrong person, and if he did, it is no answer that that person didn’t respond – Kearon of all people should have got it right the first time.

    Finally, there is no indication that Kearon has ever addressed his mind to the questions after formulating them.

    What this shows is not that Kearon clearly signalled his intentions in June, but rather that he did the opposite – acting in an arbitrary manner without anything resembling due process.

    And of course the big question remains unanswered – where did Kearon get such authority in the first place? He has a number of functions and powers, but it is not clear that this is one of them. It would not appear to be included in the power and role originally given to the ACC by Lambeth ’68. It MIGHT be in accordance with the new constitution, but who would know? In any case, the status of that new constitution is doubtful – although Kearon asserts that it got the 2/3 of provincial approval needed to pass, it is not clear that this in fact happened.