[Phil Ashey] Reflections on Archbishop Mouneer Anis’s Conscientious Choice not to go to Lusaka

…There comes a point when institutions become so corrupt and compromised that they are irredeemable. Continued participation simply enables the institutions’ corruption. Archbishop Mouneer has recognized this point, and has justifiably stepped back. His decision comes after the GAFCON provinces of Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya decided to not attend ACC-16. Each of the remaining GAFCON and Global South provinces and their Primates who joined the majority in January prescribing gentle discipline for TEC must now decide whether there is any reason at all to attend ACC-16.

We can expect a full-court press by the Canterbury and Anglican Communion Office authorities to persuade them to go. Typically, the Anglican Consultative Council””funded heavily by TEC (Trinity Wall Street alone having donated more than $700,000 to the ACC since 2006)””will help cover most of the costs of those who attend. This will make it very uncomfortable for any Biblically faithful Anglican leaders who support the Primates’ discipline to say “no” to Bishop Tengatenga and TEC. If the reasons given by Archbishops Okoh (Nigeria), Ntagali (Uganda), Wabukala (Kenya) and now Anis (Jerusalem and the Middle East) are not enough to dissuade those churches from participating in ACC-16, here are two more, from the “Constitution” of the Anglican Consultative Council itself:

1.1 The Anglican Consultative Council has no authority whatsoever to contradict or override the inherent authority of bishops””and especially the Primates””in matters of faith and order between the Churches of the Anglican Communion.

..here’s the rub: The Anglican Communion is more than a charitable organization under the UK Charities Act. It is a Church””led by Bishops who have special responsibility to guard the doctrine, discipline and order of the Churches they lead, and Primates to guard the faith and Godly order in the relationships among those Churches. One hardly knows how to characterize the repudiation of the Primates gathering by the ACC””arrogance, rebellion or legal fiction, it’s all the same. Even to participate in the ACC gathering is to enable such wrongful and injurious behavior.
1.2. According to the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Archbishop of Canterbury is beyond accountability: if the Church of England errs, he may not be removed as President of the ACC or the Standing Committee.

What will happen if, as many expect, the General Synod of the Church of England concludes its facilitated discussions on the recommendations of the Pilling Report by providing a rite for the Blessing of Civil Partnerships, if not Same Sex Marriages? If this happens, the Church of England will be like TEC, in violation of Lambeth Resolution I.10 (1998) against such blessings. If the Primates were willing to apply such gentle discipline to TEC as they did in their January gathering, why would they not also apply the same discipline to the Church of England””requiring them also to step back from representation on all ecumenical bodies, all Standing Committees of the Anglican Communion, and voting on any matters of doctrine and polity?

According to the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates would have no authority to do so with regards to the Primate of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury himself….

Read it all


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016