Anglican Consultative Council adjourns today


Archbishop Rowan Williams reflects on the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in his presidential address. Episcopal Life Online reports:

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) here May 11 compared the Anglican Communion’s long-standing divisions to those in the Holy Land.

“The other day we were giving quite intense attention to the situation in the Holy Land and in that discussion I thought there are echoes of language we hear nearer home,” Williams said. “Well, thank God, our divisions and our fears are not as deep and as poisonous as those between communities in the Holy Land, but I think you may see why some of the same language occasionally awakes echoes.”


He then asked: Who are the people who bear the deepest cost in the Anglican Communion?

“There are some who would say that in this conflict the credibility of Christianity itself is at stake,” Williams said.

For some gays and lesbians, Christian credibility has been shattered by a sense of rejection and scapegoating, he continued. They cannot commend the Christianity they love and believe in because they are caught up in a community where scapegoating and rejection is ingrained, he said.

Others feel the decisions made elsewhere in the world have undermined their witness which, Williams said, prevents them from commending the Christianity they long to share with ease and confidence with their neighbors.

“Deep costs; different costs. How can they come together so that they can recognize the cost that the other bears and recognize the deep seriousness about Jesus and his gospel?”

Listen to his address here and watch it here.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offered her reflections here. Jefferts Schori says they leave the meeting with “hope for the future and the realization that we have hard work ahead of us.”

The outgoing and incoming chairs of the ACC spoke at the Press Briefing:

On Monday May 11,2009 the current ACC Chair Bishop John Paterson of Auckland New Zealand, the newly elected chair Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi and Canon John Rees (the legal advisor to ACC participated in a press briefing both looking back in the case of Bishop John and in looking forward for Bishop James to the work of ACC. They both concurred that this has been an important meeting and that engaging in mission is critical in the way forward for the Anglican Communion. Canon Rees provided some important information to clarify the process concerning resolutions and the power and authority of the Chair at ACC meetings.

A digest of ACC news is here.

Other podcasts of reports and press briefings are available here.

The Anglican Journal, Canada reports on ABC Rowan Williams speech here:

The 14th Anglican Consultative Council has not “given evidence of any belief” that Anglicans worldwide “have no future together,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury, even as he warned that it would be “inevitable” that the Anglican Communion could turn into a “much more dispersed association” or federation if all member churches do not sign on to the proposed covenant.

And referring to the voting procedures:

Some have criticized the handling of that resolution, but John Rees, the legal adviser to the Anglican Communion, told a press briefing that none of the delegates complained to him directly about it, nor asked for a re-vote. ACC chair John Paterson maintained that the resolution had been dealt with adequately and fairly. “I’m not embarrassed about the outcome,” he said.

Thinking Anglicans offers many links to reports and commentary here.

Mark Harris comments on what was accomplished or not here.

The Pluralist comments in Daily Episcopalian today here.

What the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Jamaica has done is removed the backdoor and windows means to entry and manipulation. First of all, only signed up members of the Anglican Consultative Council can join, thus cutting out the Anglican Church of North America’s ambition to fast track itself into recognition against that of TEC and the ACC. Furthermore, it wants the section 4 revised, so that even that centralising and residual disciplining is removed. It was a close vote, but nevertheless that’s it regarding the ambitions of GAFCON and the separatists who would opt to press the Communion into its own shape first.

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