The ACO and the politics of being a staff member

The Anglican Communion Office released a statement from Canon Kenneth Kearon, the communion’s secretary general, on Saturday shortly after the Church of England rejected the proposed Anglican Covenant claiming that eight provinces had approved the covenant, and suggesting that the verdict in England was not final—even though that church, under its own rules, cannot take up the issue again until 2015.

The treatment of the news that the mother church of Anglicanism had rejected the covenant—a fact that isn’t actually overtly acknowledged in the release—stands in contrast to the sort of releases the ACO has produced when other provinces have approved the covenant. (And Simon Sarmiento suggests that Canon Kearon is inflating the numbers of those who have actually signed on.) Throw in the videos that the ACO released, in which members of the Communion’s faith and order group overtly lobbied on behalf of the covenant, and it becomes clear that the communion office has decided that it has a horse in this race and is attempting to influence the outcome in its favor. This seems inappropriate to me, but I have begun to doubt my judgment on these matters because I also believe that we’ve got something similar going on in the Episcopal Church regarding restructuring, but I have rung that bell before to little effect.

I have served on a diocesan staff, and one thing my bosses were very clear about was that we could not take a public stand on legislation that came before our convention. That seemed a proper standard to me, but perhaps I am wrong. Or perhaps there are other issues involved here that I am overlooking. Help me out.

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