The teeth of the thing: a magisterium in the Communion’s future?

Updated @ 9:17PM Eastern with coverage by Anglican Journal – scroll to end


Ruth Gledhill has obtained a copy of the draft resolution before the Anglican Consultative Council that pertains to the Windsor Continuation Group. The text of the resolution:


a) thanks the Archbishop of Canterbury for his report on the work and recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group.

b) affirms the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group.

c) encourages the Archbishop of Canterbury to work with the Joint Standing Committee and Secretary General to carry forward the implementation of these recommendations as appropriate.

d) affirms the request of the Windsor Report (2004), adopted at the Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007 and 2009) and supported at the Lambeth Conference (2008) for the implementation of the agreed moratoria on the Consecration of Bishops living in a same gender union, authorisation of public Rites of blessing for Same Sex unions and continued interventions in other Provinces, and urges gracious restraint in all these areas.

e) requests IASCUFO to undertake a study of the role and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting in the Communion, their ecclesiological rationale and the relationships between them in line with the recommendation of paragraph 76 of the WCG Report, and to report back to ACC-15.

Gledhill’s post includes jpegs of the report — apologies, that’s what’s available for now (click on them to enlarge to improve legibility).

Gledhill’s interpretation of e) above:

Basically, it is Anglican-speak for empowering the ‘instruments’ – the Primates, Lambeth and the ACC – to enforce discipline. So that paragraph, for all its acronyms and jargon, is the teeth of the thing. The question remains, will the provinces bite?

IASCUFO? That would be Inter-Anglican Standing Committee for Unity, Faith and Order. It already exists, but the post of director recently became vacant because of the Consecration of Canon Gregory Cameron as Bishop of St Asaph in the Church in Wales. You can apply for the position here.

Added: The Anglican Journal reports,

Archbishop Williams, who walked ACC delegates through the history of the WCG and its recommendations, meanwhile, urged them to explore whether Anglicanism should mean “more or less communion, integrity and cohesiveness.”

He said that he believes that the WCG had made several references to an “ecclesial deficit” because the Anglican Communion, “at the moment suffers from a lack of clarity about what kind of fellowship it’s meant to be. As long as we have that lack of clarity we will be unclear about what we really mean by church.”

The Lead has analyzed the WCG report and “ecclesial deficit” before including in this post.

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