Sunday, May 10, 2009

ACC: What Went Wrong in Jamaica?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009
The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc.
Christopher Seitz
Philip Turner
Ephraim Radner
Mark McCall
The Rt. Rev. John Howe

Friday’s session of the Anglican Consultative Council is an embarrassment to Anglicans everywhere, and a sad display of procedural confusion. Members were given complex resolutions right before the vote without sufficient time to study them and understand their consequences. Resolutions that had been distributed earlier were replaced by resolutions drafted by a committee largely composed of members from provinces known to be opposed to the Ridley Cambridge Draft. Before a vote could even be taken on these resolutions, however, Archbishop Aspinall introduced a third resolution that not even the chairman of the resolutions committee had seen. The proponents of these resolutions, the intent of which was to remove Section IV and so significantly alter the Ridley Cambridge Draft, could not describe them to the members in a coherent way even though their first language was English, unlike many of those voting. All three resolutions were being debated at the same time. In consultation with various members present, there is agreement that this was improper.

The first motion to remove Section 4 for review and so alter the Covenant was defeated overwhelmingly by the members of the ACC. But the proponents of delay and alteration attempted yet again to insert the main provisions of the resolution just defeated into the resolution then under consideration. This attempt was rightly ruled out of order by the chair, Bishop Paterson of New Zealand, himself sympathetic to the leadership of TEC. For reasons that are unclear, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had himself called for a vote on Resolution A, personally challenged this ruling of the chair and it was reversed. (It has been suggested that delegates voted against Resolution A because they had an interest in other resolutions. But that should never have been the condition under which voting was taking place, and it requires that 15 of the votes were cast because of this in order actually to approve Resolution A – a matter we cannot ever know because it is pure conjecture. This puts a cloud over the entire logic of voting as such and would clearly suggest the need for a re-vote, not a moving ahead with new resolutions).

Read it all here.

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