Monday, May 4, 2009

ACC Meeting Starts with Credentials Flap

From the Living Church (trouble in River City!!!)

The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Jamaica began May 2 under protest when the credentials of the Rev. Philip Ashey, the clergy representative designated by the Church of Uganda, were rejected by the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) of the primates and the ACC.

“The Joint Standing Committee has discussed this at length,” wrote the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the ACC in a letter dated April 30 and sent to the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda. “We understand that the Rev. Philip Ashey’s relationship with the Church of the Province of Uganda is as a result of a cross-provincial intervention, and note that such interventions are contrary to the Windsor Report and other reports accepted by successive meetings of the Instruments of Communion, including Primates’ Meetings you have attended.” Canon Kearon was to offer a statement on the credentials situation at the conclusion of a May 4 press briefing.

Archbishop Orombi wrote to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on May 2, claiming that the JSC exceeded its authority in rejecting Fr. Ashey, because the Windsor Report and similar documents do not have the authority to override the constitution of the ACC.

“Our reasons for appointing one of our American priests to represent us as our clergy delegate are our reasons, and are not for the Joint Standing Committee to question,” Archbishop Orombi said. He added that Fr. Ashey spoke for “almost 100,000 orthodox Anglicans in North America who … will not otherwise have voice or seat at the table of the ACC … There is a double standard at work here and it favors the Western world and marginalizes Africa and others in the Global South.”

There is no primate representing Africa at the JSC meeting. Both Archbishop Orombi, who has not attended any meeting since his election in 2006, and the alternate, the Most Rev. Justice Akrofi, Archbishop of West Africa, said they have scheduling conflicts.

The seating of the clergy representative from Uganda was not the only controversial issue to arise during the opening session. Archbishop Drexel Gomez, former Archbishop of the Church of the Province of the West Indies and the chairman of the Covenant Design Group, introduced the covenant draft that is expected to be voted on during the ACC meeting. A proposed resolution calling for member churches to respond by December 2014 “on the progress made in the process of adoption and in response to the covenant texts…” drew expressions of concern. The meeting went into recess, and then went into private session after the meeting resumed.

No comments: