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ACC affirms Communion-wide listening process, members' voluntary withdrawal
Presiding Bishop offers comment

By Matthew Davies and Bob Williams
ENS 062205-4
6/22/2005
[Episcopal News Service, Nottingham]  The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) today unanimously affirmed the "listening process" requested for the Anglican Communion since 1998 and, in another resolution, endorsed the Primates' February request that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada "voluntarily withdraw their members" from the ACC until the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The second resolution included an amendment that "interprets reference to the Anglican Consultative Council to include its Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Finance and Administration Committee."

The vote on the second resolution was 30 in favor, 28 against, with 4 abstentions, according to the Anglican Communion Office, and came after a two-hour session closed to observers, guests and media.

Commenting after the vote, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said: "The vote, which was contingent on the absence of the six votes of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada reveals a divide within the membership of the ACC. I very much hope that the listening process now mandated by the ACC will be one step in healing this divide. I also hope that the report submitted by the Episcopal Church to the members of the ACC, "To Set Our Hope on Christ," will be a useful contribution to that process. The work and mission of the Anglican Communion is carried out largely through international commissions and networks in which the Episcopal Church continues as a fully active and committed participant. It is through these means and our numerous other relationships focused on mission to our hurting world that we will, with God's grace, find our way forward."

The second resolution was proposed by ACC member Stanley Isaacs of South East Asia with a list of 12 supporters including Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.

The full text of the resolutions follows:

Resolution on the Listening Process, as requested by the Primates at Dromantine

In response to the request of the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference in 1998 in Resolution 1.10 to establish "a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion" and to honour the process of mutual listening, including "listening to the experience of homosexual persons" and the experience of local churches around the world in reflecting on these matters in the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, the Anglican Consultative Council encourages such listening in each Province and requests the Secretary General:

  1. To collate relevant research studies, statements, resolutions and other material on these matters from the various Provinces and other interested bodies within those Provinces; and
  2. To make such material available for study, discussion and reflection within each member Church of the Communion; and
  3. To identify and allocate adequate resources for this work, and to report progress on it to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the next Lambeth Conference and the next meeting of this Council, and to copy such reports to the Provinces.

Resolution following the Primates' Statement at Dromantine

The Anglican Consultative Council

  1. takes note of the decisions taken by the Primates at their recent meeting in Dromantine, Northern Ireland, in connection with the recommendations of the Windsor Report 2004;
  2. notes further that the Primates there reaffirmed "the standard of Christian teaching on matters of human sexuality expressed in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which should command respect as the position overwhelmingly adopted by the bishops of the Anglican Communion";
  3. endorses and affirms those decisions;
  4. consequently endorses the Primates' request that "in order to recognise the integrity of all parties, the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council, for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference";
  5. interprets reference to the Anglican Consultative Council to include its Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Finance and Administration Committee.