Two Interesting Resolutions from ACC ‘17
The Anglican Consultative Council Meeting in Hong Kong
As yet the full list of resolutions in their final form as actually passed at the meeting of recent days in Hong Kong has yet to emerge. However, two of the resolutions passed at an earlier stage are in their final form and are set out below.
In each case it is arguable that they could have wide ranging implications for the Communion and the place of the ACC within it and as such will be discussed further in these pages in the coming days.
B17:04 Reception of Ecumenical Texts in the Anglican Communion
The Anglican Consultative Council endorses the following process for the reception of ecumenical texts in the Anglican Communion:
- When any ecumenical bilateral dialogue of the Anglican Communion has completed an agreed statement, it is first sent to IASCUFO.
- IASCUFO studies the agreed statement and reaches a common mind on whether it recognises the statement ‘as consonant with the faith of the Church as Anglicans have received it’. IASCUFO then prepares resources, advice, and draft recommendations to be taken to the next meeting of the ACC.
- The ACC then formally welcomes the agreed statement by resolution, and commends the text, together with IASCUFO’s advice, to the Member Churches of the Anglican Communion for study, reflection and response within a timeframe set by the ACC.
- At the meeting of IASCUFO immediately prior to an ACC, the members of the commission will be joined by an ACC reference group, comprising some members of the ACC for further reflection on ecumenical statements in the light of the provincial responses and any other considerations. The task of this enhanced commission will be to evaluate whether an agreed text has a sufficient level of consensus in the Member Churches for a recommendation to be made to the ACC.
- The Standing Committee nominates up to 15 people to form the ACC reference group. The constitution of this group is recommended to be:
- two primate members of ACC;
- two bishop members of ACC;
- two priest or deacon members of ACC;
- two lay members of ACC;
- relevant Anglican Co-Chairs of bilateral dialogue in question (e.g., with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Methodist Council, and any other new dialogue partner).
- Having obtained sufficient support from the Member Churches, IASCUFO and the ACC reference group will then invite the ACC to recognise, by resolution, an ecumenical text ‘as consonant in substance with the faith of the Church as Anglicans have received it’ and as providing ‘a sufficient basis for taking the next steps towards the reconciliation of our Churches, grounded in agreement in faith’.
C17:01 Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission
The Anglican Consultative Council, recognising the failures of the past, is determined that every church in the Anglican Communion is a safe place for everyone, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults, and therefore:
- approves the ‘Guidelines to enhance the safety of all persons – especially children, young people and vulnerable adults – within the provinces of the Anglican Communion’, and authorises the Standing Committee to amend the Guidelines, in consultation with the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission
- requests each Member Church and each extra-provincial Church under the direct metro-political jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury to take the following five steps:
- adopt the Charter and implement the Protocol, where it has not done so;
- implement the accompanying guidelines;
- report to ACC-18 on the steps taken to adopt the Charter, and to implement the Protocol and guidelines;
- appoint a representative with the responsibility of liaising with the Commission regarding the adoption of the Charter, implementation of the Protocol and the guidelines, and the development of recommendations for the enhancement of the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults in the Anglican Communion; and
- encourage those with safe church/safeguarding responsibilities in the Member Church to join the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network.
- requests the Secretary General to reconstitute the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission with the terms of reference as approved by the Standing Committee.
(N.B. the documents referred to here will also be made available and are already on the ACC Website and merit attention.)