The American Anglican Council has offered its response to the Special Commission Report declaring it "inadequate" because it "does not reflect the mind of the Anglican Communion with regard to these issues, nor does it comply with the spirit and word of the Windsor Report or the Primates’ Communiqué."
No surprises here -- just more of the rhetoric we've seen since 2003 insisting that the criteria for our being in communion is capitulation to their demands that we pass the narrow, sola scriptura litmus test they have been diligently working to bait-and-switch with the traditional Anglican approach to Biblical authority grounded in Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
Never mind that voices from around the Anglican Communion continue to advocate for listening and dialogue in spite of our differences --
Never mind that Archbishop Eames is on record in saying that ECUSA has not only met but exceeded the recommendations of the Windsor Report --
And -- perhaps most disturbing of all -- never mind that facts getting in the way of the "spin du jour" are cavalierly re-written. Case in point?
From the AAC Commentary on the Special Commission Report: Based on the commission’s theological foundation and the need for a new consensus, the report does not call for a moratorium on consecrations of non-celibate homosexuals; rather, the committee urges only “the exercise of very considerable caution” with regard to the election and consecration of an individual “living in a same gender union” (Paragraph 51 and Resolution A161).
From what Resolution A161 actually SAYS: … we urge nominating committees, electing conventions, Standing Committees, and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise very considerable caution in the nomination, election, consent to, and consecration of bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.
As a careful reader would get from the spliced citation, the report does NOT say that any special caution needs to be exercised with respect to candidates for bishop "living in a same gender union"; it says that we need to exercise caution with respect to ANY "manner of life" presenting a challenge.
Further, while it DOES list as an example of that a bishop who cannot be a pastoral leader to all in the diocese or is compromised in her/his ability to strive for justice for and respect the dignity of all (Archbishop Akinola might come to mind for some!) it doesn't even list "living in a same gender union" as an example of a problematic "manner of life."
Readers might reasonably conclude that this is a very deliberate attempt by the AAC to get people thinking that the report says something it very clearly doesn't -- a tactic that does nothing to move the church forward in resolving the differences that challenge it and everything to continue to polarize those differences in an effort to immobilize it.
The Living Church got it right in its editorial this week: "We invite and implore all who will be working to shape the Church’s future in the coming months to do so while keeping in mind that they, their allies, and those with whom they disagree all are members of the one body of Christ. How we live out our membership will have a profound impact on our ability as a Church to make disciples as Jesus commanded."
Telling the truth to and about each other is at least a place to start.