Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anglican Standing Committee

“The Standing Committee is not new; it is made
up of elected Primates and elected members from the Anglican Consultative
Council and it co-ordinates work in the Communion.”
Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity Faith and Order,The Anglican
Communion Office
This quote from the Anglican Communion Office does offer the
kind of assurance that the Rev. Canon seems to want to offer. 
At present, a majority of the Anglican Communion hasn’t the
foggiest how such officials of the Anglican Communion come to have the titles
and positions that they have.  Until
recently I have never paid much attention to such politics.  I have no understanding how Standing
Committee members are elected or who elects them. I have wandered all over the
Anglican Communion website but I do not find their names or where they are
from. But if they have the power to exclude me from the Communion, I damn well
want to know!  I also want to know that
those who represent me can do so without having been relegated to the ‘second
table’ without voice or vote as has occurred recently (without legal support)
and at someone’s fit of pique.
The Anglican Covenant presently uses a governmental process that
is not accessible to the majority of the membership.  It is so removed from the members of our
parishes that it cannot be responsive to the needs of those who fund them or
must abide by their decisions. It smacks of the kind of colonialism that has
fostered the current unrest in the first place. If the Rev. Canon Barnett-Cowan
thinks that a 21st Century Church is going to put up with that kind
of governmental structure, she sadly mistaken. 
If the Covenant is passed in its present form, a whole new
system of oversight will have to be developed. It will require an elections system that is available to those in the
pew.  It will require a whole new set of
by-laws to run it. 
I have always admired the Common Law system of governance---the
idea that less law is better law.  But
the Covenant will demand a much larger and more unwieldy system of governance.  Instead of being an ‘endoskeleton’ it will be
an ‘exoskeleton’ since it has already set up a system of exclusion.  In all exoskeletal species, this would demand that the Communion be constantly in a form of revision and reformulation of its
organizational structures.  In the terms of government, it will ultimately call for “big government” which we as a Communion cannot afford, nor do we want. 








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