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ARCIC appointment does not violate American ban, ACC says: The Church of England Newspaper, Feb 11, 2011 p 7. February 10, 2011

Posted by geoconger in ARCIC, Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.

Prof. Mark McIntosh

The appointment of an American priest to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) does not mean that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ban on members of churches in violation of the Windsor Report serving on ecumenical dialogue committees has been lifted, the staff of the Anglican Consultative Council reports, as the new commission member is not American enough to trigger the ban.

The appointment to the ARCIC III team of one of the author’s the Episcopal Church’s apologia for gay ‘bishops and blessings’ has caused disquiet among conservatives.  It is also likely to set back Dr. Rowan Williams’ hopes for regaining the trust of the majority faction within the Communion, who hold a jaundiced view of the probity of the ACC staff.

On Feb 4, ACNS reported that ten Anglicans, including an American priest working in the UK and the suffragan bishop of Toronto had been appointed to the ecumenical dialogue commission which is scheduled to meet this May in Italy.

However, in his Pentecost letter of May 28, 2010, Dr. Rowan Williams stated that members of provinces that were in breach of the three moratoria on gay bishops and blessings and cross-border encroachments of provincial boundaries would no longer participate in the formal ecumenical dialogues in which the Anglican Communion was engaged

“Provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion and recently reaffirmed by the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged,” Dr. Williams wrote.

Five Americans were subsequently removed from the Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist and Old Catholic dialogue commissions, while Dr. Katherine Grieb of the Virginia Theological Seminary was demoted from membership in the Anglican UFO commission to consultant status.

Canada was spared demotion as its primate had assured the ACC that it had taken no “formal” steps to permit gay blessings even though a number of dioceses, including Toronto, have adopted the practice.  Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile was also demoted to observer status on the UFO commission, although the ACC staff made its decision before a reply could be given by the province’s standing commission on its violations of the moratoria.

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told The Church of England Newspaper the chairman of the new ARCIC team, Archbishop David Moxon of New Zealand, was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, while the members of the team were selected by ACC Secretary General Canon Kenneth Kearon in consultation with Archbishop Moxon.

Among those appointed by Canon Kearon was a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Prof. Mark McIntosh, who in 2009 was appointed Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham.

A spokesman for the ACC told CEN “Canon Prof McIntosh is a canon residentiary of Durham and is licensed as a priest in the Church of England. So he is not prevented from being a member of ARCIC.”

This explanation has rung false with critics of the ACC, who note that some Americans appear to be more American than others.   Canon Phil Ashey, who was barred from taking his seat as a delegate from Uganda at the ACC meeting in Jamaica on the grounds that although he was a bona fida priest of the Church of Uganda he was an American and former Episcopal priest, stated he was disappointed by the news, saying this was “further evidence” that the ACC, Canon Kearon and “ultimately the Archbishop of Canterbury make up the rules as they go along and then choose whether or not to abide by them.”

“This appointment undermines the ARCIC talks. Mark Macintosh from The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago comes from a church that has broken communion with the majority of the Anglican Communion and Anglican teaching, and willfully, repeatedly violated the very faith once delivered for which the Roman Catholic Church stands,” he said.

While he did post-graduate work in the UK, Dr. McIntosh was born and educated in the United States, and was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Chicago by former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.  In 2005, Dr. McIntosh was one of the co-authors of a paper presented to the ACC meeting in Nottingham, entitled “To Set Our Hope on Christ” that defended the Episcopal Church’s innovations of doctrine and discipline over homosexuality.


1. John Richardson - February 11, 2011

On the 8th June last year I posted a blog article which addressed the issue as to who was running the Communion.

Back then, it already seemed that Canon Kearon was basically making personal decisions over the application of the moratoria, but that he must be doing this with the tacit approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The impression is further reinforced by this latest news, which must increase one’s suspicion that there is a cover political agenda.

2. John Richardson - February 11, 2011

A “cover” political agenda, for which read “covert”!

3. guyer - February 11, 2011

What is actually perplexing here is that it seems one can be a priest in two dioceses under two different bishops. That is not a little odd in light of Nicene canons, for instance.

One should not be condemned, as it were, because one is born in the USA and thus a member of the American Episcopal Church. Surely we ought to be allowed to change our provincial affiliation (if I move to Africa or Europe or wherever, surely I ought to be allowed to change my provincial membership)? There is a curious complaint against McIntosh in claiming that he can’t be on ARCIC as it implies a sort of provincial fatalism. However, it is also very odd that one – indeed, anyone – could be resident in two places. This points to the deeper ecclesiological problem within Anglicanism today, namely, one in which episcopal order and canonical structures need to be reformed so that this sort of thing can’t happen (precisely because it causes administrative problems).

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