27 July 2010

Regular Order

27 July 2010

Update: It appears I was wrong. How I was wrong is arguably worse than I thought. The new ACC constitution which has somehow come into force without ratification from the provinces allows the standing committee with the consent of 2/3's of the primates to remove or add to the schedule of members. So, ACC can effectively remove a member and the standing committee is explicitly empowered to begin the process.

The curia is here. Dr. Williams and Canon Kearon have indeed chopped away the laws that protect the church from the devil. Now they must stand in the whirlwind. But we do not have to join them. It is time to go. This is no longer the Anglican Communion. It is the curia ridden disaster Dr. Williams has been pointing towards and calling, "the Anglican Church."

Not one dime, not one moment should flow from us to it.



When, as I have been known to do, I say something negative about Dr. Williams's term as archbishop of Canterbury I get mail. Not many comments but lots of mail. All of it of course letting me know not that I am wrong but that it is wrong to say bad things about the archbishop. Fair notice: I will publish the mail this time with names redacted except for the threats which will not have the names removed.

Dr. Williams is I am sure a bright guy. He is also surely charming -- one does not get to be a bishop without. And I do not think he is evil. He is however absolutely wrong.

First let me tell you what brought on this post. The "Standing Committee" met recently. This cabal of usurpers has been found to be the "Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion" a name created by the un-ratified "covenant." In other words it is a use of a title that is to be created only if something is done to make the 'covenant'

That committee, the usurpers of authority not granted, and so top heavy with bishops that it is absolutely unrepresentative, met and congratulated itself of being the one and only "standing committee." One wonders that it did not adopt sainthood for Robespierre! (See Preludium for a discussion of the membership.)

It gets worse. Among its actions the committee discussed a motion to "separate" TEC from the communion. Now if we posit for a moment that this group thinks it is operating under section 4 of the despicable covenant, it does not have the power to do that. If it is acting under the constitution of ACC it does not have the power to do that. Did the chair act appropriately and rule the motion out of order as it clearly was? Nope! Instead they debated it and elected to defer it and request a staff report on the potential financial impact.

Let's detail this: the committee took a title it does not own, and is now considering action it has no even potential authority to take and the chair said nothing, ruled nothing. For an analog suppose a Congressperson were to move that the United States drop Iowa and the speaker did not rule the motion out of order. Instead they worried about how they will proceed without all that lovely North American cash.

In the Congress and other formal bodies, there is a constant phrase: proceed in regular order. It means to follow the agenda and the rules. The phrase does not seem to exist in the "Standing Committee." And that is appalling. Regular order, obeying one's own rules is a key to civilized and lawful conduct of business. It is not an option it is a necessity.

Dr. Williams knows better. Canon Kearon knows better. But they are angry at TEC and ACCanada, and appear desperate to hold onto some semblance of unity with the Central Africans who have been subverted by IRD. So here we are, watching them ignore any pretense at obeying even their own rules.

One of my favorite cinematic moments is in "A Man For All Seasons" and I have embedded it here. Dr. Willams and the rest of his co-conspirators would do well to consider an answer for the saint's question. How will they stand in the wind that will blow when they finish dumping North America while ignoring the regular order and the laws of their own organizations? If Dr. Williams really thinks getting rid of those troublesome North Americans will pacify the Central Africans and the IRD, he is about to reap the whirlwind and be bitterly dissapointed.



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