ACNA Task Force on Holy Orders Update – June 2015

The latest “Report of the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders” is in, located here. I think the key takeaway is the following two sentences:

It remains to be seen whether or not the issue of women’s ordination can be resolved in any direction beyond the status quo, apart from making judgments about these divergent views, thereby further defining holy orders for the  whole church. The bishops and church will need to consider the tension between the values of liberty and unity in this regard.

To me, this sounds like the status quo is here to stay, which is what I have thought all along. The Task Force is going to punt this to the bishops, will report to the bishops who will also bring in GAFCON on the issue – the Task Force is supposed to report its findings out to something called the FCA International Theological Commission (ITC). 1)As an earlier report said: “We remind the Council and Assembly that the Task Force is serving in an advisory capacity to the College of Bishops. It is not the purpose of the Task Force to find “the solution” to the ordination issues within the ACNA. The Task Force will provide the necessary scholarly work and advice needed for the College to make informed decisions about how the jurisdictions within the ACNA can move forward in their life together.”

The Task Force “hopes” to have a final report ready by January:

It is our hope that the completed report for Phase Three will be complete by the time of meeting of the College of Bishops in January 2016.

I expect another year or two of deliberations after that.

The previous post on this subject is here.

References   [ + ]

1. As an earlier report said: “We remind the Council and Assembly that the Task Force is serving in an advisory capacity to the College of Bishops. It is not the purpose of the Task Force to find “the solution” to the ordination issues within the ACNA. The Task Force will provide the necessary scholarly work and advice needed for the College to make informed decisions about how the jurisdictions within the ACNA can move forward in their life together.”

5 thoughts on “ACNA Task Force on Holy Orders Update – June 2015”

  1. Bishop Hicks, who chairs the task force, has stated from the beginning that the task force was only given the task of producing a report for the House of Bishops. Thus, the task force can’t very well “punt” the issue because it is the House of Bishops that has the responsibility to make a decision. If I remember correctly, one of the items due before sending the report to the House of Bishops is to solicit input from ecumenical partners, including GAFCON. It has been stated from the beginning that this is the way the process would work.

    Nevertheless, I hope and pray that definitive action will be taken by the bishops in the end. The church cannot afford to lie in murky waters on this critical issue.

    1. You make a good point and I updated the post to reflect it. What I mean is that I don’t think the Task Force will even come up with a concrete recommendation for the bishops. The bishops are reluctant to vote on this because it will blow ACNA up. GAFCON itself is divided on the issue.
      Murky waters are what we will continue to swim in, so a time for choosing lies ahead. Do anti WO folks stay and become the proverbial frogs slowly boiling in the water, or do they take steps to leave?

    2. Also, note that the ACNA Constitution can only be changed as follows:
      “This Constitution may be amended by the Provincial Assembly by two-thirds of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose.”
      I doubt there is a 2/3 majority of anti-WO delegates to update the Constitution on this issue.

  2. If I were in the ACNA, I would vote to take steps to leave. Because WO strikes at the heart of orthodox triadology, orthodox christology, and the created order, and because it is violative of ancient apostolic and Catholic order, I do not see it as a second-order issue.

  3. It seems that most over @ ACNA are living in the late 1970s, as confused as their PECUSA predecessors.

    No one -I repeat no one– in ACNA believes in male-only clergy. To a [wo]man, they all believe it is perfectly acceptable. They ought to drop their sham debates.

    It’s reminiscent of their whinging back in the 1990s over “gay” clergy. There too, they dragged their heels until the laity -fed up with their inaction and cowardice- forced them to act. But today, there is no such strength in ACNA – she was born in mediocrity and compromise.

    This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. {Isaiah 37:3}

    In their 12 questions, they appear to have no biblical mandate in their decision-making.

    Maybe #9, but there is nary a verse of sacred Scripture quoted in their farce. That is telling.

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