Anglican Consultative Council (1969-)
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An excerpt from The Vision Before Us, The Kyoto Report of IASCER, 2000-2008:
The genesis of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations lies in the Lambeth Conference of 1998 and, before that, the tenth meeting of the ACC in Panama, in October 1996, since the ACC has within its Constitution a specific responsibility for ecumenism.
The Ecumenical Advisory Group (IASCER’s precursor) submitted to the ACC its first draft of the Agros Report, summarising ‘the richness and diversity of ecumenical life in the Anglican Communion’ so that, revised in the light of the ACC’s comments, it could be forwarded as a resource to the 1998 Lambeth Conference. In this report, the Ecumenical Advisory Group proposed that the Group be replaced by a standing commission with a new and fuller mandate. The ACC endorsed this recommendation:
ACC-10 Resolution 16: Agros Report:
Replacement of the Ecumenical Advisory Group by an Inter-Anglican Standing Commission
Resolved that this ACC endorses the proposal contained in the Agros Report that the Ecumenical Advisory Group be replaced by an Inter- Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations following the Lambeth Conference, whose tasks would be:
b) to monitor and encourage the process of reception, response and decision;
c) to ensure theological consistency in dialogues and conversations by reviewing local, regional and provincial proposals with ecumenical partners and when an agreement affects the life of the Communion as a whole, to propose, after consultation with the ACC and the Primates’ Meeting, that the matter be brought to the Lambeth Conference before the Province votes to enter the new relationship;
d) to address issues of terminology; and
e) to facilitate the circulation of documents and ecumenical resources throughout the Communion.
This report and resolution then came before Lambeth 1998, and contributed to the comprehensive review of Anglicanism’s ecumenical vocation conducted by Section IV of the Conference, under the heading Called to Be One.4 More than twenty resolutions were passed as a result of the Section’s work (some of which are referred to in later chapters). These included an affirmation of the proposed commission, together with a summary description of the work which the commentary within Called to Be One proposed it might address:
Lambeth Conference 1998: Resolution IV.3: An Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations
b) proposes that the tasks of this Commission should be:
ii. to monitor and encourage the process of response, decision and reception
iii. to ensure theological consistency in dialogues and conversations by reviewing regional and provincial proposals with ecumenical partners and, when an agreement affects the life of the Communion as a whole, after consultation with the ACC, to refer the matter to the Primates’ Meeting, and only if that Meeting so determines, to the Lambeth Conference, before the Province enters the new relationship
iv. to give particular attention to anomalies which arise in the context of ecumenical proposals with a view to discerning those anomalies which may be bearable in the light of progress towards an agreed goal of visible unity, and to suggest ways for resolving them
v. to consider, when appropriate, if and how an agreement made in one region or Province can be adopted in other regions or Provinces
vi. to address issues of terminology
vii. to facilitate the circulation of documents and ecumenical resources throughout the Communion, as far as possible in the languages of the Communion.
As a result, in Nassau on Advent Sunday 2000, Archbishop Drexel Gomez (as Chair) and Canon David Hamid, the Anglican Communion’s Director of Ecumenical Affairs (Secretary) sat down for the first time with some 14 of 15 appointees, to begin the work of IASCER.