ACN Council Ratifies Common Cause Structural Document

Delegates to the Network’s Annual Council voted unanimously to ratify the federating Articles of the Common Cause Partners, to clarify the relationship of Network affiliates to The Episcopal Church, and to restate the Network’s commitment to making space for different opinions about women in Holy Orders.

Describing the federating Articles, Bishop-elect John Guernsey said, they are “a step forward for Common Cause that allows the constituent partners to retain their identity and autonomy while forming a more coherent and accountable structure. None of the groups disappear and none of the groups stop their gospel mission… Yet we are forming a more coherent whole.”

The Articles create a leadership council, outline the purpose of the Common Cause partnership, and envision structures that will allow Common Cause Partners to work more closely together in communications, mission and education. Providing it meets each partner’s canonical requirements, the articles also envision Partners making arrangements for the orderly transfer of members between the parishes of different jurisdictions and allowing the clergy of Partners to “officiate transiently” in jurisdictions other than their own.

Delegates also unanimously approved an amendment to the bylaws of the Anglican Communion Network. Noting that many individual parishes and leaders in the Network are no longer part of The Episcopal Church, delegates voted to add the following statement: “Nothing in the charter or bylaws shall be interpreted as requiring submission to the constitution of The Episcopal Church by affiliates of this Network who are not themselves members of The Episcopal Church.

Finally, delegates voted unanimously to ask the Common Cause Partners to add an article to the Common Cause Partner’s Articles that acknowledges differences between Anglicans over women in Holy Orders and pledges that partners “shall recognize and honor the positions and practices on this issue of other members in the Common Cause Partnership.”

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