1) The actions of the Archbishop
If the Archbishop of Canterbury, merely by virtue of his office, has the effective power to instruct the Anglican Communion Office to sanction the US Episcopal Church (TEC) and threaten the Churches of Canada and the Southern Cone - then what's the point or power of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Covenant (SCAC)?If the SCAC can be instructed, even by their Chair, are they not failing in their duty as trustees of the Communion?What is the constitutional position of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO)? Is it entirely the arm of the SCAC or does it have powers in its own right or does the Archbishop of Canterbury command it, or parts of it?
2) TEC, ACC and the CovenantThe Covenant will create a new basis of Anglican fellowship - i.e. the community of those who sign. How will this group relate formally to the legally constituted ACC?If TEC fail to sign the Covenant they cannot thereby, so far as I can see, be expelled from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) - unless the new (still secret) constitution makes it possible, which I doubt because of the time it's taken to create and agree the new constitution.The supposition is that the Covenant group will call the shots of inclusion / exclusion. But by what mechanism? The SCAC is allocated certain roles in relation to the Covenant but the Covenanters (apologies, Scotland) are not given a voice or forum merely by virtue of their signatures. The ACC, which may contain non-signatories, remains the only formal assembly.
3) AccountabilityThe ACC elect most of the members of the SCAC either directly or by election of officers of the ACC who are thereby ex officio members of the SCAC. Can they also call the SCAC to account by virtue of the threat to vote them out? Is (as I suspect) the SCAC already effectively independent of the ACC, a position reinforced by the adoption of the Covenant?The Archbishop of Canterbury is inherently unaccountable. Is it right that one unaccountable individual should be able to command some or all of the other Instruments of Communion?
4) The Primates’ Meeting
The Primates' Meeting has, I suspect, been effectively neutered in the allocation of the Communion's power, except insofar as it elects one third of the SCAC. It has been the focal point for a great deal of conservative rhetoric and frustration. A kettle with a tiny spout is liable to explode when it boils.
Anyway, anyone might be led to draw the conclusion that constitutional niceties are irrelevant and only actual power counts.