Thinking Anglicans

Friday press reports

Updated 2 pm – new items at bottom

Stephen Bates reports in the Guardian what a “not normally noted as a liberal” primate told him, but only on condition of anonymity. Anglican leaders divided and defiant after gays pact

The primate, who is not normally noted as a liberal, was speaking on condition of anonymity. He said: “Some primates were personally offensive towards Rowan and gratuitously rude about him behind his back. They had no respect for him and said: ‘He’ll do what we tell him to.’ If I wasn’t a Christian, I would walk away from this right now. I believe a split in the church is inevitable.”

…The anonymous primate said that the conservative archbishops had ignored a direct appeal by the Archbishop of Canterbury for them to attend a service at which he was to preside at Dromantine. Twenty of the 35 attended a “celebration” dinner hosted by Nigeria’s Archbishop Peter Akinola but paid for by American Episcopalian traditionalists opposed to their liberal church leadership following the end of the meeting.

The Church Times also reports on the atmosphere in which the meeting was conducted:
Pat Ashworth Yes, they’re united, but only just: Primates’ response

Other Church Times reports:
Americans and Canadians face tough decisions
Primates’ meeting: the ACC response

Over at the Telegraph Jonathan Petre reports Primate attacked for stance over gays and refers to this letter.

George Conger in the Church of England Newspaper has the most detailed account of events at Dromatine, the article is in two parts:
Behind the scenes at the Primates’ Meeting, part 1
Behind the scenes at the Primates’ Meeting, part 2
Here is his account of the Thursday afternoon:

Matters took a quick turn when at 2pm when an independent journalist announced that he was getting ready to break the story of the agreement over the internet. The Primate of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Gregory Venables of Argentina, telephoned the journalist asking him not to proceed as the details had not been completed nor signed.

Though delayed, an incomplete story announcing the deal broke at approximately 4.30pm causing anger among the global south primates who were fearful that publication of the proposal would wreck negotiations.

As problems unfolded over the leak, Bishop Griswold became perturbed after witnessing the departure of a number of global south primates with their American supporters to dine off-campus.

Bishop Griswold spoke with Dr Williams, who then dressed down the Primates upon their return for sneaking away. In rebuking the Primates, Archbishop Williams committed his first gaffe of the meeting, as his infelicitous tone offended the African leaders.

In the midst of the turmoil over absent primates, exaggerated news reports, and bruised egos, the Primates voted to junk the evening’s agenda and finish the communiqué.

Sources at Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Consultative Council told us the next day that the determination to finish the report and regain control of the agenda from the press unified the Primates as nothing else had over the week.

The drafting committee presented its work to the Primates and after only a few readings the communiqué was adopted — breaking with past practice of arguing over each jot and tittle. At 10.22pm the communiqué was released to the press.

The expression of repentance from the Episcopal Church found in earlier drafts did not materialise due, in part, to the rush to finish. Archbishop Peter Carnley explained: “At the beginning of our meeting we did talk about an expression of regret”, however “I think we lost sight of that particular issue in the course of the meeting”.

The endorsement of the communiqué, however, did not return harmony to the Primates. After the deal was done, Archbishop Williams announced he was going to lead the noonday Eucharist on Friday and invited all the Primates to attend as a gesture of unity. The global south primates declined.

Other CEN report: North American Churches suspended from Communion
and editorial which will disappear next week, but another copy is here

An American report from yesterday, by David Steinmetz in the Orlando Sentinel Negotiating truce in Anglican civil war

Associated Press report by Richard Ostling

And for those who thought Orombi okays gay debate in Church was too good to be true, well, it isn’t: No debate on gays, says Orombi.

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“Some primates were personally offensive towards Rowan and gratuitously rude about him behind his back. They had no respect for him and said: ‘He’ll do what we tell him to.’ …The anonymous primate said that the conservative archbishops had ignored a direct appeal by the Archbishop of Canterbury for them to attend a service at which he was to preside at Dromantine.” So very revealing (and sadly, thoroughly unsurprising). “If I wasn’t a Christian, I would walk away from this right now.” Well, I’m a (Anglican) Christian also, but unlike the anonymous primate above, have been spared this decision by… Read more »