Updated again Monday evening
Two British newspaper correspondents have reports this morning:
Daily Telegraph Jonathan Petre is already in Dar es Salaam, and reports Archbishop’s peace talks threatened.
…To the consternation of officials, the conservative primates have set up their own headquarters in the neighbouring Beachcomber hotel, at which they will determine their collective strategy, and they are threatening to snub Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the liberal leader of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism…
…Anglican officials are hoping that divisions between hardliners and moderates will surface within this group over the next two days, allowing Dr Williams to appeal to the middle ground. “Much will depend on whose voices dominate the Global South caucus,” said one.
But a leading conservative, the Primate of Central Africa, Archbishop Bernard Malango, said many of his colleagues would find it “very difficult” to work with Presiding Bishop Schori. He added that the presence of the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, for the first time was also problematic because it had been decided without full consultation. In a warning to Dr Williams, he said: “If people have come in a spirit of give and take, that will happen. But if people have made up their minds to bring certain people here, then it will be difficult.
“I don’t want to see the Church damaged but if some groupings, especially those who are not faithful to the scriptures, decide to do their own thing, then that puts me in a difficult situation…”
Guardian Stephen Bates Archbishop battles to ward off final Anglican split on homosexuality.
…Conservative archbishops, mainly from the developing world, have gathered in Dar es Salaam for a separate two-day conference in advance of a formal meeting on Wednesday to plot tactics and agree a strategy before Rowan Williams arrives tomorrow…
…Archbishops, particularly those from Africa, want the American Church to be thrown out of the Anglican Communion because the church has been supportive of gay relationships, which they see as being in defiance of biblical injunctions.
They are being supported and lobbied at the meeting by English and American conservative, mainly evangelical, factions who also want to overthrow the US church’s liberal leadership and claim it for themselves.
In a further uncompromising sign, the Most Rev Peter Akinola, the primate of Nigeria and leader of the so-called “global south” archbishops opposed to any accommodation with the church’s homosexual members, has told Dr Williams that he objects to the presence of John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, at the meeting…
The local paper in Dar es Salaam, the Daily News reports Gays debate comes to haunt Anglican Church Summit.
A SHOWDOWN on the issue of gay church leaders is shaping up ahead of the Anglican Church Summit starting in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday…
…A number of delegates have already arrived in Dar es Salaam for the Summit expected to come up with a new vision on church solidarity as well addressing divisive tendencies. Several delegates attended Sunday morning service at the St Alban’s Cathedral in the city centre…
And the Global South Anglican has published The Long Road to Full Inheritance: Anglican Communion, Anno Domini 2007 by Michael Poon. Also there is Do you love me? – A Question for our Primates too by Canon AkinTunde Popoola.
Stephen Bates also has a strongly-worded critique of several English bishops at Comment is Free in Blathering bishops. And a leading conservative agrees with him:
…Furthermore Scott-Joynt & Co always seem to intervene just when a big church meeting is in the offing. Martyn Minns, one of the breakaway conservatives in the US Church, told me yesterday: “They always seem to have these thoughts and feel the need to share them just at the worst possible time.”
And he concludes with this:
…The outpourings of the Bishop of Winchester and his colleagues are counter-productive, both from the perspective of changing anyone’s minds and for the reputation of the Church of England, and they also serve to undermine the Archbishop of Canterbury as he strives to keep the worldwide communion together this week in Dar es Salaam.
Furthermore they are deeply divisive within the CofE’s bench of bishops, where Scott-Joynt and Nazir-Ali are both regarded as insufferable by many of their colleagues. What a happy ship it is.
The Toronto Star has Canada could play a key role as divided Anglican bishops meet.
And in case you were wondering where Dar es Salaam is, ACNS has provided a map along with other information.
Jonathan Petre has also blogged about it: Ring of steel around the archbishops.
…The burgeoning bunker mentality can, perhaps, be explained by the palpable anxiety of the organizers that the meeting could be derailed before it has even started by the powerful conservative group of Global South primates, who are determined to seize control of events.
They have set up their own headquarters a hundred yards up the road in the Beachcomber hotel, where they are holding strategy meetings before moving en masse to the White Sands for the official five-day meeting beginning on Thursday, where a bloody showdown is looming.
When I mentioned to one of the conservative primates that there was consternation among Anglican Communion staff about what is effectively an alternative headquarters, he replied: “This isn’t the alternative headquarters. It is THE headquarters.” With that sort of attitude to contend with, Dr Williams will have his work cut out.
David Anderson of the AAC has also reported from Tanzania: News from Tanzania: Primates Already Arriving, Meeting in Dar Es Salaam
The Anglican primates have been arriving in groups, some earlier than others, to attend several meetings scheduled prior to the general Primates’ Meeting. It is anticipated that several primates will not arrive, although that is unclear until the meetings actually start. We have been told that the primate of Wales will not attend due to a long planned sabbatical, and the primate of North India will also be absent.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is arriving somewhat late and will miss some or all of the joint meeting of the primates and Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). With Dr. Williams arriving late, Wales not attending, and a few others understood not to be coming; it may be that the joint meeting consists mainly of the Standing Committee of the ACC and Primate Bernard Malango (Province of Central Africa).
It has been suggested by some that the reason for the poor showing has to do with a lack of timely planning on the part of the organizers. The minutes of the last meeting are said to have not been given to the members in attendance until yesterday, and there is a difference of memory as to what the minutes should actually reflect.
The usual contingent from the news media is present in Dar Es Salaam, including Stephen Bates from London’s Guardian newspaper, the Rev. Canon Chris Sugden for Anglican Mainstream, the Rev. Canon David Anderson for the American Anglican Council’s Encompass publication, and Bishop Martyn Minns and wife Angela Minns for Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) News. Prayer intercessors from the United States led by Rose-Marie Edwards are covering the meetings in prayer, along with other groups off-site. Bishop Bob Duncan (Pittsburgh) is on location, and other familiar faces from both sides of the main issues are expected to arrive momentarily..