Tuesday, 22 August 2006

more concerning the New York meeting

Updated Thursday

The Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold has issued via ENS a statement concerning the meeting announced by the ACO last week: Comment from the Presiding Bishop on September meeting. The main part of what he says is this:

I have become aware of a great deal of speculation regarding a meeting that will take place in New York in mid-September. I would like, therefore, to offer a few clarifying words on what has been conceived as an opportunity for those of differing perspectives to come together in a spirit of mutual respect to exchange views.

Shortly after the General Convention, Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, shared with me some conversations he had had with the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the whole notion of “alternative primatial oversight” and the difficulty in making a response. Though application for the same had been made to the Archbishop, it was clear in our conversation that the Archbishop, though symbolic head of the Anglican Communion, has no direct authority over the internal life of the Provinces that make up the Communion. Canon Kearon’s point was that such requests needed to be discussed and a resolution be sought within the Episcopal Church itself. We agreed that the most helpful next step might be to have a candid conversation to include the Presiding Bishop-elect and me together with bishops who have expressed a need for “alternative primatial oversight,” and to have Canon Kearon join with us in the conversations. Bishops Duncan and Iker were then asked to be participants. We also agreed that the group might be expanded by other bishops to be chosen by the participants themselves. Bishops Duncan and Iker invited Bishops Salmon, Stanton and Wimberly to take part. I have asked Bishops Henderson, O’Neill and Sisk. This is the genesis of the meeting now set for mid-September. Bishop Peter Lee was asked to serve as convener and he in turn thought it would be helpful were he joined by a bishop known to have views different from his own. Accordingly, Bishop John Lipscomb was also asked to serve as convener. Whether or not this is the first in a series or in fact a one-time conversation will be decided by the group itself…

Jim Naughton has commented about this at Daily Episcopalian in The Guest List.

I don’t know whether it is significant that none of the bishops who opposed the “manner of life” resolution — passed on the last day of General Convention and meant to insure our ongoing involvement in conversations regarding the future of the Anglican Communion — have been invited. But any meeting which requires a conservative counterweight to the resolutely centerist Peter Lee of Virginia (see the statement) is weighted heavily to one side.

My hunch is that the composition of this group will give momentum to an argument/fear already abroad in liberal circles: that when push comes our elected episcopal leadership may well betray the convictions of the majorities that elected them for the sake of what they perceive to be our institutional viability.

I am not suggesting that a betrayal is in the works, but this matter continues to be handled on both sides of the ocean in a way certain to demoralize the Church’s left/center majority.

I would feel a lot better about this meeting if some lay people, such as Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, were involved.

The Living Church has reported the statement here.

Update In an email published here, Gregory Cameron has written:

…The meeting in September to which you refer has been convened precisely so that bishops who are asking for alternative primatial oversight can meet with their current primate and his successor to determine from within the Episcopal Church the best way forward. While the Archbishop of Canterbury had a role in establishing this meeting, and will be represented at it by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, it is intended to allow the Episcopal Church to reach its own conclusions, and does not represent any independent action by the Archbishop of Canterbury at all…

G K Cameron
Deputy Secretary General
Anglican Communion Office

This was in reply to an email which is reproduced here.

George Conger has a report in the CEN New York summit to bridge American divide.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 August 2006 at 9:20pm BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Jim Naughton wrote: "I am not suggesting that a betrayal is in the works, but this matter continues to be handled on both sides of the ocean in a way certain to demoralize the Church’s left/center majority. I would feel a lot better about this meeting if some lay people, such as Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, were involved."

Oh, there's a betrayal coming, count on it. I would feel a lot better if there were no meeting at all and if the ABC were told, politely, to keep his nose out of TEC. And, I'd feel a lot better that instead of accommodating Duncan and Iker, that they be told to either abide by the decisions of General Convention and follow the Canons of the church; or, resign and renounce their orders and leave or face presentment.

Why is the ABC continuing to let these Rebels call the tune, and why is he dancing to it? There is an incredible lack of leadership by the ABC and by the vast majority of the House of Bishops in TEC. When is someone going to stand up to Akinola, Duncan & Co.?

Posted by: Pete on Tuesday, 22 August 2006 at 11:05pm BST

Which three people will the Presiding Bishop Elect Jefferts Schori invite to attend?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 22 August 2006 at 11:13pm BST

A follow up: Instead of a bunch of dysfunctional bishops calling yet another meeting to talk about gay people, how about inviting some gay people to be part of the conversation? Now there's a novel idea!!! Why isn't Bishop Gene Robinson on the list? Isn't it time to get everyone in the same room and have some truth telling, instead of more blah-blah-blah.

Posted by: pete on Tuesday, 22 August 2006 at 11:16pm BST

Pete asked: "Why isn't Bishop Gene Robinson on the list?"

Didn't ++Rowan Cantuar make his position clear during his interview with the Dutch evangelical paper? Unless mistraslated/misreported, ++Rowan's model of the Church is no longer 'inclusive'. Gays/lesbians must convert to the heterosexual lifestyle. ++Rowan, as Cantuar, seems to have repented of his earlier, more liberal stance with regard to gays. As Bishop of Monmouth, he ordained at least one openly gay priest.

Given the changed circumstances, how can +VG Robinson be invited to participate in any fruitful dialogue? That would make ++Rowan appear to be changing his mind every other day. Nor would +Iker remain in the same room with +Robinson, given his reported 'dramatic arts' conduct at GC2006, when +Iker walked out every time +Robinson rose to address the HoB.

Posted by: John Henry on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 2:11am BST

What disturbs me is that over and over again +Rowan takes the network's characterization of the 'crisis' as the truth. In other words he has (naively, in my opinion) allowed the network and its African allies to 'frame' the discussion (see here for a discussion of framing http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/research?Subject=Framing ). So whenever he contemplates the situation he sees perps (TEC) and victims (networkians). He is, therefore, blind to the IRD/AAC/ACN duplicity the last 3+ years. Our own national church leadership has largely dropped the ball, preferring to keep up appearances as if the conservative cabal didn't exist.

As Russia pulled back from Napoleon's and Hitler's invasions knowing the Russian winter would save it so I sit here in a little upstate New York village praying TEC has some Russian winter up its sleeve to save it from the African/network attempted coup. Frankly, I don't see it happening. And, apparently, +Rowan's got nothing.

Posted by: Chris on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 2:32am BST

The above comments are absolutely correct. Our 4 year strategy of concession has gotten us nowhere. Why repeat it? The matter at hand is greater than whether Canterbury has the authority to appoint alternative primates (which he doesn't), the question is why there is any discussion about this matter at all. There are no grounds - legally or morally - for any such appointments. Thus even discussing it gives credence to the plans of Bishop Duncan & Co. to destroy our church. Sooner or later our old and new Presiding Bishops will have to learn the language "enough is enough."

Posted by: William R. Coats on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 2:09pm BST

I'm ever so glad people of different views are meeting face to face. If they are going to face the fact that Canterbury will not intervene via ALPO or APO or whatever it is, then they do have their mutual work cut out for them on the hillside.

If this is the first little start of what is going to be a growing movement of many meetings across our differences, lasting many years to come; then thanks for that little start.

If it is an attempt to run a football strategy play around the laity and the others not meeting - once again, where are the faithful voices of the out & positive living queer folks? - then something else besides discussion must be the agenda.

A limited meeting could produce a truce or a cease fire agreement with the conservatives, but I do not see many signs that they are actually prepared to honor such a deal if it gets made. The single biggest vitamin Canon K. could drop repeatedly into this meeting would be the neglected and honorable Anglican examples of agreeing to disagree while we persist in common prayer and common world service. That vitamin might be further potentiated by adding in firm, steady respect for provincial/diocesan boundaries - but Canterbury has already hinted that it cannot swallow those things whole any more because they are suddenly declared to be horse pills that nobody in their right mind would take these days.

I guess, we shall see. Gulp.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 3:24pm BST

I must say that I am happy that some sense of institutional concern is being felt. I am a pew dweller and I do not wish to become alien from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. When social policy determines ecclesial legitmacy something is very wrong. It is social heresy. Maybe in time it can be worked out theologically. But lost legitimacy is very hard to recover. We have been trying to get Rome's forgiveness for years.

Posted by: Allan on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 4:12pm BST

"But lost legitimacy is very hard to recover. We have been trying to get Rome's forgiveness for years."

Huh? Oh. This is a joke, right? Or am I supposed to ask, "Who is this 'we?'"

Rome's forgiveness for what?

Sorry - this makes no sense at all to me.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 4:28pm BST

The question the meeting needs to address isn't about consecrating or blessing gay or lesbian people. The question is how to deal with a minority that strongly disagrees with the direction the majority is moving without either selling out to the minority or gagging and beating the minority while telling them to like the abuse.

Jonathan

Posted by: Jon on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 4:29pm BST

"gagging and beating the minority while telling them to like the abuse"

Jonathan, you're talking about gagging and beating LGBTs and their allies---throughout much of the AC---right? (Because nonesuch is happening to the antigay minority in TEC, I can tell ya!)

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 6:23pm BST

Jonathan wrote:

"The question is how to deal with a minority that strongly disagrees ..."

That's easy: Get happy, work within the system to effect change, or leave. Unhappy minorities don't get to create a constitutional crisis, create chaos, and try to destroy the Episcopal Church. Ordained leadership that attempts to subvert TEC may either resign and renounce their orders; or, face presentment.

Posted by: Pete on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 6:25pm BST

I agree with those who do not trust the intentions of Duncan et al. They have made it clear that they do not want to continue to live in communion with us and that they consider us to be seriously mistaken, if not actually heretical. For this meeting to have a positive outcome would take a real miracle.

On the other hand, we are told to forgive our brothers and sisters seventy-seven times and we have been assured that the Lord is with us when two or three or gathered, so I think that we must continue to hold meetings such as this one. That others do not act in charity towards us does not excuse us from our obligations to love them.

Posted by: Nick Finke on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 at 6:50pm BST

+Duncan & Company ought give the The Reformed Espicopal Church a serious look, it's right up their alley - Bible believing, narrow minded, affiliated with all the 'right' kinds of Anglicans. Homosexuals and their friends just need to repent of their sins to be welcomed.

Posted by: Richard III on Thursday, 24 August 2006 at 12:27am BST

"+Duncan & Company ought give the The Reformed Espicopal Church a serious look ... "

I believe that representatives of that body and some of many many other splinter groups have been present at some Network and other functions. See the remarkable list on Anglicans Online of Anglican bodies not in communion w/Canterbury for a sample of what's out there/

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 24 August 2006 at 11:21am BST

The email from Cameron puts things in context, and clearly confronts the statements made about the meeting by Bishop Iker et al. It maintains the existing qualities of relationships between provinces of the Communion.

So, presumably, the message is clear: "You need to resolve this within the Episcopal Church, because no one outside the Episcopal Church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, has the authority to resolve this on your behalf."

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Thursday, 24 August 2006 at 6:40pm BST

Marshall Scott has given us a logical argument:

So, presumably, the message is clear: "You need to resolve this within the Episcopal Church, because no one outside the Episcopal Church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, has the authority to resolve this on your behalf."

But are +Duncan, +Iker & Co. open to logical arguments?

Under the present TEC Constitution and Canons, the PB has really no primatial powers and cannot act unilaterally without the support of other members of the House of Bishops. Many times the PB doesn't even act as Chief Consecrator.

The Network bishops' request for APO is nothing but 'smoke and mirrors', devoid of any logic. The real issue is +Katharine Jefferts Schori (1) being a woman; and (2) being inclusive in her theology and thus welcoming to gays and lesbians.

+Duncan, +Iker and, in the light of recent pronouncements, ++Rowan Cantuar would be perfectly willing to include gays if gays no longer aspired to any other leadership role in the Church than serving as organists and choir directors.

Posted by: John Henry on Thursday, 24 August 2006 at 11:13pm BST
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