Saturday, 9 January 2016
Good for the Canadian Archbishop, Fred Hiltz. He really sounds like the charitable and healing voice of reason.
The article by our Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, is standard diplomatic and pastoral fare. There is nothing wrong with that as far as it goes. I note from his article that he takes hope that Jean Vanier will be a guest at the gathering.
It is always a good thing to hear from Jean Vainer. I had an opportunity to attend a liturgy conducted by a L'Arche group at which Vanier spoke. He is wonderful.
However, one of the politcal considerations in any framework for problem solving is who gets a seat at the table and who does not, who gets a voice and who remains an absent topic of conversation by the powers that be.
There are gay/lesbian bishops in The Communion. There are openly gay priests, some of whom are married, in The Church of England. Yet there is no opportunity for them to be in conversation with the hierarchy even though the meeting turns on their very existence. No amount of pre-meeting public relations announcements about guest speakers or broadening of the agenda can distract from this fact. Conflict resolution that does not include all stake holders seldom gets very far; but then the meeting is not really any type of negotiation, is it.
From the Guardian news article:
“There’s going to be a lot of drama,” said a senior C of E source. “It’s 90% likely that the six will walk out. If we get past Tuesday, we’ll be doing well.”
Looks to me as though CofE officials are reading the tea leaves correctly--walkout 90 percent likely. The officials are even distinguishing between two kinds of walkouts. And they are, quite rightly, trying to deprive the walkers-out of any element of surprise, and are trying to set expectations low.
Andrew Brown can't quite seem to figure out what he thinks of it all. On the one hand, he says it will be the end of the Communion as a significant grouping of Christians. Then he says, Not that it ever was. Well, which is it? Something cannot end if it never existed in the first place.
This confusion results in a deceptive headline--"end of a global church." Anglicanism never was a "global church." Headline writers need to soup up stories. But there's a difference between adding zip and adding inaccuracy.
The articles by Madeleine Davies, Spectre of walkout by Primates haunts Canterbury talks, and
Mark Chapman, Try deep consultation not rushed decisions, are both really good. However, I'm surprised Chapman's piece didn't say something about the role of The Scottish Episcopal Church in the formation of what became The Anglican Communion, given SEC's important contribution to TEC and even the liturgical evolution of the Canadian Church.
The more I ponder it, the more I wonder whether Sherwood's article may suggest that Archbishop Welby is calling the GAFCON conservatives' bluff.
The senior source seems to be predicting that six primates will walk out. This prediction would not be made if there were a serious risk of more primates walking out. If that were to happen, after this article, Welby would look really bad.
So the story will be that six primates walk out, but that the provinces that remain will be free, in the best Anglican tradition, to order their prayer books and liturgies as local circumstances may require.
Without shouts of disapproval from other provinces.
This will be a liberating moment for the Church of England. The Archbishops should be able to focus much less on Communion malcontents, and much more on English needs.
if they are not sure that the meeting will last beyond Tuesday, I'm looking forward to Wednesday morning immensely.
"There are gay/lesbian bishops in The Communion. There are openly gay priests, some of whom are married, in The Church of England. Yet there is no opportunity for them to be in conversation with the hierarchy even though the meeting turns on their very existence. No amount of pre-meeting public relations announcements about guest speakers or broadening of the agenda can distract from this fact. Conflict resolution that does not include all stake holders seldom gets very far; but then the meeting is not really any type of negotiation, is it." - Rod Gillis
Even if a gay bishop or two was included, there would still wouldn't be representation from the BL let alone the TI parts of LGBTI. While things can be discouraging for gay priests and bishops, male privilege means their voices are still far more prominent than those from other parts of the LGBTI spectrum.