Comments: Primates Meeting: church press reports

Well, Abp Williams gives new meaning to the phrase "going the extra mile" -- his frequent flyer stats will be fabulous. The boycotters are distraught that no one bothered to discuss their issues in Dublin. I'm sure the assembled bishops relished the comfort-zone after so many nagfests from their difficult cousins.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 10:53am GMT

So, apparently, even when they don't show up, the GS primates get what they want from the meeting?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 11:35am GMT

There is an enormous amount of spin and deliberate misinformation going on here.

The Primates Meeting overreached itself at Dar es Salaam. It had been taken over by outsiders who who calling the shots and the meeting was underpinned by threats and girded by fear. It has always been a matter of bemusement to me that the otherwise reasonably bright lads at the ACI/Fulcrum axis somehow wanted to finesse this disaster and went on (and continue to demand) the supremacy of this group. There is also much mention of the failure of the 2008 Lambeth Conference to make decisions - yet reading the outcomes it is clear that the Lambeth Fathers thought "rule by Primates" had been a something of a failure and it was time for a review - something they completely overlook, so thoroughly wedded are they to this method of governance - and so determined are they to diss the last Lambeth Conference.

In my view the present report from the Primates still places on themselves the role of "leadership" - a role they have yet to prove themselves fit in their present dysfunctional state. Yet that word seem to have passed these observers by in their desire to claim a victory for TEC polity due to the Global South boycott.

What is clear, and I think this is the point of all this clamouring, is that the ACNA group have failed to dislodge TEC. Those churches who have already accepted ACNA and rejected TEC and ACoC as the legitimate Anglican presence in North America must now form a subgroup. My view here is that ACNA was highly premature and probably would have had some success at an institutional level had it managed to contain itself and the ambitions of those who now lead it.

There has been some poor decisions - not to attend Lambeth and to break off now from attending Primates Meetings - are all poor tactics when so much would be different if they had stayed on board. Ambitious men have derailed this, people who wanted their way NOW or at least in the relatively near future. The long game was ignored and now ACNA will probably never be accepted and will probably fragment (which I think is sad from at least one perspective).

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 11:37am GMT

What a blatant power play from the GS Primates who stayed away. They absent themselves and then claim that they were not represented. They then claim that +Rowan Williams has lost his leadership role because he can only call meetings - which they will refuse to attend. Venables says that they didn't discuss the important issues (to the GS) while he and his friends were not there participate anyway. If they had, the attenders would have been scorned, whatever they might have said. This is irresponsible and childish beyond description. Manipulation, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness. A true witness to the Gospel.

Posted by Richard Grand at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 1:13pm GMT

My question is: Why do people who stay away and then take potshots afterward get so much attention? They refuse to make themselves available or to engage in dialogue and then they make pronouncements which are presented to us by the media as if they have some kind of authority. Why do people who deliberately sabotage still get a platform for sabotage? Why do we pay so much attention to the petulant and the naysayers? They gain so much by staying away because we must hear their reasons as spouted by their supporters and admirers-the usual suspects. If a parishioner refuses to attend Vestry Meeting and then complains about the decisions or the other attenders, don't we move on? It's like people who complain about who gets elected but never vote.

Posted by Richard Grand at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 1:21pm GMT

Two things, briefly:

I do not mind the Primates showing "leadership" as long as they don't try "governance."

All of this goes to show that the main "reality" of Anglicanism as far as some are concerned involves "showing up to meetings." This is an error on both sides. Though such things are important, the real work of the Communion takes place in the many other interchanges supported by the bonds of affection, quite apart from the "Instruments" -- which to my mind provide mostly background music to the real fellowship.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 2:48pm GMT

Well, Tobias, while accepting much of what you say - I still like Desmond Tutu's definition of what constituted the Anglican Communion

"We meet."

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 5:19pm GMT

"The Archbishop of Canterbury will engage in a round of shuttle diplomacy in an attempt to improve relations with the Global South primates who boycotted last week’s primates’ Meeting."

Is it OK to pray that his staff locks up the theological and ecclesiological silver while he's frequently flying?

Posted by peterpi - Peter Gross at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 6:45pm GMT

The Bishop of Argentina, Greg Venables might as well start paying better attention to the flock at home and stop dabbling in other peoples religious understandings/business now that he is no longer Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone nor a Anglican Primate--like his pals at Gafcon, their extra special super duper moralizing isn´t something that anyone pays much attention to, or lives by, or gives credibility to on their very home vertically corrupt turf...meanwhile, the LEGAL LGBTI Marriages in Argentina ought be ¨mission¨ enough for +Greg to focus on...a giant chunk of real vs. pomposity defeated along with ¨revisionist¨ fading pretend.

Lots to fret about at Gafcon and beyond but The Episcopal Church in the United States and The Anglican Church of Canada ought NOT be amongst targets to purify the souls of those who do little but strut/destruct and try to outshout the wholesome reality unfolding at The worldwide Anglican Communion!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 8:22pm GMT

@Dr Phillip Turner---

The Anglican Communion is dead: long live the Anglican Communion!

Posted by JCF at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 8:25pm GMT

The “communion as we have known it is gone.”
This seems just plain wrong -- the communion as we have known it is still there -- the primates that didn't want to be a part of it chose to absent themselves because the totally different "communion" that the Gafconites wanted to create didn't happen.

Posted by Prior Aelred at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 9:23pm GMT

"Dr Philip Turner, of the Anglican Communion Institute is quoted as saying ...that the 'communion as we have known it is gone.'”

I had hoped that, due to the absence of the GS Primates, we would be spared another apocalyptic pronouncement from them, or the four men and a fax machine who refer to themselves as an "institute". But no ... One more time they have to light their hair on fire and run about the meadow, flailing their arms and proclaiming the end of everything.

Actually, in the absence of the GS Primates, the majority of Primates in the Communion chose to return to what the Primates' meetings have been about since they began. It seems that the GS Primates are failing in their homophobic and authoritarian agenda for the Anglican Communion. Indeed, acording to a senior GS leader,"It"... (presumably the Primates Meeting)..."doesn't mean a thing to them."

Evidently, along with Elvis, the GS Primates "have left the building."

Posted by karen macqueen+ at Friday, 4 February 2011 at 10:11pm GMT

Second what Prior Aelred said.....

Posted by evensongjunkie at Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 12:58am GMT

The Anglican Communion which Dr. Turner says is gone is an Anglican Communion that never existed. The centralized, curial and authoritarian Anglican Communion that these six bad writers with a website keep referring to is a fabrication.

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 5:56am GMT

One more time they have to light their hair on fire and run about the meadow, flailing their arms and proclaiming the end of everything.

My sister that image made me howl with laughter!

Posted by Hermano David | Brother Dah•veed at Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 5:07am GMT

Pt. 2 from above...After Lambeth 2008 failed to do what Radner+ wanted, he did not seem to give it the credibility he had forecast. The same may be the case for the Primates Meeting. If the Meeting does what is desired, Dromantine and Dar-es-Salaam, then it is authoritative, if it doesn't, then it isn't. Again, if ++Rowan Williams does what is wanted, he is authoritative, if not, he isn't. Terry Holmes in What is Anglicanism wrote: "Clarity of authority should not be expected--in fact , it should be suspect--when we are attempting to make clear the infinite mind of God for the finite minds of humankind. When Anglicanism is true to its concept of authority, this apparent hesitance to say 'Thus saith the Lord!'---only to have to spend the next hundred years subtlely qualifying 'what the Lord said' is not a sign of weakness, but evidence of strength and wisdom" I think I agree but might add an evidence too of humility.

Posted by EmilyH at Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 7:21pm GMT

"The Pri­mate of the West Indies, the Most Revd John Holder, said that there had always been differences in the Anglican Communion, not just over human sexuality, but the Church had always “worked out ways and means of dealing with differ­ences”.

- Ed Beavan, Church Times article -

Certainly, that used to be the 'Anglican Way'. But not since the GAFCON 'Jerusalem Statement', which virtually outlawed anyone who didn't agree with them on issues of gender and sexuality. Of course, they tried to make out it was primarily not so much about sexuality as adherence to the Victorian understanding of Biblical inerrancy. But, clearly, today's knowledge of human nature, and specifically its inclusion of differences in gender and sexual giftedness, continues to flutter the doves in their dove-cote of out-dated Victorian precepts re the relationship between love and sexuality.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 8 February 2011 at 9:43am GMT
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