Comments: Archbishop Alan Harper to retire

Harper leaves the Irish Church the only representative from the British Isles in the "first tier" of Anglican Communion affairs.

Back in 2009 Williams, spiritual leader of the communion, spoke of a "two-tier" or "two-track" model -- one path for those who remain part of the communion's "covenantal structure," and another with "fewer formal expectations" for those who value autonomy.

"It helps to be clear about these possible futures, however much we think them less than ideal, and to speak about them not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication but plainly as what they are -- two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out," Williams wrote.

Perhaps at the meetings of the Celtic bishops Harper's successor will sit alone in another (larger and more important room) while messages/questions from the rest will be sent in for him to consult with other first tier leaders.
Wasn't that what was proposed for the Dublin Primates meeting in January last year?

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 8 June 2012 at 4:25pm BST

"Harper leaves the Irish Church the only representative from the British Isles in the "first tier" of Anglican Communion affairs."
- Martin Reynolds -

An interesting observation, Martin - especially when we realise that the Church of England Dioceses have, by a great majority - rejected the Covenant! This means that - unless the C.of E. General Synod overturns the decision of Diocesan Synods and accepts the Covenant; even the Church of England will be in the Second Tier of membership of the Anglican Covenant - an unusual state of affairs, to say the very least!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 9 June 2012 at 1:31am BST

Ron, as I understand the rules, there is no mechanism that Lambeth Palace could possibly manipulate which would allow the Church of England to adopt the Anglican Covenant prior to the election of the next General Synod in 2015.

That said, I fully expect to see an assortment of Machiavellian manoeuvres and manipulations to force through a "mind of the Synod" sort of resolution that purports to affirm this "blancmange with shards of glass."

Hopefuly a majority of Synod members will recognize such a resolution for the entirely unethical fiddle it is.

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Sunday, 10 June 2012 at 12:51am BST
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