Thinking Anglicans

North American travel notes

Citing “Scheduling conflicts with the Easter season and summer vacations” the Living Church reports ‘Windsor Bishops’ Unlikely to Meet Before August. When they do meet it will be in Navasota, Texas.

Meanwhile, Episcopal News Service reports that:

An Executive Council work group, appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, has begun considering the role, responsibilities and potential response of the Executive Council to the issues raised by the recent communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

See Executive Council group begins communiqué work, which mentions that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church will meet in Parsippany, New Jersey 11-14 June. Also, see Draft Response to Primates’ Communique Reviewed in the Living Church.

The Anglican Church of Canada will hold its triennal General Synod in Winnipeg, Manitoba from 19-25 June.

Before that the Canadian House of Bishops will hold its Spring meeting at Niagara Falls, Ontario from 16 to 20 April. The Archbishop of Canterbury will join them to lead a one-day retreat on Tuesday 17 April. See Anglican Journal report Canterbury comes to Canada.

Prior to that on Monday 16 April he will hold a press conference at 10:45 am, at the Anglican Church of Canada’s National Office in Toronto, Ontario. I daresay he will be asked questions about the report by Jonathan Petre in the Daily Telegraph Primate says Williams is indecisive leader (see also Living Church Canadian Primate: Communion Headed Toward Schism.)

In today’s Guardian Stephen Bates reports as follows:

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is still hesitating about whether to accept an invitation from American bishops to meet them to discuss the gay crisis in the Anglican communion, even though it turns out that he is spending part of the summer in the US. The American Episcopalians are threatened with expulsion from the worldwide church after September because of their welcoming attitude towards gays and, following a meeting last month, their bishops asked to meet Dr Williams to explain their point of view. You might think that the archbishop would want to meet them, not least since they provide much of the money which keeps the Anglican mission going. His answer instead is that he is planning to spend much of the next three months on sabbatical and holiday, so won’t be available. What the Church of England hasn’t said is that he’ll be in the US. Asked yesterday whether he might offer them a little time, Williams’s spokesman said: “No, that’s off limits.”

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Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
14 years ago

I could imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury might want to go along to the TEC bishops’ meeting quietly, and slip in without a lot of advance bruha-ha and lobbying…

NP
NP
14 years ago

….because he knows all the arguments they will make, having heard them ad nauseam, and he could make them much more strongly himself if he wanted to – so, the ABC is right not to waste mor of his time with TEC.

He deserves a break given how stressful his time as ABC has become following the unilateral actions of ECUSA in 2003 which have hijacked the AC for a few years now.

I hope the ABC has a great rest and has lots of time to focus on prayer and the Word.

David H.
14 years ago

So he won’t tell anyone just where in the U.S. he’s going ? Even tho’ he’s refused to meet with TEC House of Bishops or Exec. Council ?

Perhaps, as one prominent Episcopalian with a waggish sense of humor has suggested recently, he’s planning on vacationing at a hidden location of the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI), or maybe at the Ahmanson estate…

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

Part of the purpose of such a meeting is for the broader public to see some demonstration of good faith effort on the part of leadership. Much of Rowan Williams’ problem is he seems to think that the business of the church is best done by the purple shirts behind closed doors.

Cynthia
Cynthia
14 years ago

The ABC is suppposed to meet with the Canadians in Niagara Falls, Ontario, just across the border from the US. Why could he not travel from there to meet with, say, ++KJS, Bonnie Anderson, and others? Or if that is too short notice, if he is spending some vacation or sabbatical time in the States later, why could he not meet? I still don’t see why he cannot accept a civil invitation. He has time to meet with all kinds of other people in other parts of the world. Is he afraid to meet with the HoB? Or is he… Read more »

The Anglican Scotist (Todd)
14 years ago

NP et al, The point of Williams openly visiting TEC to talk is not simply to hear argument or engage in debate. Such action might be significant in other venues, yes, but there is more to the importance of a visit from the ABC than that. It would be good to see him in person, whether or not any argument or debate takes place. Maybe instead they might eat together, pray together, do bible study, vent mutual frustrations and speak out for what might be hoped for–none of which necessarily involves arguing and bickering, all of which are incumbent upon… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Todd – if he comes to the US HOB, what will he hear which is new?

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
14 years ago

David H. noted of the ABC’s travel plans, “Perhaps, as one prominent Episcopalian with a waggish sense of humor has suggested recently, he’s planning on vacationing at a hidden location of the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI), or maybe at the Ahmanson estate…”

I would suggest that consideration be given to the possibility that the ABC will instead be bunkered down, with right-wing patron US Vice President Dick Cheney, at that famous “undisclosed location.”

Paranoids of a feather must surely flock together.

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

I’ve got little to add to Todd’s and Richard Lyon’s comments, except this: Americans place great faith in “summits” and face-to-face meetings as techniques of diplomacy. Granted, summit meetings often accomplish little, but they are considered diplomatically significant simply because they take place at all. This may be an American foible, but it’s one with deep roots in their culture. For the Archbishop of Canterbury to refuse the face-to-face meeting to which he has been explicitly invited, on the other hand, conveys to Americans that he is not at all serious about negotiating with their church. Let’s remember that the… Read more »

Gillian
Gillian
14 years ago

++Rowan doesn’t need to come to the HOB to learn; if he wants any hope of TEC signing off on the remainder of Tanzania he needs to come here and *teach.* The ultra-Catholic ‘Mirfield’ view (for the sake of shorthand) of church unity he holds is virtually unknown over here, IMO. The few who might espouse it have questionable credibility w/ moderates to liberals b/c they are also anti-WO. There are no articulate liberals in TEC who are as Catholic as the ABC; +FTG might have been the only one and as immediate past PB he has limited influence. ++Rowan… Read more »

Malcolm French
Malcolm French
14 years ago

I am struck by the way that NP and other reactionaries are defending +Rowan’s refusal to meet with the American House of Bishops.

Traditionally, “conservatives” and “traditionalists” believed in good manners. Now, because it suits their agenda, they offer up a half-baked defence for what can only be described as Rowan’s rudeness.

Yes, Rowan Williams is a rude and uncourteous fellow. That’s what it comes down to. Bad manners. How very un-Anglican.

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

“if he comes to the US HOB, what will he hear which is new?” Inasmuch as I’m tempted to ignore you and your rudeness (“ad nauseam”), NP, I am moved to consider whether this might be, for you (as for +++Rowan), a Teachable Moment: “Listening”, as Lambeth 1.10 enjoins, isn’t JUST about *hearing* (i.e., the content of the words spoken). As an *incarnational* faith, Christian listening is also about (mainly about?) ***BEING WITH***, in the flesh. Would Rowan hear anything new? Possibly not (though I actually believe otherwise). But will he incarnationally encounter unique, beloved-of-God IMAGO DEI in the persons… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury “will not step across the border” to meet bishops of the Episcopal Church:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070412.ANGLICAN12/TPStory/National

This isn’t going to go down well at all.

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

I see that Bishop Stacy Sauls is a member of the group charged with responding to the Primates’ Communique. I hope very much that a part of that response will include Bishop Sauls’s report on the activities of the Network in attempting to undermine and seize control of the Episcopal Church. Some in the USA who have heard it appear to think that the Network’s activities may be actionable under the statutes dealing with racketeering and organized crime. In any case, it would be bracing and salutary for the Primates, especially ++Rowan, to receive it.

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

ABC will have the Communion that he has worked for. As he sows, so shall he reap. During my recent divorce from my previous husband I commented that he now has what he worked for. He prioritised the business over the family, so now he has the business and not the family. Ditto on a planetary scale. Souls have worked to build empires and dynasties and neglected their families and dependents in pursuit of some greater vision. Ditto on a communion scale. Bishops who have worked to build a misogynistic solo scriptural communion are now finding that some members of… Read more »

andrewdb
andrewdb
14 years ago

Since +++Rowan has not yet met with the TEC HoB, it is impossible to know just what he might learn by a personal meeting instead of relying on a church version of the game of telephone and “he said I should tell you…” Relying on others to tell you what someone said is not terribly, er, reliable. It is also extremely insulting to those of us in the TEC that this seems to be reaching a point where the TEC may no longer be a part of the AC, and he cannot even be bothered to meet to discuss it… Read more »

Weiwen
14 years ago

Someday, someone is going to mention, in this order: Rowan Williams, Nero, a fiddle, and Rome burning.

Rodney in Melbourne
Rodney in Melbourne
14 years ago

I find it impossible to resist some rumination on the relations between Rowan Williams and TEC. Why, for goodness sake, will he not find time to meet someone – anyone who is not among the dissidents? It can’t be cowardice. It may be that on appointment to the primatial see he had some sort of “Damascus road” experience, and at once was converted to some sort of extreme Catholicism and now acts as a fifth column for the Vatican Secretariat of State. I think it is more likely, however, that he has been told by the Global South Steering Committee… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

JCF – so, you would support him “listening” to all views or just TEC’s current leadership? If he goes to TEC bishops, he may be invited to Abuja again – it would be only fair that he listened to all, right? He has spoken to TEC and Nigeria and Sydney and Cape Town ad nauseam (factual, not insulting and can you not see the nausea in his face?) – let him have his sabbatical, he deserves it, give the guy a break! It is not time for more chat. It is time for decisions to ensure the long-term health of… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
14 years ago

Suppose TEC rejects the Dar es Salaam communique on 30 September and the primates meet to decide on TEC’s fate; TEC’s natural allies – Canada, Wales, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, Brazil will surely refuse to sign up to anything detrimental to TEC. There will be noise from within the CofE too. TEC are right to be bold and state what they think, without fudging the issue. Let’s not forget, they have gained huge respect in many quarters for steadfastly upholding human rights and dignity while others have shied away or even acted to the contrary. Time to stand firm against… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

I agree Hugh – I also want TEC to stand firm and walk apart so that the AC can get on with its mission without the ongoing distraction of TEC’s innovations.

(it wil be healthier for TEC too as it will be able to take its positions with integrity and hot have the doublespeak we have seen in the past)

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

NP,
Are you deliberately not engaging with what JCF actually said about “listening” not being the same as “hearing” and “speaking”?

This is about more than pretending to be capable of long distance diagnosis of nausea and it’s cause in the face of a person you haven’t met!

Please, I don’t mind you having different views to most of us on this blog, but it would be really nice if you could engage properly with the arguments people make. They’re worth taking seriously!

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“TEC’s natural allies – Canada” Beg pardon? I like everything else you said in your post, but this? We have been handling this issue very differently than TEC, and our bishops are much closer than those of TEC on this. That is not to say there isn’t argument, nor that the upcoming GS will not be a slugfest. The point has been made that the American culture of individualism and rebellion against authority that is at the core of their nation’s Mythology (note the capital ‘M’) informs the behaviour of TEC. We do not have the same political history. We… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

“He has spoken to TEC and Nigeria and Sydney and Cape Town ad nauseam” NP

Oh, I guess I missed most of the ABC’s major “speaking engagements”…probably because they, if any, were held in secret or private and excluded any REAL and “open” transparent conversation…when will the ABC start “speaking” before us and talking “spiritual” turkey with OUR HOB in person at TEC instead of cowering to the threats of Nigeria, Uganda and Singapore and lurking in his own shadowy/awkward TRUTH?

Ann Marie
14 years ago

NP,

You’re right. He has spoken to TEC ad nauseam. But he has never listened to or heard them in the full diversity of their own voices.

Even without meeting with TEC, he has every right to meet with +Abuja. That’s not in question. What is in question is that he has spent so much time listening to one side side without making an attempt to hear another point of view. To compound the issue, he then issues judgement without a full hearing.

On top of that, where there are glaring problems that tear God’s heart, he remains remarkably silent.

Malcolm French+
14 years ago

The one thing I don’t understand is this: Why are the reactionaries so deathly afraid of the prospect of Cantuar meeting with the American bishops (as opposed merely to certain American bishops who have an egenda to split the American church)?

NP, why are you so frightened?

Cynthia
Cynthia
14 years ago

“Since +++Rowan has not yet met with the TEC HoB, it is impossible to know just what he might learn by a personal meeting instead of relying on a church version of the game of telephone and “he said I should tell you…” Relying on others to tell you what someone said is not terribly, er, reliable.” He might learn that – conrtrary to what Bp Dunkin’ and other have said, and despite the loss of some large congregations to Africa and elsewhere, the number who are deeply unhappy enough with TEC to want alternate oversight is much smaller than… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

Rowan Williams appears to be unwilling to listen publicly to both sides in TEC. Most Americans find that basically unfair and a bit shocking on the part of a person holding such a leadership position. My question is whether the matter looks any different from a British point of view. Are there any differences in political culture involved in this, or is this simply about Rowan Williams and his approach to dealing or not with controversy?

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

What follows is total speculation and is offered as nothing but the thoughts of this failed novelist, who would write the novel about ++Rowan this way: ++Rowan, as everyone knows, did a dastardly thing when he first accepted, then rejected, the appointment of Jeffrey John+ to his bishopric. He did it under pressure from the extreme right wing, because he believed the extreme right wing to be very strong in global Anglicanism. Since then, in order to justify his wrong action, he has consistently represented the extreme right wing as being much stronger than it actually is. He appears to… Read more »

David Walker
David Walker
14 years ago

If this was an ordinary working summer for Rowan then I might expect him to squeeze a meeting with TEC HoB into his (undoubtedly busy) agenda. It isn’t an ordinary summer. He is on sabbatical and then taking some holiday. It is absolutely unthinkable in UK terms for a sabbatical not to be honoured. Let alone to interrrupt it for a session dealing with the single most difficult issue of your everyday workload. The ABC gives a lead by example to his bishops and clergy here in the C of E. To break his sabbatical would set the most dreadful… Read more »

ruidh
ruidh
14 years ago

Meanwhile, San Joaquin wants the Windsor Bishops to proceed with nominating a Primatial Vicar by June 1.

http://cariocaconfessions.blogspot.com/2007/04/from-san-joaquin-standing-committee.html

Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

…TEC HoB travel to London to meet with him?” Andrewdb Now there’s a real all-las-Americas IDEA! Why don’t we “pack up” our Episcopal HoB quickly and lease a 747 (departing Kennedy for Heathrow fast as can be) and have our good bishops pay a call on the ABC? Do you think a visit, after processing in full regalia from Westminster Abbey, would be noticed or even welcomed by the ABC and our Anglican brothers and sisters in the UK (perhaps the various Bishops palaces would consider hosting our Americano Knights and Ladies in shining purple)? Shall we invite the Bishops… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
14 years ago

I accept what you say Ford Elms about the different approaches of TEC and Canada. Thanks for the insight. My reference to “natural allies” was based on specifically what the primates have said and done. ++Hutchinson went along with ++Jefferts Schori’s “agreement” to the Dar Es Salaam communique, in order to put on a united front. He would have opposed it had she opposed it on the last night (from what ++Hutchinson himself has said). Richard Harries shed light on how ABC ticks. I don’t think it’s a question of political culture as Richard Lyon suggested – after all, if… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

“The ABC gives a lead by example to his bishops and clergy here in the C of E. To break his sabbatical would set the most dreadful example.”

Example of what? Work?

John B. Chilton
14 years ago

The Americans are under an ultimatum under which neither the requirements nor consequences are clear. The deadline is September. That’s the reason for summit. It’s not for show, and it’s not about American/European differences in style. ABC may be reluctant to meet for a number of reasons. One of those is that many American bishops readily make public the details of meetings. I concur, too, with the thought above it is not the Americans who are making the most credible threat that they will leave the Anglican Communion. Remember the Ayitola and the Iranian hostage crisis during the Jimmy Carter… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

John B. Chilton: Interesting points, and I’m glad you are making them. I want to expand on one of them, if I may: “ABC may be reluctant to meet for a number of reasons. One of those is that many American bishops readily make public the details of meetings.” Here there really is a cultural difference — and it’s not just cultural. It’s written into American law. Would that the officials of Lambeth Palace could understand this. I pray they may. In the state of Florida (where I live), the “Sunshine Law” requires that all meetings of any kind whatsoever… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

“Am I making myself clear here? This is a very, very late date for the Anglican Communion’s top officials to begin to consider genuine issues of multiculturalism and multilateralism, but even at this eleventh hour, some willingness on the part of Lambeth Palace to understand how their actions appear to others who do not share their own cultural presuppositions would help. And I don’t mean “presuppositions about human sexuality or its expressions,” as I hope I have made clear.” There do seem to be some differences between American and British culture about disclosure to the general public. However, nobody is… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

OK, I give up now. I’ve been hoping — and it was a foolish hope — that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s refusal to meet with the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops had some other explanation besides settled animosity toward the Episcopal Church. Perhaps we’ll still hear something at his press conference in Toronto on the 16th. Otherwise, I suppose we’ll have to accept that he does understand the significance of his gesture and is deliberately and rudely refusing to sit down together with our bishops and talk peace. He is saying: First do as the Primates have ordered you to… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Erika – how do you know I have not met the ABC?

Ann Marie – nice try but the fact is he has been “listening” to “liberals” for decades, in factm, as an academic, he wrote some of the best “liberal” arguments (and even he has not convinced himself e.g see his current stance relative to what he once wrote)

Malcolm – not scared of the ABC meeting the TEC HOB – just think he is not going to hear anything new whatsoever and that he deserves a break.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

NP,
sorry if I misinterpreted your posts. You said you are a normal member of a normal London congregation and I took that to mean the kind of person like me, who wouldn’t meet the ABC in a million years.

But if you have had occasion to speak to him in the last couple of week and you have actually noticed ill health in his face, AND have had the opportunity to discuss its cause in detail – than I apologise without any reservation.

PS: You still have not commented on the original comment about the meaning of “listening”.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Erika – no point commenting on the meaning of the word “listening” when the word has been redefined to mean “agreeing” by certain interest groups.

People have been listening (i.e. hearing arguments) for decades but not been convinced by people like VGR. I am sure you can listen to speeches by Pres. Bush and not agree with him sometimes?

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

NP, I’m really sorry you’re refusing to enter into any constructive conversation with us.

JCF tried to move the conversation to a different level with a completely new argument which deserved much better than the usual brush off that people are bored with liberal debate. If that is how you “listen” and respond, then the conversation is indeed dead.
What a shame!

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

NP, I’m interested to know how the listening process went on at your parish. Did you invite gay groups in to talk about their lives and the pain they have had to endure? Did you invite in gay couples with kids to find out the particular difficulties they go through? Did you talk to gay people who have lost a partner through illness to understand the grief of not being able to comfort the person you have heard snore for the last ten years as they spent their last hours on earth? Did you even bother to ask why your… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Erika – it is not a shame – years have been wasted in chattering and “listening” and chattering some more. Even the ABC now acceptts we are in a time of decision-making (eg the Sep 30 deadline with which he is working) Nobody – not TEC and not most of the AC benefits from ongoing division and internal strife so it is not time for listening to well-known arguments on both sides. Damage is being done to everyone so we have to stop the delays for the so-called “listening” to continue. Let us give each other credit for having heard,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

NP,
we’re not scared to end the chat, we’re just deeply sad about it. It’s never happy to lose a part of your family, however much you may disagree with them, they’re still family.
Of course, we will let you go if you absolutely insist, but we will certainly feel the loss.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

NP, It isn’t fear. It’s that breaking of communion is a severe thing, a great failing in us all, a failure of our witness to the love of Christ. To break communion is thus no small thing. Our existence as the community of the baptised is corporate, our salvation is corporate, even our God is a community of persons. You only see things through the individualism of the Reformation, and forget that traditional Christianity places huge emphasis on the community of believers, and that our love for each other should be our overriding motivator, not some quest for exclusivist purity.… Read more »

Charles Nurse
Charles Nurse
14 years ago

NP
I would say the same about “conservatives”, why are they so scared to take their message and form an “exclusive” church of their own.

I have always experienced the Anglicn Church as a broad spectrum of views, but conservatives within the Communion now want to throw me and my views out.

I believe in an “inclusive” Anglican Communion where Gay and Lesbian Christians are welcomed as full members.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Charles says “I would say the same about “conservatives”, why are they so scared to take their message and form an “exclusive” church of their own.” ..because if you look at the Primates’ statements and Lambeth Resolutions, conservatives have no issue with the AC so there is no reason to leave, especially as, post Tanzania, the hypocrisy which has been allowed to exist in the AC is being addressed and there will be a covenant to prevent future similar messes. (I would leave if my views were those of a small minority in the AC but they clearly are not… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

NP,
Is that the eye saying to the hand I have no need of you?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“I would leave if my views were those of a small minority in the AC “ So, then, what you’re saying is that trying to work through our differences or find some way to get along, that’s just bad, and it is better to split ourselves up into smaller and smaller groups of like minded people, ‘perfecti’ like the Cathars. How is this better? How does this further the Kingdom? Anyone outside the Chruch will say, well, how can I believe Christianity, for starters which Christianity do I believe? This is our current state. If my admittedly rather catholic ideas… Read more »

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