Thursday, September 11, 2008

Archbishop of Canada sinks his own ship

BB NOTE: Looks like the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Canada has taken a maneuver out of the Bishop of San Diego's playbook. Take private conversations public and by doing so, sink it. It's a very, very old political tactic - when you want to sabotage a strategic plan - or perhaps pretend to have a plan when you are actually against it ("I was for the plan before I was against it") - leak the whole thing to the press and sink it. Brilliant.

Note what the Archbishop of the Southern Cone says about it:

“We had been talking about a private meeting, and it rather surprises me that it is now public. This makes it even more difficult for me to attend,” said Gregory Venables, Anglican Primate of the Southern Cone. Exactly! The Archbishop of Canada does NOT want talks so he leaks it to the press - and guess who gets blamed?

Looks like the Archbishop of Canada is out pretending to sail a ship called Showdown, when in fact, he's all ready sunk it.

Remember, loose lips sink ships. And that's just how he likes it.

From Religious Intelligence here, Toby Cohen reporting.
SHOWDOWN has been requested by the head of the Anglican Church of Canada with other bishops over cross-province interference.

he primate of the Canadian Church, the Most Rev Fred Hiltz, has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to host a face-to-face meeting with the Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev Gregory Venables, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil Archbishop, the Most Rev Mauricio de Andrade.

Archbishop Venables claimed jurisdiction over 10 Canadian congregations this year following fractures in the Canadian Church over same-sex marriage blessings. US and Brazilian churches have also turned to the Southern Cone.

This has been deemed wholly inappropriate by Archbishop Hiltz, who argues that bishops can not claim jurisdiction over congregations in another part of the worldwide communion.

Following the Lambeth Conference, a moratorium on such arrangements was asked for by the Communion, to balance the request for a moratorium on appointing homosexuals to the episcopate. Canadian bishops are scheduled to meet next month to consider their reaction to Lambeth’s request.

Archbishop Hiltz said he wants a chance for both sides to listen to each other properly. Describing what he would say to Archbishop Venables, he said: “Let me try and hear why it is you feel you need to continue to work to intervene in the life of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

The Southern Cone has about 22,000 members and encompasses Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Its provincial synod, meeting in Valpariso, Chile, November 5-7, 2007, agreed to welcome into the province “on an emergency and pastoral basis” Episcopal Church dioceses “taking appropriate action to separate from the Episcopal Church.”

Archbishop Venables now finds himself in a difficult position. He said: “We had been talking about a private meeting, and it rather surprises me that it is now public. This makes it even more difficult for me to attend.” He will shortly make a formal response about the proposed meeting to Dr Williams.


Lynn said...

BB -

This sounds like the meeting proposed in an open letter to the Anglican Communion by the contributors to, released on their blog on August 25, 2008. I heard about it from a post by Dan Martin. How has Archbishop Hiltz leaked a secret?

Anonymous said...

The meeting proposed by the ACI was to include all the conservative primates who have accepted parishes from outside their jurisdiction, not just Venables. The meeting proposed by Hiltz is a lynch mob.

Kate Phelps

BabyBlue said...

You got to it before I could, Kate. The deal is - when we really want action, the meetings are done close to the vest, no press releases announcing a call for them or anything like that. The public announcements are done AFTER there is has been agreement, not before. When an organization or individual makes announcements (and believe me, it was fully covered by all the progressive media outlets) before difficult meetings take place, the intention is to sink any hope for peace. They are attempting to elevate their own persona (which means that they now know that their own image is damaged) at the expense of their opposition. That's what the Archbishop of Canada is doing here.

If he were serious, he'd have an emissary that he trusts contact an emissary that Venables trusts and the emissaries would begin negotiations, quietly. Once an agreement is reached between the emissaries, it is elevated up the food chain. Depending on how serious and difficult the situation is, it might go through several more levels before it reaches the Archbishops themselves. By the time they meet, an agreement is all ready in place which they sign and then either issue a joint statement or meet together in a very public location.

That is not what we have here - in fact, it is the opposite. Believe me, there are these types of talks going on that I've described above and God willing, perhaps they will have success. It's not looking so good right now, though, especially when we're dealing with tactics like this one used by the Archbishop of Canada or the Bishop of San Diego.